The Truth About Yoga Retreats

Discover the Truth About Yoga Retreatsluxury-yoga-retreat-in-france


Discover the truth about attending a yoga retreat as we put these common yoga retreat myths to rest. There seems to be a lot of myth about attending yoga retreats and a lot of fuss in the yoga community about being a perfect yogi with the perfect body and the green juices, the incredible Instagram account and the fancy leggings, but yoga retreats are for real people like you and me with all of our lovely imperfections and uniqueness. So lets be real for a sec and get to the bottom of these myths that keep us stuck in a mindset of fear and uncertainty.

Myth 1: You have to be a rockstar yogi to attend a yoga retreat.

Nope. Absolutely not. You don’t have to be a rockstar headstanding yogi to attend a yoga retreat or know the difference between your warrior poses. You don’t need to know Sanskrit or have your own yoga mat. The only thing you need to attend a yoga retreat is a sincere desire to learn, expand, and improve your wellbeing. That’s it! And honestly you’ll be just fine if you’re not there yet and would like to attend a yoga retreat to go on a fancy vacation or support a friend or partner.

Myth 2: I have to be a vegetarian/vegan/(insert special diet here) to fit in on a retreat.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to attend a yoga retreat. From my experience most people that attend yoga retreats are not vegetarian. Many retreats will offer a protein option in addition to the regular (typically vegetarian) menu during a couple of the evening meals or sometimes eggs with breakfast. Not sure if you can survive a week on mostly veggies, fruits and grains? You can! Retreat centers have their menus dialed in. You’ll be surprised by the variety and deliciousness of the food offered… from raw lasagna to homemade rustic breads with marmalade, creative farm fresh salads and soups, to local delicacies like seafood stew, stuffed eggplant or that famous french cheese.

People who do have special diet restrictions are typically easily accommodated on yoga retreats as long as the retreat leader knows in advance and is able to give the retreat center notice. So don’t worry about what you’ll eat… it will be nourishing and divine. I always joke that I may be the only person that can attend/teach a yoga retreat and gain weight. The food is that good!

Myth 3: You can’t attend a retreat solo.

Say what?!?! Lady (or dude) you can attend a retreat solo. In fact, I recommend it. You will be embraced by a group of likeminded people and will form amazing friendships with people from all over the world. You may just find a lifelong retreat partner that you meet up with once or twice a year and attend yoga retreats together… I’ve seen it happen in real life! You will share stories. You will laugh until your tummy and cheeks hurt and you have happy tears pouring down your face. So attend that retreat solo. Invest in you… and if a friend does want to join in on the fun AWESOME. You’ll have an old friend to share the experience with.

Want a roommate? Talk to the retreat leader. The best retreat leaders will do there best to help you find a roomie.


Fish pose with a smile at our Luxury Yoga Retreat in France.

Myth 4: Don’t go on a yoga retreat unless you know the yoga instructor.

Well, lets go ahead and say goodbye to this idea. There are so many phenomenal yoga instructors out there and you can’t possibly know them all. With the invention of the internet and cell phones it’s completely possible to connect with an instructor before attending a yoga retreat. Check out their social media accounts… Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest etc. and see if their message vibes with you. Get them on the phone, exchange emails or better yet Skype or FaceTime them. Instructors that are invested in their students will happily chat with you about yoga, philosophy, retreats, food, life, etc. Retreat leaders are there to support you along the way.


New friends all brought together by a connection with one instructor.

Myth 5: The cost of attending isn’t worth it. I can practice with my favorite teacher at home.

yoga-retreat-mythsWhether you need to rest your weary body, find your inner power, discover self love… retreats have a way of bringing about awesome transformation and healing. You’ll get out of a yoga retreat exactly what you put into it.

You say, “but I can practice with them at home”. Yes, you can and you should. On retreat your yoga instructor has the leisure of time… longer classes (and seeing you everyday day) means they can weave in more philosophy, anatomy, and stories about growth, perseverance, love, etc. They can share workshops and knowledge that they just can’t squeeze into a regular group class. Your teacher might have a few extra tricks up their sleeve that they only pull out at yoga retreats, think dharma codes, breathwork, reiki, and shamanic journeys.

Yes, it’s true yoga retreats cost money, sometimes a lot of money. Instructors leading retreats have done hundreds of ours of prep and self study along with thousands of hours of teaching and learning so they can create an incredible experience for YOU. They are experts in their field and they put a LOT of thought into the nuances of a yoga retreat, the location, the classes, etc.

If you’re struggling to find the financial means or are hesitating about attending a retreat talk to the retreat leader. They will be able to answer your questions and occasionally there are scholarships or work-trade options available.

Wheel pose with a little assist.

Myth 6: There is a lot of yoga during yoga retreats.

Well, this is true. There is a ton of yoga during yoga retreats. Your yoga classes will also likely include more meditation, pranayama, and/or anatomy than they do at home. The classes are usually geared toward a certain theme, idea, or concept that is revisited throughout the week.

Here’s a little insider’s secret: you don’t have to do all of the yoga. If you’re tired sleep in. If you need an evening/afternoon alone to watch the sunset and enjoy a glass of wine DO IT. We understand that this is your vacation and want you to find your perfect balance of doing and being.


That yoga isn’t always intense. There is plenty of time to rest and restore with restorative yoga, yoga nidra and breathwork.

So relax, unwind, let go of the masks, the pretenses and preconceived ideas about attending yoga retreats and enjoy your week away from the hustle and bustle of daily life while focusing on you. You’re worth it!

Best Beaches in Nicaragua

Planning a Nicaragua beach trip? How do you choose where to go? Here I have put together my favorite beaches in Nicaragua. It was fairly tough to narrow the list down, but it will do for now. I’ve been traveling regularly to Nicaragua since 2009. I remember my first trip so clearly… how fascinating everything was, how friendly everyone was, and how beautiful the countryside and beaches were.

While I was putting together this article my external harddrive died(?) and while I can see the images on my harddrive I am not able to upload to WordPress…. sad day. It might be time to get a new external. In lieu of posting my own pics I scoured the web looking for images that capture each of the beaches most authentically. I know that there are many other beautiful beaches in Nicaragua, so don’t shoot me for only including these five. 😉

Top 5 Beaches in Nicaragua


1. Corn Islands for that deserted island feel.

The Corn Islands boast some of Nicaragua’s most idyllic beaches: white sand, turquiose water and palm trees galore. The hardest part about visiting these pristine Nicaraguan beaches is the transportation. You must fly into Managua and then book a separate flight to Big Corn Island on La Costeña. If you have more time than money you could go overland and by boat to Bluefields and then jump on a local boat out to the islands (I will emphasize more time than money)… this option will take a bit of pre-planning. To get to the best beaches you will then take a panga over to little corn… be prepared to get wet! The channel between Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island can get pretty rough.


Pristine beach on Little Corn Island.

Where to Stay on Little Corn Island: Lux: Yemaya Mid-Range: Little Corn B&B Budget: Any of the beach shacks on the east side

Where to Eat on Little Corn Island: Breakfast: Turned Turtle at Little Corn B&B Lunch/Dinner/Drinks: Tranquilo Cafe

Where to Practice Yoga on Little Corn Island: Lux: Yemaya Intimate: Firefly Studio SUP: Funk SUP and Yoga with Jacq

2. Playa Remanso for that chilled out surfer vibe.

Playa Remanso is located about 15 minutes south of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. The beach is surrounded by two rocky headlands and boasts a peaky beach break. The lineup at Remanso isn’t nearly as stacked as it is at the more popular beaches. It’s a great place to learn how to surf. Surfers in the know head here for its chilled out vibe and shady beach bars that serve up ice cold Toñas, passion fruit mojitos, grilled fish and yummy tacos.

Where to Stay at Playa Remanso: Lux: Pelican Eyes Resort in SJDS Mid-Range: AirBnb at Casa Andalucia in SJDS Budget: local hostels in SJDS

Where to eat at Playa Remanso: You have two options on the beach: Beach Shack #1 (on the left looking out to sea. It has decent grilled fih and snacks and ice cold beer) or Beach Shack #2 ( on the right looking out to sea. It has good tacos & passion fruit mojitos)

Where to practice yoga at Playa Remanso: In SJDS: Zen Yoga Nicaragua Nearby: Join one of Ambuja Yoga’s Nicaragua yoga retreats

3. Playa Maderas for loads of people watching.

Playa Maderas is about 25 minutes north of San Juan del Sur Nicaragua. It is probably the most crowded beach in Nicaragua (don’t worry there is still plenty of space) and for good reason. The surfing is spot on, there are locals that can provide lessons, a funky little beach bar/resto right on the sand and loads of dare I say sexy travelers. Sexy young surfers and yogis seem to flock to Maderas to strut their stuff… and I suppose why not? Tan bodies, sun bleached hair, chiseled abs and yoga bums. Needless to say the people watching is pretty epic, the surf can be really great, and the atmosphere is fun and lively.

Where to Stay at Playa Maderas: Lux: Maderas Village Mid-Range: Buena Vista Surf Club Gets 5 stars on Trip Advisor! Budget: Casa Maderas

Where to eat at Playa Maderas: Beach Shack: Tacos Locos on the sand of Playa Maderas Family Style Dinner: Hulakai or Buena Vista Surf Club

Where to yoga at Playa Maderas: Best View: Buena Vista Surf Club Cool Shala: Maderas Village

4. Redonda Bay for a family friendly private beach.

Aqua Wellness is the sole resort on Redonda Bay. Aqua Wellness and Redonda Bay are situated on a private cove just south of Playa Gigante. This eco-lux resort is stunning, no lie… infinity pools, spacious decks, and a white sand beach. Cool down and refresh with a delicious fresh juice at their beach bar, enjoy lunch at their beautiful full service restaurant or a yoga class overlooking the bay. This is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. There may also be snorkeling here in the bay. I didn’t go snorkeling while we were there, but we did see a handful of snorkelers swimming around.

Where to Stay at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort

Where to Eat at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort

Where to Practice Yoga at Redonda Bay: Aqua Wellness Resort

5. Playa El Coco for a local, low key vibe.

Playa El Coco is another of Nicaragua’s pristine beaches. Coco is one of the southern most beaches on Nicaragua’s southwest coast and is about 45 minutes to an hour from San Juan del Sur down a bumpy dirt road, but it’s totally worth it. This place is chill. I mean super chill. There is a nearby turtle sanctuary and Paso Pasifico  has an office here that can help arrange outings to the turtle hatchery or to the mangroves. Coco has just a handful of restaurants and sweet little places to stay. This is rural Nicaragua, so expect the power to go out occasionally, slow internet, and also happily a slower pace of life. I’m sure this little gem will grow up quickly.

Where to Stay at Playa El Coco: La Veranera is the best deal in Playa El Coco and it’s right on the beach. If you will be heading down to Coco with a group of friends you might like to rent a villa via Airbnb although I think most of the villas are a bit overpriced for what you get.

Where to Eat at Playa El Coco: Food options are limited, but there is one quiant option right on the beach serving up fresh fish, typico, and western dishes.

Where to Practice Yoga at Playa El Coco: You will likely solo practice here, so throw your mat down on the deck and enjoy the view as you flow. The teachers from Zen Yoga are also available to come down for a private class. Inquire at Zen Yoga in San Juan del Sur for current rates.

turtle conservation nicaragua

Who doesn’t love baby sea turtles? Photo by Paso Pasifico

Well yogis that’s my round up for the best beaches in Nicaragua. Do you have a favorite beach in Nicaragua that should be added to the list? Shoot me a message! I’m happy to add it. Happy travels.

Love and Light,


The Yoga of Scuba Diving

The Yoga of Scuba Diving: Learning to Conquer Your Fears With Yoga and Scuba Diving

You might be asking yourself what yoga and scuba diving have in common or what effects yoga has on scuba diving….. and this blog post really isn’t about either of those. As you would likely guess, I have been practicing yoga for a really long time, and, to be honest, I have been diving for a fairly long time as well.

I wouldn’t consider myself a natural candidate for scuba diving. I don’t really like to get my face wet, I wouldn’t consider myself a great swimmer, and I was generally kinda like “meh” when people would talk about diving, but then I realized that scuba diving was an activity I could do in most places where I wanted to travel, and admittedly I could use scuba diving as an excuse to travel. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to go on some pretty awesome yoga and scuba diving trips over the years.


Gorgeous pristine beach on Little Corn Island. This little known island boasts great diving, yoga, and paddle boarding.

So what does yoga have to do with scuba diving? Well, I soon realized that all of the pranayama (breath-work) I had been doing in my yoga practice made me a pretty good diver. I could stay calm in tricky situations and had good air consumption, so I was a natural. I grew to love diving.

yoga and scuba diving destinations

My love of scuba diving and sense of adventure took me here… Wayag Island in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

That is, until I found myself in a really frightening situation. In 2013, my husband and I went on a six-month honeymoon and we managed to do quite a bit of scuba diving. Near the end of our trip we spent a few weeks in Bali, Indonesia and while we were in Bali we went diving at the Liberty Wreck on the northeast coast of Bali. The Liberty Wreck is absolutely gorgeous; it has wonderful coral growth and marine life. The Liberty Wreck is a shore dive: on a good day you can walk right in and drop straight down, but on a bad day you’ll get tossed about by the waves on the shore. The day we went was leaning more toward a bad day. The skies were looking a bit stormy and there was a fair bit of chop, but we went diving anyway.

yoga and scuba diving in Bali


Our dive actually started with pretty decent conditions. We dropped down fairly deep and had a great dive. It really was beautiful, but towards the end of our dive the current picked up…. and I mean it PICKED UP. It was truly terrifying. I couldn’t swim against it. I was working so hard and I was blowing through my air. I was on the verge of tears… I may have even had tears! All I could do was give Steve the abort sign. I was done. Eventually we were able to get into a protected area on the wreck, so I could take a moment, collect myself and slow my breath. However, I knew I couldn’t stay in that protected little cubby forever — I would run out of air, and I still had yet to do my safety stop.

As soon as we popped up out of our little cubby the current more or less flung our bodies around. We frantically grabbed onto the side of the wreck trying to find a spot we could hold onto without damaging the coral or ourselves. And there we waited as our bodies whipped about like flags on a windy day. This would have to suffice as our safety stop.

bali yoga and scuba diving trip

Puffer fish… one of my faves!

We surfaced with hardly any air remaining in our tanks. The waves had picked up even more… and now we had to get ourselves back to shore. We made it. I probably made a silent vow to never dive again, and I probably silently cursed at Steve for taking me on such a dangerous dive.

Honestly, I haven’t been diving as much since that dive. That one dive took away some of my love for the sport.

Well, we’re back in Bali now working on Ambuja Yoga, practicing yoga and scuba diving. It’s been three years since that terrifying dive. Steve and I just spent a few days in Amed and I knew how badly he wanted to go diving, so I acquiesced. It was time to face my fear. This is where the yoga comes in. It was time for me to look closely at my fear. Is it a real, rational fear? Is it limiting my enjoyment of life? I realized that I had been unable to separate one dive where the fear was real and rational from my enjoyment of future dives. My fear of diving became completely paralyzing and irrational; I had transferred that fear onto every other opportunity to go diving…. and it caused me to miss out. So this year, I suited up and dove the Liberty again. We rented our gear from Ocean View Tulamben. Once again, the dive was beautiful. This time there was no intense current and I enjoyed it! I look forward to my next bubble.

Liberty wreck yoga and scuba diving

Look ma! I’m diving!!!

Living fearlessly is part of our yoga practice. Allowing fear to control our lives is a form of self sabotage. When we are fearful, we limit our potential.

Where does fear show up in your life? Where does fear show up in your yoga practice? Where does fear show up when asking for what you deserve? Fear builds walls and fear is our greatest limiter. Fear of injury. Fear of death. Fear of loss. Fear of connection. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being seen as weak. Fear of fear itself.

This week, I invite you to put fear aside. Try something new (or something old) that scares you. It could be something simple, like eating at a new restaurant… it could be something bolder, like trying handstand in the center of the room… or even bigger, like booking that dream vacation you’ve been eyeing for over a year…. or even bigger, such as reaching out to someone you love but have lost touch with.

Know that it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s even okay to talk about your fears — to speak your truth. So, suit up and jump in! The universe is waiting for you!

Love and Light,


Headed out to Tulamben or Amed? I recommend the following:

Nicaragua Yoga Retreat Packing List

I bet you’re excited to start prepping for your upcoming yoga retreat. Here I have created a yoga retreat packing list based on the yoga retreat I am leading in the mountains of Nicaragua in April 2019.


The view from the yoga shala during our February Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua.


Before you start packing for your yoga retreat make sure to consider the following:yoga retreat packing list Nicaragua

  • What time of year is the yoga retreat? Is it the dry season or the rainy season? Winter or summer?
  • Where is my yoga retreat located? In the mountains? In the jungle? By the ocean?
  • What extra activities are in the itinerary? Wine tasting? Snorkeling? Surfing? Hiking? Canoeing?
  • Do I need to travel light or can I pack whatever I’d like?
  • How many yoga practices will we do per day?
  • Is laundry service available?
  • Is it easy to buy essentials/extras that I forgot at home?
  • Is the yoga retreat luxury, budget, adventure, etc?
  • What is the climate like? Tropical, temperate, rain forest, desert, etc.
  • Are mats, blocks, straps provided?

Here is an example Nicaragua Yoga Retreat Packing List for our Yoga in the Clouds: Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua.

Yoga Retreats NicaraguaTo answer the previous questions.

The Nicaragua yoga retreat is in the highlands of Nicaragua in the cloud forest. February is the dry season in Nicaragua, but since the retreat takes place in the mountains it is a bit cooler and there could be a chance of rain. Extra activities include hiking, birding, visiting a local school and a women’s collective. Attendees are encouraged to bring what they need for two practices per day and clothing for additional activities and lounging. Laundry service isn’t available and it isn’t “easy” to purchase things left at home since the eco-lodge is located in a remote section of the Nicaraguan highlands. The retreat is casual. No makeup or hairdryers necessary. Climate is tropical and lush with moderate humidity.

Nicaragua Yoga Retreat Packing List for Yoga in the Clouds

  • Yoga Stuff
    • Yoga mat
    • Mat towel (if you tend to get sweaty like me)
  • Yoga Clothing
    • Yoga pants (4-7 pairs)
    • Yoga shorts (1-2 pairs)
    • Yoga tops (tanks/t-shirts) (5-7)
    • Long Sleeve Tops for layering (1-2)
    • Underwear and Sports Bras
  • Regular Clothing
    • Shorts for hiking (1-2)
    • Pants for hiking (1)
    • Tanks and T-shirts (4-6)
    • Shorts/Pants for lounging (2-3)
    • Pajamas (1)
    • Undergarments
    • Rain jacket (1)
    • Socks (2-3)
    • Swimsuit
  • Shoes
    • Hiking shoes
    • Sandals
  • Toiletries
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
    • Shampoo/Conditioner
    • Soap
    • Anti-itch creme
    • Medication (prescriptions, antihistamine, ibuprofen, pepto/imodium, etc.)
    • Eye drops/contacts/contacts solution
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Face wash
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Essential oil (?)

  • Other
    • Journal/Pen
    • Book/Kindle
    • Ipod/Headphones
    • Earplugs
    • Spending money for additional trips/excursions/gratuities/alcohol, souvenirs
    • Cash to tip tour guides, drivers, etc.
    • Refillable water bottle
    • Passport
    • Debit/credit card (make sure to let your bank know you’ll be in Nicaragua)
    • ID card
    • Sunglasses
    • Flashlight or headlamp *don’t forget*
    • Camera or cellphone with a good camera
    • A packet of laundry detergent if you need to wash anything mid-week

Did I forget anything? Shoot me a message and I will add it to the yoga retreat packing list.

Love and Light,


What You Need to Know About Your Nicaragua Adventure

Nicaragua may be one of my favorite places on earth. When I tell people how much I love Nicaragua I’m often met with questioning stares. It seems that the majority of people I come across still think Nicaragua is torn by civil war and unrest, which is simply not the case (and it hasn’t been for years). Each time I visit Nicaragua it is an adventure. Where will your Nicaragua adventure take you?

Nicaragua has been touted as the next Costa Rica for the past decade (maybe even longer). Thankfully, it hasn’t seen the runaway development that Costa Rica has seen. Nicaragua offers all that Costa Rica offers, but at a fraction of the price! My advice: get to Nicaragua ASAP.

Nicaragua is THE place for Adventure Lovers 

And also misadventure lovers!

I’m not sure where to start with this one… It seems that there is always an adventure to be had, whether it is surfing Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast, climbing a volcano, exploring primary forest, kayaking one of it’s lakes, or scuba diving off of one of Nicaragua’s remote islands. Nicaragua appeals to nature lovers, yogis, and adventure junkies.


Time for a swim at Finca Esperanza Verde.

Your Nicaragua adventure can be easily planned by exploring one area at a time. Nicaragua can be divided into three distinct regions: the Caribbean lowlands, the central highlands, and the Pacific lowlands. With 565 miles of coastline split between the Pacific coast, the Caribbean coast, and a handful of Caribbean islands Nicaragua’s coastline provides miles of beaches to be explored and waves to be surfed.

Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, designated as the North and South Autonomous zones, is a rugged and rural area of mangrove forests, savannas and primary forest. This area is difficult to travel to and requires an expert guide. I have only dipped my toe into this area, so I can’t write about it much. If you would like to read about my misadventure and the yoga of travel check back soon.

Lakes and Beaches of Nicaragua

On the Pacific side of Nicaragua you have loads of beaches, some incredible popular with locals, tourists and expats and some beaches where the only other person on the beach may be a local fisherman. Nicaragua’s continuous offshore breeze means that there is surf everyday of the year… of course somedays will be small and other days will be monstrous and others will be just right.


San Juan del Sur on the southern end of Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast is a great hub for your Nicaragua adventure if you plan on surfing and exploring the southern beaches. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options, meal choices, yoga classes, and easy transportation to neighboring beaches if you don’t have your own wheels. Also, if you need to get work done there is reliable WiFi at most of the beach restaurants.

Interested in riding a crazy flyboard, go horseback riding, or swing down a zip line? They have those in San Juan del Sur too. A great way to meet people in San Juan del Sur is to join a class or two at the community minded Zen Yoga Studio or if that’s not your jam hop on the popular sailing trip. San Juan del Sur does tend to attract a bit of a party backpacker crowd, so if you stay in town expect a bit of noise.


yoga-retreat-nicaragua-san-juan-del-surPlaya Maderas, just north of San Juan del Sur, is one of Nicaragua’s most popular beaches and surf breaks. Playa Maderas’s laid back vibe invites you to slow down and stay awhile. Here you can either jump in on the action and join the line up or watch surfers of all levels rip it up or just wipe out while enjoying a passion fruit juice or cold beer. Book one of the places on the hill or join a Nicaragua Yoga and Surf Retreat for epic views, fantastic yoga and the opportunity to catch the first wave of the day. Yoga and Surf Retreats are a great option if you don’t want to be in charge of planning, board rentals, transportation, meals, etc.


Yoga retreat with a sweet ocean view!


Infinity deck overlooking Playa Maderas.

In the San Juan del Sur area there are many beaches and many surf breaks. If you don’t already use Magic Seaweed check out their site. One of my other favorite beaches in the San Juan del Sur area is Playa Remanso. When the waves are BIG or unrideable everywhere else Playa Remanso will often have something to play with. There are also a couple of beach bars that serve up seafood, typical Nicaraguan plates and cold drinks. The whole Nicaraguan coast from the Costa Rica border up to Popoyo is worth exploring.

Within the Nicaragua Depression lie the two largest lakes in Central America. Lago de Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central and South America is notably the most famous. In Lago de Nicaragua you’ll find numerous isletas near Granada and the massive Isla de Ometepe. Ometepe is recognized by it’s two massive volcanoes: Volcan Maderas and Volcan Concepcion, both worth the sweaty climb up. Like sharks? Lago de Nicaragua is also home to fresh water sharks. I promise I’m not making it up!


Standing on the shores of Lago de Nicaragua and taking in the view of our destination: Isla de Ometepe and it’s two massive volcanoes.

My favorite inland swimming hole is Laguna de Apoyo, which is set within a massive jungle clad volcanic crater. The water is crystal clear, warm, and incredibly deep. I always save a day or two at the end of my trip to spend floating on a tube in the lake simply relaxing. There are many options for places to stay the night or enjoy for just the day. Beach clubs often have a day use option for $6-7 USD. Laguna de Apoyo is about 45 minutes from Managua, so it can be a nice way to spend your last day in Nicaragua, especially if your booked on one of the late flights. Laguna de Apoyo or Nicaragua for the day? It’s a pretty easy decision for me! If you need to get your yoga fix check out one of the local yoga centres.nicaragua-adventure-yoga-retreat

There are no islands on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, but there are a handful on the Caribbean Coast, most notable the Corn Islands and the Pearl Cays. These islands are worth the hassle of getting to and worth spending a week (or more) exploring and chilling. There are direct flights from Managua to Big Corn Island for the Corn Islands and direct flights to Bluefields to explore the Pearl Cays.


Pristine beach on Little Corn Island.

From Little Corn Island you can take your Nicaragua adventure underwater with one of the local dive shops. We dive with Dolphin Divers when we’re there. Also, if you want to practice yoga on Little Corn Island there are plenty of options including Dragonfly Yoga at Little Corn B & B, Yemaya, and Funk Yoga and SUP. My favorite places are those that I can combine my love for all things water with yoga. Paddleboard yoga. Yes please!


Where blue meets green.

I haven’t explored the Moskito Cays yet, but they are supposedly home to several endangered species including the Hawksbill turtle, the Caribbean manatee, the Tucuxi freshwater dolphin, and the caiman crocodile. The Moskito Cays are definitely being added to my ever-growing bucket list!

Forests and Highlands of Nicaragua

Take your Nicaragua adventure up to the highlands. I love the ocean, but if I’m not in the water the heat of the lowlands can start to get to me. Luckily, Nicaragua has some amazing highlands near Matagalpa, Jinotega and Esteli. The highlands are characterized by lush hillsides, mountains, coffee and chocolate production and a lack of tourists. The daily temperature in Nicaragua’s highlands is also marvelously cool and temperate. I can now fully understand the desire to have a mountain retreat. Guided hikes exploring the countryside are easy to arrange. Steve and I hiked a trail just out of Matagalpa on our last trip and it was lovely!


The view from Finca Esperanza Verde

If you have wheels head out to Finca Esperanza Verde. Finca Esperanza Verde is an organic coffee and vegetable farm AND an eco-lodge that uses fully sustainable methods and supports the development and growth of the local community. The finca also maintains miles of trails to explore the surrounding jungle and hosts researchers and birders year round. I look forward to returning to Finca Esperanza Verde in February 2017 for a weeklong Yoga and Hiking Retreat in the Nicaraguan highlands.

Also, make sure to indulge in some Nicaraguan coffee and chocolate… it’s marvelous. The chocolate is like nothing you will find in the states. I recommend El Castillo del Cacao… they even have a bar with coffee in it. Yum!

Nicaragua also has numerous rainforests. Reserva Biológic Indo-Maiz are nearly pristine and the best in the country and Reserva Natural Miraflor contains a tiny lake and a waterfall. Biológic Indo-Maiz covers 3,626 square kilometers (1,400 square miles). In only a few square kilometers within the preserve, a habitat exists for a greater number of species of birds, trees, and insects than are found on the entire continent of Europe. Indo-Maiz protects the largest contiguous extent of primary rainforest in Central America, a 7,300-square-kilometer (2,820-square-mile) area that is called the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve.

Visit Volcanoes During Your Nicaragua Adventure

No Nicaragua adventure would be complete without visiting one of the many volcanoes, so if  hiking, surfing, diving and yoga aren’t your thing than head up to Leon and go volcano boarding. I still haven’t been to Cerro Negro for volcano boarding… mainly because I don’t feel like destroying my body on volcanic stones, but it does look fun. Technically, you do have to hike up to “surf” down.


The caldera of Volcan Masaya

Volcan Masaya near the town of Masaya is a popular tourist stop and interesting in a sulfuric, hot sort of way. Volcan Masaya is most definitely active. It’s easy to combine with a trip to the handicraft market in Masaya.

Volcan Mombacho, which is relatively close to Granada is pretty touristy, but offers a couple of different trails and helpful guides.

During my first trip to Nicaragua in 2009 I had the opportunity to climb Volcan Maderas and I loved this sweaty jungle hike on Ometepe Island. The hike begins in coffee country and you eventually climb up into the cloud forest. We saw howler monkeys and beautiful birds. Once we made it to the top, we then descended into the crater where there is an incredible muddy lake, but if you’re overheating it’s worth the eww factor. While we were at the crater there was a group of young guys playing baseball. It was super fun to watch. It was a slippery muddy, shoe-sucking slog back down… so muddy I actually through my shoes away.


Local game of baseball within the crater of Volcan Maderas


Just the beginning of Nicaragua adventure — muddy shoes and lots of smiles!


Our hiking guide for our trek up Volcan Maderas.

Where will your Nicaragua adventure take you? We host yoga retreats within Nicaragua twice a year. Shoot us a message if you’re interested in joining one of our yoga and adventure retreats or one of our Nicaragua yoga and surf retreats. Enjoy your trip wherever it takes you!

Love and Light,