When the opportunity to visit Nicaragua came to me, I was hesitant to pursue the trip because I thought the destination didn’t have much to offer me as a traveler. I’m not quite the outdoorsy type, I am in that I enjoy wine on a patio in a nice breeze.
I’m glad I challenged my initial assumptions of what a traveler like me would be doing in Central America in the middle of June. I arrived to Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge on a Friday afternoon for a long weekend site-inspection. What I loved about this trip, in particular, was that I truly was able to experience the resort and its many offerings as a guest, rather than a consultant.
Situated on 4,000 acres of natural and preserved lands, Morgan’s Rock is an homage to the late Nicaraguan senator who lobbied for a certain canal to be built through this region, just outside of San Juan del Sur. That canal is in Panama, as you know, but the owners of this resort wanted to honor the man who fought for this economic opportunity.
First and foremost: the staff of Morgan’s Rock was incredible. Everyone called me by name, they offered me sunscreen when I explained mine was confiscated in the airport (shout out 4.0 oz bottle), the team members also were equally in awe of the views this property gave. I never got used to waking up to the sun shining down onto the bay with better-than-artificial-white-noise sounds of waves crashing as I perched in the treetops in my bungalow. It was truly magical.
My bungalow (one of fifteen on property) offered a beautiful blend of nature and luxury. I enjoyed the outdoor shower (and indoor shower), my porch swing for morning coffee, which was local and awesome. I was initially ready to “suck it up” not having my creature comfort: air conditioning, but Morgan’s Rock was ahead of the game: they put these white screen looking devices from the Netherlands into the rooms. It essentially is water coming up through the screens and it converts the water into cold air that shoots down on the bed. At night, the ocean’s waves crashing and my version of AC over my bed yielded some pretty awesome sleep.
My room was protected from any critters that are common to the area (monkeys and sloths!) by way of screens. So this play on a treehouse turned out to be a quite luxurious and comfortable room with stunning views.
While I was on holiday, I was able to experience morning yoga by the beach, bodysurf on the 3km private beach, enjoy a farm-to-table meal preparation (including milking cows and fetching eggs from their on-property farm) and see first-hand the sustainability efforts that this resort is investing into the region. Since the 90s, 1.5 million trees have been planted on this property and a majority of their restaurant’s offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with menus changing daily) are sourced right there on property.
My favorite adventure was hands-down, the monkey and sloth hide and seek where we ventured (still on property) for nearly two hours to seek out the three types of monkeys (howler, spider, and white-faced) and the two-towed sloth. As it turns out, “howling” sounds like the “who? who? who?” from the 90s bop “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and if you howl in their direction, the call is met with a response of howling through the trees. While we were on the tour, we ran into the national bird of Nicaragua, along with many other creatures.
We got to see where the mahogany and teakwood are grown (for the handmade furniture in your bungalows) and picked mangoes from the grove to accompany our mimosas upon our return to the reception area at the conclusion of the excursion. You’re also able to enjoy horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and swimming.
Want to relax? Enjoy the expansive beach from your hammock and chairs protected by thatch umbrellas or hang out poolside.
My long weekend concluded with a 20 minute ride into San Juan del Sur, where we enjoyed shopping and sauntering between restaurants that line the beach. At sunset, we ascended to visit the statue of Christ of Mercy. The statue overlooks the town and if you know where to look, you can see Morgan’s Rock off the coast.
All in all, it was a magical visit and I’ve left with a desire to return.