One day Petra and I made a very nice trip from Granada to Pueblos Blancos and Laguna de Apoyo. First we took a chicken bus that leaves from a block south of the market, across from the Shell station, and goes to San Juan de Oriente and Catarina. The bus was already full when we left. On the way it stopped on every corner so more and more people were coming in the bus. After about 40 minutes we arrived in San Juan de Oriente, a small village known for the production of pottery.
Another village that we wanted to visit was Catarina. We asked some local people about the bus. They told us it was very close so we decided to walk. Catarina is a little bigger than San Juan de Oriente. It is known for its green houses, but most of the people come here for the Mirador (viewpoint) which offers a spectacular view of Laguna de Apoyo. The viewpoint is just a short walk from the village. From there we went by a three wheel taxi to Laguna de Apoyo where we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
For going back we took a 4pm bus that runs from Laguna de Apoyo to Masaya, and got out at the main road that connects Managua (and Masaya) with Granada. We did not have to wait long until the bus to Granada arrived. The journey was short, it only took about 15 minutes. The bus stopped at the bus station near the old hospital (some 8 blocks west from Parque Central) from where we walked to the city centre.
If you get out of the bus and you want to go to the "Mirador" at the Laguna immediately, you can either walk all the way there through the village: about a 2 kilometres walk, or you can stop one of the many funny-looking "shoot-taxi's".
These taxi's are the Central American version of the famous Thai "Tuc-Tuc": a red shooter with a two seat-bench at its front. They are noisy, they smell, but they are cheap as well and they are a great part in the street scene.
From the busstation to the Mirador you pay about 40 cents per person.
When you come from Granada and you want to go to the Pueblos Blancos, you have to go to the small busstation close to the market in Granada. From the Parque Central, go one block west and two blocks south and you're there. At the station, ask for a bus going to Catarina and San Juan de Oriente. This bus will cost you about 1 dollar and in 40 minutes time you'll be in Catarina.
When we took this bus, we got dozens of different advises about where to get off the bus when we asked the people in the bus; which can make you quite nervous. Therefore it is better to ask the driver or the ticket-salesman to give you a sign when you're there: at least they should know.
For the way back, just go back to the mainroad and wait for the next bus going to Granada. Several times an hour it will come by and especially if you tell the other peoplethat are waiting which bus you are waiting for, you cannot miss it.