Situated along Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast, Popoyo beach is tucked between two cliff outcroppings and is slowly emerging as the country’s next surf destination. Due to its remote location and lack of accessibility via public transportation, it is still largely undeveloped. Amongst some of the newer accommodation options popping up is 99 Surf Lodge, a sleek and minimalistic beachfront retreat with modern amenities complete with the perfect ocean view and ideal for surfing in Nicaragua.
We arrived after a long drive from Granada and came to enjoy a few relaxing days by the beach and to try our hand at surfing. As soon as we checked into the Ocean Suite, we took advantage of the onsite air-conditioned gym(a rarity in Nicaragua!) before taking a dip in the infinity plunge pool overlooking the beach.
We then took to the waves where we swam, went stand up paddle boarding, and tried surfing in Nicaragua for the first time! I was surprised I didn’t love surfing as much as I thought I would have given I had grown up snowboarding and was quite comfortable balancing on a board while throttling down a slope, but I found the two sports are very different. I had no trouble getting up on the surfboard, but getting constantly pummelled by 8-foot white caps started to wear me down pretty quickly. Ultimately, I felt the reward was nowhere near as great as the sustained rush I get from snowboarding, so I think I will just stick to a board on snow like a true Canadian gal for the time being.
As the sun started setting, we went back to watch it dip below the horizon while sipping a cold, local beer in the pool. It was a magical end to a fantastic day within a truly special setting.
After eating a seriously delicious dinner at the hotel’s own restaurant, Taberna 99, we retired back to our oceanside suite and fell as asleep to the sound of the waves. The next morning, I took my coffee to the beach outside of our room’s front steps and enjoyed a moment of having the entire stretch of beach to myself before the surfers started trickling in.