December 2014, I along with 10 other individuals from *Nomadness Travel Tribe spent 5 days exploring Nicaragua. I admit I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anyone who was going but I was looking forward to going somewhere new and meeting new people.
We flew into Managua but the home where we stayed was located in Tola, which is about 2 hours from the airport. After we arrived in Tola, we all settled in and got to know one another. Most of the group were from the east coast whereas there was one person from San Francisco and someone else from Portland. There were 10 girls and 1 guy and the ages varied from 25 to mid 50’s. Our first evening together we had a family style dinner where we enjoyed traditional Nicaraguan food. The staples were rice, beans, and plantains. Our home came equipped with a private chef, Selena who was an excellent cook.
Horseback Ride to San Ramón Waterfall
To arrive to the place where Horseback riding was offered, it took about 1.5 hours. It was only my third time horseback riding and previously I had on shorts so this time was no different. However, when we arrived at the place, the owner of the ranch was quite dismayed that most of us weren’t wearing pants. Shortly after I started riding, I realized how helpful pants would have been. If the horse gallops slowly then shorts is fine but as he/she gallops faster, the friction tends to hurt your thighs. Aside from not being properly dressed, I enjoyed horseback riding because the views were quite picturesque.
Isla de Ometepe
Not far from the horse ranch, you can take a ferry to Isla de Ometepe. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes. Shortly after we arrived, a car was waiting to take us to the Ojo de Agua (eye of water). The Ojo de Agua is a natural mineral spring complete with a rope swing. There is also a restaurant on site as well as you can buy a coconut filled with a rum concoction for 3$. I could have spent the whole day there since its so relaxing and peaceful.
At the nearby town of San Juan del Sur, we spent the day getting surfing lessons. I had a terrible wipe out so my surfing lesson ended pretty quickly but others were able to catch a wave. Surfing was fun but I soon realized that surfing is not as easy as it looks. The surf instructors were helpful in trying to get everyone to at least catch one wave.
Our final full day in Nicaragua we drove to Mayasa, which is about 1.5 hours from Tola, to go souvenir shopping. The market is made up of several stalls selling everything from key chains, purses, and jewelry. I bought some earrings and a few trinkets for my coworkers. If shopping isn’t your thing, I would still recommend spending the day in Mayasa or a nearby town because it allows you to see a different side of Nicaragua. Tola is where mainly expats live so it doesn’t feel as authentic or representative of Nicaragua as a whole. After the market excursion, some of us headed out to the beach,which was in walking distance from the house.
Everybody said their final goodbyes as we all headed home. Although my Nicaraguan vacation was brief, I would definitely return to Nicaragua as well as recommend it to anyone considering a vacation to Central America. New friendships and new memories were made, what more can you ask for!*Nomadness travel tribe is the brainchild of Evita Robinson that is comprised of nearly 10 thousand travelers and expats from all over the world. The only requirement for joining is you must have at least one passport stamp. There are several annual trips to varying international locations that are organized by Evita and her team, which are referred to as the high council. These trips are highly coveted and usually sell out in a matter of minutes. There are also meetups around the world with local tribe members. The Nomadness Facebook page features resources such as hotel recommendations, ESL job information, and country specific travel information. It’s also a useful tool to connect with other group members for advice concerning all things travel related.Resources: Click on the link below if you would like more information about Nomadness and would like to join.
Here’s a recent article that was written about Nomadness.