El Chinchorre

Here you’ll find travel reports about El Chinchorre. Discover travel destinations in Nicaragua of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day276

    Granada, Nicaragua

    June 1, 2015 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 86 °F

    We got into Granada and started exploring Nicaragua. Having just came fron Antigua, Granada doesn't seem as charming. However, the locals are very friendly and everything seems to be a little cheaper here. One of the famed local drink is Macua. Got totally hooked on it!

  • Day146

    Granada, Nicaragua

    March 12, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Our first taste of Lake Nicaragua.

    Granada is very similar to Léon in many ways; the culture, the architecture, the density of churches and the heat, oh the heat! It is undoubtedly one of the most well kept towns we have been to, perhaps an obvious indicator of whose dollar this town operates on. The main difference to Léon is that Granada sits right on Lake Nicaragua - the largest lake in Central America. I can't say I was too impressed, given our first impression was a continuous face full of bugs and a foreshore that resembled Orakei basin on a low tide. I still don't understand how such a huge lake is so filthy?!

    It's fair to say we didn't make a huge amount of effort to embrace the culture in Granada. For a reason unbeknownst to me, Granada has developed its tourism industry much more than it's counterpart, with dining and tour prices raised to meet the market as well as the relentless hustle that accompanies it. Oh how I'd kill to delete this part of travel.

    Our accommodation was just outside the tourist area, a relatively new operation called GM Granada, run by a ex-brisbanite and his partner. It had an excellent pool, clean rooms, an operable kitchen, good internet, cold beer and friendly hosts so to be honest we felt we ought to make the most of it.

    We found good value in our comparitively expensive dining here. Our first meal in Granada was burgers at La Frontera; they were delicious, well proportioned and only set us back $6USD per head. Not bad. We also found good mexican at a local chain and some top notch iced coffees at a very westernised cafe. We cooked a lot at the hostel and enjoyed both the meals and getting back in the kitchen. Although omelettes were a poor choice. Everybody knows hostel frying pans have an 'extra stick' coating that put even the toughest of glues to shame.

    Despite how I've made it sound we did get up to some activites in Granada. MERC got going in the flat and finally put together some faster k's...could that be some fitness? We explored town and climbed the bell tower of a church for a buena vista in the setting sun. Cat and I got behind Scotland in the Six Nations, with great hope that they would break England's wretched streak. It was not to be. One afternoon we hopped aboard a river boat for a cruise of some of the 365 isletas that lay green and foresty just inches above the lake. Unfortunately for us, 'some' was an ambiguous word and our 'two hour tour' comprised of a 40 minute tour followed by an hour and a half trapped on an island. Said island did have a pool and overpriced cold beer (as did our hostel), but we were not too pleased about the lack of tour. We confronted our operator at the time of payment and were assured that we had got a better deal than we bargained for; we got extra time on the island! Somehow we could not get across the point that they trapped us there (the boat dropped us off) and we had no say in when we could leave. I needn't explain how that one ended but we did enjoy the short trip we got, especially getting some really close up moments with the monkeys!

    Lago de Apoyo was another draw card in the area so we agreed to visit it as a day trip. We were really hoping Apoyo would raise the bar on Nicaragua's cleanliness! $14US got us a return taxi and a day pass to one of the lakeside hostels. It seemed steep but the priority taxi, free coffee, free kayaks, a great beach and bar set up made it worthwhile. Mike and I got the speedos on for the first time in a while, and were pretty chuffed to get out and back with no more drama than a lung full of lake. We litterally blew a whole day chilling out, reading, eating, swimming (every half hour - it was hot!!), and kayaking. The lake wasn't as immaculate as we had imagined but somehow the ruggedness suited us just fine.

    We left Granada on another chicken bus. (They're starting to stack up now!). We chose an earlier departure over a direct bus just to get out of the hustle. Midway through our trip, we were ejected from the bus in pursuit of our bags, which had made it from the roof of one bus to another in less time than Usain Bolt can cover 100 metres. We tried to hesitate but before we knew it our bags were out of reach, we chased them onto the bus and forked out an unreasonable sum of money for the ride. None of us managed to work out what happened, but we made our destination alright. I miss the air conditioned, hassle free transport of familiar car on familiar roads.
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  • Day233

    Granada zum 2., Nicaragua

    January 19, 2018 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    13. - 19. Januar 2018

    Zurück in Granada! Dies ist gleichbedeutend mit dem letzten Stop von Silvan und Jackie. Für sie beide geht es nämlich nach rund drei Wochen Nicaragua wieder nach Hause. Schön wars mit euch beiden! Danke für die gute Zeit. Was wir nicht alles gesehen und erlebt haben! Highlights waren bestimmt die Kaffeegegend Matagalpa und die Insel Ometepe.

    Für Suti und mich beginnt nun die Planung der kommenden zwei Monate (in einem Monat besuchen uns Sutis Eltern in Costa Rica). Was wollen wir bis dahin machen? Von Freiwilligenarbeit ist die Rede, Yoga-Retreat, Ausspannen in Granada (die Stadt gefällt mir supergut) oder zurück auf die Isla Ometepe. Hauptsache, mal irgendwo stationär sein. Da wir von heute auf morgen kein geeignetes Volunteering finden (die Suche hält sich auch in Grenzen), ein Yoga-Retreat zu teuer wäre und Suti in die Natur raus will, entscheiden wir uns, auf Ometepe zurückzureisen.

    Wir buchen ein wie wir hoffen geeignetes Hostel für die nächsten zehn Tage auf der Insel, mein Geburtstagsgeschenk-Hotel an der Lagune Apoyo:) und für den Nicaragua-Abschluss die Flussfahrt auf dem Río San Juan. Danach machen wir uns an die Mission Costa Rica. Wir sind zwar keine Fans von viel im Voraus buchen, aber da wir in der Hochsaison unterwegs sind und das Land nicht eben zu den günstigen Destinationen zählt, kommen wir zum Schluss, dass dies angebracht wäre. Vor allem auch, da wir zu Viert sind. Langer Rede kurzer Sinn: während den vier Tagen Granada sind wir eigentlich nur am Planen, Lesen, Hostels suchen, buchen, stornieren, neu buchen, Besprechen, Abklären... es tönt nicht nur nach einem langwierigen Prozess, es war auch einer:). Zudem mussten wir auch unser Airbnb noch hin- und herwechseln, da der Vermieter sich die Daten falsch notiert hatte. Zu guter Letzt sind wir aber mit allen gefundenen Lösungen zufrieden (oder fast) und freuen uns nun auf unsere Auszeit von der Auszeit:).

    Memories: Granada dulce Granada; Zopf ohne Hefe ist ein schwieriges Unterfangen und schreit nicht nach Wiederholung; ganz anders der Gemüse-Kartoffelgratin; La Hacienda war unser erstes Restaurant in Granada und nun auch unser letztes...kitschig?; cooles Café Gallo pinto (gefleckter Hahn); wunderschöne Aussicht vom Kirchturm La Merced; das Antigüo Hospital dient als schönes und nicht alltägliches Fotosujet.
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  • Day56

    Granada, Nicaragua

    March 12, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Granada. One of the former capitals of Nicaragua and also one of the oldest cities of the New World, founded in 1524 by the Spanish. It's another colonial city, situated on Lago de Nicaragua, which is huge by the way - it honestly looks like it makes up about a quarter of the country on a map. This made Granada a valuable trade centre and a rich city, especially after the Spanish realised that it was possible to access the Caribbean by a river joined to the lake. Things weren't all positive though as this meant that Granada was vulnerable and subsequently it was attacked by pirates three times in the late 1660s. Then in the 1850s it was involved in a civil war when tensions rose about potentially changing the capital city to León after independence from the Spanish. It's a city that has therefore rebuilt itself many times.

    Today there are many colourful colonial streets, lined with shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, mostly set up for tourists it seems - but sometimes the streets feel empty. Just a couple of streets over and it can be a completely different story - the hustle and bustle of the local markets are chaotic. People everywhere selling food, clothes, electronics on the street, all whilst cars and buses are still trying to get through. Even a lady trying to keep a huge pig under control amongst all the madness. Then there's the streets lined with corrugated iron and concrete housing belonging to the locals. It was common to see them sitting on the streets outside their homes in wooden rocking chairs, something Granada is known for. The most popular sport in Nicaragua is actually baseball so often there are people practicing throwing and catching with a glove and of course the usual playing football on makeshift fields in the streets too. It was a somewhat striking contrast sometimes between some of the streets, especially as it felt like there were never many locals around in the city centre. It makes it hard in some ways to find a city authentic and not focussed on tourists when this is the case, but we did our best to explore the place!

    The second bus from León dropped us off just near the main square which houses the spectacular Catedral de Granada. It looks as though it's been freshly painted - golden yellow and maroon with white trimming, sounds horrific but it looked stunning. It must definitely give León's cathedral a run for its money in terms of size, but unfortunately it's not possible to walk the roof of this one. The cathedral is definitely an asset to Granada's skyline though and it's a useful landmark to orientate yourself when walking around the city as it's almost always possible to see above other buildings.

    Our base for three nights was GM Hostel, a wee bit out of the main centre but it was a well looked after place run by an Australian and Canadian couple. Best of all it had a swimming pool. Yes, Granada is situated on a lake but it doesn't look overly inviting for swimming and the city is strangely close but not that close, to the lakefront. We're still battling with the heat with mid 30s every day and then it doesn't really get below the late 20s even at night. It's now the norm to sweat all the time, even whilst eating dinner. It's ridiculous. It means we're not sleeping overly well either, especially considering we've had two fans on full blast that sound like spaceships that are about to take off. Definitely missing that A/C we had in León. We did have some animal pals to keep us company here though - one being a bat which got stuck in the swimming pool one night until Mike came to the rescue, then we had the resident turtles who lived in a pond in the courtyard of the hostel. The turtles provided a daily source of entertainment as they tried to escape, surprisingly strong wee critters!

    One morning Cat and Rich headed to a local bar to watch Scotland get pummelled by England in Six Nations Rugby while Mike and I roamed the streets, popping into churches and a couple of art galleries along the way. That afternoon we headed out for an excursion to Las Isletas, which are 365 small islands within Lago de Nicaragua. These islands were formed when Volcán Mombacho erupted some 10,000 years ago. Some of these islands are privately owned and have houses on them, usually just one or two. There's also some huge houses here, some of which that would fit in back in New Zealand. These are owned by either expats or some of Nicaragua's richest families, including the owners of Nicaragua's local rum, Flor de Cañas. Other islands have houses which are the complete opposite, as these islands were once the poorest neighbourhoods in Granada.

    Thinking that it would be a bit ambitious to kayak this area, we opted for what we thought was a two-hour boat tour of some of the islands. We organised one from the main square which included transport down to the lake. "Tour" was obviously a very loose term used in this case however, as we only toured the islands for 45 minutes at best. Then the rest of the two hours (and some) was spent on one of the islands which was entirely taken up by a restaurant. After some miscommunications with the guide as we tried to figure out why that was it, we were left for about an hour and a half, not knowing when he or the boat was coming back. It's fair to say that the four of us were pretty irritated by the time the boat returned and we got back to the mainland. Our complaints in broken Spanish fell on deaf ears as we were basically told that the original guy who sold us the tour, had clearly misinformed us as to what we would be doing. Considering we hadn't paid yet, we were hoping to bargain the price down because of this but unfortunately they weren't having a bar of it! Defeated, we had to suck it up and move on. You win some, you lose some I guess.

    Back in the city, we headed to Iglesia de Merced which has a bell tower you can climb for views over Granada. Somehow we timed our visit to the top for exactly when the bells were rung by hand. Almost blew the old ear drums that one, but at least the views were nice of the city with the odd churches peeping out above the rest of the buildings.

    Some respite for our earlier anger was found in the form of surprisingly good mojitos for 50cordoba (£1.40/$2.40NZD) a pop during "happy hour" which seems to last for the best part of the day along one of the main streets lined with bars and restaurants, followed by some tex mex for dinner. Eating out has been surprisingly expensive in Nicaragua compared to other countries and not always particularly great food either. We cooked a couple of our own meals in Granada to lessen the blow to the budget thanks to a semi-decent hostel kitchen.

    The other adventure from Granada was to Laguna de Apoyo, another lake located just 20minutes drive from the city. We paid for a day pass to one of the hostels there which allowed use of the beach, beach chairs, kayaks and tubes. We all had a much needed lazy day, spent reading, tanning, swimming and using the kayaks. As weird as it sounds, sometimes you just need a holiday from your holiday!

    Next stop is Isla Ometepe, the last for Mike and I in our short trip to Nicaragua. It's a big island down in the south of this same lake we've been at the last few days. There used to be a ferry that went directly to Ometepe from Granada but supposedly the water levels are too low at the moment for said ferry, (who knows) so we are chicken bussing further south and then catching a shorter ferry instead.

    Onto the next!
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  • Day8


    March 6, 2016 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Zwar kommt Granada nicht an den Charme, den Antigua ausstrahlt, heran, aber die Stadt hat durchaus viel Schönes zu bieten. Sie ist durchaus ruhiger, sauberer und schmucker als Leon - was, um ehrlich zu sein, auch nicht schwierig war.
    Granada lebt. Es gibt fast so viele Touristen wie Einheimische, jedenfalls scheint es so. Restaurants zu finden, ist einfach, denn es gibt viele. Ob sie günstig und gut sind, ist ein anderes Thema.
    Ein leckeres Café (Garden Cafe) fanden wir aber trotzdem. Auch gibt es viele Kleidergeschäfte mit modischer (dabei meine ich, dass es nicht nur Billigware ist) Kleidung - aber unser Rucksack ist immer noch zu voll; haben wir doch Kleider für jedes Wetter und jede Temparatur dabei.
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  • Day88

    Ometepe Island to Granada

    September 12, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Breakfast was with the family and we ate fried cheese, similar to haloumi, rice and beans. We left early to travel from Ometepe Island, by boat then bus. One of the girls found a frog in her luggage which provided much entertainment on the boat! We stopped for some delicious coffee on the way which was a highlight for me. We arrived at Granada around lunch time and our place had a nice pool. It was a very hot so a lazy afternoon for everyone. We walked into town and had dinner at a Taco Tuesday restaurant. They had $1 tacos and tequila. On the street we saw incredible locals break dancing, which was very impressive. We then all went to an Irish place for dancing and more rum drinks.Read more

  • Day89

    Granada full day

    September 13, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    We went to the chocolate museum for an all you can eat breakfast where I had yummy chocolate tea, omelette and crepes with chocolate sauce and cacao nibs.
    Louisa and I then checked out the Cathedral and did some photo shoots in the streets with the very colourful buildings. We checked out the lake where there were cows swimming and kids riding them. It was very hot walking around town so we went back for a swim at the pool. We joined a tour to the handicraft markets which were not great as there was lots of mass produced items. We headed to the Masa Volcano which had a very odd waiting process to climb up. You were only allowed 15mins at the top where you could only see maybe a tiny glow of lava very far away, so the whole experience was very underwhelming. Back in Granada I had a chat with mum before meeting the others for a pizza dinner.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

El Chinchorre

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