What a beautiful day! We wanted to explore Las Isletas, the 365 islands in the lake right in Granada, using a different mode of transport than kayaks (which we are saving to do when la familia visits us in a couple of weeks (so excited about that!!).We found out about a party-style boat that plies the waters, with transportation from O’Shea’s Irish Pub on La Calzada for $15USD each, and thought it sounded like fun. Our host here knows Marty, the proprietor, and gave him a call to see if he could drop us off at his place to get a ride into town. Instead, Marty offered to pick us up right at our gate.
We picked up a bus load of folks waiting at Reilly’s, crammed in several more as Marty stopped at a few accommodation spots along the way, and then took a scenic drive into El Centro Turistico, a 2km expanse of beaches and playgrounds with a few restaurants scattered about. At the end of the road is a small marina where La Bella del Mar, Marty’s boat is moored.
We all hopped off the bus and onto a high-quality, stable double-decker boat. (I had to take at least one photo, and managed to drop my lens hood–it bounced once on the dock and arced up and over to kerplop into the water below. It didn’t float.)
On board, there are lots of tables and chairs so groups can gather and chat, a few lounge chairs for those who want to sun, and even potted plants to add to the tropical ambiance.
As we puttered along through the islands, the scenery was beautiful and the breezes refreshing.
The boat stops for about an hour or so in a pretty lagoon with very warm water. You can jump off the second story, slide down the water slide, or just climb in using one of several solid ladders.
The food is tasty and reasonably priced–burgers for 80 NIO ($2.75 USD), hotdogs, ceviche, and nachos. Beer is 40 NIO ($1.35) and soda 30 NIO ($1). Staff is always around to pass out a beer for you to drink at the floating bar while you bounce around on a life jacket, and to make sure you have everything you need. Payment is easy, at the end of the trip. You can pay in either USD or NIO.
We really enjoyed the people on the trip as well. Coincidentally, we ran into a couple who owns a house we’re going to house and petsit for at the end of next month so we had a chance to chat with them a bit more. We met other really nice Canadians who spend several months here every winter. Everyone, including all of the staff, were friendly and enjoyable to be around.
The afternoon ends at O’Shea’s with a complementary glass of Nicaragua’s national drink, a Macuá, a fruity and refreshing rum concoction. And for us, the trip ended with Marty dropping us back at our casita. You couldn’t ask for better service!
- Marty’s La Bella del Mar facebook page