Nicaragua

I’m just back from a memorable spring break trip to Nicaragua with my family. Nicaragua has been on my radar screen for awhile now, so I was particularly excited to travel there and learn more about this fascinating country. An emerging destination in the luxury travel market, Nicaragua promised to offer an ideal mix of adventure, cultural experiences and relaxation.  It did not disappoint!

Exploring Nicaragua with my family
Spring break in Nicaragua
On the beach in Nicaragua
Family time in Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua
Beautiful Granada, Nicaragua
At Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Relaxing at Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Sunrise at Pacaya Lodge, Nicaragua
Sunrise over Laguna de Apoyo

Once I’d decided on Nicaragua, the challenging part was choosing where to stay. The country is quite large, and there are now a number of luxury eco-lodges and resorts to pick from, each with its own distinct vibe and proximity to various excursions.  During the planning process, I worked with my preferred partner for Central America to identify the right spots for my family, just as I match my clients with destinations and properties when making their travel arrangements around the world.

On the beach at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Beach time in Nicaragua
Island in Lake Nicaragua
One of over 400 islands in Lake Nicaragua
At a restaurant in Nicaragua
Feeling famous in Nicaragua
Monkey time in Nicaragua
Meeting one of the locals in Nicaragua

Our first stop was Pacaya Lodge in Catarina.  Located only 40 minutes from Managua, I chose Pacaya not only because of its close proximity to the airport (we arrived on a very late flight), but also because of its close proximity to several of Nicaragua’s most popular sites.  The hotel’s stunning setting overlooking Laguna de Apoyo and reputation for delicious, local cuisine didn’t hurt either!

Pool overlooking Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Pool with a view at Pacaya Lodge, Nicaragua
Lodging at Pacaya Lodge, Nicaragua
Pacaya Lodge, Nicaragua
Pacaya Lodge's beautiful, Nicaragua
Pacaya Lodge’s stunning setting overlooking Laguna de Apoyo
King Room, Pacaya Lodge
View from one of the King rooms at Pacaya Lodge, Nicaragua

I was particularly intrigued by Pacaya Lodge’s community sustainability approach and wanted to see first-hand how they were supporting the local economy.  The hotel was built as part of a larger effort to provide education and jobs to various rural communities in the surrounding area. A visit to Pacaya’s local school was a memorable experience for my family we’ll never forget.

Visit to a local school near Pacaya Lodge
School visit near Pacaya Lodge
School near Pacaya Lodge
Dismissal time at the local school near Pacaya Lodge
Meeting the General Manager at Pacaya Lodge
With the General Manager of Pacaya Lodge

Pacaya Lodge is a great home base for exploring several of Nicaragua’s popular sites.  In order to maximize our time, I arranged for a local guide to take my family around the area for the duration of our stay.  We had a wonderful time exploring the colonial city of Granada, cruising beautiful (and huge!) Lake Nicaragua, swimming in the pristine Laguna de Apoyo, and viewing the glowing lava of the Masaya volcano by night.

Granada, Nicaragua
Time with our guide in Granada, Nicaragua
Stunning view of Granada, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua
Lake Nicaragua boat cruise
Private boat cruise exploring Lake Nicaragua
At Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
Masaya Volcano lava
Lava viewing at Masaya Volcano

After a few days of exploration and sightseeing, we migrated to the beach for the remainder of our trip.  I chose Morgan’s Rock as our home base on the coast.  It’s a well-known, luxury hotel in the country I’ve been wanting to visit because of its new Virtuoso affiliation and recently completed renovations.

Main pool at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua
Watersports at Morgan's Rock
Watersports center at Morgan’s Rock
Enjoying breakfast at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Breakfast at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

 

Beach huts at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Feeling like a castaway at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

Located in the San Juan del Sur area, Morgan’s Rock’s setting is literally breathtaking.  The luxurious bungalows and newly constructed villas, perched high on a bluff, blend in perfectly with the surrounding jungle and offer guests stunning, unobstructed views of the beach and Nicaraguan scenic coastline.

Oceanview Bungalow, Morgan's Rock
View from an Oceanview Bungalow at Morgan’s Rock
View from a Two Bedroom Villa with Pool at Morgan's Rock
Plunge pool view at Morgan’s Rock
Suspension Bridge, Morgan's Rock
Suspension bridge to breakfast at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

All of the accommodations at Morgan’s Rock have a tree-house type setting in the jungle canopy, loaded with creature comforts but all within earshot of monkeys, birds and the crashing waves below.  The two-bedroom villa I booked for my family was outstanding in every way.  Luxury blends with nature in such a thoughtful way, and the spacious plunge pool was the icing on the cake.  My family never wanted to leave!

Living room area, Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Sitting room area in a Two Bedroom Villa with Pool at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua
One of two bedrooms in a villa at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Bedroom in a Two Bedroom Villa with Pool, Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua
Plunge pool at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
My outdoor space at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua
Unique bathroom, Morgan's Rock, Two Bedroom Villa with Pool
Bathroom at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

To say the beach at Morgan’s Rock is pristine is an understatement.  It’s truly one of the prettiest beaches I’ve personally visited – untouched and blissfully uncrowded.   We spent our days walking the long stretch of sand looking for shells, jumping the waves and kayaking or paddle boarding on the adjoining estuary.

Occital Beach at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Occital Beach, Morgan’s Rock
On the beach at Morgan's Rock
Strolling the beach, Morgan’s Rock
A sunset to remember at Morgan's Rock, Nicaragua
Sunset on the beach at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

 

Morgan’s Rock also offers guests quite a few activities both on property and in the surrounding area. One of my personal favorites was “Breakfast on the Farm.”  We rode through the jungle in an open-air truck looking for monkeys and sloths, ultimately arriving at the hotel’s private farm for a truly local experience.  My family had the opportunity to milk the cows, gather eggs and enjoy an incredibly delicious and traditional breakfast “Nica” style.  Zip lining, surfing, shrimp harvesting (yes, they have their own shrimp farm!), boating, and complimentary yoga are just a few of the other options for guests of Morgan’s Rock.

Milking the cows at the farm at Morgan's Rock
On the farm at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua
Egg time on the farm at Morgan's Rock
Collecting eggs for breakfast
Tortilla making on the farm at Morgan's Rock
Making tortillas with my family
Delicious breakfast on the farm at Morgan's Rock
Enjoying the efforts of our work!
Morgan's Rock yoga pavilion
Yoga pavilion at Morgan’s Rock, Nicaragua

Morgan’s Rock is a Virtuoso affiliated hotel, so I’m able to add on the following complimentary amenities when I book a stay for my clients there:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary A la carte Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit
  • One bag of 100% pure Nicaraguan Gourmet coffee
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject t o availability