April 13, 2017
April 27, 2017

It has taken me months to to put pen to paper on our August 2016 trip to Nicaragua. So long that my husband just left this morning for a weekend of surfing in San Juan del Sur, coordinated by Donovan, the guide that taught us and our kids to surf last August. I am green with envy.

I think the main reason I haven’t rushed is that, in general, even people who are intrepid travelers don’t seem particularly interested in visiting Nicaragua. On our trip we only met people from Europe and Canada, with the exception of a few expats living on the beach and teaching people how to surf. But I like that there remain a few places in the world that are still a little less touristy, or familiar- that challenge us to figure them out ourselves.

In a nutshell, we spent four nights in the colonial city of Granada and four nights at the beach in San Juan del Sur. We hiked around a dormant volcano; peered into the pit of an active, bubbling volcano; visited markets and artisan communities. We learned to surf and zip-lined down a volcano/coffee plantation. We drank decent coffee, though learned their best is exported. And we listened to our guide, who enthusiastically told us the truly crazy history of his country. And yes, they still use horses and buggies to do some work, travel around and move stuff. The local beef we consumed was lean and delicious and we also found an extraordinarily good Italian place that we ate at twice. Our biggest disappointment was the lack of good ice cream, a vacation staple. Perhaps one day I will open my very own frozen treats shop down there- opportunity abounds. It was a wonderfully balanced trip and we only saw a small part of the country. I plan to go back and see the rest. –Julie, April 2017