Laguna de Apoyo

Ever since we arrived in Granada, we heard how great the Laguna de Apoyo was. Beautiful, clear, refreshing water inside of a volcanic crater. So we decided to head there on Sunday. Though its a thirty minute drive away, any tour agency in town would take us there for a song (~$10). Here’s the problem: first, that was too easy for us and second, its funny how your concept of cheap and expensive changes.

Instead, we decided to take the shuttle from another hotel for less. Arriving there, we learned there was no shuttle this time of year, but they did inform us that an express bus left for there from the shuttle stand two blocks away. We rushed over as we only had a few minutes (or so we thought), only to find out this also did not exist. Instead, they could drop us off at the turn off of the highway, still an hour long walk away from the laguna. We decided this would not only be fine, it would be a great way to work up to a nice dip in the water. So off we went. We ignored the taxis waiting at the turn off offering to whisk us down to the laguna and started walking. We passed community after community, house after house, church after church, all in services on a Sunday morning. At every fork in the road (of which there were more than the map ever indicated), a handful of highly helpful people loitered, always with a smile and a point in the right direction. Its like they knew where we were headed or something.

But after an hour, we were still climbing and no laguna looked remotely in site. The sun was beating down, we had almost exhausted the water we brought, and we had heard the way down to the laguna was farther than the distance up. At this point, the whole walking thing started to seem like a bad idea.

But right about then, we crested a hill and there it was. A gorgeous vista out over the crater of a volcano, with a shimmering lake waiting for us hundreds of feet below. Granted, we still had a long way down to go, but all my thoughts of how loco we were vanished. We bounded down the hill with a spring in our step and headed to our original destination, having heard the private beaches were the best.

Unfortunately, Crater’s Edge had a small sign outside their hotel indicating they were closed for the entire month. Undeterred, we walked nearby to the Monkey Hut, took one look and decided this hostel was too touristy for our taste. And they wanted $6 for the privilege of hanging out (to be fair, for that you got to use their inner tubes and kayaks). Besides, they had no restaurant where we could get food.

So we walked down to the public beach. We parked ourselves at one of five identical looking beachfront restaurants, passing the afternoon in comfort with the locals. The water was clear and refreshing. Kids came over to take our pictures, we made friends with a group of small children playing in their underwear with floaties made of two liter coke bottles and watched a pair of teens do some serious making out nearby. I’m pretty sure none of this would’ve happened at our friendly hostel.

Our version of taking it easy on the way back was to take the hour late bus back out of the laguna, then hop another bus back to Granada. I don’t know why exactly we have this aversion to the simple way of doing things, but it does always lead to the “interesting” way instead. It would’ve been a much different day if we had just taken a taxi or tourist bus.

7 Replies to “Laguna de Apoyo”

  1. Sounds like an adventure. I’m glad I wasn’t there for the long, seemingly unending walk. I like to have an idea of when I’m gonna get to my destination.

    Maybe your way is better. I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Best story ever:

    An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

    Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

    The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

    The tourist then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

    The Mexican said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

    The tourist then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

    The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life.”

    The tourist scoffed, ” I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

    The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

    The tourist replied, “15 to 20 years.”

    “But what then?” asked the Mexican.

    The tourist laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

    “Millions?…Then what?”

    The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

  3. Sounds like a great time, not only the beautiful laguna but the adventure getting there and the time on the beach with the kids. Some of our best experiences happen along the “hard way” of trying to get to some sight or location. It keeps things interesting!

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