From Granada head north on the Carratera Masaya to KM 37.5 and turn left. Follow the many signs to Laguna de Apoyo.
From Managua head south on the Carratera Masaya to KM 37.5 and turn right. Follow the many signs to Laguna de Apoyo.
Take a taxi offered by one of the many taxi drivers for around $10 - $15. You can also get a shared minibus from Hostel Oasis in Granada (US$6 round trip or US$6 one way Jan 2015), they run a couple of times a day - at 10am and again in the afternoon.
Another option for the independent traveller is by bus from Masaya. There are at least three buses a day, one very early about 6am, another at 10am and another mid afternoon. Another option is to take a bus going from Granada to Managua (or vice versa) and ask to be let off at the Laguna de Apoyo entrance and from there take a mototaxi. There are more frequent buses to the crater rim and you will need to walk (a long distance) down the hill or take a taxi. You can apparently walk from Granada cemetery in approximately 2-3 hours.
A taxi from Granada or Masaya should cost about US$10-15 (be prepared to bargain) and take about 30minutes.
There are many small restaurants along the edge of the river. The most delicious is at the Hotel Posada de la Abuela
Either where you stay or there are a few comedors by the lake towards the Spanish School. The last one (not surprisingly) is probably the best and cheapest. Despite being in the middle of nowhere there are touts outside the first two, ignore them.
La Posada Ecologica de la Abuela - for $60 a night you will sleep in a private air-conditioned bungalow. The food, atmosphere and service at this hotel is great. The food ranges from a 6USD sandwich and 9USD fish to 20.50USD entire fish, smoothies are 5USD. They have bikes, kayaks and rafts that you can use free of charge. This hotel would also be a great place to host a get together, wedding, or business meeting.
Hostel Paradiso - on the water. This hostel has an arrangement with Hostel Oasis in Granada and you can take a shuttle between the two for US$6 roundtrip or US$6 one way. Dorms US$10, day entry and use of facilities (incliuding kayaks, tubes, etc.) US$7. This place is usually booked solid so make sure you make reservations if you plan on staying here.
Monkey Hut - on the water 250m from Paradiso. Dorm $14, also more expensive private rooms. Takes day trippers (US$6+tax).
Crater's Edge - this is for the grown ups. Rooms $20 to $45, a great dorm at $11 also takes day trippers.
The Spanish School apparently also rents rooms, take a right at a children's playground down a slope and past 4 or 5 comedors.
There are two other more expensive options.
San Simian Eco Lodge, 1 km al Sur del Norome, ☎ 8850 8101, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. San Simian Lodge is located right on the Edge of the water. 5 nice Bunglawos which are situated in a tropical garden. The cost USD 55 to 65 for two person included all taxes and breakfast. Free use of WIFI, Kayaks, Inner tubes. Restaurant is open from 7.30 to 7pm. for day visitors the cheapest day pass in the Laguna USD 5 included tax 55. edit
Laguna Beach Club, Laguna de Apoyo (Descend 2 km to the bottom of the crater, black gate across from the little store at the “y”), ☎ 206-850-1900 (US) or 505-2520-2840 (NI), . checkin: 2 pm; checkout: 11 am. One of the most beautiful and well kept resorts in the area. Laguna Beach Club offers diverse accommodations ranging from dorms to private and family rooms and is only 20 minutes from Granada. Enjoy a variety of activities such as kayaking, ping pong, bocce ball, swimming, hammocks and more.Dorms $12/night, Private rooms $25 to $38, Family room $29 to $49.. (11.929989,-86.055184)edit
Casa de Sol, 200 meters antes de Apoyo Resort, ☎ 2068501900, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Luxury waterfront 5 bedroom home with private pool. A/C, WiFi, Satellite TV, 24 hour security, purified drinking water, daily housekeeper, high-end linens, soaps and towels.$250 +. edit