Life here is very simple, and I would say that it takes a few days to unwind and get in the Maderas mindset. Playa Maderas was the third stop on our Nicaragua trip. It is difficult to describe this place in words and even the pictures don’t do it justice. I am hoping that I can convey even half the magic of this place.
Getting here was interesting….We should have listened to the advice we got about the roads…. But no! We decided to take a local taxi which could not make it up the hill to hotel, and that explains why we got stuck at the bottom of the hill with 3 large suitcases (which is ironic because most people here don’t even really wear clothes- so we clearly missed the boat on this one)!
Going through these pictures brings back a flood of emotions of pure joy and gratitude for my time spent at Playa Maderas. There are people that come here from all over the world and are part of what makes the experience unique.
Mornings start with yoga and days are spent surfing and lying around at the beach or in a hammock somewhere. Or you always have the option of walking down the hill to hang by the pool at Hulakai, with a fresh margarita in hand. You are truly off the gird, there are no hot showers, and there are no atms anywhere. We didn’t realize this was a cash only town, and for 3 days we walked about with out any money, starting tabs with almost everyone in town. On our last day we finally got to town by borrowing a dirt bike (it was either that or the chicken bus) and drove into San Juan Del Sur to get some money and gelato.
It is such a small community and sharing meals with our fellow travelers was a great way to get to know everyone. Most of the dinners are served family style and our favorites were at either Maderas Village or Hulakai Hotel. Everyday we ate down by the beach for lunch. The sunsets are unreal, you should be down at the beach every night for the show! Our late nights were spent in the garden at Maderas Village.
Surfing was a huge part of our trip, we took surfing lessons two out of the three days we were there. I couldn’t believe it – I’m terrified of the ocean, or at least I thought I was until this trip.
I spent all day in the ocean, trying to catch the waves, getting up on some and getting swallowed up by others. But again and again I got back up – and I’ve never felt so brave. I’m also still laughing because I was WAY better than my athletic boyfriend. I would look over and he would be falling off the surf board while I was riding a wave to shore.
We would take a break for lunch and my surf instructor would see me and warn me not to have more than one beer – or else I would be no good. I came home exhausted each day with scratched up legs and elbows, but it was worth it.
On our first evening we signed up for Horse Back Riding – I wouldn’t normally go for this sort of activity on the beach, but this one felt authentic. A true cowboy picked us up at the hotel (along with our horses Patricia and Rosie) and we took a sunset ride across three different untouched beaches – some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen.
I know someday things will change and more and more tourists will find out about this little hidden gem, the road will get paved, ATMS will pop up and the village will get running water but most everyone there says it will be awhile and that is ok by me.
PLAYA MADERAS, NICARAGUA
Getting there: Have your hotel arrange a car service!
Where to Eat: Breakfast and lunch are at either your hotel or one of the three huts at the beach, Dinner are at your hotel (family style dinner)!
What to Bring: CASH, a rashgaurd, bathing suit, cover up, yoga clothes- that’s it.