Located only 20 minutes away, Laguna de Apoyo makes a perfect, relaxing day trip from Granada, Nicaragua.
We made same-day reservations at the front desk of our hotel in Granada for round trip transfer to the lakefront Paradiso Hostel where we could purchase a day-pass to use the hostel’s amenities.
A taxi arrived soon afterward and drove Sam and me, along with two other girls, along the windy road to the lake. I admit, I was somewhat terrified during the entire drive because the back, middle seat where I ended up had no seat belt, and Omar wasn’t a particularly timid driver.
Thankfully, we arrived in one piece and found ourselves at the coolest hostel I’d ever seen (Granted, it was also one of the only hostels I’ve ever seen. As an introvert who covets privacy, particularly in the bathroom, I tend to view hostels as the seventh circle of hell).
Though we never went inside the dorms, the grounds and facilities were super nice and included changing rooms, bathrooms, a restaurant, hammocks, several seating areas, a beach, and an assortment of kayaks, water noodles, and paddle boards. If I were to stay at a hostel, I would definitely choose this one!
Hip and trendy, the hostel undoubtedly caters to young travelers. So if you’re a backpacker looking to meet other travelers, this is the proverbial watering hole. And, well, a literal one too.
Further Reading: A No-Stress Packing Guide for Nicaragua
The lake itself differed from any others we’ve visited in that it is actually a crater lake formed in a dormant volcano and surrounded by a lush rainforest. It basically could have been the setting for an Indiana Jones movie.
Once we checked in with the front desk and received our day pass, we found two vacant chairs along the beach, settled in with a good book, and didn’t move again until lunch. In my opinion, there is really no better way to spend a lake morning.
After a delicious cheeseburger lunch at the on-site restaurant, I settled back into my beach chair for the afternoon (I’m a lot of fun as a beach companion, by the way.), and Sam took out one of the hostel’s kayaks for a spin on the water.
Eventually Sam did coax me into the water, which was super warm and clear, and admittedly refreshing after sweating nonstop for two days.
The Laguna de Apoyo doesn’t allow motorized boats, which makes swimming an even more relaxing experience.
We left around 4:00pm when our shuttle took us back to our hotel in Granada.
Here’s a recap of our day:
Hostel – Paradiso Hostel and Restaurante
Checking In – You will need to check in with the front desk when you arrive, even if you aren’t spending the night. You will then receive a circular card, which you will need to show if you order anything at the restaurant or bar.
Cost/Payment – $14 ($7 for the shuttle service and $7 for the day pass). You will settle up your bill at the front desk at the end of your visit. Plan to pay in cash.
Food/Drink – Food and beverages aren’t included in the day pass, but you can order from the Paradiso Hostel’s onsite restaurant and bar. Mains range from $4-$8.
Lodging – If you choose to stay overnight, dorm beds cost $12 and private rooms with a private bathroom cost $40.
Time – The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel/hostel at 10:00am and drop you off at 4:00pm.
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