Relaxing in Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo has to be one of the most beautiful, relaxing places on earth.  Just outside Granada, Laguna de Apoyo can be done as a day trip, but I highly recommend staying at least one night. We stayed three nights at the Monkey Hut, but could have spent longer.

Shoreline at laguna de apoyo
Shoreline at Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo

Apoyo was once an active volcano, and when it erupted, it left a tremendous crater behind.  Over the years, this crater filled in with rainwater until it became today’s lagoon.  It’s extremely deep and more than a little chilly, which is something visitors relish in the hot Nicaraguan sun.  Protected jungle surrounds the lake on all sides, so you can hear howler monkeys in the morning and see gorgeous birds, reptiles, fish and small mammals while lounging in a hammock!

sunrise at laguna de apoyo
Sunrise is the best time to hear the howler monkeys.

The Monkey Hut

We loved the Monkey Hut for so many reasons.  Every room, including the dorms, has an incredible view of the lagoon.  Guests have free use of kayaks and inner tubes, as well as lounge furniture on the grounds.  It’s easy to cook or go out to eat at hostel restaurants, or local Nicaraguan places for gallo pinto.  We also met some wonderful people while staying here, which always makes you remember a place more fondly.  This is the kind of place where you plan to spend a few nights, but keep extending one day at a time – and I think that says it all.

Monkey Hut
Looking up the hill towards the Monkey Hut

Getting In and Out

We took the day shuttle from Oasis Hostel in Granada, and were able to pay a cheaper price ($5 each).  This was at the start of our trip and we were still easing into some of the logistics planning.  Fortified by our stay, we took the chicken buses back to Leon.  Chicken buses are literally old American school buses, retired back home, which are now public transportation for the people of Nicaragua.  The interiors are largely the same (with more LEDs, movie screens and religious art), but the tops have been converted into cargo areas.  It is not unusual to see live animals on top or even inside the bus.  Getting from Laguna de Apoyo to Leon cost us each less than $2.

chicken bus
Sometimes you just need to move a bedroom set on a chicken bus.

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