Exploring Nicaragua

Note from Chrissy: I’ll be working on a big project for the next 10 days or so, so I asked Kevin to write about his travels with me in October and November.  After all, this blog is about “Experiences” and I thought it would be interesting for you to read his versions of our travels together around his country and Nicaragua and see how they differ.  These are his stories…enjoy!

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These are my stories of traveling in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the moments that were most memorable. First we started on our way to Lake Nicaragua coming from Tamarindo to the border. It was my first passport stamp and my first time out of Costa Rica. Our trip started early that day, getting out of Tamarindo at 7 am under some of the last heavy rains of the season and getting to the border around 9 am.

Once we got out of the car, all these Nicaraguan people jumped all over us trying to sell us the immigration form, the one that you totally get for free once you are inside with the border agents. The economic situation in Nicaragua is pretty bad so these people are just trying to get some extra money or actually, it might be the only income that some of these Nicaraguans can get, so is a little crazy once you get there but definitely a lot crazier on the Nicaraguan side. They charge you even to get inside with the border agents, so once again you can tell how they try to get all that they can from tourism; that it is one of the most important incomes for the country in this area.

Well once we were done with all the check-ins, we started our drive to Lake Nicaragua just stopping for a little while to see the volcanoes Madera and Concepción that are on Omotepe Island. Those are two wonderful creations of mother nature. From the mainland shore, they look really nice, right in the middle of the lake. Because it was pretty cloudy, it wasn’t really easy to see the bottom of the volcanoes but we could see the two tops (on the way home, we stopped again and it was sunny with no clouds). Continuing on our tour we got into the port where we boarded a panga that took us to the hotel, passing by many island homes on the lake.

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Once we arrived to Jicaro’s Island, they welcomed us with a delicious drink called grama tea which is made from a local grass and lemon and it was just perfect and refreshing after all that traveling. My first impression of the hotel was that the architecture went really well with the environment of the island, taking good care of the existing flora and fauna.

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All the areas of the hotel were really beautiful, the casitas were just perfect to spend time in – to just chill, relax and have a peaceful time. The restaurant has an amazing view of the lake and Mombacho volcano, the pool’s design was really cool, and they have many perfect spaces to just to hang out at. The best part of the weekend for me was the cocktail class which I tried many of the different drinks they prepare there, and my favorite, the one that I like most, was definitely the national cocktail that they call Macua.  It is made with lime, orange juice, guava pulp, sugar syrup and the main ingredient for sure was the Flor de Caña Rum – one of the best rums ever.       DSC06245

Another really fun day was when we were doing a tour around Granada City…there we saw all the nice churches they have; there’s like 8 on one street so that was really interesting. Also the wonderful houses that are there from the colonial times that they keep in perfect condition. It gives the city that touch of nostalgia that makes you feel like you are back in the 40’s or 50’s.

Talking about the staff, they were the most kind people. Always helpful and pleasant in every situation, they made our trip really joyful. Thanks so much to Jicaro Island Eco Lodge for making our vacation the best it could be!

Enjoy the slideshow…

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Kevin