10 Things to do in Nicaragua When You’re Not Surfing

While you may not be able to imagine it while sitting at your desk at work or after a session in mediocre surf, there is such a thing as too much surfing. There’s a point where the human body simply cannot handle a single additional paddle stroke. The legs begin to buckle as you pop up. Your lower back will ache as you crouch your body into a tube riding position. And your jaw will throb in pain from smiling after the seemingly infinite amount waves you’ve caught. The state of being completely surfed-out is a blissful experience that few are lucky to have. Here at our Popoyo luxury surf resort in Nicaragua, Malibu Popoyo, with all-day offshore winds and abundant south swells, it happens all the time. Because our guests are constantly surfing to the brink of utter exhaustion, we’ve put together a list of things to do in Nicaragua for those days where you cannot possibly get back in the water.

Continue below for our 10 Things to do in Nicaragua When You’re Not Surfing.

1. Explore the colonial town of León

León, Nicaragua is a mere one hour and forty-five minutes from the capital, Managua. The town boasts the finest examples of colonial Spanish architecture in the country and is well worth a quick detour upon landing in Nicaragua on your way to our Popoyo surf retreat. León’s Spanish colonial architecture is some of the oldest on the continent. The town’s famed Cathedral predates the United States’ Independence, with its original construction occurring in the year 1610. $3 is all it takes to climb the steps to the famous domed roof of the Cathedral.

2. Go volcano boarding

While in León, you may as well take part in Nicaragua’s most extreme outdoor activity (outside of surfing), volcano boarding! Volcano boarding is exactly what it sounds like, although volcano sledding would be a more accurate term. Cerro Negro, outside of León, is made up of tiny volcanic rock that is perfect for sliding down.

3. Hit the bars in San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is known as the party destination in Nicaragua, and it’s only an hour and a half drive from our Popoyo surf resort. If you’re in the mood for a Sunday fun day after a morning in the water, you can’t beat the bars of San Juan del Sur.

4. Play in the tide pools at Guasacate Beach

The tide pools at Guasacate Beach are just a stone’s throw from our luxury surf retreat and the perfect place to relax after a morning surf. These swimming holes are located on the north end of the beach just around the rock outcrop. When you’ve finished relaxing, explore the area to collect seashells and observe the abundant marine life.

5. Relax in natural hot springs

Just up the coast from surf camp is the small town of Las Salinas. Las Salinas is home to two steaming hot springs pools that will aid your recovery after a taxing surf session so that you can get back in the water for dawn patrol the next day. The round, center pool houses sulfurous spring that bubbles up through the muddy earth and heats the tow pools meant for relaxing. It costs $3 per person for entrance, and don’t forget your towel!

6. Tour Chacocente Natural Reserve

Our surf resort is located near one of Nicaragua’s largest wildlife and nature reserve, Chacocente Natural Reserve. Chacocente Natural Reserve contains one of the most important beaches in the world for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. The beach is the site of what is known as the Arribada. The Arribada, literally meaning arrival, is a mass arrival of female Olive Ridley Sea Turtles for nesting. Between December and July, Olive Ridley Sea Turtles appear in droves, sometimes as many as 5,000 at once, for nocturnal nesting. The reserve is also home 276 species of fauna, 47 species of mammals, and 86 species of birds. Among the reserve’s top attractions are the various monkey species that call its trees home, toucans, and of course Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.

7. Omotepe Island

Omotepe Island is two volcanos that link up together in the middle of Lake Niacaragua.  You can catch a ferry about 40 minutes from our surf resort, take the hour long ferry and explore the island.  It is an ecological playground with volcanic soil, waterfalls, intense hikes, black sand magnetic beaches, and a very cool spiritual energy.  We can help you set up a day trip to explore.  You will come home ready to sleep!

8. Go fishing!

The waters in Nicaragua are teeming with tropical marine life. Just off the coast from our Popoyo surf camp, anglers will find dorado, mackerel, and lobster. Farther out to sea it’s possible to hook wahoo, yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and more! For true watermen and women, Nica’s waters are ideal for spearfishing. If you’re an experienced spearfisherman or woman with your own gear, simply ask the locals where to dive.

9. Grenada/Masaya Volcano


Hanging out in Grenada.

One of our favorite outings is to explore the colonial town of Grenada, the oldest Spanish colonial town in Central America.  The town center is beautiful with a charming old cathedral that looms overhead.  Check out the beautiful Garden Café and take a fast boat ride through the isletas, all the tiny islands that rise out of Lake Nicaragua.  It’s really a super fun experience.  On the way back to Malibu Popoyo, stop by the Vulcan Masaya, an active volcano, and the only one where you can drive all the way up to the crater.  On most days, you can look down and see the lava right under you!  Not to be missed.

10. Explore the beaches on horseback

Horseback riding on the beach is a classic Nicaraguan activity that is the perfect ending to a day of surfing. Take in the sunset while trotting down the beach and end, just in time to enjoy a cold Toña.

Beyond the many activities to do in and out of the water in Popoyo, a stay at our Popoyo luxury surf eco resort, Malibu Popoyo, is a unique travel experience on its own. Here you can immerse yourself in Nicaragua’s nature, culture, and surf. Enjoy a rejuvenation yoga experience, unrivaled service, delectable food, and, of course, Popoyo’s renowned, world-class surf. See you in the water!


Be the first to hear about special promotions, news and events.