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Motorcycle Diaries: San Juan del Sur to Casares, Nicaragua

Traveling by Motorcycle in Nicaragua

Traveling the Nicaraguan countryside by motorcycle allows you to interact with your surroundings in a way you never accomplish in a four wheel people carrier. Staying safe requires a rider to stay sharp. Road hazards pop up when you least expect them.

Motorcycle Nicaragua

– Just one of many obstacles common to a motorcycle journey in Nicaragua. This photo was taken near the famous surf beach Popoyo.

Riding Team

Adam is one of my best friends in San Juan del Sur. We’ve spent hundreds of hours riding all over Nicaragua together. You can tell he is a proud Canadian by the CCM hockey helmet he rides with.

Tina is another great friend that I’ve watched become a real rider over the last couple of years. She is a Brit that came to Nicaragua for three days on a backpacking trip. That was nearly three years ago and she still hasn’t left.

Griff is a new friend and is new to our riding group. He is another Brit that just moved to San Juan from Portugal. Griff was successful in keeping the rubber side down on his first big ride in Nicaragua and was also the designated photographer for this journey.

Our Route

Map of Southern Nicaragua

Our Journey

On this trip we decided to stick to the backroads as much as possible and stay somewhere new and less travelled. Our destination was Casares – a tiny fishing village on the Pacific Coast on Nicaragua.

The dirt roads are perpetually rutted and bumpy. During rainy season the section of road between Jiquelite and Ochomogo typically has a few seasonal rivers to cross. We were not disappointed on this trip. Adam rode too fast into one stream and was awarded with a shower that left him wet to the ears.

Frequently we make stops to take a rest from the road and grab a Toña. We usually meet interesting people and see some unexpected sights along the way. Motorcycle rides are always as much about the journey as the destination.

Casares Nicaragua

~ The only other patron at the road side bar we stopped at for refreshment.

 

Our Destination

Casares is too small to have a gas station, grocery store or even a bar, but one thing this town does not lack is fishing boats. There are well over 100 fishing pangas on the beach going out every day. In fact there are so many boats you barely even see the beach which seems to be the hub of activity in town. 

Where We Stayed

El Casino Casares

~ The view from the deck outside of our hotel room


We would like to give a big shout out to Patrice our host for the night. Located right on the beach Hotel El Casino was a comfortable and a welcome respite from the dusty roads. It is hard to beat a double room overlooking the ocean for $35 USD. Patrice has lived in Nicaragua for well over 20 years and regaled us with stories over a few glasses of wine on the second floor balcony.

Our Casares Experience

We spent the evening hanging out like a band of derelict teenagers outside of the corner store/liquor store. We sat on the benches and ordered litre upon litre of beer to share with a handful of locals. A couple of guys from a neighboring beach town invited us to continue the party at their favorite bar in Huehuete. Alas we were in no shape to take the bikes on that foray.

 

Carares Nicaragua

– The new guy “Winning Friends and Influencing People”.

Once our new found Nica friends decided to go home we retired to our balcony to drink wine and discuss all life’s little intricacies.  We found one avenue of conversation with many miles to ramble down. Did Griff notice his admirers t-shirt and further more was he was singing The White Stripes’, Apple Blossom in his head during his semi-coherent Spanglish conversation?

 

A Fun & Affordable Way to Travel in Nicaragua

Traveling on two wheels is a great and economical way to get around in Nicaragua, especially when you live somewhere like San Juan del Sur.

A Fun & Affordable Way to Travel in Nicaragua

– Motorcycle Road Trip: Playa Ostional & Playa el Coco, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Photo by Kathy Vandermey ofFrom Suits to Sandals“.

Shortly after moving to Marsella Valley we purchased this gently used 2011 YBR 125 CC Yamaha for just $1200 USD.

For those times when we need to stock up on groceries or want to go a bit further we still have our trusty Hyundai Galloper, but most days our little moto is the preferred mode of transportation. It’s great on gas and gets us pretty much anywhere we want or need to go.

The fact that our miniature Schnauzer Maggie loves riding on the bike as much as we do is an added bonus. 

If you’re like us and want flexibility and freedom to travel around and explore at your leisure (without investing in a car or truck) a little motorcycle is definitely a great way to go.

Only planning to be in country a few months? Not to worry — these bikes hold their value and are very easy to sell.

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