If you're spending even just a couple of days in Granada or Managua, chances are you'll want to check-out Laguna de Apoyo.
Whilst it is possible to stay in one of the many lovely resorts at the lake-side, the lack of shops around and higher costs mean that a couple of nights here could end up costing you a little more than you'd like.
The hostels have caught on to this, and many offer shuttle services to and from the lake, varying from $4-6 one-way to $6-8 return. Yet, whilst this may be the more convenient option, there is always a cheaper, more enjoyable way to do it.
Here's our guide on how to get to Laguna de Apoyo on your own.
All roads begin with a bus from Granada, so head to the local market and find one with Managua as a destination. They go very frequently (every 10-15 minutes) so you shouldn't have to wait long. Ask to get dropped off at 'la entrada de la laguna'.
Duration: Approx 30 minutes
The bus will drop you off on the main road. Cross over, and you will see a clearly sign-posted road leading up a hill. From here you have four choices.
If you've set off early enough and it's not too hot, this is a lovely way to spend the morning. This one and a half hour walk takes you through small villages and gives you time to take in the views of the lake from up high.
Simply follow the road, and then follow the signs posted for various lodgings by the lake.
Time: 1.5 hours
#2 masaya-laguna bus
This route requires a little more organisation, as you need to co-ordinate the bus departure from Granada with the much less frequent Masaya-Laguna bus, which passes the Apoyo entrance at around 6 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. only.
Time: 30 minutes
#3 la valle bus
Catch the 'La Valle' bus at the entrance which will take you as far as the 'rim' of the laguna, but then requires a 45 minute walk downhill to the water. This is ideal for those that would love the time to take in the spectacular views from the summit, but don't fancy the initial uphill walk.
Time: 60 minutes
#4 take a taxi
Depending on the time of day, there will usually be plenty of cabs waiting at the entrance to quickly ferry you to the lake.
Time: 20 - 30 minutes
Price: $C100 (only really a viable 'budget-option' if there are few of you in the same cab!)