we loved it. every minute. it was hot, dusty and gorgeous. even when we took a wrong turn and ended up lost, stressed and hangry in the middle of a market that "chaotic" doesn't come close to describing, we loved it. there were people laughing and shouting, delicious snacks being fried up on the street, ladies walking by with stacks of bright toys piled atop their heads, bikes and scooters and cars and animals and babies and the rare stunned tourist and life. so much beautiful life.
we spent three nights at the tribal hotel, which was a true oasis a midst the buzzing city. when I say it is one of the best places I've ever stayed, I say it wholeheartedly. the design, the staff, the feeling you got just being there. it was perfection. the owners were there during our visit, sketching out ideas for their next spot (in san juan del sur) and it's sure to be just as amazing. I cannot wait to go back. cannot wait.
other things of note...
espressionista. epic coffee and even more amazing food - save this for a special night...or better yet go more than once! andres knows what he's doing, and what he's doing is making absolute magic. save room in your bag to bring home so.much.coffee.
tio antonio's hammocks. I definitely have zero room for a hammock in my home. didn't matter. I ordered one anyway. This great social enterprise puts locals to work making beautiful hammocks, chairs, etc.
laguna de apoyo. we took a day trip here (and visited the masaya market along the way) and it was a highlight. after lunch we had the entire volcanic crater to ourselves for some swimming.