A lot of wind, some waves and awesome fish tacos (a week in Nicaragua)

It was a very cold dark January night; too cold to go skiing without a high probability of getting frostbite and/or hypothermia. Chris and I were both sitting on the couch browsing the internet when he looked at me and said: “We have to go. To Nicaragua. Let’s book a flight tonight.”

We had been thinking of heading south for a while and I had already short-listed a number of surf camps in Nicaragua. Without much vacation time, we were looking for a place where we could go plop ourselves for a week, surf, do yoga, and get in some good beach time. I had also decided that this place should be in the jungle, surrounded by hills, have a pool (preferably with dark blue tiles), and easy access to beautiful wild beaches. It was a pretty specific vision and I was stoked when we discovered Verdad at Costa Dulce aka my dream come true. Here is an account of the week we spent there.

Trip highlights

  • Seeing a baby sloth in the jungle!!!
  • Seeing baby turtles under an incredibly starry ski
  • Catching waves at Playa Yankee
  • Eating the best fish tacos (and other fresh delicious food)
  • Meeting and getting to know some pretty awesome people
  • Stumbling into a Miss Teen Universe event (and almost getting trampled by said teens)
  • Zip-lining – upside down
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Getting a massage to the sound of waves
  • Exploring wild beaches
  • Soaking in sun and amazing views
  • Sunset yoga (and sunsets over the Pacific in general)
  • Staying at a beautiful lodge with a pool (I love pools)

Watch a short video (5:58) from our trip!

Where we stayed

Verdad at Costa Dulce is a beautiful lodge nestled into a hillside overlooking Playa Escameca. We spent five nights in a private ocean view bungalow, two nights in retreat room, and everyday in the pool. Located about 200 meters above sea level, the 10 minute walk from the beach to Verdad was steep and sweaty, beckoning us to jump in for a swim every time we completed it.

Life at Verdad was pretty amazing. We woke up every morning to the sounds of waves crashing and birds singing before heading up to the main lodge for pre-breakfast (fresh fruit, granola and yogurt) and coffee. Between pre-breakfast and second breakfast (which is honestly the best way to eat breakfast), we would either go for a walk on the beach, do yoga on our private deck, or curl up with a book on our daybed. We enjoyed a hearty second breakfast everyday at 9:00 am and a delicious dinner at 6:30 pm in the company of four other guests who had quickly become our friends; the Julies (Julie and Julie) and the Sisters (Jane and Abby).

What we did

We spent most days exploring nearby beaches on foot, surfing, reading, and doing yoga.  We also took three trips into San Juan Del Sur (located about a 15 km and a 30 minute bumpy ride north of where we were): one to get cash, food and wine,  another to spend a night on the town in celebration of Jane’s birthday, and the third to go zip-lining at Parque Aventuras Las Nube (we saw the baby sloth on our way up to where the course was set up).

What got on our radar for potential future trips…

  • Hiking on Ometepe
  • Taking a local food tour in Leon
  • Exploring Grenada

Nuggets of knowledge

  • January to March is the windy season in Nicaragua – it was really windy!
  • March to December is the surfing season with March & April and November & December being the best months for beginner/intermediate surfers like us
  • Asombroso means amazing
  • Es goma means hungover
  • 1 hour and 20 minutes is just enough time to catch a connection in Houston (if you run and time the sky train perfectly)
  • Apparently Air Transat has a direct flight from Toronto to Managua

We would absolutely go back to Nicaragua, likely in the November-December or March-April time window, and on that direct flight from Toronto to avoid going through customs in the U.S. Let us know if you are planning on going or if you have gone and have suggestions on where to stay and what to do!


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