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Central America

To date I have traveled to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

How much does it cost to travel to Nicaragua

How Much Does It Cost to Travel to Nicaragua

This past March I spent 15 days travelling around the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. I went surfing, ziplining, horseback riding, volcano boarding, and more. And I still managed to come home with a few dollars in my pocket. How much did it actually cost me to travel around Nicaragua for two weeks?

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Managua at Night

We Have Begun Our Descent into Managua

The city’s lights came into view as we descended from 35,000 feet on a hot March night. The lower we got, the clammier my hands, and the more active the butterflies in my stomach. I glanced at my FitBit. Resting heart rate of 104. Nope, not anxious at all. “What am I doing? Maybe I should’ve stayed in Houston.”

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Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Volcano Boarding in Leon, Nicaragua

I could feel my feet heating up inside my hiking sneakers as they dug into the side of the volcano, trying to maintain some control over my downward speed. Dust and rock kicked up into a cloud around me as I hurtled down the side of Cerro Negro, the youngest active volcano in Nicaragua. Some horrific accident? Nope, I signed up for this.

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San Juan del Sur Shop | Suitcaseandheels.com

The Markets of Masaya, Nicaragua

“Let’s go to the local market. Forget the tourist one. Why pay more?” I wanted to check out the markets in Masaya but didnt want to go alone, so tagging along with my new hotel friends was perfect. We wanted to see where the locals went. Forget the sanitized versions meant for gringos, give us the real deal.

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Visiting Nicaragua | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Making the Decision to Visit Nicaragua

Do I go? Do I stay home? Do I pick another country? Or do I stick with my first plan and travel to Nicaragua? For 2016, I want to travel somewhere new. Make sure my travel skills haven’t gotten too rusty. For my Spring getaway I knew I wanted warm weather, good activities, good food, and hopefully make a few travel friends. But it had to be cheap. My thoughts turned to Central America.

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Breakast in Costa Rica | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Foodie Friday: Fried Plantains in Costa Rica

It’s been over a year since I was in Costa Rica. On my first morning there I discovered a dish that I now refer to as “breakfast candy” – fried plantains. Starchier than bananas they were sweet and almost melted in my mouth when cooked. I could’ve happily eaten them with gallo pinto, pineapple and coffee every morning for breakfast. What’s been your favourite food discovery while travelling?

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Hotel Flores | SuitcaseandHeels.com

Sunday Snap: Hotel Flores – Tamarindo, Costa Rica

This was the view I was greeted with each morning when I opened the door of my room at the Hotel Flores in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. A little oasis among dusty roads. I spent a few hours by the pool trying to get the hang of this “relaxing” thing. I liked the fact that it’s small – only eight rooms – and I would happily stay here again when in Tamarindo. I’ve been longing for Costa Rica lately. I think the cold, wet, North Atlantic winter has something to do with that.

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Arenal Volcano

Photo of the Week: Arenal Volcano

The Arenal Volcano was one of my favourite places I visited this year. It is still listed as an active volcano located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica but it hasn’t spewed any lava in over a year now. In 1968 it erupted violently and unexpectedly, destroying the town of Tabacón and killing 87 people in the process. While the volcano is the reason many tourists visit the area it now boasts a number of other activities including whitewater rafting, zip line/canopy tours, wildlife viewing, hot springs, waterfall rapelling, hiking, caving, and horseback riding.

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Mel in Seoul | SuitcaseandHeels.com

2012: A Year in Travel

2012 was another year full of travel. I visited five new countries and even circumnavigated the globe like a boss. I pushed my limits and had some incredible experiences. I worked on learning some new languages and tried lots of great new foods. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will have in store for me.

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Surfing in Tamarindo

Learning to Surf in Tamarindo

Paddle, paddle, paddle. Push up. Plant left foot. Plant right foot. Stand up. Oh my god I’m actually doing it… I’m surfing! After proudly hopping off the board in the knee-deep water I looked around expectantly to see who had seen and recognized my brief moment of glory and triumph. Not a bloody soul. Solo travel sucks sometimes. Surfing was something I just had to try while in Costa Rica. Like a good romance, despite some initial frustrations I stuck with it and now I’m hooked.

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Hotel Royal Corin

Staying at the Hotel Royal Corin in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

I knew right away that I’d made a good choice of hotel in La Fortuna when the van pulled up to the entrance and I was immediately greeted with a fizzy mock-tail of delicious tropical juices and a big smile, while someone took my bags. With free wifi, a full restaurant, spa and three bars I knew my needs would be taken care of but it was the private hot springs I was really looking forward to. If you’re traveling to the Arenal Volcano area of Costa Rica and want to feel relaxed and pampered, the Hotel Royal Corin will delight and treat you well.

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