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Journal | Adventures in Nicaragua & Costa Rica - Travel Virgins

Nica Benches

by Anne Watcher on Monday March 10th, 2014 at 10:11am

We had these cute little wood benches made for us and delivered this morning. It is a product that a man Roger Pineda (Sr) in Leon, Nicaragua makes in his wood-workshop.

We just love the fold up design and sturdiness all at a price of around $12 each.

We will soon be doing a story on this man's workshop, for our Travel Virgins Journal.

El Velero to Miramar

by Anne Watcher on Wednesday March 5th, 2014 at 10:10am

We decided that it was time to explore some of the other beaches that Nicaragua's Pacific side has to offer. While Las Penitas and Poneloya can be found in all the tour guide books, the beaches of El Velero and Miramar are both worth taking a look at. These beaches are about 70 km west of Managua.

Taking the bus from Leon we arrive in the small town of El Velero. This is however not at the ocean, for that you will have to walk about 2 km along an up and down road, some paved, some gravel.

After about a half hour walk you arrive at a guard station. We are not sure what he was guarding but he did point us in the direction of the public beach.

The long trek begins going down.
This small house may have been the old entrance where a small fee was charged.

Upon arriving at the ocean you will notice that you have the whole space to yourself. We never saw another person on the beach that entire day. There are gorgeous houses all along the coast but no people. Also take any food and drink you require with you as there are also no restaurants.

The beach however is amazing! Warm water with gentle waves invites you in. There are rocks for exploring or endless sand for sunbathing!

El Velero's rocks and tidal pools waiting to be explored.
Beautiful houses along the coastline.
The endless sand of El Velero Beach

We had heard that when the tide was out you could walk to Miramar, so we decided to try this. The walk is very enjoyable and if you get hot, well, the ocean is right there for a quick cool off.

After 25 minutes we reached the point where we discovered why this could only be done at low tide. There is a river feeding the estuary which you will have to cross. At low tide the current is minimal and there is no danger in crossing, that is unless you are fully clothed and don't want to get wet!

This was so much fun, felt like we were true explorers!

Traversing the river while holding our possessions high over head.

Now we started the next half of the trip, on to Miramar. Once again we noticed the beautiful homes along the way......once again we were alone.

With the waves getting noticeably higher it is easy to see why Miramar is popular with the surfers. Although the actual fishing village is located along a small bay, the two surfing resorts here take their guests out into the ocean to catch the perfect wave.

It was a great time walking along the Pacific with nothing but nature filling the airwaves. This portion of the walk took about 30 minutes but didn't seem that long because we were so occupied with our surroundings.

Onward to Miramar
The coastline curves before you reach the village and here you have an awesome view of San Christobal Volcano.
Fishing boats done for the day.
The cove at Miramar.
Homes in Miramar
Fishermen pulling in the nets.

Points of Interest: Bus to El Velero from Leon costs C$27 and takes about 1 hour. On the return trip from El Velero the bus drives back into Miramar off the highway so if you don't want to walk back to the beach in El Velero just stay on the bus and get off in Miramar.

Buses leave Leon at 7 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm and 4:30 pm. Also when looking for the right bus to get on it will say "Leon, Pto. Sandino, Mira Mar, El Velero". Notice the spelling of Miramar! so don't be confused, not sure which is correct.

Shaky Earthquake

by Rob Watcher on Sunday March 2nd, 2014 at 4:07am

A Little Scary

We just got woken up at around 3:40, to a 6.4 earthquake. This is our first experience with one.

The bedroom walls and windows were shaking and clanging pretty good. A little weird standing up and not really feeling stable on the floor underneath. Standing outside writing this, the neighbours are now all up and abuzz in the streets.

No damage to our complex though - but at 6.4 hopefully not elsewhere:

From USGS instant earthquake updates, an M 6.4 - 23km WSW of Jiquilillo, Nicaragua - 2014-03-02 09:37:56 UTC - 12.630°N 87.636°W depth=70.9km (44.1mi) - 54km (34mi) W of Chinandega, Nicaragua


After going back to sleep and feeling a little bit of a uneasy feeling (but no noise) around 4:30 - we got up this morning to find that there was a second magnitude 4.2 earthquake at 4:30AM. The news headlines informed us that the initial earthquake that jolted us, was a "powerful and dangerous" quake - - - which we figured that M6.4 meant, even though we have no experience.

No damage it appears, but it was felt in much of the north west part of the country and of course us as the epicenter was just off the Pacific Coast a few miles from us in Leon.

The Barber

by Anne Watcher on Thursday February 20th, 2014 at 10:02am

Everyone needs a haircut every now and then and here in Nicaragua you have your pick of barber shops. They are plentiful and varied so look around, pick the one you like and hop up on the chair, the one consistent feature you will find. The other one is the mirror on the wall.

You can find them anywhere from a classic shop along the main street to a wood shack outside the market. Walk along the backstreets and you will see that the front room of the house is now a source of income. Some are neat and tidy and well others are not. The end results always seem to be the same, a professional haircut.

Costs vary from C$20 to C$50 ($.80 to $2.00 US). The price seems to vary most due to location of the shop, with the most expensive close to city center.

Special Price for eBook

by Rob Watcher on Thursday February 20th, 2014 at 8:50am

We are currently offering our Cahuita Costa Rica ebook, for a special price of only $4.99. It is available here: Cahuita, Costa Rica - our rugged caribbean adventure


Just Remembering! I think the coolest, most romantic place that we have stayed in our travels: Alby Lodge in Cahuita, Costa Rica

Journal | Adventures in Nicaragua & Costa Rica - Travel Virgins

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