Nicaragua bound: Of hammocks, surfing and cervezas


Advertisement
Published: February 20th 2008
Edit Blog Post

Surf's Up!Surf's Up!Surf's Up!

Surf Betty! Biggest board we could find...haha...
Off on another adventure, long overdue...

Ken, Kim and I headed to Central America for three weeks, starting in Nicaragua and finishing in Costa Rica (as Canada is in the grips of cold and Winter, this seemed to be the perfect destination!)

Flew into Liberia CR, and hopped a cab to Penas Blancas and the Nicaraguan border (Liberia turned out to be a little closer than Managua to our first destination, and the airfare was cheaper as well..). Border was interesting; cab dropped us off at the Costa Rican immigration office, strangely no lineup...after a 3/4 kilometer hike across the border (with surf board in tow) we picked up the rental car, made our way through Nicaraguan immigration and off to Villa Pavela at Playa Remanso! Friends of ours were gracious enough to offer up their place in Playa Remanso, about 5 kms from San Juan del Sur, and it was amazing! Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, 2 minutes to the beach and fantastic sunsets every night, beautiful...

No set-in-stone gameplan for the holiday, we figured we'd hang out at the Villa for a few days; soak up some sun, hit the beach, learn to surf (way too much
Sunset ISunset ISunset I

One of many spectacular sunsets at Playa Remanso...
fun!), chill out in some hammocks and toss back some mucho fine cervezas...tough life! Headed into San Juan del Sur everyday to pick up supplies and poke around, generally ending in a cerveza or two at one of the many joints lining the beach. Cool, laid back surf town, with a variety of neat shops and a decent selection of restaurants and cuisines...locals were nice, weather was pretty much +30C and sunny everyday, pretty much says it all...

The routine of coffee, surf, supply run, cervezas, more surf, dinner, hammocks, more cervezas and general laziness carried on for the better part of the week before we thought we'd better get out and see some of the local sights...the Pacific coast is essentially a string of beaches in that area so we decided to hit a couple of the more popular ones (Coco and Yankee beaches) to see what all the fuss was about... First off the roads are atrocious in Nicaragua; once off the Inter American highway it's essentially potholes and interpretive driving! Most people drive 4x4's, we had a Toyota Yaris...almost lost it in a couple of the aforementioned potholes...no lie. Anyhoo, we hadn't gone far when we
Hammocks and board...Hammocks and board...Hammocks and board...

The patio at Villa Pavela, with the board we were able to learn to surf on...
came across a cattle drive a good hundred or two cattle deep, taking up the entire road. We followed along patiently until a local 4x4 with a cattle grill on the front started to make it's way through the herd, so we jumped at the chance to make our way through...well, things were going well until we hit a pretty steep hill and the 4x4 pulled away, allowing the cows to suddenly surround our car! They didn't seem all that intimidated by the wee "beeps" the Yaris' horn was blaring and at that point we were simply another cow in the herd...a little scary to say the least! After almost burning the clutch out of the poor Yaris, we stopped the car to allow the cattle to just pile on by, much to the amusement of the cowboys bringing up the rear of the drive... The Yaris took a bit of a beating; almost lost the driver's side mirror, one cow bounced off and dented the right front quarter panel and another one pissed all over the left one, now there's something you don't see everyday!

Made it by the herd finally only to miss the turnoff to Yankee
Hold On!Hold On!Hold On!

First pic, taken at Newark...a little prophetic perhaps? Haha.. (KS)
beach and arrive at a small river covering the road to Coco beach, a little risky for the Yaris so we turned around...did manage to find a bluff overlooking Yankee beach but couldn't figure out how to get down...so after two hours from leaving the Villa we had gone approximately 20 kms roundtrip, no beaches, a good fright and some minor damage to the rental...rest of the day was spent surfing and cervezing...haha...

After the road trip to Granada and Isle de Ometepe we spent a couple more days back at Villa Pavela before heading to Costa Rica. Settled back into our routine which was great after a bunch of driving, hiking and sightseeing... Rented a bigger board (Surf Betty!) which certainly helped, and even managed to get tagged by a Stingray...ugh...haha...needless to say that didn't feel good...

All in all a fantastic time in a beautiful area of Nicaragua; great food, good hang, loved the surfing and plenty o' relaxin' in the sun, can't beat it....

(Some photos copyright of Kim S., denoted by (KS)...used with kind permission)


Additional photos below
Photos: 24, Displayed: 24


Advertisement

At the Nica Border...At the Nica Border...
At the Nica Border...

Ken and Kim with surfboard in hand...
Kitchen view at Villa Pavela...Kitchen view at Villa Pavela...
Kitchen view at Villa Pavela...

Overlooking the hammocks and ocean...aaahhh...
Playa RemansoPlaya Remanso
Playa Remanso

Just past the main gate to get to Villa Pavela...
Hammock!Hammock!
Hammock!

Settling in nicely...
Power outage...Power outage...
Power outage...

Cooking by headlamp...haha...
Mercado...Mercado...
Mercado...

...in San Juan del Sur...
The Mighty Yaris!The Mighty Yaris!
The Mighty Yaris!

In front of Big Wave Dave's, SJDS
Cattle Drive ICattle Drive I
Cattle Drive I

The beginning of the adventure...
Cattle Drive IICattle Drive II
Cattle Drive II

Patience...patience...
Cattle Drive IIICattle Drive III
Cattle Drive III

Okay, doesn't do it justice but we are now part of the cattle drive...a wee bit tense!
Spider Monkey!Spider Monkey!
Spider Monkey!

Man these guys are creepy...
Yankee BeachYankee Beach
Yankee Beach

This is as close as we could seem to find...
Surf ISurf I
Surf I

Looking like pros...haha... (KS)
Surf IISurf II
Surf II

Playa Remanso (KS)
Stingray...ugh...Stingray...ugh...
Stingray...ugh...

Wiped out on the surfboard and was tagged by a stingray...ouch!
Best tan ever...Best tan ever...
Best tan ever...

Eight days working on an even tan...ruined by a one hour ferry ride on Lake Nicaragua...haha...
Surf IIISurf III
Surf III

Starting to get the hang of it...
Playa Remanso IIPlaya Remanso II
Playa Remanso II

Resort on the beach...


5th August 2008

Nice pics
we loved playa remanso. my son learned there surfing. are there really stingrays?
5th August 2008

It's a great beach, perfect place to learn to surf...and yes there are stingrays, two of us got stung actually...at certain times of the year there are jellyfish as well apparently, although they weren't around when we were there...
21st September 2009

question
we arrive on the 27th of this month in managua and renting a yaris. A 4x4 is 1600 a month. We cant offord that so we decided on the yaris. You think that is a good idea?
22nd September 2009

You should be fine with the Yaris...we didn't get up to Managua but would have to guess that the roads are fine in the city. All depends where you want to go I guess; we spent most of our time around San Juan del Sur and the road wasn't paved once you got off the Intercontinental Hwy which made for slow going (major potholes) but apparently the road has now been paved. We drove no problem to Grenada, but again left the car on the mainland for a trip to Ometepe Island (not recommended to bring the Yaris, trouble enough in a 4x4). Went exploring beaches one day and couldn't get through some flooding on the road, but aside from that it was fine...again, depends on how remote you plan on going...any other questions please drop me a line... J
18th January 2011

Awsome Pics
OK,Iam in the process of confirming with Ela-She seems really nice..but wowww Iam really excited now after looking at your pic's..I used to surf many years ago...lol but I think iam going to have to give it a go again...my fiance is from Nica and we are going north to visit her family 1st than to Villa Pavela-if all goes as planned.. thanx for making me even more excited to go to Nica and especialy Villa Pavela!
18th January 2011

Thanks!
Thanks Jim, glad you liked the pics...yes, Pawel and Ela are great folks, hope to get back to Villa Pavela someday, loved my time in Nicaragua...have fun!

Tot: 0.033s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 9; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0054s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb