From Granada we went to The Isletas: The islands. The islands formed by the eruption and spewing of molten rock, magma, ashes and inner earth carnage from the screaming mouth of Volcano Mombacho. About 360 islands, in my estimated average of an acre each, (obviously varying) formed in Cocibolca Lake once upon 20,000+ years ago. These islands set the most beautiful community surrounded by translucent water and the natural wild life of monkeys, reptiles and water birds. Alejandro hooked it up big and brought us to one of the private islands to swim and relax for the afternoon. After negotiating boat rentals and a pleasant lunch on one of the in-route isletas, we arrived to what was quiet literally our own island. The only exception was the help that arrived just prior to us, assuring the most hospitable experience possible.
I am without doubt that with an investment, this could be one of the most successful hostel locations in the western world. If we take the success of Corfu Greece’s Pink Palace, and the in-route location of Granada (and the isletas) for the Central American backpacker (a better bread), we have a perfect combination for success.
There is pretty much 1 route for backpacking Central America in this area. I know this. 1) I keep running into the same backpackers. 2) I can’t vary the path no matter how hard I try. There is 1 forked route from Costa-beyond Honduras. From Costa Rica, say Playa de Cocoa, La Fortuna or Monteverde, you cross the boarder into Nicaragua just after La Cruz. The first place everyone goes is San Juan Del Sur: the beach town on the pacific coast. It is about 45 minutes north of the Rica-Nica boarder. After that is Rivas: no redeeming qualities, pass. Norther, is Granada: the adorable colonial town that offers a good vibe and some true history, but doesn’t shock, awe or inspire. *This is where the isleta hostel would thrive. After is The Corn Islands: notable for their parties, weighed down by the cost of flying to/from. The other option is Leon: very similar to Granada, great historic cathedral with buried poets, cracked bells etc.- hot as hell on a sunny day. It is also near the Volcano Cerro Negro which is reputed for sand boarding down. It’s sick- next post.
Isleta Hostel Island: somewhere around 1 million to purchase one of these islands of appropriate size. The rest is pretty cheap, between labor and maintenance (1/2 the cost of Costa), + building the establishment, it can be down, including necessary equipment for operation for about 1.5 mil. Seemingly a lot until you realize what you get. The backpacking community could and would flip out, flock towards it like prisoners to an open gate. Provide scheduled transportation to the island form the already attended Granada, charge slightly above the expected night stay (15 USD instead of 10- build value) include hostel basics such as breakfast, wifi, book exchange, hammocks, social setting. Charge booze, charge food, charge fairer price for 3 night+ stays, hook and reel. Build the reputation. The trusted dirt is not from the web, not from the guide books but from the mouth of the fellow backpacker. Promote hard at the start of peek season, let the dominos fall like exploding volcanic debris. Am I giving a way a brilliant idea for free? Yes. The community deserves it and I’m not yet in the position to provide it.