Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Nicaragua
Nicaragua has the largest area of primary-growth rainforest north of the Amazon, hundreds of beaches, six active volcanoes, and plenty of sleepy surf towns. Since 2002, the government has created 76 national parks to protect the country’s wildlife. Think of it as Costa Rica, 20 years, ago before the Pacific coast was built up. One of the best places to spend your money, especially if you want to support the people of San Juan de Oriente and the education efforts of the neighboring rural towns, is to book your cabin at Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge. Located about two hours southwest of Managua, near the surf town, San Juan del Sur, Morgan’s Rock features 15 hardwood cottages overlooking a private beach. Their 4400-acre property includes an organic farm, which supplies the necessary produce to the restaurant and its unique blend of Nicaraguan, French, and Asian cuisine. If you can tear yourself away from the soft white sand, the resort offers excursions to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ometepe, an island formed by two volcanoes that rise dramatically out of Lake Nicaragua. There’s also the chance to hike along the coast, go horseback riding, sea kayak through estuaries, zipline, and get lost in a jungle of sloths and monkeys. Also be on the lookout for yoga retreats, often led by one of LA’s best-known yoga instructors, Sara Ivanhoe.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.