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Top 8 luxury experiences to have in Nicaragua 

Nicaragua is one of Central Americas best-kept secrets, with vast lakes, giant volcanoes, an atmospheric and vibrant heritage and extensive rainforest. As the name translates, ‘surrounded by water,’ bordered by Honduras and Costa Rica, Nicaragua is hugged by the Pacific Ocean on the western side and the eastern side, the Caribbean with surf and sandy beaches galore. Not only will you get off the beaten track here, but away from the crowds, it also boasts perfect luxury experiences. 1. Enjoy a private island Jicarao is a National Geographic Unique Lodge located on a private island within the Granada Isletas in Lake Nicaragua, the perfect hideaway for a few nights. This upscale eco-lodge is just a short boat ride from the UNESCO city of Granda. You can stay at one of the private casitas and enjoy everything from lazing in your hammock, daily yoga, couples massage, the infinity pool, local-inspired cocktails through to the gourmet food on offer. The friendly and helpful staff here make the stay, organising any activity of your choice if you wish. Jicaro Island ecolodge 2. Hike up Mombacho As the land of lakes and volcanoes, it would be rude not to visit Mombacho, rising 1,344 meters above sea level. Hire a private guide and take one of the three hiking trails up. You will hike through the cloud forest and up to Mombacho’s lush peaks and craters, all whilst in several howler monkeys’ company. Admire many of the panoramic views of the regions, overlooking Granada and the islets of Lake Nicaragua. 3. Private walking tour of Granada Founded in 1524, Granda is the oldest colonial city in the Americas. Book onto a private walking tour to see the sights. This relaxed, easygoing city centres its hustle and bustle on the cathedral square where you will see more locals than tourists. Wander the surrounding cobbled streets whilst learning the history and culture of Nicaragua. Home to the local Nica dish, vigoron, be sure to try the city’s signature dish before leaving. Granada 4. Experience the magic of nature Visiting Juan Venado Island can be done by private motorboat, or if you are feeling more adventurous, kayaks. Located just 22km from the city of Leon, it is opposite the small fishing village of Las Penitas. This nature reserve is a protected area and a vital coastal wetland area. Keep your eyes peeled, as through May to November, it is a vital nesting site for Olive Ridley turtles. With none living on the island, you will enjoy complete peace and tranquillity whilst exploring spectacular nature. Between the island and the coast is a mangrove forest, home to a variety of birds. Olive Ridley turtle 5. Boutique R&R The Mukul hotel is Nicaragua’s first super-luxury resort, including a world-class spa and a David McLay Kidd golf course. Built by the Flor de Cana rum billionaire and Nicaraguan entrepreneur, Carlos Pellas, Mukul captures the essence of Nicaragua in ideal luxe. This secret hideaway is nestled on a large private beach offering vast ranges of experiences such as mountain biking through jungles, trekking nature reserves and helicopter rides. For the ultimate R&R, the hilltop spa has 6 themed casitas, where you can relax in your private sanctuary. 6. Catch some waves Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast is a favourite spot amongst the seasoned and beginner surfer. With over 30 miles of coastline, the Emerald Coast has emerged as one of the best-surfing destinations in the world. Located between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific, you can enjoy offshore winds most of the year. To refuel after surfing, fine dining lovers will want to head to La Mesa restaurant at Mukul for a gourmet tasting menu with wine pairings. 7. Take a caffeine hit Book onto a private tour at Selva Negra, the coffee tours here are a great opportunity to learn about coffee, in the country that is renowned for its delicious cups. Coffee is one of the main exports of the country. Explore the beautiful grounds at Selva Negra and the views from the estate whilst experiencing the process of coffee, the history, climate, sustainable use of byproducts and the social programs. 8. Dive the Corn Islands The Corn Islands are on the Caribbean coast of the country. Here you will find one of Nicaragua’s best dive sites, Blowing Rock. The giant pinnacle of volcanic boulders attracts a lot of marine life. You are bound to see a lot more amazing marine life than tourists in this off the beaten path destination.

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  1. Since I retired I’ve had more time to devote to making my morning coffee and it’s become a real passion. It would be great to delve back to the beans’ origins and take a coffee tour.

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