If you’re looking for a new vacation destination this year and want something off the beaten path and affordable, have I got a spot for you! Nicaragua has great beaches, surfing, culture, adventure, and lovely people. But when’s the best time to visit?
To date I have traveled to Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Leon, Nicaragua is the grittier, local, big brother of Granada. It’s the liberal city of artists and poets, of Rubén Darío, and the birthplace of the revolution, and one of my favourite places in the country. Find out how I spent my time there.
What I loved about visiting Nicaragua is that there was a variety of towns and cities, each with their own personality. Granada is best for getting your feet wet. Leon is best for art and culture. While San Juan del Sur is best for hanging out and being chill af. Get started planning your own trip.
Granada is a great place to start your vacation in Nicaragua. It’s very tourist friendly with a great selection of restaurants and activities. The small city is only an hour from the airport in Managua and 30 minutes from the town of Masaya. Check out a few ways you can spend your time in Granada.
After overpacking somewhat for my two weeks of travel in Nicaragua this spring, I decided to take another look and see if I could improve on my packing list. Following a few rules I put together a packing guide that should cover you for all occasions.
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?
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.”
I find every trip is a collection of ups and downs. You just hope that the ups always outnumber the downs. My trip to Nicaragua was no exception with its own collection of goods, bads, and an ugly. Read about my highlights and lowlights of two weeks in Central America.
“I won’t be back too late tonight.” The young guy working reception at my hotel in San Juan del Sur looked down at my green Sunday Funday tank top and back up at me with a smirk. “Sure…” I was headed off to one of the most infamous parties in Central America so I couldn’t blame him for his doubt.
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.
“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.
If you want to feel like a pampered princess without breaking the bank, than Nicaragua is the place for you. And Los Patios Hotel in Granada is a great example of that: a beautiful boutique hotel with personalized service in a convenient location for exploring the colonial streets of the city.
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.
It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day and I don’t get along. We started off ok, then hit some major bumpy spots. We mostly just exist separately these days. But this year I thought I would make the world my Valentine and write some love letters to all the places I’ve loved before.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.