Beautiful crater lake nearby Granada
The Laguna Apoyo has a surface of 2,110 hectares. It is 100 meters deep and the shore of the lagoon is 75 meters above sea level. The water is the most crystal-clear of all fresh water bodies in Nicaragua and possibly in Central America, making for a very popular tourist destination although there are some problems.. The Bearded Monkey is a backpacker hostel in Granada; they operate a small resort hut on Laguna Apoyo, called the Monkey Hut.
We took the Bearded Monkey trip to the Monkey Hut. The truck goes up at 10:30am on Mon, Wed, and Friday. On the day we went, there was a full load – we rode in the pickup cab with the driver – the 9 young backpackers rode in the back. Took half an hour, and the road was very good until the last 10 minutes climbing the rim of the crater – there it was paved, but full of big potholes. We settled in at a table after taking a 30 minute walk up the road along the rim. Had our picnic lunch that we’d brought along, and relaxed. Lois took a jaunt in a kayak. Then a little squall blew up with some rain, so we retreated to the house. Sat in rockers and read. A little later, Don took an inner tube down and floated a bit, until a kayak came in, then Don took a kayak tour. The pickup (Tobias driving) left for Granada right on time at 5pm.
Catarina is a little town on the rim of the crater that forms Laguna Apoyo. There is a famous "mirador" (Lookout Point) at the edge of the rim, with plenty of tourists and the stuff that comes along with tourists. On a clear day you can see across Laguna Apoyo to Granada and beyond to Lake Cocibolca, and sometimes to the mountains beyond. Catarina is also famous for its nurseries - plants grow beautifully there. We've visited a couple of times, once with Molly (a friend who's staying at Lilly's place in Granada -- a neighbor). We stopped to visit a home being built on a lot overlooking the Laguna.