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26 Feb

Forecast is still holding for overhead surf from March 3rd to 12th including 2 days of waves up to double overhead! There’s a few spots left up till March 8th!

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Photo courtesy of Tom Letts from thewavecave.com

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25 Feb

Greg has been doing an amazing job improving our beach front hotel in Miramar over the past 2 years since we moved location to have waves on our doorstep.  So far the most popular additions have been the large beachfront rancho where guests can watch their friends surf the left at Miramar point or the left and rights at Pipes. Its also the perfect spot to watch the sunset, practice yoga or just kick back in a hammock!

Surf Tours Nicaragua

Underneath the rancho is the the new board barn where most of our 80 rental surf boards sleep!Nicaragua Pool Pic copy

The banana trees have grown huge in a couple of seasons and there is now a cover for the pool to add more shade, the wall infront of the wall has been knocked out to provide views of both surf spots out front and a little wall has been constructed around the back of the pool area to prevent dust blowing in and give an extra seating area.

Surf Tours Nicaragua would like to thank Tom Letts from the thewavecave.com for the photos in this post!

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24 Feb

March usually has some great swells, there’s one already forecast for from March 4th with waves from a few feet overhead to double overhead for a week!

Here’s Greg hiding in a keg right behind our beachfront hotel from this weekend showing that February has some great days too!

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24 Feb

1. cuecho

Cuecho means gossip and is used frequently in everyday speech and even appears in the newspapers from time to time. Legendary Nicaraguan folk singer Carlos Godoy Mejía speaks of a certain character he calls “La Tula Cuecho.” That basically means “Gertie the Gossip.” Bite your tongue!

2.  alegrón de burro

When a donkey brays, it only lasts about 20 seconds. So this donkey’s happiness refers to any short-lived joy.

3.  chapas

This is the local word for earrings, which varies quite a bit from the standard Spanish aretes.

4.  andar chiva

chiva refers literally to a female goat. But in Nicaragua if someone tells you “Ponte chiva,” it means to watch out, and be especially careful. Keep that in mind in certain Managua neighborhoods!

5. hacer un volado

With your knowledge of generic Spanish, you might think this refers to some kind of flight. Locally, however, it refers to a favor asked of a friend. “Hacéme un volado, porfa.” Translation: “Please do me a favor. Pleeeease.”

6. chimbomba

Don’t worry! There is no bomb in chimbomba. It’s merely the local word for a balloon. So blow up a few of them for your next party! It will be a blast!

7. chompipe

The generic word for turkey is pavo. But in Nicaragua as well as the northern countries that comprise Central America, the local word is chompipe. I once had a good friend who was rather corpulent and had a double chin that wouldn’t quit. The locals dubbed him El Chompipe, and everyone in town knew him as such. So lay off that gallo pinto!

8. pacha

Spanish-speaking babies usually drink their milk from a biberón, or baby bottle. In Nicaragua, though, they get their nourishment through their pacha. 

9. Algo es algo dijo el calvo, cuando le salió un pelito.

Pity the poor bald guy! How he rejoices at that one puny strand of hair that suddenly sprouts out of his well-polished noggin. In his delight, he might say this common saying. It literally means: “Something is something, said the bald man, when a hair suddenly grew.” The idea? Something is better than nothing!

10. huevos de amor

Don’t get offended! There is nothing kinky about huevos de amor in Nicaraguan Spanish. Rather, this refers to organic eggs, not the ones that come from the poor beasts that never leave their cages, but the chickens that are raised in more traditional and natural settings. The shells are usually a light brown color.

11. andar como perro en procesión

Nicaragua is famous for its processions and it seems that there is always a celebration of some sort going on. Invariably, however, there is always a clueless dog or two following the crowd. The dogs, of course, have no idea what is happening, but they are happy to follow along nonetheless. So this saying is used when someone is hopelessly lost or just hops on the current bandwagon, regardless of how ignorant he or she may be of the cause.

12. contra el cacho

This literally means against the horn. But the real meaning is to be running late. Example: “Apuráte, vos. Vamos contra el cacho.” Translation: “Hurry up! We’re running late.”

13. jaña

What exactly is a jaña? It merely is an informal term for a girlfriend. By the way, locally, the verb to date is jalar, which literally means to pull. This, however, is the figurative pulling of the heart strings.

14.  llover sapos y culebras

In English when a torrential rainstorm hits us, we might say: “It’s raining cats and dogs!” Of course, if you translate this literally, it makes no sense in Spanish. In Nicaragua, you have this reptilian option, which literally means: “It’s raining toads and snakes!” Yikes!

15. el cumiche

In the Nahuatl language anciently spoken in Nicaragua, cumiche literally meant small skirt. Back in those days the young children in the tribes wore skirts and the smallest of them wore the smallest skirt of all. So cumiche has come to mean the baby of the family. 

16. Otro gallo cantará

Roosters are everywhere in Nicaragua, so don’t be surprised if you are startled out of bed at 5 a.m. by a hearty cock-o-doodle-do! But when a Nicaraguan says Otro gallo cantará, he means, That’s another story, or, That’s a different matter. Don’t be afraid to use it in everyday speech. That’s right, don’t be chicken!

17. pajilla

There is no one generic Spanish word for a drinking straw,  which is well explained in this article on latinflyer.com. Rather, almost every country has developed its own version. Remember that in Nicaragua, it is a pajilla. 

18. pulpería

Since pulpo in Spanish is an octupus, you might think that a pulpería would refer to some kind of an octupus store. But don’t ruffle your tentacles! A pulpería is merely a family-run store. Usually you can find soft drinks, bread, and other staple items here, and there is usually more than one on every block in the country.

19. andar en la ruta 11

In Managua all the buses have route numbers, like 110, 123, and so on. But, if someone says that you are on Route 11, he is not referring to any bus ride! This is a figure of speech, because when a person is walking, the silhouette of his legs appears to a distant observer as the number 11.

 20. chirizo

Every have a bad hair day? The chirizo has had a bad hair life! If someone is described as being chirizo it means that he has hair that stands on end!

So, add these words and sayings to your Nicaraguan Spanish portfolio! Use them in everyday life and you will elicit many smiles and a chuckle or two! Your Nicaraguan friends will be grateful.

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17 Feb

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Man it’s nice to be back in the water! I traded dusty roads and crazy traffic for clean offshore winds and uncrowded lineups. I have to assign extra chores to the guides so they don’t outnumber the guest;-) Apparently while I was gone the waves were pretty small and I didn’t miss anything. The beauty of it is that the conditions have picked up to head high to a little overhead on the biggest sets. Miramar reef likes smaller waves, so the bigger sets are slabbing on the rocks outside and then getting mushy…with the occasional keg if you’re in the right place. I’ve been sticking to picking off the smaller ones on the inside and it’s been pretty fun. The forecast is for 3-5 feet the rest of the week with a bigger pulse on the weekend. The longer forecasts look even better. I think the season might have arrived…

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17 Feb

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bikes

I’ve been offline for a bit, partially because of technical stuff that you wouldn’t understand and partially because I’ve been riding motorcycles across Nicaragua and back. I’m not even supposed to be talking about it, it’s kind of a “hush hush” thing, but I figure y’all are in the trust tree and can keep this between us.

About a year ago a young man named Elliott Woods came for a visit. As it happens Elliott is a freelance writer and while here we brainstormed some ideas for stories he could write about Nicaragua. At the end of the week he had decided he was going to pitch the idea of a story on the Nicaraguan canal construction…and it got picked up by a prominent magazine Named ********. So About two months ago I got a call from Elliott and he said the story was on and his idea was to ride the canal route on motorcycles to get the photos and interviews he needed to write his piece. He asked me to guide and translate for him and work some of the logistics which I was happy to do. As I looked into renting motorcycles I realized they were pretty expensive to rent and I got the great idea that I would buy the motorcycles and then he would rent them from me for the time we needed to do the story….voila! I got one free motorcycle. I wound up buying three Chinese made 250cc Serpentos…they’re pretty cool looking, but they’re not fancy euro bikes or even Japanese work horses…but they did pretty good on the trip.

We’re back at home now, the trip completed and I have to say it was nice not to get on the bike after 10 days of riding. We covered about 1200km and a lot of that was on pretty bad roads. It also doesn’t account for the 250km we did by boat…the east coast has more rivers than roads.

I’ll put up some more details in subsequent blogs and get some photos out to you. It was a pretty epic tale and I’ll try to relay it as we move forward. In the mean time…it’s good to be back…and the waves are good too!

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17 Feb

Check out this promo video for the whole country!  it has a good spread of what Nicaragua has to offer as far as colonial towns, beaches, surf, fishing, mountains, volcanoes, monkeys and other wildlife!
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5 Feb

We’d like to thank all the guests who’ve taken the time to review our surfing hotel on Tripadvisor, we’ve made it easier to review the Nicaragua surf camp by adding a review form to our website here: http://www.surftoursnicaragua.com/testimonials/tripadvisor/

If you’ve stayed with us lease help us get to the number 1 spot by posting a review!

And you can see our full Tripadvisor page here!

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3 Feb

When looking for a surf hotel / surf retreat in Nicaragua there are more options than ever for a variety of accommodation types and surf levels, not to mention swell and local offshore wind conditions, eco systems and crowd levels!

 

The first thing to know is there are several areas to surf, and they are mostly a few hours apart so picking the right area is very important, please see the map below that also explains the famous offshore winds due to the lake effect!  Starting from the South there is the famous beach and port town of  San Juan del Sur which is the most developed town on the coast with various accommodation and eating options plus nightlife, however there are no good waves in the San Juan del Sur bay (this is why its such a popular anchorage for boats of all sizes as its sheltered from most of the swell!  so if your staying here expect to drive to Maderas or other beaches to surf, and expect it to be crowded with everyone from local rippers to learners with or without instructors!

 

The next area is Popoyo / Las Salinas in Rivas province (not to be confused with Salinas Grandes near Leon).  This is the real surf center of Nicaragua with a good variety of waves and a lot of surf camps, hotels, lodges, hostels, campsites and restaurants for everyone, it gets the most offshore winds being closest to the lake and has the best big wave spot on the outer reef.  However the various can get very busy due to the large volume of surfers living and visiting the area.

 

Everything above the Popoyo area some consider the North even though it contains 3/4 of the coastline!  There are a few fun spots in the Carazo province and a couple of really good spots on the coast of Managua Province (not to be confused with the capital city Managua that sits on the edge of lake Managua!), including an epic left reef and one of the best beach breaks though this area has a small mountain range between it and the lakes so it doesn’t get as much offshore wind and can blow out when its offshore a bit further North! We run our Luxury packages in this area and you can see more on the luxury surf accommodation here.  We consider this area the Central Coast as shown on the map below.
Further up and directly West of lake Managua is the Puerto Sandino area, this gets almost as much offshore wind as the South due to the secondary lake effect where some of the winds coming from the Caribbean and over the bigger lake Nicaragua are funneled North east of the city of Managua and then straight over the flat lands to Puerto Sandino.  This area boasts a long left rivermouth, a left point where our main deluxe camp sits, some fun left and right reefs and several beach breaks for all level!

 

Further North after some average beach breaks is the “Northern Coast” where the Boom sits and a few fun left points, there are some cool spots to stay and its not as busy as the South but is out of the offshore lake effect winds.

 

The next thing to know is where the hotel is located in the area as many are not on the beach and some aren’t even walking distance from the beach which means you’ll be waiting for a ride to go surf / check the surf and might have to wait for other guests / guides / drivers etc and miss some quality surf!

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2 Feb

KSUSA.org held its annual kneeboarding championship at Huntington Pier November 2014, Surf Tours Nicaragua provided a free stay for them to auction in order to help raise funds to run the event, the auction winner will be coming to stay at our beachfront surf hotel later this season!  Joe and Amanda of KSUSA.org kindly presented us with the following framed poster from the event:

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We’d like to thank all the kneeboarders who have surfed with us at our hotel in Nicaragua, we’ve had a steady stream over the past 5 years and hope to meet more of this great community!

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