After months of new impressions, sweaty travel days and fried foods my body was longing for exercise, healthy cooking and quietness. I no longer had the energy nor the interest to hike another volcano or go into the rainforest down the Rio San Juan. I guess there is only so much you can absorb in a 4 month stay in a country.
So I let go of my ambitious travel plans and decided to spend my last weeks on the Pacific Coast, doing daily yoga practice and some surfing. I looked up various retreat options and I was shocked by the prices, starting around $1500 for a 6-day yoga retreat in Nicaragua or Costa Rica. Apart from not having the money, I was not interested in an infinity pool nor in a pillow menu.
How could you ever spend 10 times an average monthly Nica salary in just 6 days?? It just didn’t feel right to me after having witnessed so much poverty.
So I decided to create my own yoga retreat, which would take place in San Juan del Sur, a tranquil town on the Pacific Coast known for its beaches (meaning: running and surfing) and for its expat community (meaning: fresh vegetable dishes and Italian pizza). There also is a yoga studio that I heard raving stories about from other travellers as well as from my online travel bible TripAdvisor.
The components of my 2-week Do It Yourself Yoga Retreat in Nicaragua were as follows:
La Buena Onda Backpackers Hostel
Rather a hotel than a hostel, Buena Onda is a unique place with a giant deck, plenty of hammocks and gorgeous view over the bay. I enjoyed the luxury of having my own room with bathroom for just $10 per night! And there is a clean kitchen you actually want too cook in, with plenty of utensils and a blender to make my own fruit juices.
I found new friends here, some of which were in the very same yoga mindset as I was.
The only yoga studio in town, but oh so good! Teachers are mostly from the US and you get US quality Vinyasa Flow Power Yoga. I went every day up to twice a day towards the end of my stay. It felt like a small family.
A 10-class package costs $50.
The local market
Passion fruit, giants papayas, avocados, dragon fruit, chintomas, tomatoes, different kinds of bananas…Farm-fresh and all you can eat for just a few dollars.
This is one of the beaches south of San Juan del Sur and perfect for surfing and relaxing. To get here you just hop into the back of a truck. Transportation plus surfboard rental would cost $20 for the day.
El Gato Negro
The place to be if you are looking for free Wifi and a $3 cappuccino. This place is for the expats and tourists, not for the locals. But it is sweet.
My estimation is that I spent around $350 for the 2 week stay. And it included beautiful sunsets for free.