Nicaragua and it's colonial gem - Granada

A few years ago I started taking trips at the end of the year and it has since become a tradition.  The trip that started it all was a birthday trip to Hawaii and since I've decided that spending one's birthday in a strange place with people you don't know is actually really great.  Don't get me wrong I miss my friends during the big day but I also feel like being away from home on that day makes me even more grateful for the comforts of home.   It's no coincidence that my trips are during the Bay Area's "winter" months.   The short days and the lack of sunshine pretty much drive me mad.... so I tend to head somewhere very warm and very sunny to load up on as much vitamin D as I can!  

This year was one of those milestone birthdays so I wanted to do something special.... a week long all women surf camp in Nicaragua was just the thing!  After not surfing in warm water for the last 2 years I was more than excited about the prospect of going into the ocean without being wrapped in a large piece of rubber (AKA wetsuit).  So after booking my surf camp adventure I figured I would take some time to explore Nicaragua's other offerings.  

First on the list was the town of Granada.  Granada is about 2 hours north of San Juan Del Sur and is a little colonial gem.  The town is still developing but has lots of great things to discover.  It's easy to enjoy the colorful buildings while you stroll along the cobblestone streets.   There are also some great spots to stop for authentic handicrafts: Tio Antonio's is a hammock shop where you can watch local artisans whip you up your very own hammock to take home. They even take special orders so you can choose the colors you like!


It's 98 Degrees!! No, not the boy band - Beyond Granada

A couple of days in Granada and it was time to head to my favorite place.. THE BEACH!  It's hot in Granada.. I love heat.. so when I say it was hot you know it was stifling hot.  It was time to be rescued by a cool ocean breeze and some surfing fun in San Juan Del Sur (SJDS) !  I'll warn you in advance that I did not take any surfing photos (you try shooting after 4 hours of surfing and see how motivated you are)

SJDS is your quintessential surf town filled with lots of surfers and yogis and a fair share of expats. This is not the best place if you are looking for an authentic Nicaraguan cultural experience.  It's a great place to enjoy a few days surfing your face off or just laying by the beach at one of their many wonderful beaches.  A great place for a lazy few days.   When you aren't being lazy head out and explore the town on foot and make sure to wear some sunblock!