Horseback riding Nicaraguan Style

Although I’ve had a variety of unpleasant experiences horseback riding, including: having a horse lay down with me on top of him (I had to jump off), a horse bolt unexpectedly with me hanging on for dear life, falling off of a horse in Spain when he tried to eat grass on the side of a rather large hill, have a horse try to buck me off and rub me against trees; well you get the picture–I continue to enjoy riding!  So, I planned a ride for myself and two of my tour attendees through Rancho Chilamate.  They picked us up in San Juan del Sur and drove us to their beautiful ranch about 20-30 minutes away.  They have boots and hats to make sure you look and feel like an authentic Cowgirl!

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They have cute young women as their tour leaders!  Here’s Claudia from Spain leading us through the lovely countryside…

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Itinerary for Upcoming trip to Guatemala and Nicaragua

I finished an itinerary for my Travel Spirit Meetup to visit Guatemala and Nicaragua for 10 nights in February and March of 2016.  I’ve always wanted to visit these countries and can’t wait to walk the ancient cobblestone streets and immerse myself in these colorful cultures!

Upon arrival in Guatemala, we’ll travel 1 hour by shuttle to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Antigua, where we’ll explore the historic architecture, surrounded by three volcanoes and abundant natural beauty!  Both of these countries need tourists to bring money to their economies.

One day will be spent taking a boat ride on magical Lake Atitlan with stops at two villages nestled in the surrounding hills to visit primitive art galleries, a women’s textile cooperative to see hand weaving, and try some local dishes at lunch time, with amazing views of the lake and volcanoes.

We’ll also take a half day tour to visit a local family to see how they live, visit the school to meet the children, and learn how an NGO is helping to break the cycle of poverty.

After four glorious nights, we’ll hop on a short plane ride to Managua, Nicaragua and take a 2 1/2 hour shuttle to the Pacific coastal town of San Juan del sur for three days of fun in the sun!

Next up, a 1 1/2 hr. shuttle ride will bring us to the colorful town of Granada, Nicaragua!  I have a walking tour mapped out to visit the local churches, parks, and their Chocolate Museum.

Some of the optional activities will be zip-lining, kayaking, climbing a volcano, and a coffee plantation tour.  I’m limiting the trip to six of us, and am giving a presentation Tuesday evening to a group of fellow travelers.  February is a great time to visit these countries, with highs in the 80’s, plus we’ll be sick of winter by then!