THE ADVENTURE

So the secret’s out. Nicaragua is the hot destination for those looking for the cheap cerveza, excellent hiking, and even better surf. This country is filled with amazing natural beauty (volcanoes, beaches, and jungles, oh my!) and warm smiles 🙂 Join us for an adventure steeped in surfing, exploring, Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 5.10.47 PM and relaxing. Whether it’s simply sitting back to enjoy the sun with a cool drink in hand, or shredding some waves with an expert coach, or hiking through old colonial towns painted in vibrant pastels …  this adventure has something for everyone to get behind. Maybe that’s why Conrad designed our time to blend a little bit of everything together for the crew. We’ll begin by staying on the canvas of colors that old Granada presents for a couple days, before heading off to the idyllic surf oasis of San Juan del Sur. And in true Con-crete style, we’ll definitely be hitting a few choice highlights along the way.

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Like many explorers before, we begin our adventure on the steps of a Cathedral in Granada. Between hi-fiving with your fellow adventurers and the neck-craning around the city itself, you’ll have full freedom to don your sightseeing cap, get involved in some kayaking or hiking in the surrounding areas, or commit to some self-styled, father-afield day trips to your heart’s content. Believe us, you’ll be wandering around gawking at the brilliant colonial architecture, but certainly feel free to organize your bliss to boating nearby islets (Isla Ometepe is simply mega), enjoy hiking trips to Mombacho Volcano, or visit the nearby markets in Masaya.

On the morning of Day 3, we’ll convene at our spot in Granada to travel together to our beachside home base in Jiquilillo! We’ll be in Volcano country, spitting distance of Complejo and CosigĂĽina Volcano National Parks, the coastal towns of  Aposentillo and Corinto. Don’t forget the Padre Ramos nature preserve. Oh so many choices …

Activities

  • City Slicking
  • Beach Bumming
  • Surfing

Accommodations

  • 2 nights – Granada Bed & Breakfast (shared room*)
  • 3 nights -Jiquilillo Beach Cabin (shared*)
  • 1 night – Managua Bed & Breakfast (shared room*)

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Itinerary

Day 1 and Day 2: We Begin in Granada

  • We will gather on the morning of our first day on the steps of the Cathedral Iglesia Guadalupe – located on Calle la Calzada, the city’s main drag lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. After a little getting-to-know-you, we’ll set out for a morning of exploring some of Granada’s key architectural gems, including: the ornate Iglesia la Merced and the canary yellow Catedral de Granada. The latter then invites us to amble through Granada’s sprawling Parque Central. This will place us en route to a lunch found to be found at the plaza market– an exceptionally vibrant and colorful bazaar, replete with vendors selling a wild array of handcrafted goods, tropical birds, regional fruits, and Nicaraguan sweets. You will feel truly arrived in Nicaragua amidst flowing stone fountains and beneath the shade of ancient trees.
  • Over the next two days, we’ll encourage you to spend time together while enjoying some of the many adventures on offer in/around Granada:
  1. Take boat tour of Lake Nicaragua, known colloquially as Cocibolca, in a semi-covered pancha boat (or rent kayaks on the shores of Cocibolca)
  2. Tour the volcanic Isla Zapatera– probably the most well-known of Las Isletas.
  3. Hiking the dormant Mombacho Volcano and visit one of the coffee plantations situated on the mountainside. Taste a perfect cup of Nicaragua’s burgeoning eco-tourism industry
  4. Hire a taxi for the 20-minute drive northwest to the indigenous handcrafts market in Masaya: find beautiful blankets and hammocks at great prices, woven in bright patterns and designs.
  5. Go for a swim in pristine Laguna de Apoyo (we recommend bringing along a few Tonas)

Day 3 - Day 5: Explore Paradise at Jiquilillo

  • Upon arrival in Jiquilillo, we’ll settle into our beach cabins in paradise.Jiquilillo features miles of beautiful beach (in fact, it’s one of the longest on the Pacific Coast in all of Central America) for you to enjoy and explore. Its serene waves are ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers alike. You can be sure that the rolling ocean will be uncrowded and friendly for you to practice your surfing turns with your fellow GlobeKickers and local curious kids. Itching for some time off of the surf board? A simple twenty minute walk down the road will take you to the community of Los Zorros. Here you will find restaurants and beach bars. Want a walk with some swimming stops along the way? An hour walk along the beach will take you to the community of Padre Ramos. Padre Ramos is located on the beautiful mouth of the estuary and also has several restaurants and bars (in addition to a pretty badass women’s jewelry cooperative).
  • Just like in Granada, we’ll encourage you to spend time together while enjoying some of the many adventures on offer in/around Jiquilillo. While many notable excursions are accessible and affordable for your own arrangement (hiking trips to Volcano CosigĂĽina, kayak and boat tours in the Pacific, horse-back riding instruction and Spanish lessons), we’re excited to highly recommend the many local experiences led by local women and young adults– an honest and beneficial way to share in a bit of Nicaraguan culture and traditions native to this area. Proceeds will go directly to your guide. Some examples of the cultural excursions include:
  1. Learn how to transform corn kernels into steaming hot tortillas. Once finished you will enjoy your creation with a tasty snack of tortillas and cheese, Nica style.
  2. Take a community tour through the streets of Jiquilillo to discover the lifestyles of the local people. This will include exploring the school and learning more about the local economy, including fishing and farming.
  3. Learn to climb a coconut tree like a local pro. You will not only learn to climb and pick your fresh coconut, but also learn to dehusk the coconut and have the option of turning it into a “coco loco” which is accompanied by a shot of Flor de Caña rum.
  4. Take a walk through the farmland and into the mud flats located within the mangroves. Learn how to scramble through the forest and dig shoulder deep in mud without being pinched by crabs. Your catch can be gifted to your guide’s family or made into a “sopa tipica“.
  5. Learn to hand-line fish in the shallow waters on the beach. Learn how to bait the hook, throw the line, entice the fish with your bait, and reel it in. Take your catch home for dinner or gift it to your guide’s family.
  6. Take a walk through the steps to make a soft local cheese called cuajada. Enjoy your cheese with a home-made tortilla.
  7. Search through the fields of Jiquilillo for ingredients to cure common ailments. Join them in their home to learn how to create these local and natural home-remedies.

Day 6: Hello/Goodbye Managua

As we arrive in Nicaragua’s noisy capital city, you may be wandering what to make of your adventure through the Western Hemisphere’s second poorest country. Will your time there be remembered? What does it all mean? Maybe your caught thinking through these things as a fellow GlobeKicker grabs your elbow onward to the cantina for some last Tonas …  pulling you away from the daydream while viewing six-thousand year old footprints, those ones preserved in volcanic mud along the shores of Lake Managua, and now under glass before you at The Museum of Acahualinca in Managua.

Glasses clink over dinner in Zona Rosa, as we unwind one brilliant GlobeKick adventure in the heart of Managua while talking through where to meet up again for the next.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control. This trip is operated rain or shine // all weather. We’d highly recommend delaying any pre-ordained travel plans until at least the morning after your trip concludes.

Provisions

What's Included

Guided Touring Experience of Granada on Day 1

Two nights of lodging in Granada (breakfasts and filtered water included)*

Private transfer to Jiquilillo

Three nights of lodging in Jiquilillo (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and filtered water included)*

Three days of surf board rental in Jiquilillo

Two hours of surf instruction lessons in Jiquilillo

Private transfer to Managua // Managua Airport

What's Not Included

Transportation from your hometown to group meet-up point on Day 1 in Granada, Nicaragua

Insurance of any kind

Any of the numbered, suggested excursions listed above in the Itinerary

Alcoholic beverages and/or Soft Drinks

Items of a Personal Nature

Dates

January 2019

Group Size

20-25 GlobeKickers

Suggested Airport

Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) in Managua, Nicaragua

Weather

The average temperature in Nicaragua in January is a nice warm 78°F. Afternoons can be quite hot with average high temperatures reaching 86 °F. Overnight temperatures are generally fairly comfortable with an average low of 73°F. The weather in January is arid with very infrequent rain.

Gear List

Required

  • Passport
  • Color Copy of Passport Identification Page
  • Driver’s license (if you’re planning to a rent a car)
  • Credit cards & ATM card (don’t forget to set the travel notifications on your bank accounts so that your bank knows your traveling)
  • $10 USD cash for your entrance Visa to Nicaragua
  • Spanish/English dictionary (very little English is spoken in Nicaragua)
  • Books about Nicaragua to learn more about the country
  • No more than 2 bathing suits or swim trunks / board shorts (For surfers it’s worth grabbing a pair of “Performance Stretch” board shorts from RVCA. Once you try the Performance Stretch shorts, you’ll never go back.
  • 1 pair of water resistant sandals 
  • Rash-guard if you plan to surf
  • Brimmed Hat
  • Sunglasses (polarized preferred) 
  • Towel
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Snacks or energy bars
  • Hydro Flask water bottle
  • Small backpack or day pack
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Hair brush & hair product
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Face wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Hand sanitizer or handy wipes
  • Razor
  • Eye-glasses and/or contacts
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip-balm (with SPF)
  • Nail clippers & tweezers
  • Body lotion
  • Prescription medicine (make a note of active ingredients in addition to brand in case of loss)
  • Motion sickness remedy (if susceptible to sea sickness and plan to get on the water)
  • Pain relievers
  • Calamine lotion
  • Diarrhea remedy
  • Hydration tablets
  • Allergy medicine (& EpipPen if serious)
  • Standard first-aid-kit with bandages
  • Sleeping aid for travel
  • 1 pair of long pants
  • 1 light long sleeve shirt
  • 1 pair of close-toed comfortable for walking or hiking
  • 1 outfit for going out (dress or nice shirt)
  • No more than 7 t-shirts or tank tops
  • No more than 5 shorts or skirts
  • P.J.’s
  • No more than 7 sets of underwear and socks. (Quick drying are best)

Recommended

  • Headphones
  • Cell phone
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Laptop if you have to stay caught up with work
  • If you’re coming from the US or Canada you do not need a plug adapter. Be sure to check.
  • Tablet or E-reader

Optional

  • Camera and Accessories
  • Compass
  • GoPro (great for surfing, fishing or ATV’ing!)
  • GoPro Floaty (if you’re planning to surf)
  • Maps
  • Small Multitool

Travel Documents

The GlobeKicker Gauges

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1 = lowest and 10 = highest