San Juan has the reputation for being one of the hottest surf spots in Nicaragua. It also has the infamous title of biggest party spot as well, two things that don’t always mix. Surfers come here from all over the world to hit the waves at Maderas beach, one of the many beaches along this beautiful stretch of coast.

The town is awesome and has everything a dirty, hungry, technology starved backpacker could want. We found a nice hostel that included breakfast (the little things), called Casa Oro. There is so much going on here with turtle tours, surfing, nature preserves, etc.. that it is easy to keep yourself busy.

Mike and I quickly found many of the friends we had met in Granada and Poste Rojo. Everyone traveling eventually makes their way here and gets stuck for awhile. We hung out most nights with the Aussie boys and the Sweds again, at a cool hostel called Pachamama. This is another cool spot to stay if you are in San Juan. There is a really cool vibe here and they have ping pong! The beers are cheap here so most nights (or days), you find yourself mysteriously carrying a six pack moments after you said you were not going to drink! lol

Michael and I had been recovering from our time out in the jungle but we got caught up in the fun again. We both came down with a mysterious body rash which turns out many people had from the treehouse. I also had a wicked throat and ear infection that I was hoping wasn’t the first signs of Dengue fever. I broke down and went to the doctor to get some antibiotics to cure my ailments. Turns out it is really hard to stick to the doctors orders if you know what I mean…no drinking for three days, hmmm.

Mike and I played rico for a day and went up to the luxurious hotel and pool called Pelican Eyes. They allow peeps to use their pool and facilities if you spend money of course. This is one of the most incredible spots I have ever seen! They have a long infinity edge pool that is set high on the cliff overlooking the bay. When you look out it is as if you are in the ocean down below. I was tempted to go crazy and buy a bottle of champagne in the spirit of the place, but I resisted.

One downer is Maderas beach is a twenty minute drive out of town. Although San Juan is on a bay and has a decent beach, you cannot surf there so you have to take a shuttle or a taxi. We gave people a lift when we could, to save them some coin on cabs. We decided we wanted to leave the partying behind and stay out at the beach for a more tranquillo vibe. We drove out to the far bay called Majagual and set up camp in a beach side camp ground, Matilda’s. This is the real way to enjoy the beach. We could see the surf from our hammock and it was a short walk down the beach to the surf spot Maderas. We enjoyed watching howler monkeys everyday, along with woodpeckers, parrots and colorful hermit crabs. We were lucky to see a mother monkey with her newborn baby on her back. It’s little hands pulled leaves off the trees mimicing his elders. Unfortunately we did not see any turtles nesting out on the beach but you can’t win them all.

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We hung out with a cool dude named Marcus from Canada, chef at The Post Hotel in Lake Louise. He was making his move to Nica. He set up a movie night for the backpackers with his projector, at his beach side hut. He had some cool ideas of building a beach side house that was a galley of a ship on its side with its sails acting as a shade for a side patio and pool. I hope to see it if we pass through in a couple years. We spend three glorious days on the beach, swimming and cooking our meals on the fire grill, before we headed back to the city.

We had heard of the infamous Naked Tiger hostel and knew we had to check it out. This place is known for its crazy parties and fun atmosphere. They also have a spectacular view and pool overlooking the ocean. Lucky for us it was Sunday, people were hung over and the vibe was chill. We hung out at the pool and watched movies all day, which suited me just fine. I was impressed by how beautiful this hostel was and loved waking up in the open air bedrooms. As soon as you open your eyes, you look out over flower bushes to the ocean and mountains surrounding you. For $10 bucks with a beer and morning waffle, you cannot go wrong.

Noy and Guy were a couple crazy kids from Isreal that we met that night. In the morning we aborted our previous plan to go to the Ometepe Island, and instead we headed for Costa Rica with our new friends in tow. New country new adventure… gusta.



Beautiful Nica

December 4, 2011

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Nicaragua is great

Crazy Poste Rojo

November 30, 2011

So when we heard there was a treehouse in the jungle we knew we had to check it out. Even after a few travelers warned us that it got “a little crazy up there” we still wanted to see for ourselves. Who doesn’t want to live in a treehouse, every kids dream.

We opted for the cabana at the bottom of the hill, so we could cook our own meals but this also meant we would be doing the climb up about as much as the poor Nicas that haul the beer and water up to the top all day. The cabin was basic but with all our fancy camping stuff we made it cozy. The hike up the mountain is tough and at night it is pitch black. The trail is great for seeing animals though and we got the chance to see morphos butterflies, howler monkeys, crazy birds, XL spiders and a cute little marsupial called the  Central American Woolly Opossum. We grabbed a pic online of this night critter to show you.

The three story tree house is pretty amazing and it has a suspension bridge out front connecting two platforms in the trees. There is also a yoga/makeout platform up in a large ceiba tree. There is a bar that serves beer and rum and they make dinner for the guests every night, for an additional price of course. There was also a bunk house and a private treehouse for the volunteers. This place had more volunteers then guests the first two nights we were there. I think they all just wanted an extended bender so they signed up there to party/volunteer. This place had very little structure/organization and I could tell some of the peeps where not diggin it at times. For the most part everyone got along until too much alcohol and drugs were consumed late in the evenings, about the same time we shut er down every night! lol

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The owner, Chad from Texas, was pumping up the party for saturday so we had big expectations. We made friends with the crew that stayed the three nights out there with us, awaiting the infamous party. There were the guys from Australia, Sam, Jared, Jared #2, Chester (Joel) and James, Sven (Andre) from Sweden and a couple canadian girls. Evan and Brittany were also cool, they had been volunteering at the tree house for a month. Wow props to them for lasting that long, haha. The day of the party came and we thought for sure the 10 of us would be making the party. Not many people had showed up and things were not very organized. I guess the fact that all the crew and owner had stayed up partying the last two days before, made for slow party planning.

We all dressed up in our most ridiculous hippie clothes and jumped on a chicken bus anyways. We headed for Granada to get more party goers. This turned out to be the best part of the night. We all sang along to the live band on the bus and drank a mysterious alcoholic beverage on the way there. Once we arrived in town we parked out front of a popular hostel and headed to the roof of the bus. We danced like crazy hippies on top of the bus while the band rocked out some Neil Young and other oldies but goodies. It was loads of fun and felt kinda like acting out the movie Dazed and Confused. In no time we filled the bus with 100-150 people and headed back to the treehouse. People were riding on the roof, in the luggage rack and on the floor. Thankfully they had flaming torches there for our 25 minute hike through the dark jungle. It was cool to see all the lights going up the mountain. It was like a pilgrimage for drunks, lol.

We stopped at our casita on the way and invited Sven and his Swedish friend, Matteus for a drink and to refuel our torches. Minutes later, torches blazing and a bottle of rum down, we stumbled up the mountain to join the festivities. Clearly we were not misled about the size of the party, as there were hundreds of people dancing and partying in the treetops! There were times that we wondered if the platforms would hold, lol.

Things got a little hazy from here, but there was booze being consumed at rapid rates, an exploding cake, a hippie pinata, pizza being puked up, people falling from the treehouse and bunk house, people falling down the mountain trails, questionable substances being consumed, roosters stolen from neighbours, and people going to jail (by people, we mean Chad, the owner!). Good times. Fortunately for us, we escaped with only a few minor cuts and bruises and full body rashes! It’s a jungle out there baby.


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Zipline Canopy Tour and Treehouse Hostel, nice little day. We left Granada and made our way towards Volcan Mombacho where we would find a piece of jungle heaven. After driving back and forth a number of times past the unmarked goat trail to Poste Rojo Treehouse Hostel, we finally pulled up to the secluded retreat. There were a few small casitas at the bottom of the hill, but most of the action was over 500m up the steep hill to the dorms and treehouse bar. We took a tour of the place after we caught our breath, and decided to take a private casita at the bottom so we didn’t have to hike all our kitchen supplies, food, and packs up the mountain. Besides, there was a crazy party scheduled for Saturday night, and we thought it would be nice to have the option to get away if things got a little too crazy…and they did. Stay tuned for that story.

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Once we were settled in and we removed the majority of massive spiders from our casita, we made our way to the Mombacho Canopy Tour to have our first ziplining experience. We got suited up in our gear and took a short ride in a sweet LandCruiser to the starting point. Next thing we knew we were zinging across the sky from tree to tree, hanging upside down and flying like superman. The guides were great. They used our camera to take pictures and videos of us, they brought us back to redo the two longest sections and they hooted and hollered and bounced the cables to ‘heighten’ the experience, as if it wasn’t exciting enough. All in all it was a great experience even though it was a bit ‘theme-parky’…but what the heck, it was my birthday!


Fast Forward

November 27, 2011

So here is an update to get everything up to real time. We have been traveling alot and have made it past Granada Nicaragua. Mike and I had a gong show of a time exiting Honduras and entering Nic. We were given a lesson on authority by a douchey immigration officer…save that one for another time.

Finally, after a couple days of crap we made it to a surfer hang out and started to actually like Nicaragua. We found a cool hostel with other overlanders there, so we decided to stay. The hostel, Quetzal playa, ran by Quetzal Trekkers, is a not-for-profit with proceeds going to the local community to get kids off drugs. By kids I mean children as young as 4 and by drugs I mean glue. The stuff literally dissolves their brains. The group is working in the community to make sure these kids get fed and give them an opportunity to play sports and have fun if they aren’t on glue.  We were glad to pay the premium rates to stay considering where the funds end up.

The overlanders Patrick, Braydon, Billy and Colin were Canucks driving their KLRs down to Argentina from Saskatchewan. It was nice to chat with some fellow road warriors. They had stopped for a forced break while they waited for parts. Interestingly one of them had already written off his bike back in the US! Yikes. Here is a link to their adventure stories,  We also attracted a couple from Denmark with our vehicles. Lars and Henriette were traveling on two motorcycles to Argentina as well. So many cool people doing cool things.

After enjoying the beach and some good laughs, we packed up and headed south. We initally planned to stay at a crater lake called Apoyo, but we couldn’t find a road to drive all the way down to the lake and it was a hell of a hike down to the water. We saw some sweet monkeys in the midst of the ordeal, so it was definitely worth it. Granada was just around the corner, so we headed there instead.

Granada is a great little colonial city with beautiful buildings and ancient churches. The people are nice and there is a good vibe at night along the hip strip. We met up with some friends, Frank and Emily that we met back in Xela at Miguel de Cervantes. We found an Irish pub and played some fun street trivia over many cuba libras. The current events quiz was our worst score and our best was the international beer quiz! Haha makes sense.

We heard of a treehouse hostel that was throwing a big party so we decided to leave the city and head back out into the jungle. Life in the trees could be fun for awhile!


Monkey see monkey do

November 26, 2011

After a wild goose chase down a donkey trail we stumbled onto our first monkeys in the wild! Howler monkeys sure know how to intimidate you with their booming calls. The highlight was seeing two babies scrambling up the tree to catch their mommy.
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