Nicaragua... an emergency get-a-way!

A few weeks ago we freaked out and decided we needed to go warm up down south... and then the girl signed up for a month long TEFL program in Nicaragua and we figured we should take her!

Since I got asked a lot about where we went on this excursion I thought a photo heavy blog post was in order. A little background about this trip, my husband and I traveled to Costa Rica alot in our 20's, it was our "thing".... I was learning Spanish and fell in love with everything about the country. We went back in 2010 for a family vacation and were a little overwhelmed by how touristy it had gotten... ZIP LINES EVERYWHERE. Not that it isn't a fabulous country to visit, but it wasn't what I had fallen in love with anymore. I've been hearing that Nicaragua is a lot like Costa Rica used to be, super friendly people, easy to get around, not super expensive, and a very similar topography (they are right next to each other!). One thing I loved is that not a lot of the locals speak English so I got to practice my horrific Spanish... by the end of the trip we were actually having some real conversations, not just the necessary travel talk.

Here's our days in photos:
Day 1:
Laguna de Apoyo
A pristine, blue, and thermally vented lagoon contained inside the crater of the Apoyo Volcano... we stayed right on the shore, this was the PERFECT way to start our adventure! Inner tubes, kayaks, rum drinks and knitting... (in that order!)
A view of the entire lagoon
A spiky tropical tree that begged you to just try and hug it!
Day 2:
Volcano Masaya

Oh, we just drove up and looked INSIDE the crater of an ACTIVE VOLCANO. Literally... you are only allowed to be at the crater for 5 minutes as it is spewing nasty gases, and frankly 5 minutes was all I needed... pretty amazing.  
Here's a statue we loved at the side of a shed in a town along the way that day,
I don't know anything else about it... sorry!

Day 3:

Days 4 and 5:
Zopango Island
(this was our treat, who doesn't want to stay on a private island in Lake Nicaragua?)
Can you spy the great blue heron in this photo?

The island was all about birds, hammocks, swimming, hammocks, yummy tropical food, hammocks, mosquitos, hammocks... it is amazing I got any knitting done at all, those hammocks kept me super busy! (Also, they made me want to try macrame again!)

Day 6 until home:
Las Penitas just west of Leon
(we landed here for 4 nights... nothing like really getting into a Pacific beach town, right)
I will go out on a limb and say that this town made us feel a wee bit middle aged, I'm glad we weren't there on weekend nights as the disco went until 2am on Wed eve (our last night there) and I was a little bit grumpy in the morning. I think I like my beach towns a little less "entertaining" : )! The girl, though, is there for a month and she'll certainly have fun when she isn't in class!
Birding in the mangroves along Juan Venado Island Natural Reserve (this photo was taken before the great mosquito attack)
Little Blue Heron
Yellow Crowned Night Heron (or Martinet?)
Boat Billed Heron (or Spoon Billed? I am not a "good" birder!)
Gliding down the river with a flock of herons at the prow!
Obviously, a dyer is going to be getting this photo for a future yarn : )!
One thing I don't have any photos of (they weren't allowed) was our trip to the Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian which we read had the best collection of contemporary art in Latin America. WOW... totally blown away by the pieces in this museum. It went on for 5 buildings, there work from artists I had heard of before, and also many I had never seen. I really fell for some of the pieces by Nicaraguan artists, particularly the pottery. I wish I had taken out my notebook and written down names, but there was something so freeing about just experiencing the museum in the moment and not recording it for the future... do you know what I mean? Clearly, I need to go back, which isn't a bad thing! But I did get a photo for you of our Tostones con Queso (fried green plantains)... we ate these with ceviche almost every day.... ME GUSTA!
I did get a ton of knitting done on this trip too, including another Baby Novus for my cousin who is due any day!
The pattern is almost done being tested and is off to the copy editor now... can't wait to share this little cutie with you! Hopefully next week!

We planned this trip in 10 days... and I already know where I want to go in Nicaragua when we freak out next winter....


  1. Beautiful - thank you so much for sharing!

  2. I'm surprised you didn't knit a bikini for the statue in Day 2 photos! Imagine floating down the river with a flock of herons. I get mesmerized when I see just one. Wonderful to see your beautiful photos. A special place to re-energize and renew! ...and warm up!

  3. Gorgeous! (And yes, you are correct — a yellow-crowned night heron and a boat-billed heron. I adore herons — what a wonderful preserve!) Only ten days from my own Nicaragau adventure. Can’t wait!

  4. What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you for all the info--what an excellent trip.

  6. What a wonderful excursion! I always take some knitting or crocheting with me wherever I go - it keeps my hands out of trouble!

  7. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I was in Nicaragua for a service trip in 2012. Beautiful country, beautiful people. Nicaragua linda!

  8. If you were brave enough to go back to Costa Rica, I would recommend Lirio Lodge, south of tortuguero on the Caribbean side. Your photos totally reminded me of our visit there in the summer of 2016. Hammocks, food, hammocks, beach walks, jungle walks, monkeys, birds, hammocks. Not a zip line to be seen, to Mr 15's consternation.

  9. I spent 10 days in Nicaragua in 1998 or 99 on a mission trip. I wish I could remember the name of the town. It was up the mountain from Managua. We also saw the devastation from Hurricane Mitch. Unbelievable! Wiped out whole villages.