The Peace Project Hostel & NGO

The Peace Project Hostel on Laguna de Apoyo

In Nicaraguaby Erik6 Comments

The Peace Project combines a budget hostel & NGO with proceeds benefiting the local community so everyone wins! Find out all the amenities on offer & how you can get involved.

The Role the Peace Project Plays in the Community

The Peace Project is largely run by volunteers that want to leave an impact on small communities in the Laguna de Apoyo area while traveling & immersing themselves in the local culture.

Besides providing scholarships to 22 students to attend private school, they are also improving the facilities at public schools & assisting with other initiatives.

* Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before any trip to Nicaragua. We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years – it’s the best-value provider we’ve found & we’ve also never had any issues on the few occasions we’ve had to make a claim.

The Peace Project Community Outreach

A volunteer at The Peace Project helping a student learn English via games.

Another main goal is to improve English proficiency for kids & adults to capitalize on the growing tourism industry.

Kids also get a chance to learn how to swim & can join their sponsored soccer team.

Visit their website for more information, and learn which volunteer positions you may quality for.

The Peace Project Teaching Kids How to Swim

The Peace Project also helps kids learn how to swim to enjoy the natural environment nearby.

The Peace Project Hostel

The Peace Project is partially funded by the hostel, which is a more sustainable source of funds than grants.

Your stay helps fund improvement in the local community, & the hostel has the cheapest dorms on the lake at $10 per person!

There are also private rooms with shared baths in the main building.

The Peace Project Jungle Lodge

The Peace Project Hostel has a range of accommodation options from budget dorms to private rooms or a cabin.

The Peace Project Hostel Dorms

There are four dorm rooms with two shared baths.

The staff are nice enough to also try to provide your group with separate dorm rooms if possible.

Each dorm room was filled with two bunk beds, a fan, & lockers for each person.

Outside was a sheltered common area with chairs & tables to relax at.

The Peace Project Dorm Bunkbeds

The Peace Project has the cheapest dorms on Laguna de Apoyo & still offers the same amenities as the competition.

There is also a stove that you can use to prepare meals if you plan ahead & bring all your ingredients.

Otherwise, you can order food from the kitchen, or try one of the bars/restaurants across the road on the lake.

They have a great drink special at 3 liters for 95 cordoba / $3.15.

The Peace Project Dorm Common Area & Self-Catering Kitchen

Your options for eating on Laguna de Apoyo are to cook yourself, grab a meal at The Peace Project, or at a restaurant across the street.

The Peace Project Hostel Common Areas

In addition to the dorm seating, the main communal area is by reception.

There is a large wooden deck with howler monkeys residing in the trees above.

You can hear them roar first thing in the morning, or when it becomes rainy or windy.

This is a great spot to hang out & enjoy the free filtered water & coffee offered throughout the day.

The Peace Project Resident Howler Monkeys

If you haven’t heard the roar from howler monkey’s before, you will at The Peace Project.

You can also grab a beer ($1.50) or order food from the kitchen.

Inside the main lounge is a book exchange & billiard table to pass time during the quiet evenings.

Otherwise, you can use the Wi-Fi that reaches all corners of the property if you need to catch up with friends or work.

The Peace Project Main Lounge with Billiards & Book Exchange

The common area is great for playing billiards, reading, or just using Wi-Fi.

Enjoying Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo is one of the top places to visit in Guatemala.

One of the best ways to enjoy it is with the free kayaks The Peace Project allows you to use.

Simply carry the one or two person kayak(s) down to the lake & start paddling.

Apoyo Lake is deceptively wide so venture only as far as you feel comfortable.

The Peace Project Free Kayak Rental for Laguna de Apoyo

Take advantage of the free kayak rental that The Peace Project offers.

It is also possible to sunbathe on the sandy shore, or go for a swim in the warm water.

The first few steps are rocky, but it quickly becomes sandy before dropping off.

Laguna de Apoyo Lakeside Restaurants & Bars

Take a dip in Laguna de Apoyo. The water is surprisingly warm.

Diving at The Peace Project Hostel

Another way to experience the volcanic crater lake is to go diving with Volcano Divers at The Peace Project Hostel.

Your options include:

  • Getting certified ($250)
  • Fun dive ($38)
  • Discover dive
  • Free shore clean-up dive each Monday.

We here at DIY Travel HQ were very excited to add the new experience of a shore clean-up dive to our divers’ log books.

We were looking forward to helping to keep the lake clean. It would have been our first freshwater dive, & also in a volcanic lake!

The Peace Project Volcano Divers in Laguna de Apoyo

Assuming you feel comfortable with the current dive instructor, $250 is a great price for becoming certified.

However, we found out the dive instructor left at 10:45 am without attempting to find us despite notifying her the night before that we wanted to go, & being told they leave around noon.

We even started waiting on the main deck over 75 minutes early so we could pick out our equipment & not miss the dive.

Riding the Bench & Sitting out a Dive with Volcano Divers

If you want to take advantage of the free clean-up dive, make sure you are extremely assertive about going!

The Peace Project director did try to arrange for us to join the discover diver(s) going out at 2 pm, but one of the extra regulators didn’t work so they didn’t have enough equipment for us.

In the end, we took our snorkel gear & went freediving.

See below for a taste of what to expect in Laguna de Apoyo.

Due to our experience, or lack thereof, we cannot recommend Volcano Divers despite enjoying our stay at The Peace Project.

How to Get to The Peace Project

The Peace Project is best reached from Masaya but it is also possible from Granada or Managua.

Laguna de Apoyo buses run from the Masaya bus terminal (13 Cordoba / $.045) at 5:30 am, 10:30 am, & 3:30 pm only.

They return to Masaya at 6:20 am, 11:20 am, & 4:20 pm.

From Granada or Managua, & other times, ask to get off at the entrance to Laguna de Apoyo (10 Cordoba / $0.35).

You can then take a taxi or attempt to hitchhike the 8 km. You can shorten the distance by catching the El Valle bus if it passes by, which takes you to the crater rim.

Masaya Bus Terminal is Drastically Different than Laguna de Apoyo

The bus terminal & market section of Masaya is not pretty, but a necessary evil.

Know Before You Go

Location: On Laguna de Apoyo

Transportation: Masaya has direct buses 3 times per day

Price: $10 for dorms, $16 & up for private rooms with shared baths

Included Amenities: Wi-Fi, Water, Coffee, Kayak Rental, Book Exchange, & Billiards

Contact Information:

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***The Final Word – With limited public transportation, it is best to stay at The Peace Project for Laguna de Apoyo & not try to use this location as a base for exploring nearby.***

Have you ever taken a dip in a volcanic crater lake before?

Accessible DIY travel to more distant locations via multiple connections or longer forms of local transport

* Thank you to The Peace Project for hosting us. No payment was received for this review, but our stay was complimentary. As always, all opinions remain our own.

Visited in December 2016


  1. This is a great way to see this beautiful area and also help the local community. I think the kids will benefit a lot from interacting with actual tourists if they want to get into the tourism industry as well as improving their spoken English

    1. That is absolutely correct. We were shocked to find out that every business on Laguna de Apoyo was near being fully booked when we compared properties prior to choosing where to stay. We expected the area to be quite the opposite, but the lake has taken off in the last few years apparently. If it stays that way, understanding English will go very far. There might also be more activities on offer nearby & hopefully the water quality continues to be of importance.

  2. It would be great to visit Laguna de Apoyo and dip in a volcanic crater. The idea of Peace Project seems very appealing. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It is & fun to take a kayak out on it as well. From what I understand, there is no streams in our out so all the water is from rain. The best part about staying on Laguna de Apoyo is having the option to relax back at your accommodation, & visit the lake as much as you want during the day. The Peace Project offers a lot of potential to the local community, & seem to be involved in a lot of ways!

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece, the place looks amazing, would definitely loved to visit there by the end of this year. Tourism is going to help alot to the people. Thanks again for sharing this. Cheers 🙂

    1. Staying at The Peace Project really allows you to explore the lake more in depth by taking a kayak out on Laguna de Apoyo & listening to the resident howler monkeys. At the same time, you are helping the local community via their initiatives!

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