Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nicaragua - A Diamond in the Ruff

Nicaragua....Truths vs. Misconceptions....

"Far Better To Live Your Life Imperfectly, Than To Live Another's Perfectly"

Nicaragua is not perfect, you will not find perfectly paved roads, manicured hedges, or five star resorts lining the beaches but to me and my husband it is a place of serenity, peacefulness, and happiness.  What you will find is a country that still lives like decades has not passed, a country where working hard is the only way to work, a country that still lives by tradition not the outside world.  
*United Military Travel will only book your trip in safe accommodations that live up to UMT's standards.
Ometepe Island - Playa Santa Martha
Road to town - Playa Santana

If you are an adventurist - book this trip now!

First thing to do upon arriving: head straight to la playa (the beach).  In order to really experience Nica you have to get out of the city.  But first some tips:
  • Already have a transfer service arranged for you from your hotel.  Makes life way easier.
  • You could rent a car but how are you going to navigate the country roads with no street signs?
  • At the airport many men will try to carry your bags to their cars making you use their service if you let them.  Refuse, unless that is what you want.    
  • Kids...lots of sweet little kids...trying to sell you chicle (gum), handmade flowers, water, etc.  I usually give them a dollar and do not take their items.  You do not have to...but I am a sucker. 
  • Prepare yourself for the car ride to be an adventure in itself.  You can buy yourself a 6 pack of Tona (great local beer), sit back and take in the sights as they wiz past you.  Literally, fly by you because driving down there is no joke.  If you have a weak stomach-sit in the front.  
  • Traffic consists of cars, mopeds, cows, chickens, horses, donkeys, and dogs (lots of them).
  • Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way - be careful.

Sunset - Playa Santana
Buena Onda Hotel - Playa Santana

You have many choices in accommodations and atmosphere:  beach, lake, island, or city. 
  • Beach: Playa Santana, Playa Popoyo, Playa Iguana for surf and remoteness. 
    • Accommodations:  Santana - Buena Onda or Rancho Santana.  Popoyo - Popoyo Beach Lodge.  Iguana - Hacienda Iguana.  
  • Lake: Lake Nicaragua (Ometepe Island),  Laguna de apoyo
    • Accommodations: Lake Nicaragua - Playa Santa Martha.  Laguna de apoyo - Hostel Pardiso.  Or rent your own home on your own island.
  • City: Granada, San Juan Del Sur
    • Accommodations: Granada - either rent your own home for a few nights at a wonderful rate with privacy and most homes are open air with indoor pools and terraces.  Or stay in Hotel Colon, they book fast so call ahead.  San Juan Del Sur - backpackers paradise.  Pelican Eyes Resort and Spa....hands down the best there!
Playa Maderas

Lake Nicaragua
Pelican Eyes - San Juan Del Sur

Playa Popoyo

Colonial Granada 
Colonial Granada - Rental Home

Ometepe Island
Laguna de apoyo - Rental Home                      

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Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo