Saturday, January 21, 2012

Catarina, Nicaragua

We started out planning on driving to Mombacho Volcano - 1345 meters

On the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Volcan Mombacho looms above the colonial gem of Granada. The 365 isletas found in Lake Nicaragua are a result of an eruption many years ago. Now Mombacho is home to coffee farms, a zip line and a few nice hiking trails. The steep sides of the volcano are under cloud cover most of the time and the cloud forest makes for great hiking. Mombacho is about 20 minutes from Granada. Article Source:

We drove up there but they only had excursions at 8:30 and 10:30 AM. It was 10:45 when we arrived. The guy at the zip line company offered us a 4 wheel drive at $60 dollars per person. We passed on that. We took a walk for a while and then decided we'd drive somewhere else for the day.

We decided to head to Catarina which is touted as the garden city. There are many roundabouts in Nicaragua.

Many small family nurseries produce flowers and ornamental plants for Central Nicaragua - Granada, Masaya and the capital Managua.

This beautiful town is situated on the mountain hills of a collapsed volcano - Laguna de Apoyo.

We parked in front of this church and then went exploring the town.

Lots and lots of garden nurseries.

Then we began to see some souvenir shops, and as we have not come across very many of these, we decided to pick up what we needed.

The local way to get around town.

Since we had come here on a whim we hadn't read anything about the town except that it was full of garden centres. As we walked further up the hills in town, DH suggested a restaurant we could stop at later as it appeared to be the only one.

Imagine our surprise when we came to a "tourist area" where you pay to enter (there is one in Granada as well). This was much nicer than Granada's, full of souvenir stands and restaurants. But the major surprise was the view. This is Laguna de Apoyo (a large environmentally protected lake) and the volcano Mombacho to the right.

There are musicians, horses to rent and families out for the day.

We chose a lake side restaurant for lunch and had a delightful server who couldn't do enough for us even though she didn't speak a word of English.

We were serenaded as well.

Some more shots of this beautiful town

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