‘Wonderful’ guide in Nicaragua

By Iris Bing
This item appears on page 16 of the March 2020 issue.

My husband and I were able to access Granada, Nicaragua, for a lovely excursion during a “Portraits of Panama” canal cruise with Oceania Cruises. On the Sirena, the cruise started in Miami and ended in Los Angeles (but did not have an actual stop in Panama), and our excursion was on Nov. 29, 2019.

A private guide, Gerald Duran (+505 896 62487 on WhatsApp, email geraldduran14@gmail.com or visit durantoursnicaragua.com), provided the four of us with a very good tour. Our Nicaragua stop on the cruise was the port of San Juan del Sur, from which it was a 1½-hour drive to Granada, though Gerald had us stop on the way at an animal sanctuary he was building.

We also stopped for a view of Masaya Volcano National Park with its active volcano, took a short boat ride and, of course, walked through the streets of historic Granada.

Our tour started at 7:30 a.m., and we returned to the ship by 3 p.m. The cost for all four of us was $408.

Gerald shared lots of information, including facts about Nicaragua’s history, and he was a wonderful guide and companion. (He said his passion is nature hikes and that he also offers multiday tours.)

We also had guides in Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (for Antigua), and Acapulco, Mexico. We found all of them through ToursByLocals (Vancouver, BC, Canada; www.toursbylocals.com), contacting them far in advance of our trip. All were excellent, but we wanted to mention Gerald because cruise ships don’t often stop in Nicaragua.


Pennington, NJ