Nicaragua Travel Tips

Best Bookworm Nook: El Gato Negro

So you're in San Juan del Sur to surf, and you're looking for a place to curl with up with a mug and a book. Grab your favorite collection of stories, and head to El Gato Negro Bookstore and Coffee House. This small, super cozy coffee shop is decorated with bright colors and an assortment of furniture that includes everything from tables and chairs to couches and hammock chairs. The kitchen serves up delicious java as well as breakfast and lunch fare. Tuck in to a plate of blueberry pancakes in the AM or a turkey sandwich in the PM.

 

You can also find reading material online, since El Gato offers Internet access. But if you need to plug your electronics in, be prepared to pay a small fee, as electricity here is pretty expensive. If you forgot to bring a book, you can browse the selection and purchase one.

 

So plop down into a seat with a cup of coffee and crack open your book. El Gato's chill atmosphere makes for an awesome morning.

 

El Gato Negro Bookstore in Nicaragua
El Desayunazo is a great place for breakfast in Nicaragua.

Best Breakfast Joint: El Desayunazo

For a delicious breakfast in Leon, El Desayunazo is a sure bet. The restaurant excels at both English and Nica cuisine, and the wait staff is efficient and friendly. If you're feeling nostalgic for breakfast foods, try the pancakes or the English breakfast meal with eggs and bacon. The breakfast burrito is also well-liked by the restaurant's patrons. The coffe is delicious and bottomless.

 

El Desayunazo closes at noon, and the restaurant is locally popular. So the seats fill up, and there may be a wait. Even if you're not usually an early riser, get up with enough time to eat here. You'll love the meal and the relaxing start to the day, and then you can always go take a nap with a full tummy.

 

Thanks to tasty food and friendly, efficient service, El Desayunazo has become a go-to location for expats, tourists and locals.  

 

Best Coffee and Customer Care: Libelula Coffee Shop

Also in Leon, this popular coffee shop gets a lot of rave reviews for excellent java, desserts and customer service. Located a little off the main drags and near Leon's Central Park, it is definitely worth the trip for a relaxing morning or afternoon.

 

If you're a fan of lattes and cappuccinos, look no further. Libelula features an extensive coffee menu. There are even fun, frozen drinks for kids, in sweet flavors like caramel and Oreo. The shop also sells an assortment of pastries.

 

The atmosphere is comfortable and friendly with courteous servers. This contributes to the laid back ambience that, along with the excellent coffee, lures in expats and locals day after day.

 

Libelula Coffee Shop in Nicaragua
Marsella Valley Nature Center in Nicaragua

Best Place to Play Frisbees: Marsella Valley Nature Center

Located just five miles north of San Juan del Sur, Marsella Valley Nature Center offers a few different eco-attractions. 

 

Go for a nature walk on the nature center's trail, and immerse yourself in the diverse Nicarguan ecosystem. You'll likely see an array of creatures such as monkeys, tropical birds and rare insects. As you walk through this environmental haven, you'll sense the habitat around you teeming with life. With so much diverse life, Marsella Valley is an exciting and awesome place to be.

 

Marsella Valley Nature Center is also the site of Nicaragua's only frisbee golf course. Even if you've never played frisbee golf before, you should give this a try. First of all, you'll be playing frisbee golf in Nicaragua, and that's pretty cool. Secondly, the price is right at only $2.40 for 12 holes plus disks. So get out there to commune with nature and fling some frisbees.

 

Ometepe: Potential for Awesomeness

The Island of Ometepe is no secret. The volcanoes that comprise the island loom large on the horizon in Lake Nicaragua, and with daily ferries, hotels and activities, Ometepe is a well-recognized destination. However, the activities on the island itself are not always easily identifiable. So we're going to tell you about a couple of the coolest and most appreciated activities on this gorgeous island.

 

Tours of the island are wonderful, and you have a couple of options. There are tour guides who live on Ometepe and know the island inside and out. They'll be able to point out all the finer points of the incredible natural beauty around you. There are horse back riding tours that go to dramatic waterfalls and personal guided tours from guides born and raised on Ometepe. Academics can check out Museum El Ceibo on Moyogalpa, while the fitness buffs can take kayak tours around the island.

 

Ometepe Island in Nicaragua

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