A crystalline lagoon just a short drive from Granada, Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve (Reserva Natural Laguna de Apoyo) is one of the most popular natural attractions in Nicaragua. Get away from the city for a few hours of kid-approved water sports, or hang out and relax all day in a lounge chair poised on the rim of this beautiful crater lake.
At Laguna de Apoyo, you can swim in thermally heated waters, rent kayaks or scuba diving equipment, or enjoy views of the lake and surrounding forest from a lakefront bar or restaurant. Though it’s possible to spend the night, most people find that a day trip from Managua or Granada is the easiest way to visit for just the right amount of time. Most day trips also include such nearby attractions as the Mirador de Catarina or Masaya Volcano.
Things to Know Before You Go
Laguna de Apoyo is a top pick for visitors to Nicaragua.
Bring your camera to capture views of nearby Mombacho volcano.
Sun protection can be hard to find at the lagoon, so bring your own.
How to Get There
Laguna de Apoyo is centrally located roughly 20 minutes from Granada and Masaya and just over an hour from Managua. The easiest way to visit is with private transportation, a taxi, or on a guided tour, as most daily public buses stop about a 1.5-hour walk from the lagoon.
When to Get There
Thanks to thermal vents inside the crater, Apoyo Lagoon remains at a pleasant swimming temperature year-round. Plan to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrive and the sun gets too strong.
Laguna de Apoyo Natural Reserve is part of a tropical dry-forest ecosystem with a diverse wildlife population. The reserve is home to more than 500 species of plants and tropical dry trees, as well as more than 200 documented birds species.