Sailing Lake Nicaragua on a cargo boat

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
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Trip End Nov 04, 2008


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Where I stayed
On the cargo boat - $9 per person first class

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Friday, June 6, 2008

The day is a long river and lake trip as you can tell from the pictures.

Its 3 hour navigation down the river San Juan from El Castillo to San Carlos in a "panga".

After that we bought our tickets to Granada. The boat to Granada only does the trip twice a week as it is actually a cargo boat that stops in the main Islands of the 400 islands in the Lake Nicaragua (2 of them). So passengers can go on board this 15 hour trip but just sitting on benches.

There is actually 2 classes, 2nd class for $5 dollars and first class for $10 dollars. In theory the difference is that first class has air conditioning...which we did, but they switched it off at midnight when we were all asleep, so a few minutes later we all woke up with terrible sweats!

Marcos actually did not manage to go back to sleep again until Granada!

The boat trip is a great experience although slow and uncomfortable...but what can one expect for $10 dollars!
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veromarcos
veromarcos on

Information on crossing Lake Nicaragua
The boat is the one that appears on our 'Sailing Nicaragua Lake' picture. Its a small cargo boat with 2 floors. Second is bottom floor and first top floor.

The benches are OK if there isnt too many people as you can lie on them and sleep more or less comfortably. There is also a large part at the back where you can walk around.

From San Carlos to Granada the boat leaves:

- Tuesday and Friday at 2pm (arriving Wednesday and Saturday at 4am approx)

From Granada to San Carlos

- Monday and Thursday and I think it is also at 2pm but have not done it that way.

Get tickets in the morning of the travel day at ticket office of Empresa Nacional Portuaria.

There is air conditioning until midnight in first class but they put music videos until 9pm and then 2 films. Sometimes the music is extra loud! Then they turn the air conditioning off and it gets a bit difficult to sleep. I slept outside.

You can perfectly sleep with a sleeping bag on the seats or on the floor and no one will disturb you or your bags.

There are 2 toilets on the first class (cleaned but very basic and not best of smells!)

Arrive early (1pm to get your bench place)

You have to pay in Cordobas ($190 for first class per person)

I did a video of the first class accomodation and put it on the travelpod if you want full information!

Not you will arrive very early at destination 4am so plan what to do next or wait until sun comes out at 5am.

If going to San Carlos take plenty of cash. No ATMs on that side.

Hope this helps.

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