A week at Chicabrava, the first all women’s learn to surf camp in Nicaragua, is bound to be on any female adventurers bucket list. Created by American Ashley Blaylock in 2008, an all time Nicaraguan surf champion, Chicabrava’s mission is all about empowering women, one wave at a time, and I can attest it is true.
At the end of February, when the weather was cold and gray in Minnesota I packed my bags and headed south to San Juan del Sur, a tiny fishing and surfing town located near some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in all of Nicaragua. Fifteen years ago when Ashley first came to San Juan del Sur, there wasn’t even a hotel there but over time the town has grown to become one of the hottest destinations for surfing in the country due to their fabulous year round surf. Today San Juan del Sur hosts an array of good restaurants, nightlife, hotels and shops to keep you entertained after a day in the surf and sun.
After a three hour drive from Managua, I arrived at our casa for the week just in time for sunset. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the clouds danced in rays of pink, orange and red light. I sipped my wine and pinched myself that I was in such a beautiful place. Our casa was located about a ten minute drive from town up in the foothills overlooking the bay. The house accommodates six guests, and has a living room, kitchen and dining area where each day we were pampered with home cooked delightful meals of fried plantains, fresh ceviche, and pan-fried fish topped with lime by our lovely cook Katerina. The meals were to die for and the infinity pool at sunset with a drink in hand was heavenly.
If you’d rather stay close to the action, you can stay in town at Chicabrava’s Surf House which is located in the heart of San Juan del Sur or if you really want to experience country living and get away from it all you can stay up at one of the luxurious casas in the Cloud Forest. At the Surf House, lodging is casual with communal living in rooms with bunk beds. Also, the meals are not included. At the Cloud Farm, you stay in a beautiful house with anywhere from 3-5 bedrooms with double occupancy. All meals are home cooked by the hired chef, and the accommodations are high-end. Either choice, you can’t go wrong. It all depends on the kind of trip you want to experience.