on location: MADERAS VILLAGE
If you're seeking a raw jungle experience and you've already been to Costa Rica, look no further than Maderas Village, located in Nicaragua. This cultivated, hidden gem serves as a home-away-from-home where artists and adventure-seekers alike go to escape to a creative headspace, connect with wildlife, collaborate with each other and most importantly, shred the waves of the Pacific.
My favorite part about the village was its balance; part curated, part creative grit. Crisp and cultural interiors exuded natural elements, such as sustainable and custom made wooden furniture courtesy of Maderas Collective x Uhuru Design. It's obvious that a wellness + relaxation vibe was mindfully integrated throughout the entire resort. Hammocks are strung in almost every corner, and there is a stunning outdoor yoga studio with practices every morning. The beautifully furnished casitas and cabanas are the dream - inclusive of monkeys swinging from trees.
The best part about Maderas is that they've truly designed this property to be a communal sanctuary. Everyone values their alone time as much as sharing the table with fellow guests at family dinners each night. People come here to work, escape, write, brainstorm, dream, surf and simply live in the present moment. Every activity is done at your leisure, including adventures into town in the bed of a truck and enjoying the in-ground swimming pools at local hotspots, Hulakai Hotel and Arte-Sano Hotel Cafe. A special thanks to Maderas Village for having us during their curated friends week - where the introductions, experiences and memories were every bit life changing.
ARTESANO + SEVEN ARROWS
Arte-Sano Hotel Cafe was my favorite outpost near Maderas! It has a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the tumbling hills of Nicaragua. Their cocktails are freshly squeezed with hints of spice, such as the jalapeño margarita. This is a great spot to rejuvenate after a steep hike from Maderas. Seven Arrows is the industrial surf lodge next door that doubles as a hotel and view- worthy hang out spot.
BAYHOUSE Nicaragua by maderas village - now open
BayHouse is a brand new property that was acquired by and named after the folks at Maderas Village. Think - a beach villa hoisted in the hills with a deliciously large in-ground pool, a 40 person yoga studio and a killer balcony to set the stage for sunset rum + cigars. Their weekly pool parties offer a modern vibe and change of scenery from Maderas. Rum + cigar images by Kristin Kremers.
SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Playa San Juan Del Sur is home to native surfers and curious visitors. It's pure eye candy to wander down it's culturally vibrant streets, while stopping by AURIC surf shop, coffeeshops and burrito stands.
The city of Granada feels most like a blend of Oaxaca, Mexico and Cuba. Its vibrant colors and Spanish Colonial architecture mirror a movie set, and it is historically known for surviving repeat pirate invasions! It includes a Central Park, coffee shops, luxurious hotels and lush greenery. All in all, Nicaragua offered more changes of scenery and unique experiences than I ever would have dreamed.