Thanks for an unforgettable 2 week trip to Nicaragua. The colonial cities of Leon and Granada are beautiful, not yet overly touristy. The cuisine (especially nacatamales) is easy to appreciate and the wildlife and geography are unforgettable.
Our only caveat was that Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure, unlike Costa Rica’s, it is not fully developed. This was brought home to us when we experienced our first accident in nearly 30 years of traveling. My wife and I were hiking the Maderas Volcano on Ometepe island when she slipped and broke her leg badly. She was rescued from the mountain by paramedics with a mule, transported by the Hotel Paraiso’s 4X4 to a ferry, then transported to an excellent hospital in Managua. This ordeal spanned 8 hours. If we had, as usual, been traveling by ourselves, the trip to the hospital could have taken days.
As luck would have it, we had decided for Nicaragua we’d use a tour company. We found Tours Nicaragua on the web. Fortunately, their guides and drivers coordinated the entire rescue: from getting assistance on the ferry to having an orthopedist waiting for our arrival at the emergency room. Richard Leonardi and Mike Newton then made their office available for us to contact family and doctors in the US. They provided us with translators at the hospital through to our airport departure.
The Tours Nicaragua staff, the paramedics on mule back, the wonderful staff at the Hotel Paraiso, the heroic ferrymen who carried my wife safely on board and the passengers who wished my wife god speed all exemplified Nicaragua’s greatest tourist asset, a caring people, who can forgive Americans for the many historic injustices we have visited upon them.