San Juan del Sur in Splashes of Color

Red RoseIn addition to the relaxing atmosphere that has me calling it my happy place, and its status as a gateway to some pristine beaches in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is a charming little town in and of itself. I love the color splash, and there are loads of flowers on every block. Even though SJdS is tiny, all of the little details make walking around a fascinating afternoon. I’ve been so many times, thanks to it being where I headed for visa runs when I lived in Costa Rica, making it one of the few places that I haven’t lived yet I go again and again. More and more travelers are discovering this relaxing bay town as a more affordable alternative to some of the more touristy parts of Costa Rica, but it hasn’t been overcrowded yet.

I just love it!

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Daydream of the Week: Nicaragua’s San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur NicaraguaI’m not sure if it’s the heavy news going on the US that reminds me of September 11th, or the fact that I’ll be blissfully on vacation in Central America by this time next week, but I was flipping through photos and was drawn to this one. I love how this stranger is zoning out while gazing in the distance after a long day in the sun. I, too, daydream, although I don’t always have such beautiful surroundings to get me going. This is my kind of beach: chill, relaxing, and not too crowded or fancy. San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua was always a fun escape from my small town of Coco, right over the border. I have a “busy”  ten days planned for this upcoming trip to Costa Rica, an itinerary packed with fishing, lazy afternoons in the sun, visiting with friends, and drinking beer at cheap bars on the beach. I can’t wait!

Cheers to the good life…

A Perfect Storm

Some trips seem so much like a slam dunk that it’s hard to get excited for them. My last such adventure? A week in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. My friend Denise invited me, to leave the very next day after I got home from a week in NYC. I love Denise; I figured I’d like her friends. I love San Juan, and I love the beach; easy, peasy. Instead of thinking about it at ALL, I spent weeks getting pumped about NYC. Poor Nicaragua was an afterthought, an “Oh, I almost forgot that I have one night to unpack and re-pack my bags, even though I live in the tropics without a dryer and thus have no idea how I’m going to manage such a fast turnaround.” Continue Reading »»

Nicaragua Visa Run

Abby TegneliaLast week I crossed a common expat milestone – my first Nicaragua visa run! I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. Living in tiny, relaxed Coco is a dream, but I guess I’d missed the excitement of leaving the country on trips or… having any excitement in my life at all. Thank goodness my friends in other time zones (yes, you @theaussienomad) kept me occupied! At six am I took my little bag and headed out. Within a few hours, our little van of intrepid tourists had reached the border.

The actual crossing into Nicaragua turned out to be quite the social call. First of all, our fearless driver, Gustavo, was not about to wait in line behind the dozen or so massive semis that were waiting to cross. So he barreled onto the shoulder, on the wrong side of the road, which happened to drop straight down a few feet just past our tires, causing us to skim by with literally no more than an inch between us and a gigantic truck bearing down on our (small) van. Continue Reading »»