Step Back in Time at the Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Midway between the colonial city of Granada and Masaya, known for its craft market, is the Laguna de Apoyo, a lake set in a volcanic crater.

A moratorium on development and its status as a natural reserve means there is a limited real estate market on the lake. But there are opportunities to buy existing homes and lots. Many Nicaraguan families from Managua and Granada have small vacation cabins around the lake. And small villages are scattered on its shores as well.

If you more interested in just visiting, you can stay at one of several resorts on the water’s edge, including The Villas at Apoyo, which features vacation rental homes, the Norome Resort, and the San Simian Eco-Resort.

The laguna is 656 feet deep at its deepest. And the water is actually warm thanks to thermal vents at its bottom. Said to be one of the cleanest lakes in Central America, it’s actually crystal clear. Tree-clad cliffs rise dramatically from the shore. And the forest is home to more than 200 species of birds, as well as anteaters, jaguarundis, and howler and capuchin monkeys. The lake itself is home to fish species found nowhere else.

No motorized boat traffic is allowed. Although swimming, scuba diving, and kayaking are encouraged. Hiking trails on the steep hills along the shore are also plentiful.

The Laguan de Apoyo is a great side trip from Granada, which is just a 30-minute drive away. Despite this convenience, the lake is uncrowded and receives very few visitors, especially considering the area’s beauty

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