Well, I have to admit: Nicaraguas Pacific Coast is definitely NOT the most beautiful place in the world. I mean, there are soooooo (!!!) many regions, coastlines, forests and mountain landscapes out there which are totally picturesque, idyllic and scenic – who could even decide which part of this magnificent world is the most beautiful?
However, life and leisure in Nicaragua has some pretty cool advantages:
- The weather is 80% of the time SUNNY AND WARM.
A further 10% it’s too hot, another 5% it’s superwindy and the remaining 5% it’s raining.
- You don’t have to get creative with your clothing. People GIVE A SHIT about the latest fashion or ideals of beauty.
Everyday shorts and flip flops are just fine. If you want to look especially cute or sexy – no problem, you won’t receive pejorative looks. It’s too hot to wear make up or have your hair down, so everyone looks rather casual throughout the day. Your shirt is full of stains? Don’t throw it away, wear it! Nobody will judge you.
- Coming down to the beaches on sundays and vacations is especially FUN.
Because everyone is in a happy mood. The locals come with chairs, music, a huge cooler and tons of food and beer. You can just sit and watch how kids and adults play together in the wet sand.
- As a german, I learned that a sunny day means SUMMER; HAPPINESS AND EASINESS.
It just makes such a difference when you’re looking out of the window and see a shiny blue sky, even though you’re working all day long!
- There is NOTHING SUCH AS “disturbance of the peace” or “neighborhood regulations”. You can turn on your music at 4 in the morning, have a house party during weekdays or let your dogs, cattle and horses run freely around other peoples’ gardens. Noone will say anything!
Having that said… I miss Germany sometimes! I mean, what does Germany have in advantage? Where should I begin…
- HUGE SUPERMARKETS and the freedom of choice when it comes to food.
In Nicaragua they offer a very limited range of groceries. And my beloved chinese food is f***ing expensive!
- rollercoasters, FUN PARKS and waterparks.
In Nicaragua only children are allowed to have fun! Adults work and get drunk in their free time. Getting drunk is having fun for them. Unfortunately not for me.
- huge HIGHWAYS and roads in a very good shape.
Driving over 100km/h in Nicaragua is not possible! Highways have only one lane in each direction… it’s fun to pass all those heavy slow trucks risking your life!
- hiking and cycling PATHS around every tiny village.
Here I have to hike jungle paths that are usually used by poachers, smugglers and drug dealers. Nice…
- NO POWER OUTAGES or water cut-offs for a whole day.
Sometimes I really have the feeling I live in a third-world country. Help!
- HISTORIC TOWNS with awesome buildings.
In Nicaragua there’s only two colonial cities with some historical flair.
- cyclists using lights AND a special bike lane.
Here they cycle on the street with no light at all! One day I’m going to kill someone and noone will believe me I haven’t seen him…
- REASONABLE PEOPLE.
Melvin lost his driver license in town and two days later they caught a guy using it. They took the license away from him but never checked who that criminal was (so they didn’t realize it wasn’t Melvin). Then Melvin had to pay the fine in order to get his license back!
- trains, winter and snow, fresh cool air, barbecue, affordable italian ice cream AND SO ON…
But you all won’t believe me anyway when I show you the places I spend my days off. I am happy – everything else I take as a challenge. And don’t you believe we’re done with our dream of having some sort of sea turtle project and conservation tourism business. No! But we’ll take our time now… This season they still need to survive without us, but for June 2018 we’re having big plans! More about this when the time is right…
This tiny community is called “the turtle” and I guess it refers to some freshwater turtle I haven’t seen yet… I love it because it has a nice walking path up the hills and alongside a riverbed with some hidden pools. Sometimes local cowboys pass by on their way to a secluded village where time stands still. Otherwise, you are alone here, surrounded by the forest and its animals. There were lots of monkeys, birds and even a sloth!
Unfortunately, this beach is made private and developed for retirees and rich expats – a huge problem in Nicaragua. As many beaches are actually bays, foreigners buy up the whole beachfront and have locals, fishermen, small businesses and common tourists stay away. Just imagine you grew up near the beach, make a living as a fisherman and then are not allowed to go there anymore!
We were only granted access as Melvin knows someone living there. Colorado has some of the best breaks for surfing in whole Nicaragua, but noone can take advantage of that. At least the beach seems safe from poaching and turtles are protected (and hey! I found a Leatherback nest), but the beachfront development is far from being turtle-friendly.
This one touches my heart. I saw this mysterious, well-hidden and seemingly inaccessible beach a year ago on Google maps, and since then wondered which dirt road we need to take in order to get there. We finally figured it out, not knowing what was to await us. In the end, we strolled down a 5 km-long virgin beach and enjoyed a little bath in the Brito river that filled up during high tide.
Unfortunately, this secret paradise will soon turn into the Nicaragua canal, a controverse project that is supposed to bring wealth to the country but just seems exaggerated, unrealistic, expensive and very damaging to the environment. I recommend this article to know what’s going on here!
This one is as far as you can do in one day. Astillero is a charming fishing town famous for surfing, not more and not less. Just north of it there’s a big conservation area called “Chacocente” where arribadas take place and leatherbacks show up from time to time. As it’s turtle off-season right now, we didn’t go there but next time we’ll definitely will.
Ostional is Melvins home town, so we are especially attached to that place. You kind of have to find its beauty on a day with calm water and sunny weather, as it seems quite rough and unorganized otherwise. After years of being a “hidden gem” in Nicaraguas south, far off the usual tourist route, they are preparing the land now for some major beachfront projects. It is the time to invest in Ostional as the “Costanera highway”, a tourist road connecting Costa Rica with Nicaraguas south, is just under construction. Ostional has it all: turtles, mangrove, a tranquil fishing community and lots of secret paths through the forest leading to hidden bays and beaches (which are mostly used for illegal purposes, as stated above…). Let’s see what is to come when tourism development starts.
We have been in Popoyo again! (in fact it’s called Playa Guasacate)
The wide near-empty beach, the good surfing opportunities and the tranquil charme of a touristy town with small-scale development makes it pretty attractive for us. Much smaller, cleaner, quieter and prettier than San Juan del Sur. Turtles seem to come by as well, and we’ve been talking about maybe moving here in the future. But it really depends on how our business idea will evolve. There might be some even better places further north which we haven’t seen yet! But we definitely want to be far away from San Juan del Sur and far away from the Nicaragua Canal once we choose a place for the rest of our life.
That’s it for now! Anybody is up for a visit? Just get in touch with me, we’ll be happy to prepare the roadtrip of your lifetime 🙂