Have you ever dreamt of swimming in the warm, deep-blue waters waters of a laguna that sits deep inside the massive cone of an extinct volcano, surrounded by dry tropical forest that is home to a variety of colourful birds and troupes of Howler Monkeys? Dream no more, because at Nicaragua’s Laguna de Apoyo all of this is possible.
Seeing Laguna de Apoyo for the first time is breathtaking. Its obviously a volcano but sitting inside it is a body of water that looks more like an inland ocean, sparkling blue and turquoise under the fierce Nicaraguan sun…and it is only a twenty minute drive from Granada.
When we reached Casa San Simian, an ecologically-minded set of cabanas, the peace and tranquility were the first things to greet us, followed by our bamboo and palm built cabana complete with private outdoor toilet and shower. Birds were flitting overhead, Howler Monkeys were calling to each other through the forest and the water of the laguna beckoned us to cool off from the heat of the day.
It was a beautiful place to spend a few days relaxing, swimming and wildlife spotting. We saw, for the first time, Nicaragua’s national bird, the fabulously titled Turquoise-browed Motmot. Not only one, we saw several of them. It has ridiculously shaped plumage that is brilliantly coloured – thankfully very eye catching when they fly, which is the only way I’m ever going to spot one.
Other than that, time at Laguna Apoyo is all about swimming and strolling to spot monkeys and birds…although the fish tacos at Casa San Simian might be reason enough to visit.
…oh, and two-feet long lizards…