Nicaragua Surf & Yoga Retreat
Guest Blogger: Katie Krzyczkowski
Location: Northern Nicaragua
Resort: Coco Loco Eco-Resort
Duration: 8 days
Is there an activity that you have always wanted to try but the opportunity has never presented itself? For me, it’s surfing. Growing up in Michigan, surfing was not an optional after school activity. A few years ago, I moved to Florida which I thought meant surfing could become a reality; however, it turnouts surfing is really only viable on one side of the state and I would be living on the direct opposite side. If I wanted to try surfing I would have to drive 5 hours round trip. Knowing one afternoon of lessons would not be enough to give surfing a real shot and I didn’t want to spend every weekend making the trip across the state, I set my sites on a retreat.
After countless hours of research, I chose “Surf with Amigas”, a women’s retreat, with locations throughout Central America. I landed on the Northern Nicaragua location for two main reasons: 1). I had never been to Nicaragua and thought this would be a great chance to see the country, 2). the retreat was at an eco-lodge (I love ways we can be environmentally friendly as we travel). This particular resort did not have A/C (but lots of fans), and the bathroom included an outside shower (I promise, no one can see you) and a composting toilet (did you know toilets can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush?).
A typical day at the retreat:
2nd Breakfast (yep, a second breakfast!)
Afternoon Activity (sunset surf, horseback riding, ladies night out, kickball game with the locals)
*Schedule varies slightly day to day based on getting the optimum wave conditions for the group
*You can do as much or as little as you like each day
*There is plenty of time to indulge in a massage or relax in one of the many hammocks on the property
Retreats are designated based on skill level, so no need to worry if you lack shredding skills. You first learn basic skills in the whitewash – the white broken part of the wave. But once you’re ready to catch an unbroken “green” wave the instructors will be there every step of the way. Each session brought its own exciting moments and challenges – like the first time I stood up on the board only to be pummeled by the next wave. No matter how many exciting or challenging moments, each day brought the chance to improve. Instructors would teach us skills and give us tips while out in the water but they also have a camera recording each session, so they can provide video coaching in the evenings. I found the video coaching to be incredibly helpful because I could see what I was doing wrong and make adjustments at the next session.
My travel adventures typically involve changing cities every couple of days in order to jam the most into the short time I have. This retreat was the first time I would be staying in the same location for an entire week so I was a little worried the schedule would be mundane. But the organizers do a great job of mixing up the afternoon activities and also include an optional day excursion away from the retreat to go volcano boarding at Cerro Negro. This activity involves hiking 45 minutes up an active volcano, putting on a really attractive orange jumpsuit, goggles and bandana then riding down the volcano on a board. This once in a life time experience was an incredible way to see Nicaragua and a great recovery day from surfing.
Surf with Amigas is an incredible experience- it’s about positive vibes, empowerment and cheering on new friends when they catch their first wave, or second or third. I didn’t leave the retreat a pro surfer but I did leave with a lot more respect for all surfers because surfing requires a lot of work, practice and patience. If you have ever had the desire to learn to surf or try a new activity, what are you waiting for??