I’ve had it on my mind for quite a while now to take Madison (13) and Maya (8) on a girls’ vacation this summer somewhere exotic and out of the country. My sister-in-law, Ines, is from Nicaragua, and she and my brother have vacationed on the beach there a few times. I started researching the country — not only does Nicaragua have the beautiful beaches, it is home to coffee and chocolate farms. HELLO! Beaches, coffee and chocolate all in one small country. I was sold.
The hard part was convincing Anthony that this was a good idea. (Three girls roaming a third-world country run by a dictator.) I’ve been talking about it for MONTHS, and finally he conceded — as long as I went with a tour group and not venturing out on my own like I normally do. So I found a tour agency, told them what I want to do and where I want to go. Here is our itinerary (dates are still to be determined):
DAY 01: MANAGUA – LEON
Airport greeting by office staff and private transfer to restored 17th century Franciscan convent at the Hotel El Convento in the historic center of León.
DAY 02: LEON – ART, FOOD & CULTURE TOUR
Breakfast and private guided culture and art tour of colonial León with visit to the country’s finest art museum and other sites of artistic and cultural interest, as well as authentic eating experiences. Lodging at Hotel El Convento decorated with classic art works and colonial antiques.
DAY 03: LEON – GRANADA FOOD, CULTURE & CHOCOLATE
Breakfast and private transfer with guide to Granada for art and history tour of this beautiful lake front city. Afternoon chocolate making class using Nicaragua’s world-class cocoa, interesting eating experience in Granada. In both León and Granada our guide will present many different eating options. Lodging on central park at Hotel Plaza Colón.
DAY 04: GRANADA – LAKE KAYAKING – VOLCANO ZIP-LINE
Breakfast and morning visit to the Las Isletas Archipelago for guided kayaking in Lake Nicaragua. Afternoon visit to the western slopes of the Mombacho Volcano for a zip-line tour in the canopy there. Lodging at Plaza Colón.
DAY 05: GRANADA – SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Breakfast and private transfer to beach town San Juan del Sur on the south Pacific Coast. Lodging at Posada Azul. Day to enjoy the beach.
DAY 06: SAN JUAN DEL SUR – RANCHO CHILAMATE HORSEBACK RIDING
Breakfast and pick-up from hotel by the horse riding outfit at Chilamate for guided ride from the forests south of San Juan del Sur to a beautiful beach. Lodging in San Juan del Sur.
DAY 07: SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Breakfast and day at leisure. Lodging in San Juan del Sur.
DAY 08: SAN JUAN DEL SUR – MANAGUA
Breakfast and private transfer to airport for flight home.
So if any of you would like to donate to the Nicaragua travel fund, I can give you my GoFundMe account. (Just kidding — sorta.)