Nicaragua: Two Coastlines and Way More Than Twice the Fun – WSJ

Nicaragua: Two Coastlines and Way More Than Twice the Fun

Nicaragua is a great place to learn to surf, but there’s plenty to keep you busy if that plan runs aground—from beachcombing to climbing volcanos to noshing ceviche

HOLY COWABUNGA | The beach at San Juan del Sur, a former fishing village that has grown into a laid-back surf resort on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. ENLARGE
HOLY COWABUNGA | The beach at San Juan del Sur, a former fishing village that has grown into a laid-back surf resort on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast. PHOTO: CORBIS

I GRIPPED my surfboard with equal parts resolve and dread.

Unable to tame the waves from atop my board, I’d just been knocked into the Pacific for at least the fifth time. With the salty taste of defeat fresh in my mouth, I began to question the wisdom of my trip to Nicaragua—at least the learning-to-surf part of it.

Seeing I was flustered, my patient young Nicaraguan surfing teacher, Saul, tried to calm me down. “Move your body a little more back,” he instructed, holding the front of the board as I slid my 6-foot frame further down as best I could. “Paddle, paddle, paddle,” he said, pushing the surfboard forward. I felt the board begin to lift onto an arriving swell, raised my right knee first, then my left, and for the briefest of moments, I rode the wave, elated, before crashing down into the ocean again.

My husband, Paul, had much better luck on his surfboard as I sat and watched him from the beach at Playa Remanso, a stretch of white sand on a cove set between forested hills on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, just south of San Juan del Sur.

SURF AND TURF | Nicaragua’s Mombacho volcano, outside GranadaENLARGE
SURF AND TURF | Nicaragua’s Mombacho volcano, outside Granada PHOTO: ALAMY

Fortunately—for me, anyway—Paul and I had come to Nicaragua to do more than surf. We’d been to Costa Rica and Guatemala and were eager to get away from Central America’s more touristy corners and tap its natural beauty. Nicaragua fit the bill: Its diverse geography includes smoking volcanoes for climbing and both a Pacific and Caribbean coastline, ideal given our plans to swim, surf and sail. We also hoped that the trip might give us a better understanding of the country’s recent revolution.

read the rest at–> Nicaragua: Two Coastlines and Way More Than Twice the Fun – WSJ.

At this point, a standard-issue story on traveling to Nicaragua must include at least one of two things:

And this story from the Wall Street Journal certainly hits on both of these items, so kudos to the author, Polya Lesova  as she nails both! From her extensive biography and finance & markets background, it might appear at first glance she’s not too well utilized by the WSJ, where she appears to be doing mostly travel & leisure type stories. I did find this to be a decent, if rather bland account of her “adventures.”

Of course no issues with the author at all, I just wish that Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, etc. start doing stories on some of the real adventure travel opportunities to be found in Nicaragua. Going to San Juan del Sur and Granada is going to see the most popular and tourist-friendly places to visit in Nicaragua.

So that’s all well and good, but we’ve seen and read that story for a few years now as Nicaragua has definitely become a place to put on your wishlist as word gets out. So without trying to bite the hand so-to-speak, maybe a little nibbling suggestion might be appropriate?

Of course for most first-time visitors, it is indeed an adventure to just buy a plane ticket to Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport. Especially if you have limited to no Spanish skills, the sites and sounds of SJdS and Granada are probably all the adventure one might be on the lookout for one that first trip.

Since there have been many many similar stories to this one by Ms. Lesova, I would like to see the editors of some of these media publications broaden their perspectives and send someone out to do a bit more of a true adventure travel piece. Write a story on taking the trip to Corn Island the long, slow way taking buses, pangas, and ferries. Get deep into the forest at the Rio San Juan. Visit the Pearl Cays and sleep in the huts of the Rama peoples of the Caribbean. Do a quite challenging hiking in the backcountry, discovering new waterfalls near San Ramon. You get the idea. True adventure travel please.

Hey reader, watcha think?