Ever since I left Nicaragua for the first time, five years ago, I daydreamed of going back over and over. As time passed and after the country recent events, curiosity grew as trying to find out whether things had changed from last time, one thing was sure and that was Nicaragua’s magic remained untouched.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have been to the land of lakes, you’ll still find yourself amazed one way or another, either from hiking a new volcano, watching a stunning sunset, or getting caught up in conversations with locals and learning to use new words like “tuani”.
No words nor even pictures compare to the living experiences however, I will try my best on the next lines to sum up my travel and make you feel as welcomed as I was.
My journey started in Managua after a 10-hour bus ride from El Salvador, familiar portraits started to appear such as immense Lake Managua, and Victory Square, holding a statue in honor of a world champion Nicaraguan boxer, displaying the national flag its importance goes beyond the sportive.
Arrived at Pure CA’s office in Nicaragua, which was going to be home for the next weeks, eager to discover and learn from our local experts.
First stop: Leon, just 3-hours away from Managua, was the first city of Nicaragua to become independent, history of which locals hold their city pride, among other things. By the minute I started making my way in the city I became impressed with its architecture and arts, home to an UNESCO site, Leon Cathedral or Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, you are welcomed by two lions at the entrance before making your way to the astonishing white rooftop, that will offer one of the best views of the city, a must in every person’s bucket list.
After having dinner at Via Via, one of the most lively places in town, found myself surprised, again, when the whole place started singing what it seemed to me a known song, “Viva Leon Jodido” a song that tells about the brave past of the city, familiar somehow as I spent singing the same song 12 years at school as an anthem, which symbol was a lion. Little I knew I was singing in honor to one of the most iconic cities in Central America and that I would find out over 10 years later.
Off to a morning coffee and a bowl of fruits, it was the perfect start for the day’s challenge, I was going to scratch what is listed as the 2nd most thrilling thing you can do on vacation according to CNN Travel: Sandboarding Cerro Negro. Being the youngest and still active volcano, are some good reasons to start having chills even before starting the hike. Have you ever wanted to do something for so long that at the same time you have been afraid of doing? Well today it was the day.
While trying to soak in the greatness of the volcano, it was time to choose the board and making my way up the volcanic rock road, a relatively easy hike will take you through some rewarding views on the way to the top while you dance to the whisper of the wind to your ears. The perfect analogy to the calm before the storm.
The last part of the hike will walk you through some mars-looking scenery just before the adrenaline rush kicks in and is about time to suit up and slide down an active volcano which just erupted in 1999, not much else to say here but to let go and enjoy the ride.
If you ever feel like you have done every adventure activity out there, this one is for you!
After a few days of having shaky legs, I was on the way to my next destination…