Nicaragua is rising consistently on the bucket list for backpackers. Being Costa Rica’s neighbor to the North, there’s a similar feel without the high cost. As tourism develops here, that will probably change. But for now, here’s an idea of what things have been cost for us (in USD).
$20/night at Hotel Casa del Lago, private double room with bathroom en suite
$2.50 Nicaraguan breakfast with coffee
$24 Mansion de Chocolate Spa, 30 min massage, manicure, pedicure package
$1-2 Tona, a local beer, depending on how nice the bar/restaurant was
$4 Strawberry daiquiri in dainty martini glass
$12 Comfortable drive to San Juan del Sur about 1.5 hours away, ours was even private
We were happy just cruising Granada checking out the old colonial style buildings and churches so our extracurricular costs were low. Plus, we were both antsy to get down south to the beaches. Expect a full post on Granada when we go back for a few days on our way to Managua.
San Juan del Sur
$30/night at Surfing Donkey Hostel, private double room with bathroom en suite. We had found out that this hostel did work trades so we wanted to check it out despite the high cost. If you’re trying to party, go there. The pool was a great plus and there’s a bar right by it. But it wasn’t quite the vibe we were looking for.
$75/week for an apartment above a surf shop with it’s own bathroom, balcony, and kitchen. We didn’t utilize the kitchen because we had to go get propane and there was already a bit of an ant problem but even without the kitchen, it was a great deal.
$2 Nica breakfast with coffee (big enough that we would often just share one plate)
$2 fruit smoothies
$1.50 fresh calala, or passionfruit, juice from El Gato Negro
$6.50 huevos rancheros from Barrio Cafe, a semi pricey boutique cafe but worth it to go once
$10-15/day surf board rentals
$120-$400 surf boards to buy
$4-10/each way for shuttles to different surf spots
$10/day SUP rentals from Rojo Loco
* they only had two boards and one of the boards didn’t have fins. Oh, and watch out for the windy days!
$2 entrance to see the large Jesus statue overlooking the SJDS bay (plus a steep and sweaty walk unless you splurge for a ride)
SJDS was great but when we found the spot in Playa Santana were we could have a kitchen and a surf break right in front our apartment, we bounced pretty quickly.
This place has maybe stole my heart a bit.
$500/month for a full apartment with kitchen, porch, and Wifi only steps from the beach and great surf
$60/month surfboard rental from Garden Grove (rates vary)
$90/week surfboard rental from Buena Onda Resort (standard rates)
$9 yoga session at Magnific Rock with a beautiful view
$.75 pineapple off the produce truck
$.75 two large yucca off the produce truck
$6 entire chicken brought via truck
$2.20 friable cheese delivered right to our door
$10 propane tank
$5 ticket into a circus event at Magnific Rock
$3 for 30 fresh eggs
$3.50 glass of wine
$.50 cup of good coffee
$8.20 bomb fajitas from Yolanda’s Cafe that could have fed three people easily. If you have the chance, go there. Don’t ask questions. Just go.
*We are still at Playa Santana for about another week, I’ll be doing a post on a full breakdown of what the month cost us in a few weeks.
When we depart Playa Santana, we are heading to Ometepe for a month, and then slowly making our way to the Corn Islands afterwards. That’s the tentative plan anyways. But you know how things go, (: