One of the most popular destinations in the beautiful and diverse country of Nicaragua is Rivas, a municipality that offers a safe environment for travelers who visit for its world-class surfing and the gorgeous beaches of the Emerald Coast. There's no better way to experience this beautiful part of the world than with a stay in one of our lovely vacation rentals.
Rivas is the southernmost department of Nicaragua, nestled in the heart of central America between El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Rivas is an isthmus resting between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua, which is one of the only freshwater lakes in the world inhabited by sharks. This part of the country has become easier to access since the recent construction of the Emerald Coast International Airport in 2015.
One of Rivas' hot spots is San Juan del Sur on Nicaragua's stunning Emerald Coast. Visit the sanctuary of La Flor Beach Natural Reserve, and enjoy beautiful beaches. And if your visit takes place between July and January, you'll likely witness the spectacle of an arribada: Olive Ridley turtles come to the beach in droves to lay their eggs. This area also offers viewings of land animals, marine life, and interesting insects, as well as hiking.
Just outside of the city of Rivas, nestled in the rainforest, is Las Nubes Adventure Park. Take a ride up the hill and witness amazing views of the continental divide, Pacific Ocean, Nicaragua Lake, and towering volcanos. Then zip line your way down and keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths, and iguanas.
When you're happily exhausted from all your exploring, head to El Gato Negro coffee shop and bookstore, which offers a quaint, relaxed atmosphere amidst a generous selection of books. Grab breakfast, a coffee, and a book, then hang out or head to the beach and settle in for a relaxing read.
Known as "the country of Lakes and Volcanoes," Nicaragua is an excellent place for hikers to explore. Make the trip north to León and tackle Cerro Negro, Telica, San Cristóbal and Momotombo, all challenging in their own unique ways. The descents on some are difficult due to steep grades and a volcanic sand base, so keep things fun by taking a board up, then sandboard down.
Take a scenic ferry ride to Ometepe and Volcano Concepcióne - two hikes in one! This climb brings you to the midway point of El Floral, then to the top where you'll find yourself standing with clouds at your feet.
For a more mellow experience, take a stroll around Laguna Charco Verde and treat yourself to wonderful sights at the butterfly garden, apiary, and bird aviary, as well as many trails that take you to lovely scenic points, including a sandy beach where you can play in the water and simply relax and a rocky cape with views of Lake Nicaragua.
Pay a visit to the San Pedro Apostol colonial church to learn about the history of Rivas and view interesting architecture. Then head to the Rivas Museum of Anthropology and History. Founded in 1975, the museum is housed in an old colonial farmhouse. Take some time to visit and view contemporary objects germane to the area, as well as prehistoric mammoth bones, mineral and stamp displays, paintings of local legends, and pre-Columbian artifacts recovered from expeditions.
In Ometepe, check out Museum El Ceibo, a small museum featuring jewelry, petroglyphs, and pottery. After you've perused this four-room venue, treat yourself to some homemade liqueur in the bar.
Start off with a cocktail at the Commodore, the bar associated with La Bastide restaurant then move to outdoor dining wrapped in a forest setting. Come savor a scrumptious meal, made with freshly caught seafood and produce grown on the premises, while you sip wine and revel in a beautiful sunset.
At La Cascada Restaurant and Bar, you can dine al fresco, poolside, or at a table with an ocean view. Serving three meals a day, this top-notch restaurant in a lovely setting will keep you satisfied with culinary treats, an impressive beer and wine list, and mouthwatering cocktails.
Located right on the beach, Pili's Kitchen offers delicious food made with fresh, locally-sourced, organic ingredients. Show up for happy hour, and munch on their nachos and imbibe a tasty passion fruit margarita. You'll need to make reservations to get through the two guarded gates, but you won't regret it.
Make Rivas part of your itinerary when you come to Nicaragua, and enhance your stay by booking one of our convenient vacation rentals to enjoy your own comfortable home with plenty of privacy.
Photo Credit: Alba Sud Fotografia via Flickr