The Universe worked some serious magic to bring together this group of inspiring women from all over the US to enjoy the splendors of Nicaragua.
Our retreat delighted us with adventure after adventure, wonderment after wonderment and I continue to revel in the delight of it all.
The escape brought us to and through several parts of the country. Landing in Managua; our first leg of the retreat found us in the hip beach town of Maderas, lodging at Seven Arrows Surf. This high vibration, property was a kind welcome into Nica. The space perched high upon a cliff overlooking the surf and surrounding area made perfect views for our morning and evening yoga practices.
A short trek through the jungle with sights of howler monkeys made for an exciting journey to Playa Maderas Beach where taco stands and mojito bars set the scene. Days spent swimming in the ocean, surfing and hanging out at neighbored, Arte-Sano Hotel with hip bartenders, drinking rose at the pool overlooking the ocean were TOP NOTCH. Deliciously fresh pescatarian meals, one after the other made us feel so warmly welcomed and thoroughly nourished.
Our second leg of the retreat took us to Apoyo Lodge. But not before stopping in Granada, the colonial town of Nica. Biking through the town and learning of its deep history whilst heading to the lake where we would stand up paddle board with the BEST views of active volcano, Mambacho. An experience like no other, paddling through coves and swimming in the warm waters of the lake.
This long day earned us a thoughtfully prepared meal of vegetable fettuccine alfredo with a cashew cream sauce, by Apoyo Lodge Owner and vegan Chef extraordinaire, Miriam. Waking up to the beauty of this lodge is unexplainable by words. The fresh, natural architecture, thoughtful ground keeping, and majestic lake views are nearly unreal. Every meal kept getting impossibly better, and always prepared with locally sourced fruits vegetables. Our yoga platform overlooking Laguna De Apoyo made for a meditative experience. Hours spent floating in the warm crater lake created moments worth savoring. Two nights at this place was not enough- Yes, I will be returning.
Our next adventure brought us to Esteli, coffee and cigar country. A voyage compliments of Jane Boyd, Owner and founder of TreeHuggers Eco- Tourism and City Tours and El Libro Volador. Driving the dirt roads in the open cab of a pickup truck, truly "Nica style." Where we would hike to our friend, Patricia's home for a tortilla making workshop. Real deal tortilla making. Like grounding corn from the fields, cooking over a fire- real deal. We felt like true renaissance women awaking a sense of both accomplishment and a whole lot of respect for the women who do this daily. I encourage you to visit this webpage to check out and support this non profits amazing projects benefiting the community. https://treehuggers.cafeluzyluna.org/.
Our last day was more like a "bonus" day. Finding us on wait for it.... OUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND. Too much, I know. Isleta El Espino is exactly that, too much- a dreamy small island formed from a volcanic eruption some thousands of years ago. Decked with contemporary lodging, a cute outdoor tiki bar, dreamy pool, lounge space with the comfiest couches, a yoga deck overlooking the lake, artisanal meals- Why would you ever want to leave?
Alas, me must. But a piece of all of our hearts will forever stay.
Namaste, Nica, Namaste.
All of this made possible from the hard work and generous doings of Stacey Clark, owner and founder of Alma Retreats, an ethical and passion driven travel company.