I just returned from an adventure in Nicaragua with my brother, Dylan. I intentionally did not use the word vacation because it was much more active and rural than most people associate with a vacation. The experience was amazing though.
Our trip began in Managua, the capital city, which is a necessary stop for anyone flying into the country. The city of Managua is not highly revered in travel books and has a reputation for being dangerous and dirty and was exactly that. Our first night was shockingly rough and proved to be the worst accommodations we found all trip.
We broke away early our first morning for San Suan Del Sur, a beach town about 15 miles north of the Costa Rica border. We surfed, hiked, boated and rode horses here. It was a bit of a touristy town by Nicaraguan standards but had been developed very little by any other. There were no resorts or golf courses to be seen, just native folks for the most part with the occasional Gringo hostel.
The Island of Ometepe was indeed a highlight of the trip. The volcanic island houses two volcanoes, one active and one dormant. The island is pretty large but seemed to have a very small population. There were in my opinion more pigs than cars. We stayed at a fantastic hostel with thatch huts made entirely from natural materials. The most beautiful wooden floors and staircases should be in Architectural Digest! It was surrounded by dense jungle with a very nice fresh water lake surrounding the island. For our primary activity we rented a couple of dirt bikes and rode the entire island. We circled both volcanoes which took nearly all day. Our biggest concern was avoiding the pigs, chickens and cows ranging freely on the island.
Lastly we stopped in Granada for a day. It seemed extremely cultured compared to what I had seen thus far. Being built by the Spanish back in the 1500’s it had a very European feel. The best shopping I saw, gourmet food and an exciting street life make this a great place to visit. My last meal in the country included mojitos, sangria, and three lobster tails. Fantastic!
I took home with me a few souvenirs, some great memories with my bro and also an appreciation for the Nicaraguan people. They may not have the opportunities or luxuries we have come to expect in the USA but they seem very happy people and content being in a beautiful place with their friends and family. They don’t seem to work too hard but work together. I am going to try to incorporate a bit of this into the way I live moving forward. In particular, I hope to make an effort to enjoy where I am in the present and place less of an emphasis on where I am going in the future.