Hostal El Momento

From the Blog

Safety in Granada and Nicaragua, current situation.

The one question still on tourists minds is ” Is it safe to visit Granada”, this is not a straight forward answer but your safety is important to us as it always has been even before the political unrest so I will give an accurate description of what is happening and what to expect.

Granada has seen some unrest, once around the 20th April for a few hours for a couple of nights which followed with 3 weeks of normality and peace. Then we had more unrest on the 11th May and the same, a few hours for 3 nights and now another week of normality.
The business community has had a meeting with the Mayor and the police to boost safety in the city and to keep Granada a city where tourists can still visit.
What the average guest will see is less tourists in the hotels and restaurants, some guests actually prefer this. It is still possible to do tours and walk about the city during day light hours as this is normal with Granadinos going about their business. Late evenings we feel it is best to be in your hotel for the time being until things stabalize as when there has been unrest it has been in the evenings, we cannot give a time frame on this.
If you do come to Granada then ask at your hotel what is the current situation as things can change and the reception will know if thre are any protests.

There have been road blocks around the country, these have not be dangerous and more of an inconvenience for tourists as there are delays with lines of traffic, there is a Facebook page called ‘Carreteras Nicaragua’ with valuable information if you are still travelling in Nicaragua and want to get from once place to another.

If you are not in Nicaragua and are debating on whether to come then it is really up to you, you are going to get alot of different answers depending on who you speak to and things are changing day to day and week to week.
I recommend to keep away from protests, the protests have been peaceful all around the country but this is not a place for tourists as you could be mistaken for a journalist in my opinion.

Call ahead to the hotel of your choice wherever you are heading in the country as they can give more accurate information of current events in their location.


Current Political events in Nicaragua

We would like to take this opportunity to inform future guests/ tourists who are thinking of coming to Granada and Nicaragua what is the current situation here. As some of you may know that there has been protests over social security payments in the country , this happened from the 19th-21st April and since then there have been other marches but very peaceful.

We do not want to go into any political details as this is for the politicians but we do want to address what many guests have already been asking “is it safe”. As of now the 1st May 2018 the last 10 days have been completely normal with all businesses open, including the supermarkets, banks and restaurants, it is safe to go out in the evening, we are very close to all businesses and only a 3 min walk to the Calzada St with all the restaurants and bars. The only difference you may see is that there are not as many tourists, May/June are slower months but maybe slower due to recent events. If you are still interested in coming to Nicaragua we advise to contact your hotels and ask them how things are, if you are coming from the airport it is safe to come in the evening to Granada.

You can contact us by email here on the contact page or phone us on (505) 2552 7811 if you have more questions, we will also contact any guests if things take a bad turn.
Please be aware that although newspapers have been covering the the stories correctly they are not covering the peaceful marches as this does not sell papers.


Making a reservation and making it easier. 

We have always tried to give the guest as many options as possible when making a reservation or paying for their room during their stay. As we move forward in a digital age these options are becoming easier with millions of mobile phones being used world wide and companies want to take advantage of this.
As well as banks and card companies having apps, Apple Pay and Paypal are also moving forward, here in Nicaragua we do not have Apple Pay and it can be difficult to set up in Paypal also for most businesses but here at Hostal El Momento we do accept Paypal as well as all major credit cards.

As can see cryptocurrencies are showing alot of interest but as of now only 1-2% of the worlds population know how to use them.
There are many new companies coming into the space many catering towards making payments easier,cheaper and quicker.
We expect to see in 2018/2019 more of these companies coming into this space and making it easier to do business.

With this in mind we still want to be at the forefront and we do offer 2 cryptocurrencies as of now. Bitcoin is the most well known for those outside of the cryptocurrency arena but for small transactions the cost and slowness does not work well.
We are offering Litecoin and Stella Lumens which are both very cheap and fast currencies to work with. Anyone that already has these 2 currencies will know how the system works.

Once you contact us for a reservation and you wish to pay this way you can ask for our Litecoin or Lumens address, we will send you the total in US dollars and you can watch the transaction on the blockchainand and we will then confirm the transaction and send you a confirmation of your booking.



Safety apps for travel and offline safety travel tips.

10 Online safety apps and tips.

When traveling through new countries safety is probably top of the list for everyone, even more so now in 2017 nearly everyone will be traveling with a device, whether it be a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
In a country that may have a bad reputation for crime whether it be street crime of internet crime you may be more on your guard and more likely to take safety serious.

It is the safer countries that you may be less cautious and probably feel more comfortable but there are bad people everywhere looking to take advantage.

For example here in Nicaragua it is known for being one of the safest countries in Central America but it is also one of the poorest and an emergency can happen at any time.

Many of the Central Parks you will see throughout Nicaragua have free WIFI as do many of the hotels, these apps will help in these situations.

Below is a list with some apps for Android or Apple you may want to check out before you leave or for those that are already on the road.

CLOAK- Mac/IOS/Android.
This is a VPN product- Virtual Private Network. You can pay for this once and works on all devices. It works like a network of private tunnels meaning you can use insecure public WIFI. $10 a month.

Find my Iphone
It comes automatic with Apple and built in but is best to make sure it is enabled before you go on your trip.
(Settings-iCloud- Find My iPhone)
You can also add other close friends and family members.

TripMode -(Mac)
Changes your computer’s settings based on your location. For each location you can sort through your apps and amount of data they use then choose which to turn on or off.

1 Password Travel Mode
This password manager works by deleting your passwords from your device when you cross borders then reloading them once you are safely in.
This is for anyone who has 1Password membership subscription.

Ghostery- (Mac)
Blocks trackers in your browser and can block tracking code being downloaded and helps reduce bandwidth.

Tripit- (Android,iPhone,Windows Phone 7
Trip planner and all details for flights, hotels,maos and directions etc.
You can sync with your calendar and post travel plans on social media. Free

For emergencies this app keeps details about your medical conditions and your Dr’s contact even if your phone is locked.- $3.99

SaferVPN- (IOS, Windows, Android)
Thefts can occur online and this app connects to a remote server, directing traffic through a secure network allowing you to surf the web with a high level encrypted connection. $5.99-$8.99/month

A warning app, tells you what other travelers are saying about the local area and how to avoid scams.
Gives you information about local hospitals and currently working in 200 countries.

Allows you to set up a network of friends and family to share your location and with the ‘Follow me’ feature they can trace the person walking in real time.
‘Guardian Alert’ button informs them if you are in trouble. Free

8 Offline tips for travelling.

This is just a few of the many apps out there and whilst many travelers go on vacation and arrive back home without any hiccups these apps can help you become more aware and to reduce the chances of anything happening.These tips below are for any country you may be travelling in, for the season pro they are normal but for some of you it may be your first time travelling.

1 Apart from apps remember good advice from locals first hand is free and probably as good if not better than want you can find on the online world.
Here at Hostal El Momento we give out free maps of Granada at reception letting our guests know where to go and not to go and what to do if coming back late at night and how much a taxi should cost.

2 Like all cities around the world it is best not to be walking with your head down looking at your phone, not just because someone could take it out of your hand but because many cities have a lot of traffic or side walks with holes in them which could cause an accident.

3 When taking local buses keep your day bag preferably on your lap and not on the floor between your legs.

4 I like to have money in different pockets so I am not pulling out a lot of large bills at the same time, you may need some small bills for a bus, bottle of water or some fruit whilst on the road.

5 I also prefer to travel with cards and money and just draw out enough money to last me a few days.

6 At our hostel we do have safes and lockers and we do not allow non guests into the hostel after a certain time, always ask at your hotel before you make a booking if they have a secure safe or lockers with padlocks.
Some hostels will advertise as  ‘The best hostel in Granada’ or ‘The cheapest hostel in Nicaragua’, they may have many good options but safety has to be at the top of the list for many.

7 Once of the reasons many travel is to meet other like minded individuals especially if traveling alone but do not put all your trust in someone you may have just met 2 days before whilst dancing on a beach somewhere. You can still make friends and keep safe at the same time.

8 One last bit of advice is to look for some travel insurance before your trip, many insurance companies will cover you for lost or late luggage , accidents, hospital or Doctor visits and even if your need to be sent home for an emergency.

And remember to ask, receptionist at most hotels around the world will be more than happy to help you, like us we want your stay to be enjoyable and we want you or your friends to come to Nicaragua more than once.

Upgrade of the hostel and wesbite.

Update for 2017, tourism and Zika.

The high season in Granada and Nicaragua has come to a close but many tourists are not aware that July and August are 2 months that usually sees another surge for tourism in the country and they can usually miss out staying at their favorite or best hostel in Granada as they could be booked out.
There has been a small drop in tourism the last year due to elections both in the USA and in Nicaragua plus the Zika scare has also put off some tourists coming to this part of the world.
Central and South America plus the Caribbean did see a drop with tourists starting in 2016 and has continued into 2017 with a more noticeable drop of American tourists, whether it was the media or CDC  having an affect we are not sure but this has been discussed amongst some hotel owners with the country.
Zika just like Dengue and Chikungunya  is spread by the same type of mosquito, the symptoms can be all very similar with headaches, nausea and muscle pain although I have heard from some that have had Zika that the symptoms are not as bad and can disappear within a few days, this can depend on the persons age and health at the time. The exception of Zika is that it can affect pregnant women and their babies which is understandable for this particular group to not want to travel but we have found in the last year that Zika has not gotten out of control and Nicaragua has not had that many cases, in fact Dengue is still the disease locals prefer not to get.

Nicaraguan health departments do keep on top of controlling mosquitoes by spraying different areas within each city and department and repeating the process throughout rainy season. Businesses also have to have a 3 month check and get all areas sprayed and this is by law, with these in place Nicaragua does its very best as they know the health of tourists is important and it is a shame the CDC are not aware of this as they can scare tourists from traveling.

As there are many new hotels/hostels opening up in the city of Granada we have made changes and as always we try to upgrade the rooms and bathrooms either re-tiling or painting and adding new artwork, we still want to be one of the best hostels in Granada and Nicaragua.  New hotels/hostels is more competition for businesses and good as long as tourism numbers keep going up but is always good for the tourist as they have more options and possibly cheaper prices because of it.

Granada is one of the cities you can spend a few days, Las Isletas, Mombacho and Masaya volcanoes, Masaya market, Zip Lining are just a few attractions you can see, click here for more information for all the attractions we can help you with in Granada.

Outside view

Local Nicaraguan Food.

Local Food.


A medium sized tortilla topped with molten cheese, pickled sliced onions, sour cream, rolled into the shape of a burrito. Very convenient for eating on the run. It has become a staple of the Nicaraguan cuisine (although it may have its roots elsewhere).


The local take on the traditional Latin America Tamale. It’s big. It’s tasty! It’s made of corn flour, and filled up with as many as 20 ingredients, which may include: pork, chicken, peas, carrots, onions, peppermint, sour orange, peppers, and many others. This is one of the meals that is cooked in banana leaves. An average  may have 1000 calories. It is a very popular dish in Nicaraguan cuisine.

Click here for the rest of the post from the Leon Travel Bureau.

Encuentros Pool Club and rooftop bar

Encuentros night club in Granada has returned to Granada, this time it is set on La Calzalda a few blocks down from the Cathedral. Set in large beautiful colonial house with various areas to either chill, dance or take in the view from the pool top bar. It has been wonderfully decorated with a small bar as you enter, food available also, There is another small bar at the back close to the dj and lots of small tables to hang at with a group close to the outside pool. The VIP rooftop bar has a Miami feel to it giving you an area to look over the club and to chat with friends.

Highly recommended, re-opened in March 2017 and the owners do have experience of bringing in good dj’s, a place for all ages, they have a Facebook page HERE with photos and videos.


What to pack in your backpack !


Here is an article from Lonely Planet on what to pack in that backpack of yours,click here for the link or below is a sample of their article.

Where are you going? Round the world (RTW)

How to fit kit for two hemispheres into one bag? Doing so is the key to packing successfully for a true RTW trip. Consider what you can ditch as much as what’s essential. If you need heavy trekking boots and a down jacket in New Zealand or South America at the start, but won’t use them again as you travel via the South Pacific/Asia, consider sending stuff home as it becomes redundant.

Packing essentials

  • Pull the cord: you can use a bungee or parachute cord to tie things to the outside of your pack, make a line to dry clothes, or strap your bag to the roof of a bus.
  • Plug it: does your room-mate snore like a howler monkey? Pack earplugs. These will also serve you well when bedding down for that long airport layover, or during that clattering long-distance train journey.
  • Travel trilogy: the lucky formula for light packers comes in threes. Namely three pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear and three shirts; one to wear, one to wash, one to dry.

New small dorm and more bathrooms !

We recently added a small dorm to the hostel which has the same prices as the large dorm,$8 per night- bed only or $9 with breakfast.

The small dorm pictured here only has 4 beds, newly tiled and painted with new beds and mattresses.

Unfortunately we do not take reservations for which dorm or beds guests have a preference. If we have space and guests want an extra night then 98% of the time we can usually give them the same bed, taking reservations for beds makes it very complicated and unfair for the current guests, there would be too many complaints.

As we now have a new area for the dorm we have also built another bathroom and a separate shower.

When we first opened we found we did not have enough bathrooms so we built an extra one then later we put in another. We now have a total of 6 bathrooms, 4 with showers and a separate shower giving us enough to cope with the busiest hour in the mornings from 8am-9am.

We quickly found out that complaints can come in about the amount of bathrooms and wanted to change this, we know that other hotels/hostels who have a shortage of bathrooms so be aware of this when making bookings.

Bed and Breakfast rate.

From January 2017 we started to offer bed and breakfast rates for only a fraction more than room only rates.

We wanted to offer a little more for the guest, it was not area we had received comments either in reviews or by mouth, only a very small percentage had commented on this over the last 5 years asking us to include breakfast.

So for only $1 more we offer either a Nicaraguan breakfast or continental, both coming with either tea, coffee or juice.

Gallo pinto is the local breakfast which is very popular in Costa Rica also,a dish consisting of rice and beans,onion, green peppers served with toast and scrambled eggs.

Whether you are in Leon,San Juan Del Sur, Ometepe you will find locals eating Gallo Pinto sometimes for lunch and dinner. It is actually a very hearty breakfast and gives you a good start to the day.

The continental is local fruit, usually what is in season like pineapple, papaya and banana or mango with toast included.

You will not find anywhere in the city, street food included offering this price for a breakfast, it is a steal.

We decided to offer this on top of room rate so guests could actually choose if they wanted breakfast or not as not everyone eats breakfast and someone prefer other options.

NOTE* Many hotels do not offer an option, for guests who have a few nights with us we can change this about a little and offer fried eggs with the Gallo Pinto or eggs on toast.

Occupancy, reservations and Lonely Planet.

image-18We are now 3½ years into being open and very thankful that in that time we have kept busy from the first month open until now,only 1 month is low for the private rooms which is October but only twice have we dropped to below 90%. For the year the dorm averages at about 85%-94% with June,September and October being slower.

I have written articles before on reservations in Granada, this is more of an update for those that are thinking of coming to our hostel and some of the feedback and experience we have had and the reason for the numbers above.

The website is kept pretty much up to date, we did receive a comment from a walk-in guest who could not stay with us due to us being full and who thought we had just blocked off rooms on our website to increase walk-in guests which is not true. Our booking system and calendar is there so we do not waste guests time who want to make a booking for certain dates or so guests can arrange their dates with us.

So for those who do not want to make a reservation in a private room thinking they will get one walking in there a very good chance this will be difficult as average walk-in guests for the year are about 10%-14%, saying this we still encourage you to come if you cannot make a reservation online as we are always more than happy to direct you to another hostel close by.

We have been in the Lonely Planet now for about 2 years and another guest commented that we had put our prices up probably due to us being in the guide book. This is not true also, I too have used their guide books around the world and the prices are always different to what they say, I too have heard these comments before that once a business gets in their book they drop their standards and raise the prices. Lonely Planet writers visit business’s then the book usually comes out  a year later then by the time someone actually buys the book another year or two has passed with prices and information changing.  Some of our rooms are still the same price from when we first opened, others have a changed by a $1-$3 so not significant changes and these are due to us having low prices when the business first opened and the price of commodities etc. Lonely Planet did bring in extra business but only in the dorm  and for those 3 months that we are a little slower , with us being a small business the guide book would not have affected us that much, maybe more so if we were a larger hostel.

As for us dropping standards our reviews on 2 websites are still over 90% positive and we do have plans to upgrade the rooms again next year with us always painting and keeping  the property clean and in working order. Maybe other business’s do not want to continue putting in the effort to attract future guests and keep them happy during their stay but we do not want to be like those business’s.  For a business to stay succesful it must continue to be ahead of the game and look to improve where it can as well as listening to its guests.

Making Reservations or Taking a Chance…in Granada !!

2014 seemed a Churchbusy year in Granada, I don’t take much notice of Government figures and look at our own bookings and from what I hear of other businesses in the city. We did have a good year and I felt we were turning more guests away when we were full than we did in 2013 which leads me on to this topic which I have covered before but would like to cover it again for those tourists who may be thinking of visiting the city.

With my own travel experience in the past I would always arrive in a city and find somewhere once I was there, only three times have I ever had real trouble finding a bed, once on an island in Thailand and the other time in a city in India,both times when there was a festival on….oh and the other time,yes here in Granada when there was not a festival on and it wasn’t even peak season, why ??

My theory is this and maybe times have changed but the two times I had trouble in Thailand and India was back in 1999, no cell phones, no Wifi,no laptops , no Trip Advisor, a few websites but everyone had a guide book, backpackers in particular just arrived at a destination, some phoned ahead.

We have noticed that when we are full many of the other hostels we phone to help the guest are also full, this happens alot throughout the year except maybe for June,September and October. Granada is located only an our from the airport and many guests want to have a booking for their first 2 or 3 nights in a new country until they have become accustomed , many do not want to stay in Managua and come straight here. Also with its location Granada is centrally located for guests to return from Leon or SJDS then head north or south again. This plus the ease of now being able to get free wifi, going on your cell phone and sending an email and getting your information from Trip Advisor and other websites.

We get many guests arriving and in complete shock that ourselves and other hostels are full, recently we had some Ticos arrive and commented “People make reservations in Nicaragua” !!!  My guess is that because the country is relatively new on the tourist scene many travellers think it is still untouched which it is in many parts but Granada is different and it’s location does have an advantage.

So for future tourists,backpackers,travellers etc remember the country has about 5 main locations, Granada,Leon,SJDS,Ometepe and Corn Islands and other smaller locations and towns, they will be busy from December until Easter but May, July and August can also be busy in some of the main locations also. Don’t make the mistake I made and be aware of the festivals also but for those who are fancy free and prefer a



Reservations and our Policies !

patio hdrWhen we opened the Hostel in 2011 we decided to take reservations both here on our website and with Hostel World as this would help the hostel generate business and get the name on the ‘World Wide Web’ which it did. The problem with reservations is we had to have policies to protect  both the hostel and to protect those guests that wanted to make reservations, otherwise we would have guests making bookings then canceling at the last minute. This meant the hostel losing business and a potential guest losing out on staying with us when they had their heart on staying here.

In the last 17 months we have kept the hostel running at 90% occupancy using a booking system and with Granada being so close to the airport and a better option than staying in Managua many guests want somewhere for when they arrive in the country, this does not happen with Hostels/Hotels in Leon/Ometepe or San Juan but possibly with Corn Islands. So there is a market here in Granada for reservations and with us using Hostel World also it makes sense for us to do that.

With this in mind we need to remind the guest that we are only a small- medium size hostel so our policies are important in that we do not lose reservations, there is a small hotel in town with only 1 room so they have a weeks cancellation policy, there is another very popular and very large hostel in town with many dorm and private rooms, they do not take reservations at all.

Every business works a little different and they have to incorporate what they have and how well it works for both the customer and the business but it is has to work for both, having reservations without polices can mean a business losing money and shutting down or having policies with the guest not receiving all the informations is not fair on the guest.


Managing Expecations !

patio hdrAfter 15 months of being open Granada and Nicaragua have been very kind to Hostal El Momento bringing over 9000 guests and giving us 10 excellent months and 2 very good months in 2012.
Trip Advisor and Hostel World also have been very beneficial with our guests writing over 90 reviews and 35 reviews respectively with over 90% of them being very positive. As we have done in the past we would not be where we are today without those guests and without the staff as we have many positive reviews about them also.
With this in mind we have found that not always do those positive reviews bring positive results and with the headline to this post says I would like to explain what the guest is expected to find at Hostal El Momento.
When we opened our goal which is still the same is to offer the guest more whilst keeping the price down which for any business can be difficult but with our own experience of travel and working in the hospitality industry we had a small advantage.
We knew that comfort and safety were important so having firm mattresses, locally made furniture, security safes, cameras and having large tv’s have made the hostal very homely.
Our problem for some new guests is that they expected more and had a picture in their minds of what to expect especially when some some guests write or tell others that we are more like a Boutique Hotel…..Wow, jacuzzi,swimming pool, hot water pressure showers, AC, silver plated cutlery. Well maybe  exaggerating a little but some of our guests have left disappointed as they were expecting some of these things but with hostel prices.
We can offer offer all of these things but of course not at the prices we already have otherwise we will not be in business for very long plus if we do offer these amenities and do change the prices then the type of clientele will change and we are not targeting this market. Many guests do not realize that Nicaragua has the highest electric bills in the region whilst still suffering from power cuts once every 1-3 months and water can be cut off 2-3 times a week with water pressure being a problem in the city also.
This is not the guests problem but the hostels and hotels problem but we can only do so much from our side, offering AC would solve more than just one problem for us but it is just not feasible and the hotels that do have it have prices double to what we have.
We will continue to focus on comfort as well as listening to what the guests say, we will add more to the guests room every year giving them character and extra comfort, we will add more equipment in the guest kitchen as well as offering more in the restaurant and bar and most important having staff that are here to help you and make you feel at home.
Our Twitter feed and Facebook page as well as blog here helps explain to the new guest what Hostal El Momento offers before coming here, we are very honest with the guest if they do ask for AC or hot water and explain what to expect with us and in Granada.  
A very high percentage of our guests leave happy but for us we want all guests to leave feeling content so our next goal is to try and manage those expectations.

Trips to Laguna de Apoyo


After being open for just over 1 year we have decided to start working with the San Simian Resort in Laguna de Apoyo. We are offering trips 3 days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when there are 3 or more people, The cost will be $6 for the transportation and $5 entrance fee, the bus will leave Hostal El Momento at 10am and return at 4pm.

Laguna de Apoyo is the cleanest lake in the country and is surprisingly warm for a lake, at San Simians you can kayak, swim or hang out in the lake in a large inner-tube. They have a beautiful restaurant, their menu we have printed at our hostel or you can simply hang out in their hammocks and enjoy the view.

They also have a website which gives other information on the hotel if you wish to return-

How long in Granada.

So how long are you planning to spend in Granada, it may just may be possible that it will not be long enough for some and you may also end up returning, it will all depend on your research and where you end up staying.
 One of the reasons we opened up a hostel in the city was because we could see that the area has alot to offer and it is one of the places where many feel comfortable especially after coming from El Salvador, Honduras etc were travel can be a little more stressful. So where to visist is a question we obviously get asked many times, ‘The City itself is joy to walk around,especially for those that like Colonial cities and for those that enjoy photography with the brightly painted buildings and the old churches. You can view the city from the bell tower at Guadalope Church or visit the Isletas from between 1-3 hours,the costs depending on how many people in the boat, there is also a new tour in town which involves a boat,bus and walking tour.
Out of town you can visit Mombacho either with a tour or head out on your own and get transport to the top once you get over there, there are a few different treks can you can do also depending on your experiance.
Lago de Apoyo is day or a whole day visit worth doing as it is the cleanest lake in the country and surprisingly warm, you can take a transfer from either Monkey or Oasis hostels which leave in the morning and come back about 4pm.
When Volcan de Masaya is not blowing off some steam then the park can visited again either independently or with a tour, the tour would include Masaya market which is also another day out if you are spending more time in Granada. Masaya has 2 markets the old and the new, one more touristy but it has plenty of things to offer but you may need to visit the post office after.
Another great area is Catarina which also has a market and will show you how Nicas live in a smaller town, there is also fantastic views over looking Lago de Apoyo with Mombacho to the left and then in the distance Granada and Lake Nicaragua,bring a camera.
We have many guests that go to either Ometepe or to San Juan Del Sur then return to us before heading out to another country like Honduras or Costa Rica as they would rather spend their last days with us than in Managua waiting for Ticabus or Transnica.
So there it is and with Granada also offering swimming pools,good food and bars to party until you drop there is no reason for you not to want to spend extra time here and with the extra incentive of staying at Hostal El Momento with comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price !
One extra note,Granada is not for everyone as some backpackers are looking for a different experience and at lower coasts, as with most cities around the world it does have beggars and as I have posted another blog mentioning that Granada hopes to get World Heritage Site in a few years which has led to the government being stricter here on taxes than other parts of the country. 
Hope the majority of you get to enjoy ‘Beautiful Granada’.

Educacion Plus de Nicaragua

Having a hostel in Granada Nicaragua gives you the opportunity to meet plenty of interesting people and some of those that do really good work for the community  and we all know that from Leon to San Juan Del Sur to Managua there is plenty of hard work and dedication that is needed from those at a grass roots level and from charities or volunteer groups.

One such group Educacion Plus de Nicaragua, a non profit organization is helping those most needed, the children and the future of the country. They currently  help a school in Panatel,Granada not just with learning skills but also to help them fight malnutrition and learn life skills so they do not end up on the streets like so many others.

They are currently looking for donors and contributions and Monica who has been staying at Hostal El Momento has been working hard to find other donors locally and internationally and keeps me up to date on their progress.

Already they have received donations for clothes,school supplies and food as well as reconstructing the roof and walls of the school which has resulted in school attendance doubling.

You can visit their website at or send an email to and contributions can be made to either via paypal at or via wepay.comasEducaciónPlusdeNicaragua. Even the smallest contributions will help and at Hostal El Momento you can contact Monica for contributions or she may even have volunteer work also.



IVA or the 15%  Sales Tax of Nicaragua which many of you will see on your bills depending on where you are or which business you visit is something many travelers are not aware of until they come to the country.
As one of the highest in the region it does add extra cost to the bills of some travelers who are passing through the country and had already set a daily budget !
I have recently heard reports from other destinations within the country that IVA, permits and restaurant/ hotel bills are not enforced as much as they are in other location across the country.
Here in Granada all permits and the  bills with 15% IVA are not just needed but checked on by government officials from all departments and business owners need to be on top of their game.
This got me thinking of article I had read and also a review we had received about how expensive everything is in Granada compared to everywhere else and this is probably due to the strict usage of the tax paid. How much more expensive Granada is compared to everywhere else probably depends on your budget, if you are traveling for many months then your budget is alot less than for those away from home for only 2 weeks.
This lead me to believe that as Granada is a huge tourist destination, the government are continually looking to make more of the city and with there talk of it being a World Heritage Site the infrastructure needs to change for them to qualify. As when they changed Calzalda St and the recent paving of the roads it all costs money and this is were IVA plays its part.
Granada is the jewel in the crown for government at this present moment in time and so when you do visit the city and find it is a little more expensive this could be the reason behind it.
As Nicaragua becomes more popular then the likes of Leon and San Juan Del Sur may also see a change in how businesses are affected by IVA and permits etc as government will start to put more money into these areas. Hopefully this will benefit both local people and the tourist who sees better infrastructure as the next few years roll on.
These are my views only and not from another source.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Reservations !

Reservations, should we make them or not ?
Being an avid traveler myself and usually with a backpack,I was used to turning up at cities and towns around the world with a guide book in hand and no reservation. Less than 1% of the time have I struggled to find somewhere to sleep for the night and if I did it was because of a festival or holiday…. until I came to Granada !
The city does have plenty of accommodation but then it also receives more tourists than it can handle at times so the questions you will be asking…..what is your budget ? What type of accommodation are you looking for and How long will you be staying ? 
One thing I did notice was how may backpackers/travelers now have some type of device or laptop that can connect to the internet and how many are now using internet sites and reviews to make their choice of bed for the night. Lonely Planet for all its positives does have 1 big negative, their reviews are out of date no matter how new the guide book. Internet reviews with the likes of Hostel World and Trip Advisor are current and easly accessible, they give you more information and written by someone who actually stayed at the hotel/hostel unlike travel writers. I am not knocking travel writers its just that they cannot get around every bar,restaurant,art gallery,hotel and ice cream parlour and give an accurate assessment plus prices are usually incorrect by the time it goes to print.
What I have found is that most of the hostels in Granada do not take reservations,as can be the same in Ometepe, Leon etc which can be frustrating for the organised traveler. That has swung in our advantage and one of the reasons we are so full but of course we have to have some set of rules in place and also offer some advice and warnings for those that want to make a reservation with us and these you can read under our reservation section.
To clarify on this we do ask that you make your confirmation by email as its better for you the guest and for the hostel to have it writing, you can phone and make a reservation but we will ask you to confirm by email. The reason for this is we would like to know where you are coming from ? What time you think you will arrive ? How many in your party  and How many nights ? We will hold the bed for upto 3 hours after the time you think you will arrive and this is due to the possibility of you being late or delayed, after this time the beds could be sold due to us thinking that you are a no-show.
For any cancellations we will ask also that you make them 24 hours before your check-in date or there will be a 20% cancellation fee  if it is under that time, this gives us time to try and resell the beds or rooms again. If there are guests arriving without a reservation and we a turning them away but you do not turn up then its unfortunate for both that guest and the hostel.
For those that are already staying it creates another problem, they may have arrived on a reservation but there are many behind them who have done the same.  We have many many guests who want to stay extra nights and so we ask them to book extra nights as soon as they know or we could be full especially around fiestas or holidays.
We do take Visa and MasterCard for any reservations or deposits for longer stays or you can always come in whilst in Granada and make a reservation with cash.
Email with any questions
Thank You

A big thank you and our progression so far.

Its been a very successful two and quarter months since we opened on the 20th of December 2011 and we have to thank all those that have left comments on Trip Advisor and Hostel World plus those that have handed out our flyers in other countries like El Salvador,Honduras and Guatemala and throughout Nicaragua to places like Ometepe,Leon and San Juan Del Sur. A special thanks also to those that have been recommending us as they have traveled on their journeys,met friends along the way and passed on their experience at Hostal El Momento.
Some of the stats we have already are remarkable and we are overjoyed that so many have come here and so we wanted to share with you some of the information we have accumulated so far.
1145 guests from 32 countries.
Europe- Denmark,Belgium,Holland,England,Ireland,Spain,Portugal,Italy,Hungry,Norway,France,Germany,Switzerland.
Asia- Japan,Mongolia,Malaysia
Latin America- Nicaragua,Costa Rica,Colombia,Argentina,Guatamala,Mexico,Chile,San Salvador,Guyana
Americas- USA,Canada
Caribbean- Jamaica,
Pacific-Australia,New Zealand
Middle East- Israel
The first 2 full months we have been open for 2012 have brought us in 97.67% and 98.62% room occupancy respectively and guest occupancy at 65.11% and 85.45% respectively.
With this information above and as we try to inform future guests with our twitter feed, that it is so important to try and book ahead as we do fill up quickly. If you know your dates then let us know and if you change your mind for the dates or want extra days then let us know ahead of time as soon as possible.
Granada is somewhere people always spend more time than they expect and after some long or stressful journeys it is somewhere you can relax,take in the lakes nearby or just enjoy the bars and restaurants on Calzalda St.
So a BIG THANK YOU AGAIN and for those who have not visited yet contact us as soon as possible so that we can accommodate you.
Chris,Maria and the team.