It seems that a lot of hostels in Nicaragua have a kind of “sister hostels” on places where nobody would find them if they wouldn’t have a joint venture with a hostel in a big city.
In Leon there was a cooperation between the surfing turtle lodges, which were actually owned by the same owner. In Granada we stayed one night at the Bearded monkey hostel because they have free transfers to the treehouse hostel. The Oasis hostel in Granada has a daily shuttle bus connection with a hostel at the Apoyo crater lake. We stayed one night here in hostel Paradiso.
L., the lady with who I traveled to Somoto had recommended to go to the Apoyo crater lake and here in Paradiso a lot of other people also recommended the trip to Paradiso. So we did. We met a Dutch girl at Oasis who just arrived from her two months of traveling in Cuba, lets call her M. and she joined us to Paradiso.
People told us that the lake is warmed by the volcano, so my expectations were close to a gigantic whirlpool. Can you make up the disappointment in the previous sentence? It was a disappointment when the temperatures were only slightly higher than the sea temperature. I was not disappointed about the view, the view was stunning. We heard a lot “jungle sounds” and saw a lot of beautiful birds. I bought maps with drawings of the Nicaragua wildlife so I know what I see.
The Paradiso hostel has canoes which are free for use and s o we did, at least John and M. did. They had a canoe together and I had one for myself, but my body is not made for this kind of canoes and I decided to make a U-turn after about 100m. I changed clothes, still open shoes but socks in it this time because I went for a hike and there are animals, especially insects which only exists on this planet to sting and byte me, they are not going to fool me this time. With a second skin existing of DEET I hiked on the road at first, but the woods were far more interesting and that’s where I had to go. After walking about 45 minutes I had heard a lot of monkeys but did not see a single one. The sun goes down at 5.45pm and at 6pm it is completely dark, It was 4.30 already so I had to hurry a bit. Lucky for me there was a man cutting wood, with the few Spanish words I manage and the animal map in my hand I asked him where I could see any mono (Spanish for monkey). At first he didn’t like to see me but when he noticed I was only looking for animals he was so kind to cut me through the wilderness and bring we just below the tree filled with mono congo’s (Mantel howler monkeys, got no pictures of that, was not possible with my iPhone).
After I told this to John an M. we decided to go for a early morning hike. With this hike we saw a lot of beautiful birds and after just 300m walking we saw our first monkeys. To enhance the chances of seeing wildlife we took a very small path towards the top of the volcano. It was a nice hike in the middle of only forest but without any form of wildlife except the sounds. After we reached the asphalt road again we saw a lot of monkeys playing in the trees and roar at every car, bus or motorbike passing by.
Below some pictures we took at the Apoyo crater lake (there are also pictures on my phone, I will add them later since the battery died and I am happy without phone at the moment :D).