Goodbye Granada, Hello Leon!

[box] Did you miss my Granada Photo Series Part 1 & Part 2? If so, be sure to check them out![/box]

Hanging in Granada, Nicaragua

Hanging at the top of La Merced Church

Granada. It’s been fun. I’m not entirely sure where the time went though? There’s not that much to do here. Sure, you’ve got a beautiful cathedral in the central park and a few nice churches within 5 or 10 minutes walking distance from the center. Other than that, you have some slummy markets, and a pretty decent grocery store (Pali). Wait, how could I forget to mention the Calzada better known as the walking street to most foreigners. Full of western based bars (one of which we had Thanksgiving at), late night revelers, and of course, an Irish Pub (you always find at least one), hungry Nicaraguan prostitutues, little children begging for money and food, and so much more.

Please don’t take offense to the above, I’m just speaking about what I saw of Granada. I prefer to actually speak the truth about places I visit rather than write about how amazing everything is 24/7. I actually really enjoyed Granada. It’s certainly a great place to base yourself if you have an internet based business or job that you can work remotely. The street food was pretty good, the people were friendly, and best of all it was dirt cheap!

After 5 nights in Granada, it was time to leave our home away from home slash mobile office and make our way north to a little city called Leon. We woke up and hit the road early in hopes to get to Leon, find our next humble abode and set out to explore the city a little.

Granada to Leon

Managua to Leon

Bus from Managua to Leon

Getting from Granada to Leon is extremely easy, as a matter of fact it was a breeze getting here. The bus station in Granada is located one block south of the city. If you’re standing in front of the central park and the horse and carriages are directly in front of you, look right and follow that road down. You’ll see the bus station on your left. Ask around for the Managua bus and before you know it you’ll be half way to your destination.

The bus from Granada to Managua costs $20 cordoba (less than $1 USD). The ride takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Once you arrive in Managua, get off the bus and head over to the Leon terminal. When I say terminal, I’m using this word loosely. The terminal is just a shack with a small minibus underneath it. Ask someone where the Leon bus is, it will be within 20 steps from where you get off. We were lucky enough to jump off the bus and right onto another one instantly. You may not be so lucky, although buses run frequently all day.

The bus from Managua to Leon costs $40 cordoba (less than $2 USD). The ride takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once you arrive in Leon, get off the bus and walk to your left. Walk out towards the street and hail a taxi. Unfortunately the bus station is a 10 minute drive outside of the city center of Leon. Rob and I paid $20 cordoba ($1 USD) each for a total of $40 cordoba. We didn’t have any accommodations set up at the time but we decided to check out Tortuga Booluda Hostel as it was recommended to us by someone at our last hostel.

Tortuga Booluda Hostel

Tortuga Booluda Hostel - Leon, Nicaragua

When we initially showed up to Tortuga Booluda Hostel, we were wondering if it would live up to the standards of Oasis Hostel in Granada. While we scored a decent nightly rate for a 8-bed dorm ($7/night) and it looked pretty chill, it still had nothing on Oasis. We would have got a private room as we prefer to be able to lock our stuff up, leave our laptops hanging around, etc but they didn’t have any available today.

Tortuga Booluda Hostel

Tomorrow we’ll move into a private room for a cool $20/night ($10/night split). The extra $3/each is worth the cost for sure. As we speak I’m sitting in a dimly lit lounge area with some guitars hanging on the wall to my right, a hammock to my left, and Rob across from me. We’ re both settling in quite nicely as we plug in our headphones, turn the music up and take care of our usual internet business.

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7 Comments

  1. Jasmine

    Nov 27, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Leon is my favorite spot in Nicaragua. I was kind of repulsed by Granada, but Leon is super cool. Check out the revolutionary museum and if you climb to the top, it’s the best place for taking a photo of the cathedral.

    • Ryan

      Dec 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM

      Repulsed? Really? I didn’t think Granada was that bad although I enjoyed Leon much more.

  2. Brock - Backpack With Brock

    Nov 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    The view from that church is incredible!!

    • Ryan

      Dec 18, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      I know it really is!

  3. Claire

    Nov 27, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    So cool! I love reading posts about Nicaragua. I just stayed in La Tortuga Booluda when I was in Leon in July. In fact, I stayed in the very room you have pictured! Top bunk, left side of your pic ;) Very chill there, I definitely enjoyed my stay. I also stayed at Oasis when I was on another trip-you can never beat a free swimming pool when you’re traveling! Did you try volcano boarding through Tortuga?

    • Ryan

      Nov 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      No way, what a coincidence. We actually just moved from that room to a private next door. Although Tortuga is a little bit outside of the center, it’s really laid back and friendly. Seriously, you can’t beat Oasis, or having a pool at any hostel around the world. I am hiking el Hoyo on Tuesday and will be doing volcano boarding as part of the trip. Stay tuned!

    • Ryan

      Dec 18, 2011 at 10:39 PM

      Too funny! Yeah, we loved it there. Really chilled out which is exactly my style! I didn’t do Volcano boarding through Tortuga, but I did it through Quetzaltrekkers.

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