We've just arrived at our hostel in León, Nicaragua, flying early this morning from Guatemala City. We spent 10 days in Guatemala, split between the volcano prep and recovery in Antigua, and some more down time and exploring the colorful town of San Pedro on the renowned Lake Atitlan.
We're planning to move quickly through Nicaragua and see most of the attractions, starting with volcano boarding today outside of León, visiting the Pacific for the first time on this trip in San Juan del Sur, and the volcanic island lake at Ometepe.
What we've read and heard about Nicaragua is that it's poorer but less violent and dangerous than Guatemala (drug trade there). So far it reminds me most of Jamaica and has been hard to pin down. Our taxi ride from the airport to bus station was expensive ($22) but the 2 hour bus to Leon was very cheap ($6). The roads to León were some of the best we've had on the trip, but getting from the "bus station" here to our hostel was one of the most intense and unpleasant short hauls we've had.
Fortunately our hostel is nice and we're off to sled down the volcano today so tomorrow will be totally free to explore the city as much as we dare. Articles online say that it's great and safe but we haven't seen that part yet.
Our next steps after Nicaragua are totally up in the air, with the timing of the seasons playing a big role in where we want to be. I will catch up on the many detailed posts remaining to write from Mexico and Guatemala, but didn't want to get too far behind for long.