This post is directed to yoga and spiritual teachers, but if you're none of those and are interested in this kind of experience, we can still help you :)
Would you like to organize a yoga, meditation, silence or spiritual retreat in a tropical place? Whether you’ve already organized hundreds of them or you’re thinking of planning your first one, you should consider Nicaragua. As a perfect mix between being a growing tourism destination and still being very authentic, here are 7 of the main reasons why Nicaragua is the perfect place to go.
1. It’s cheaper than most countries around
Everyone knows about Mexico, Costa Rica or Colombia, right? They’re famous tourist destinations, many people go there. And when demand is high, prices follow. Nicaragua on the other hand, while being Costa Rica’s northern neighbor, is much less famous. It has similar flora, fauna, food and activities, but it is on a completely different price scale. You would be surprised by the drop in the cost of living, especially for a tourist. So many people traveling (from south to north) through central america are amazed by the quality over price ratio of their stay in Nicaragua, and wish they had stayed shorter in Costa Rica.
2. It’s easy to reach
Being in central America, Nicaragua is very close to the U.S.A.. You would be surprised by how many cities are connected (directly or with just one connection) to the capital Managua. You can find return tickets from Miami for less than $300, and from many other cities (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, etc.) for less than $500. What else do you need?
3. It’s still very authentic
One of the best parts of not being (yet) such a big tourist destination is that Nicaragua still has a lot of untouched nature and keeps a very local culture. People are highly welcoming and warm hearted, they treat you with respect and help you with anything you need (even when you don’t ask!).
4. It’s safe
Some people have a bad image about Nicaragua, they think it’s a dangerous country and that nobody should go there. Actually the country is very safe, many solo travelers (including women) have reported a very positive experience. There is no sign of violence groups or any kind of organized drug activity. On the contrary, drugs are very controlled here, and their use strongly punished.
5. There are many touristic activities
Nicaragua is a beautiful country. Seriously. And the best part is that it’s a relatively small country, so you have access to many different and amazing places within a short drive. The biggest concentration of “must-does” are between Granada and Masaya cities. You can find more details in our other posts, but here is an overview.
Granada is the most touristic city of Nicaragua, with its colonial style houses, its many churches, paved streets and access to the lake Cocibolca (biggest lake in Central America with over 400 islands that you can visit on a boat tour).
Masaya city (15 km from Granada) is home to a lively local life, a huge artisan market (where you can easily get lost) and the active Masaya Volcano, where you can see lava from the shore of the crater, right below your feet!
In between those two cities is the Laguna de Apoyo nature reserve, a naturally heated, fresh water crater lake. Its beauty can be admired from its shore, its center (if you like swimming or kayaking) and from above in the city of Catarina, which is the highest point of the Laguna.
Near Granada, the Mombacho volcano (yes I know, many volcanoes!) offers several trails with endemic flora and fauna, breathtaking views and canopy tours.
Less than 2 hours drive from this area, if you go south you will find Ometepe island, the iconic twin peak rising from the lake Cocibolca, and San Juan del Sur, the best coastline of the country.
Less than 2 hours north, you’ll find Leon, the lively colonial city surrounded by the beach and by several volcanoes (including the famous Cerro Negro where you can do Volcano Boarding!).
6. The flora and fauna are extensive and well preserved
The government of Nicaragua made great efforts to preserve its nature, and declared many protected areas, where human development is very limited. You can easily be immersed in the jungle or a rainforest and connect with mother earth, surrounded by the sounds of tropical birds, monkeys and other animals. If you’re a nature lover, Nicaragua will fill your tank with regenerative energy in no time… But be careful, once they tasted it, many people don’t want to leave the country!
7. It’s a year-round destination
Don’t like winter? Good for you, Nicaragua has sun and warm temperatures all year long. From December to April is the dry season, where you will least find rain. Right during winter, what else do you want? Actually the rest of the year is very pleasant too. The occasional rains cool down the air and make it more bearable (if you’re not used to the heat). The nature is much greener and you can see a wider variety of flora and fauna. It’s a matter of choice, as Nicaragua has its unique beauty all year long…