Where to stay in Nicaragua
Up until a few years ago, Nicaragua’s hotel scene was lacking. Corporate hotels in the main cities catering to business travellers were available but that was the main extent of it. Over the past few years the tourist industry has expanded, as visitors seek an off-the-beaten-track alternative to Costa Rica. As such, its hotel industry has grown, and whilst in Managua and Granada you’ll find those 4- and 5-star hotels with conference facilities, there are now other options, and new hotels catering for different kinds of traveller. From charming boutique properties converted into hotels in Leon and San Juan del Sur, to intimate lodges that can be found in the jungle - ecotourism is taking off here and some excellent hacienda-style accommodation and lodges can be found. A 15% tax is levied on all hotel bills.
Grading: Accommodation is graded using a star rating system. For more information, contact the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR)
Guest houses are found throughout the country. Although usually more limited in their facilities, these can offer decent value for money, and are a good option for those on stricter budgets.
Although camping style resorts are available, camping isn’t generally available in Nicaragua with campsites few and far between, although there are some; the Finca Buena Onda campsite (www.fincabuenaonda.com), on the Pacific coast, is a popular spot. You may be able to pitch your tent if the landowner gives permission, and some hostels may be happy to allow camping on their premises, for a small fee.
Self-catering apartments are also available. These will mainly be found in Managua and along the coastal areas such as San Juan del Sur you may be able to hire out private villas. There are motels along the Pan-American Highway and modern resort hotels along the west coast, offering a good standard of accommodation. Backpackers looking for budget accommodation will be able to find hostels throughout the country costing no more than $10 a night.