A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit my family in Mexico and go on a holiday with them. We don't take enough holidays together as we used to, so this one meant a lot to me.
We went to Nicaragua and we loved it. A lot of people asked me ... why Nicaragua? Well, I know Costa Rica is a more popular destination and known for tourism, and that's exactly what we didn't want. We wanted to adventure ourselves into a less known country and let it surprise us.
Brendan & I had also spoken to some of our friends who had been there a few years back and they kept telling us amazing stories about "volcano-boarding", the genuine hospitality of the locals and the natural beauty of the country.
Volcano-boarding turned out to be the most epic experience I've ever done. I was pretty scared when we reached the top and after looking at the bottom it made me feel butterflies that's for sure. But there was only way of getting down.
Nicaragua has a vast variety of ecosystems, all beautiful in their own way. The people are warm, genuine, happy and honest. The food is simple yet fresh and tasty. Thank you Nicaragua for all the joy and memories we created there as a family, you were host to some of the most beautiful moments I carry in my heart.
~ For recommendations of places, activities etc, read at the end of the post. ~
In Leon, I highly recommend staying at Paz de Luna B&B. Aaron, his wife Esther and business partner run this beautiful place. They are the nicest people always willing to help. You can also book your volcano-boarding experience through them. The revenue of this activity supports a local charity run by them (more info here).
Stop by Laguna de Apoyo, the peace and calmness of this place will make you forget about all your worries. We stayed at Pájaro Azul ecolodge & camping. Needless to say, this place is paradise, the prettiest lake surrounded by mountains. Monkeys hanging from the trees and singing birds all around. This hotel also offers a nice bath in termal water at night time, they prepare the pool with fresh eucalyptus leaves to fully relax & detox your body.... Take me Back!
Hotel La Omaja is the best! We stayed here 3 nights when we visited Ometepe Island, this hotel its beautiful, clean, the food is delicious and has the best infinity pool with the most amazing views from one of the Volcanos in the island. The owner and his wife run this little hotel, they are both nice & genuine people always making sure you are enjoying your stay.
In San Juan del sur, we had the best experience riding horses through the jungle with the beautiful girls from Rancho Chilamate. I can not recommend this highly enough! It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an experience rider, they will look after you and provide you with a killer cowboy outfit.
If you are the adventurer type and enjoy diving, do not miss Dos Tiburones dive shop in Big Corn Island. The owner and her son are super nice, experienced, professional and fun! The dive sites are beautiful and untouched. We did our first night dive with them and we loved it!
And last but not least, please do yourself a favour and visit Derek's place at Little Corn, it is the cutest, prettiest little hotel. You will feel like a true Tarzan or Jane in this corner of the island, your own slice of paradise with the yummiest fresh produce cook for you by local people.