First World Problems in Nicaragua

Sidewalk Motorcycle

It’s been a pretty good life for me the past 2+ weeks- aside from really crap hotel management in Managua, of course! But, I do have a couple of issues with the way things work (or don’t) in Nicaragua. Before I vent, please know I am aware these are first world problems in Nicaragua and not a big deal, but let me vent!

Schedules that are not followed

Caso Oro Shuttles
The shuttle “schedule”

I am talking to you Casa Oro and other businesses in San Juan del Sur that claim to run daily shuttles to the beach! This may be a ridiculous complaint but other travelers to SJDS need to know. Lonely Planet and every other guide seems to believe that Casa Oro makes multiple daily trips to different beaches. They don’t. It’s a bait and switch. You show up for the 1030am shuttle to Remanso or 11am to Hermosa and they say “no. We no going there” and offer you the Maderas shuttle. Every time. OK this has has happened to me 3 times, so maybe that’s not a scientific sample but look who’s president of the U.S. now.

Maderas beach is fine, and I am aware that complaining about which beach I get to go to for only $5 in the middle of a cold winter is hilarious and/or ridiculous. I know. The point is that despite their website and signs, there is only one beach with multiple daily shuttles: you got it. Maderas. It costs $5 roundtrip and you will be jammed in – maybe even standing or sitting on the floor with a bunch of other people who may have wanted to go to another beach also but were told no.

Shuttle bus
The beach bus

To get to another beach, taxi for around $20 or get a group of 6 and you can take a shuttle for $5 or $10 each.

I am a bit concerned because Oro is the chief shuttle service in town, and they have a $15 shuttle to Granada daily at 9:30am and 3pm. I am hoping to take it on Saturday, if it exists! Hopefully they don’t try to get me to go to Maderas instead!

Unsafe sidewalks

Not sure what it’s like in the rest of Nicaragua, but it’s pretty difficult for pedestrians to use sidewalks here to actually walk. That doesn’t seem to be their purpose! No! What do you think? Walk in the street! Here, the sidewalk is an extension of the home or business, or for parking. Fortunately, the traffic isn’t too bad in San Juan del Sur so it’s usually not unsafe. You’re just constantly detouring all over the place to get anywhere. Keeps you on your toes.

And when you do walk anywhere in San Juan del Sur, be it street or sidewalk, watch out for dog poop. Yuck.


Compared to Colombia this is nothing. My main problem with noise has been the morning bird alarm clock. Due to a warm climate and a desire for breeze, windows are always open, so when the cock crows or the birds squawk, the noise fills the air. In my case it’s birds that sound like they are right outside my room at 6am. Oh well, guess it was time to get up anyway! You have to listen to this at full volume to understand how it sounds to me, sleeping in my dark room.

Like I earlier mentioned, I KNOW these are minor complaints. First world problems in Nicaragua is me just venting, I guess.

Now, a reminder of how nice I have it!

This is Maderas Beach. Yes, the one I’ve been complaining about going to. I’ll shut up now.

Maderas Beach
Maderas Beach San Juan del Sur

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

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