On my most recent trip to Costa Rica I stayed at Pacuare Lodge, a National Geographic “Most Unique Lodges of the World” property. Upon checkout I got a flyer for some of their other properties where I discovered Jicaro Island Lodge in Nicaragua.

“A private island getaway minutes from the colonial town of Grenada on the shores of Lake Nicaragua”.

Jicaro Island Lodge, Nicaragua

A few more clicks told me I could do excursions to cloud forests, hot springs and a volcano. I could birdwatch and learn artisanal fishing on the traditional wooden boats that local fishermen use. I could tour a craft market, visit a rum distillery and go on a “street food” tour.

It looks like 5 or 6 days is the typical length of stay if you really want to take advantage of the activities. For me, if I’m going to travel that far I like to see at least 2 different places in a country. A little more research led me to the Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua – a mostly undiscovered destination for a few “do-nothing” beach days.

Yemaya Island Hideaway, Little Corn Island

The outline below includes a trip to Jicaro Island Lodge with an add on of 3 or 4 days on Little Corn Island.

When To Go Jan-April is the dry season in Nicaragua. The rest of the year is “green season” which means more rain but better prices.
Getting ThereFly into Grenada, Nicaragua. Jicaro Lodge will transfer you to their island and back to airport. Fly to Big Corn Island and water taxi to Little Corn Island.
Days NeededJicaro Lodge requires a minimum of 3 days but 5-6 full days looks optimal. I’m adding 3-4 days for Little Corn Island.
Things To DoGrenada is a historic colonial town that looks worth a visit. It seem reasonably safe, but I like the idea of being with a tour company for excursions into town and further afield.
Birdwatching, hiking, visit a volcano, rum distillery, coffee plantation, zip line, kayak, fish, eat. Little Corn Island is all about beach, snorkeling and maybe boating.
BudgetJicaro Lodge:
Very pricey – starts at $680 per night which is for a private casita, airport transfers, 3 meals per day (no alcohol) and includes the fishing excursion and use of paddle boards/kayaks. All other excursions are extra.
Little Corn Island – Yemaya Island Hideaway
Looks very reasonable with a mid-level room being around $150/night

If this looks like your kind of trip but Jicaro isn’t in your budget, I recommend Costa Rica. Click the image below to visit my page for destination ideas and details of how to plan that trip.

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