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Old 11-10-2012, 08:56 AM   #1
Chiriqui Charlie OP
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Going to Nicaragua

Going to Nicaragua for the first time next month. So far I think I want to see Granada and Masaya, and spend some time on Ometepa. I'm not too interested in big cities, I could probably be happy without going to Managua. What I would likie is some advice on other places that I should not miss. Riding a Yamaha XT250
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:51 AM   #2
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avoid managua unless you are a glutton for punishment. you can even avoid it if heading north, as there is a bypass road between masaya and managua coming from the south.

on your way up, stop in san juan del sur for a few drinks and a nice meal on the beach. it's a pretty gringofied town but nice all the same. you can take "la chocolata" to avoid a decent size portion of the panamericana and there are some funky side "roads" you can take from there up to pochomil/masachapa. they are NOT in good shape though.

near masaya, you should stop at laguna de apoyo for a swim in one of the deepest lakes in central america, and tour the pueblos blancos.

esteli in the north is nice and you can pick up some great cigars for cheap.

make your way over to the atlantic coast for a taste of afro-nicaraguan culture. they all speak english and have fabulous food and nice beaches.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thanks, this is the kind of info I am looking for! Do you know of any "tourist" tours worth taking? Too bad I don't smoke cigars!
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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at volcan mombacho, just outside of granada, there is a good tour of the volcano and a coffee plantation there. volcan masaya also has a decent tour. up north, flor de cana, the national and OUTSTANDING rum, has a new tour of its factory in chinandega.

what days do you think you will be in nica next month?
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:14 AM   #5
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Thanks once again! I will see if I need to pay for the volcano tour, or if I can go alone. As far as time, right now is the tail end of the rainy season here in Panama. I don't want to head north until it is mostly over, usually sometime in the first half of December.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:03 AM   #6
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the only way to get to the top of mombacho is with the tour bus-an ancient russian made jobbie that i'm amazed still runs (at least the last time i was there...).

don't miss ometepe either. not sure about guided tours there, but he ferry ride over and riding around there on your own is pretty cool. hiking up as well.

PM when you are in nica. i'll be there twice in dec. maybe we can meet up for rum/beer/b.s. session.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #7
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It's a good practice to have about 300 córdobas in crisp bills handy in case you get pulled over for some "infraction" outside of Managua. Feel free to ask me how I know.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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300 is too much! most traffic violations carry a LEGAL fine of 200 cordobas. if you feel like fueling the corruption and paying your way out of having your license taken away whilst you go to a bank, pay the fine, go to the transit office (wherever that may be) and retrieve your license, all of which, by the way, can rarely be done on the same day, then simply ask the kind officer if there is any way he can pay the fine for you.

considering the average nica cop with a few years on the force makes about $7,000 USD per year ($145 per week), a $10 boost several times per day makes a huge difference.

as an alternative, be calm, humble, apologetic, do not dispute whether you committed the infraction, and most of them will not write the ticket.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Beware of the new CR traffic laws - I almost got a ~$500 speeding fine while going down to Paso Canoas border to meet a buddy. I only got off because the cop was a motorrad and we chatted about bikes for a while.

Depending on your time line, we might run into each other in Nicaragua. There's a group of us going from Dec 5th to 9th. Send a PM and perhaps we can meet up for a cold Tona or a Flor de Cana. Maybe with TeeVee too.

Btw, if you haven't done the Rio Sereno (PTY-CR) crossing yet, highly recommend it.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
Going to Nicaragua for the first time next month. So far I think I want to see Granada and Masaya, and spend some time on Ometepa. I'm not too interested in big cities, I could probably be happy without going to Managua. What I would likie is some advice on other places that I should not miss. Riding a Yamaha XT250
I don't usually care for the bigger cities but for some reason I enjoy the cities in Latin America as much as I enjoy the rural areas, for different reasons, of course.

Leon is worth checking out imo, great city and cool colonial architecture.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Misery Goat View Post

Leon is worth checking out imo, great city and cool colonial architecture.
+1 Lodging , food , and not too far from the beach and they have tours there.
not sure of your lodging preference. But , when in Leon i stay at Posada Del Doctor.

Habibi Rocks screwed with this post 11-14-2012 at 02:25 PM
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:44 AM   #12
Parcero
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300 cordobas is about $12.50 US. Easier and more efficient just to pay it than spend time quibbling with the transit cop and then spend even more time going to a transit office. The cop gets his $12.50 "boost" and I'm on my way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
300 is too much! most traffic violations carry a LEGAL fine of 200 cordobas. if you feel like fueling the corruption and paying your way out of having your license taken away whilst you go to a bank, pay the fine, go to the transit office (wherever that may be) and retrieve your license, all of which, by the way, can rarely be done on the same day, then simply ask the kind officer if there is any way he can pay the fine for you.

considering the average nica cop with a few years on the force makes about $7,000 USD per year ($145 per week), a $10 boost several times per day makes a huge difference.

as an alternative, be calm, humble, apologetic, do not dispute whether you committed the infraction, and most of them will not write the ticket.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:10 AM   #13
TeeVee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parcero View Post
300 cordobas is about $12.50 US. Easier and more efficient just to pay it than spend time quibbling with the transit cop and then spend even more time going to a transit office. The cop gets his $12.50 "boost" and I'm on my way.
except that there is no quibbling. it's simple: you ask him to "pay the fine for you." the fines are 200 cords. no quibbling.

to each their own though...
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #14
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i'll be in Nica in a few days for a week of so, so when i stop by to see you i'll let you know what i find as i ride around of course with plenty of photos to give you a few ideas
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #15
Parcero
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Thanks for the advice. I'll save 100 cordobas on my way back north next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
except that there is no quibbling. it's simple: you ask him to "pay the fine for you." the fines are 200 cords. no quibbling.

to each their own though...
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