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Old 04-10-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Ride report Costa Rica / Nicaragua on-/offroad (englisch version)

Hi at all,

unfortunately, I can make this report currently only in German language.
We (Gundi and Wusti) hope that information is included, which can be for travel arrangements to Nicaragua or even for "Transamerica driver " useful.
The german version of this report you can find here
The translation into English of the report is currently under construction and will (hopefully) soon be also available online.
Please excuse my very bad English ...

Greetings Gundi :)

Idnug screwed with this post 04-10-2012 at 10:59 AM
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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Ich freue mich auf die RR.

Jede spanisch wissen sie das? es wird helfen zu wissen.

Bitte enschuldigen sie mein schlechtes deutsch, ich learne doch.
Current fleet: '82 Toyota Pickup 4X4, '99 Suzuki DR650, '97 Yamaha Zuma, '86 sears-craftsman racing lawnmower (guinness world record mower).
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by craftsmanracer View Post
Ich freue mich auf die RR.

Jede spanisch wissen sie das? es wird helfen zu wissen.

Bitte enschuldigen sie mein schlechtes deutsch, ich learne doch.
Freut mich sehr, dass Du in deutsch mitlesen kannst.
Dein deutsch ist schon sehr gut, hast gut gelernt ;o)
Tja... und spanisch kann ich auch nicht.
Hoffe bald die ersten Übersetzungen in englisch zur Verfügung stellen zu können
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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After our journey in Costa Rica, two years ago – with rented motorbikes from “Wild Rider in San Jose” (infos under, there was an absolutely moral offer:
For proves leasers of motorbikes at “Wild Rider” the owners Thomas and Thorsten offered us to arrange the departure for the rented motorbikes to Nicaragua or Panama.
Last year, we have accepted the offer of departure for Panama.So we take this year's offer to travel to Nicaragua and on- and off road by motorcycle. We have luck our flight on 15/12/2010, before the snow chaos that dominates the airports in many countries. Condor flight to Costa Rica, from Frankfurt (-8 ° C and snow), about Domenicanische Republic, directly to San Jose / Costa Rica (+25 ° C sunshine :o). The flight over the Domenicanische Republic is ideal. Departure from Frankfurt 23.55 o’clock, time of flight to Santo Domingo, approx 10 hours, waiting time on the plane about 1 hour, 2.5 hours onward flight arriving in San Jose, about 6.55 o’clock local time. Time difference in Costa Rica is -7 hours to CET.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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Ride report

The next day we get the motobikes from Wildrider. This time Wusti have a Suzuki DR 650 and me Honda XR 250. There on the XR 250 are stickers "travel motobike" on it. The editor and travel rapporteur Lixi Laufer, of the magazine "travel motobike" had rented the bike for 2 weeks in Costa Rica. We assume that a travelogue "Costa Rica" will be published shortly. So the DR 650 is traveling together with the "travel motobike".

Actually we wanted to go early to the same day in time to cross the border into Nicaragua ... actually.
In the papers for the border crossing of the DR 650 Wusti is registered with the last name "German". Torsten got to go to have the correct papers. Back with the papers with Wustis full name with the correct spelling, Torsten falls on that the motorcycle license plate of the "travel motobike" is registered in the documents of the DR. So again let go and change. Finally, we can start at about 10.30 o'clock.We take the shortest route, via the Panamerican Highway to the border of Nicaragua, in Penas Blancas. After 300 kms we are at the border crossing, at 15°° o'clock.

We know that for the border crossing a "tug" is very convenient to get all the necessary papers for smoothly cross the border into Nicaragua. "You don’t have to find the tug by yourself, he’ll find you." This is also true for the border crossing into Nicaragua. There are actually really a lot of "tugs" offer their help. We choose to Evers and his brother Omar.

The dusk falls. At about 18.30 o'clock we start from the border in Nicaragua. It goes past miles of truck jam, in the opposite direction. Everyone is waiting for the departure from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. There are to drive about 30 kms in the dark until Rivas, where we stay overnight. For motorcycles, there is even a guarded parking lot.

Rivas is a nice town. Here you can see on the road some motor vehicle, but mostly bicycle taxis, cyclists, animal carts, pedestrians and free-running animals in all formats. So looks the traffic in Nicaragua, also on the Panamerican Highway.

The first day in Nicaragua we start from Rivas of a track to the beach after Popoyo. The beaches are good for surfing, for swimming rather not so inviting.

Actually we had planned to drive the about 80 kms on the well-developed trail continues to Casares, in order to spend the afternoon at the beach ... actually.
I will tell you about some details of this "way".
We start from Popoyo back to the well developed quickly driveable track towards Casares. Traffic signs are in Nicaragua, especially offside the paved roads, not to discover.
Also no helpful village signs, which would be often very helpful for orientation and to know the current location.

Therefore often must have to ask for directions. Uncertain if this is really the right way to Casares, we ask almost anyone that met us on the road, "Casares?" and show in the direction in which continues the track.
A few kilometres after El Astilero the second guy we asked for direction shakes the head.
He points to another track, that looks much smaller.
It looks good. To make it short:

It's one of those tracks that present themselves at first friendly and inviting. One of this tracks that is gently smiling to you and seems to call "do not be afraid, it's easy ..."
It is one of this tracks that with every kilometre you drive lose the friendliness.
It is a track that, in a moment much too late to reversing, proves as a full-grown, merciless, relentless beast.

We drive on.
The track-braid is virtually inexhaustible and partly consists of walking or cattle paths.
We have to ask EVERYONE for the direction "Casares?"
There are too many tracks in all directions.
It's impossible to keep a clear direction.

Meanwhile, close of the total exhaustion, we hear ourselves say this sentence:.
"The worst is certainly behind us."
This sentence you should probably never say. Not even think.
For it should more "worse" come.

With the increasing exhaustion it's more and more hard to drive. We have no idea where we are. The sun is already very deep. We do not know how far it is to a place where we can find accommodation. The sea must be close, we can hear the waves.
I can actually not really anymore ...
it would be a really good idea to go to the sea to try the rest of the way on the beach.
We can NOT find a way to the beach.
A woman is so friendly and showed us the path that brings us to the beach.
Alone we had NEVER found this path.

The rest, about 10 kms towards Casares, we drive relaxed on the beach along until we come back on paved roads AND where we find traffic signs.

It is hopeless to reconstruct, over which towns or tracks our way has led about to Casares.

Totally dirty we arrive at dusk in La Boquita, where we find an accommodation.
When we arrived the attention of passers-by stay very long and thoughtfully directed to the motorcycles. They meet us somehow very respectful, friendly and full of recognition.

This rough ride goes not without losses. Wusti had in Rivas wine strained on the baggage for the next evening. Upon arrival, he is not more there ...

Continuation follow as soon as possible

Idnug screwed with this post 12-19-2012 at 04:08 AM
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by junglemototours View Post
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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The next port of call, the university city of León is where we quartered us and the motobikes are allowed to park in the entrance hall.

There are about 150 kms from La Boquita to León, via Diriamba, Monte Tabor, Santa Ana and Izapa, good to reach. The track is currently under development and is now at about 60 km from a "asphalt track". Characterized by a high incidence of potholes of varying sizes and a lack of asphalt surface on many sections.

Léon is a very open and lively city. Buildings of the colonial period, the market, many bars, restaurants and a variety of shops are inviting for a walk and for participate at the life of the city of León.






Tacco restaurant

Restaurant with buffet selection

Fire truck with a faulty reverse gear

From here it is about 20 kms to Playa Poneloya and Las Penitas, which are well developed for tourism. This area has a huge range of accommodation, restaurants, bars, etc.

The nearby volcanic regions offer plenty of terrain tracks for day trips.

The tracks are very different: dusty, gravel, volcanic sand and volcanic debris-coated. Signs are on the tracks rare to non-existent. Having to ask for directions is a general standard (is not more mentioned now) ...

Volcán Cerro Negro

The way ON the Volcan Cerro Negro is a private track for downhill world records on a bicycle and other high speed sports.

The beaches inviting for offroad trips to Playa Salinas Grandes

and to Playa Hermosa.

Note: Since we Spanisch neither understand nor speak, and do not hide this, we always have to make some gestures for communicate.
Nevertheless the people in the country Nicaragua (short Nicas) not keep of to give us very long and detailed explanations in Spanish.
The execution about one or more options to reach to a "certain place" ALWAYS are accompanied by the same type to show us by hand the direction we have to drive.
Like this:
The hand bends first in one direction (left or right) then to the other side, like a snake, the line leads steadily moved up and ALWAYS ends in the clear direction of the sky.
This kind to getting show the direction of a way drives you (better told me) almost to madness ...
Often the result of this special kind of "show the direction" of the track shown is a wild zigzag course. Often we arrive at that point where we are launched, in the track braid.
Not bad. The journey is the reward ;)
However, it should be mentioned that the Nicas somehow mostly are right. In fact, the trail mostly goes somehow right, left and even uphill :)

Continuation follow as soon as possible
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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After Leon Jiquilillo is the next target.
Plagued by stomach cramps, dizziness and weakness, for me, the journey goes over Chinandega and El Viejo, about 100 km.
We also take with 5 liters of petrol in reserve to be able to make a trip to the Volcán Cosigüiana. There is no gas station after El Viejo on the peninsula.

On arrival in Jiquilillo I can not longer hold on my feet ... I'm cold.
In hostel Esperanza we checked in.
I'm two days out of action.

Over the Christmas days there is an exclusive menu offer with live music and dancing.

The tracks on the peninsula are good to ride.

The climb up on Volcán Cosigüiana is initially possible on tracks. The way up to the top, however, is a footpath. Worth trying to ride this ...

No chance... here is the end for us. The DR motorcycle stuck between the trees on the path. There is no available way around the "constriction".

So it goes on the same way back as we are came to here...

Continuation follow as soon as possible
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:36 AM   #10
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From Jiquilillo it goes via Sebeco, San Luis Telico to the Highlands, to Matagalpa.


In hotel Apante coffe is free for all guests. The Highlands in Nicaragua are excellent areas for coffee plantages. In fact, I've never drank coffee as good as here.

It is fresh up here, at about 1000 meters above sea level. We are allowed to park the bikes in the courtyard of the hotel, which is accessible available only about a relatively long corridor with stairs.

From Matagalpa, there are many possibilities for day trips on and off the road.

For example, through the Selva Negra (Black Forest), about Jinotega, La Emerita, Asturias and Suculmay to the Lago de Apanas and back again.

In dense clouds, it is really freezing cold in the highlands.

The air is slightly hydrated. Together with the wind not sooo nice to drive ...

I really had no warm clothes in the luggage ... so I needed a winter sweater ...

Another possibility of a day trip:
About San Ramon, on the track-braid to Matiguas, via Muy Muy and back again.
Partly there are really really bad tracks, simply the state of the them.
Very tiring to drive, my cervical vertebrae are begging for mercy ...

Washing clothes

cook location

Animals run free, as always.

Break at the river

You often see people collecting firewood.

In Matagalpa, one could spend more time, unfortunately the weather has not cooperated ...

Continuation follow as soon as possible
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:26 AM   #11
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The next destination is the town of Ocotal. We reach about Sébaco, after around 150 kms over the Panamerican Highway. Ocotal is located approximately 25 kms from the border to Honduras.

In the hotel, in Ocotal, we may to park the motorcycles in the yard, near the dog.

Market in Ocotal

"Backstage" restaurants in the market.

"Good bourgeois" restaurant that offer breakfast.

"Simple" restaurant ... rather not recommended.

Ocotal also is an ideal base for day trips in the area.

For example, over Monzonte (very popular ceramics), via San Fernando, later on tracks to the "death zone" and the region's of coffee plantations.

Here tourists are not to find.

We are sure that the tracks in the meantime are "clean". And indeed they are.

Coffee plantation

In the "Reserva Natural Cordillora Dipilto y Jalapa" is the highest region of Nicaragua, to about 2.100 metres above sea level. There are challenging tracks with many river crossings and extremely steep sections. The pictures are not able to convey the steepness.

The trail becomes increasingly moist and muddy. So not just a bit dirty, somehow the ground shall more and more loamy with every kilometre, properly slippery with bad state by use to drive with 4WD vehicles.

Well ... the thing with the muddy clay I need to practice sometime ;)

We decide to turn back, because this track goes quite some kilometres till the nearest crossroads. The return trip is hard enough ...

A break at the river lends itself to dry boots and socks and wash the mud from our clothes.

Other touring options are about the "death zone" above Salto San Jose and back,

or about Monzonte, San Fernando, Santa Clara, El Jicaro, Mura ...

... where the track with increasing altitude shall always more wet and slippery. In vain we look for the waterfall "Salto San Jose", which falls by ample supply of water more than 200 meters in depth.

Or the direction about Somoto, in the Canon Somoto ... we miss the way into the Canon on the unmanageable track-braid ...

The tracks often are very adventurous, as formerly existing bridges that simply are no longer there ... (I will also practice on occasion yet this ;))

However, it is also very nice outside the Canon;)

Thus, the opportunity for a short break at the river.

Continuation follow as soon as possible

Idnug screwed with this post 12-20-2012 at 10:34 AM
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #12
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wonderfull riding report !.
I've lived for 2 years in Juigalpa and did a lot of riding of this type in the area on a MZ 250cc (2 stroke).

Keep on going with the this riding report


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Old 12-21-2012, 12:46 AM   #13
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Hi Toine,

I am very pleased, if it makes a bit of fun to read.
Juigalpa is the next target must still translate.
Wow ... 2 years to live in Juigalpa and have a MZ there ... certainly was not boring ;)

Greetings Gundi

PS: I hope very much that my translation is not too bad to read!?
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:16 AM   #14
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These are our Golden Years. ~ EC

The future is no place to place your better days. ~ DMB

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

~Augustine of Hippo
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:58 AM   #15
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Hey EvilClown,

Originally Posted by EvilClown View Post
with the motorbike, that you had in Costa Rica, I was ride in Nicaragua
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