Here is our friend and local guide, Tony, explaining the chocolate making process to the See The World In Color travelers. Tony explains the entire chocolate making process from how to choose the perfect cacao from the tree all the way to the drying processes used in Nicaragua. Tony then passes the microphone to Kenny who takes you through the history of chocolate making in Nicaragua. After all the knowledge has been dropped, our travelers will get primal and roast the cacao beans the way it's been done for thousands of years and then you'll make your very own chocolate bar! How epic is that?! Bate! Bate! Chocolate!
The first full day of The Nicaragua Experience starts off with a killer view of the Pacific Ocean from the outdoor breakfast table after an optional morning beach workout. For breakfast we have a delicious traditional Nicaraguan breakfast loaded with plenty of fresh foods and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Believe us, it's the best way to start the day! After we finish up with breakfast, we meet up with our friends at Moke Huhu Nicaragua Surf School and Adventures right in our backyard at Playa Yankee for the best surf lessons in Nicaragua.
Playa Yankee is known to have some of the best breaks for people who are looking to get started surfing! The rolling waves seem to go on for days which allows our travelers to really get a firm understanding of everything from getting on the board to riding the waves into shore.
Here is Shannon, one of our travelers and a first time surfer, catching one of the many waves she crushed during our surf lessons that day! I can't explain to you how happy I get when I see people catch a wave and riding it in till it dies out. The look on their face while I take photographs of their celebration is absolutely amazing to me! The bonus in this photograph is Shannon's husband, Dennis, cheering her on from behind! It constantly floors me to see our travelers building each other up during the excursions! From surf lessons to zip-lining down a volcano, it beautiful to see our small tribe getting closer and closer, from husbands and wives to complete strangers.
Traveling through Nicaragua is definitely a wild experience to say the least! From the moment a traveler flies into the Western side of the country, it's almost impossible to escape the volcanos that dot the landscape. Amazingly, Nicaragua is home to 19 volcanos with many of them still blowing their lids every few years --- WILD!
While cruising with our wide eyed travelers down the Pan-American Highway from Managua to Nicaragua's surfers paradise, San Juan Del Sur (a small coastal town located in the Southern department of Rivas), we pulled over just North of the town of La Virgen to soak in the views of Ometepe. Ometepe is an island located directly in the center of Lake Nicaragua that is being formed to this day by two volcanoes, Volcán Concepción and Volcán Maderas .
We were fortunate enough to be traveling on a Sunday, a day for Nicaraguan's that is typically spent celebrating with family, and friends. Upon arriving at the shorelines of Lake Nicaragua we were so stoked to see so many people spending their day in the lake with Volcán Concepción looming in the distance. The music was BLASTING and the Toñas were being guzzled --- talk about a PERFECT day!
Volcán Concepcion is DEFINITELY a must see in Nicaragua! This pristine volcano rises 5,280 feet from the base to summit. For the adventurous of heart (meeeeeeeeeee), you can spend a day climbing to the summit to peer into this smoking beast! This climb definitely isn't for the faint of heart. You'll spend 4-5 hours traversing up the volcano with direct exposure to the scorching sun. If that isn't enough, scrambling up the 25% to 35% grades with sketchy trails that crumble beneath your feet can prove a bit challenging. During the climb you'll surely be gassed and sucking in air. Speaking of gas, the interesting part is the air near the top is often a toxic mixture of bleach, carbon monoxide, and sulfur --- sounds pretty hellish, right?!? To most, it truly is but it's all well worth the time and physical strain when you reach the summit of this active volcano who last erupted in 2009.
I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the summit when this volcano decides to act up again.