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Ultimate itinerary to Nicaragua or over ambitious?

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  • Ultimate itinerary to Nicaragua or over ambitious?

    Hi all, I’m headed to Nicaragua in February from the 8th to the 17th. My first and last day there I’ll essentially be arriving really late and taking off really early, so I’ll only have 8 full days in Nicaragua. I have a rough idea of the places I want to go and activities I want to do, but wanted to get input on whether these are good choices or if I am being over ambitious. I’m mainly visiting to eat delicious food, soak up the scenery, hike, kayak, horseback ride, zip line, and do other outdoorsy activities - I’m not really looking to do any partying. Here are the places I’d like to visit:

    My first place of interest is Granada. Here I would like to checkout the colonial architecture/churches, Mombacho Volcano, tour the islets, and maybe go to the Choco Museum. Not sure if this would be a good place to do zip lining or some other activities? I’d also like to make a trip to Masaya to browse the crafts market, since Masaya is close by.

    I would also like to go to Leon, which I hear is less touristy than Granada. Potentially I would like to volcano Board at Cerro Negro, see the cathedral, make a trip to Las Penitas beach, and do whatever other activities are good in the area.

    Ometepe is another place I would like to see, which I hear is good for horseback riding, kayaking, zip lining, and hiking. Moyogalpa, Maderas, and Ojo de Agua are places of interest on Omotepe, but I’m not sure where to go as of yet.

    I hear Apoyo Lagoon is beautiful and would also like to go there. Not sure what to do here, but it seems like it has similar activities to that of Ometepe.

    I was also thinking of visiting Esteli or Matagalpa, but wasn’t sure what the better choice was. I hear these are good spots for coffee plantations and viewing the cloud forest. Do you recommend going to either, and if so, which one?

    I was originally planning on going to San Juan Del Sur, but then I heard mixed things - mainly that it’s for partiers and surfers. Would you say this is true and that my time is better spent elsewhere?

    So that’s the gist of my rough ultimate itinerary - is it good or am I being over ambitious with only 8 full days in Nicaragua? If I am being over ambitious, which place or places should I drop? Also, how much time should I allocate to each place?

    Your input and help is greatly appreciated - thank you!
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