On February 4th, after having secured Zoe at the Yacht Club Costa Rica, we spent about three weeks in south Nicaragua and northwest Costa Rica.
We took three buses to reach Penas Blancas, the border with Nicaragua, and from there a taxi to reach Granada, laying on the large Lake Nicaragua . We found Granada to be one of the most beautiful colonial cities we have seen in Central America, with its colored houses and churches. We explored the nearby area, the Volcán Masaya, Laguna de Apoyo, Volcán Mombacho, the Isletas of Granada, Isla Zapatera and Isla del Muerto. We rented a car to explore San Juan del Sur (where we will return by boat) and some of the nearby surf beaches, and to visit the Isla de Ometepe, a beautiful island inside Lake Nicaragua featuring two impressive volcano.
It took us about 7 hours to get to San Carlos (on the south east corner of Lake Nicaragua) by bus, and from there about 2 hours by boat to reach El Castillo, an enchanting village on the Rio San Juan. In El Castillo we spent a few relaxing days admiring from the terrace of our B&B the waters of the Rio San Juan and visiting the old Spanish fortress. We took a day trip to explore downstream Rio San Juan and to walk along the trails of the Refugio Bartola park.
On February 19th we returned to Granada and from there to Costa Rica where we spent three days in the region of Guanacaste, a cattle and dry forest place, with a few volcano still giving signs of their nature. We had the opportunity to swim in a true hot water river, running for kilometers with its hot and later warm thermal waters. We took a bus from Liberia to return to our boat, getting the opportunity to appreciate this extremely live city, offering the best gourmet food we tried in the region.
We found Zoe in good health, still needing our attention for some maintenance we had procrastinated for too long… And, we prepared it to host our friends Marie-Helene and Thierry who are arriving today to accompany us again for a small segment of our journey!
GUANACASTE, COSTA RICA