Km 10 Carretera Tola-Las Salinas, Guacalito de La Isla, Rivas
Perched on a raw, wild cliff overlooking the Pacific, Mukul Resort brings a dose of open-air luxury to a quiet stretch of Nicaragua’s coastline. The spa’s six gorgeous suites each incorporate a different ancient healing tradition, along with powerfully healing Nicaraguan ingredients. Treatments here are over-the-top 120-minute mashups of herbal steaming, honey-cucumber tonics, lymphatic drainage, craniosacral therapy, and soothing masks made with regional flower essences, volcanic clay, and potent herbs.
Aqua Wellness Resort
1 Redonda Bay, Tola
Step into a rainforest tree house at Aqua Wellness Resort, a twenty-four room eco-friendly lodge, which specializes in healthy locavore dishes, sea kayaking, and surfing. Slightly more rustic than its neighbor, Mukul, Aqua offers views of Redonda bay and stellar wildlife spotting (there’s no shortage of howler monkeys and iguanas) as you walk along the network of wooden bridges that connect the resort grounds. The treehouses, which rest on stilts to minimize impact on the primary forest, feature cathedral ceilings, exposed rafters, and teak rainfall showers. The low-slung, platform beds are wrapped in white linens for a Zen-like vibe. Some of the suites feature an outdoor Balinese shower, too. Meals are served on the white sand beach at the open-air restaurant, which serves up a mix of Nicaraguan and American dishes. Chef gets his produce from a nearby organic farm while catch of the day comes from a neighboring fishing village. The menu changes daily depending on what’s freshest from the on-site herb garden, but they’re always happy to customize vegan or gluten-free options.
Calle Cuiscoma, Granada
Granada, where the majority travelers fly in and out of to go anywhere in Nicaragua (from here, it’s fifty minutes to the airport), has plenty of old-world charms—tree-filled plazas, cobblestoned streets, a saffron-hued cathedral, and a promenade overlooking Lake Nicaragua, the country’s biggest lake. On a quiet block in town, the seven-room, expat-run Tribal Hotel is full of global influences: White-washed walls are inspired by the oldest house in Granada, a black-and-white patterned staircase is reminiscent of fabric the owners found in Kenya. Rooms are small, but you’ll want to spend most of your time hanging around the palm-lined pool in one of the lobby’s day beds. Breakfast includes coffee, tropical fruit, and locally baked bread. More adventurous couples will enjoy using Granada as a jumping off point for their travels, and can easily access Mukhul in Tola further south for some blissed-out pampering and, of course, surf.
Carretera Tola-Las Salinas, Guacalito
Perched on the raw, wild cliff overlooking the Pacific, Mukul brings a dose of open-air luxury to this quiet stretch of Nicaragua’s coastline. There are twelve beachside villas and twenty-three treehouse-like bohios, on the property— both styles do a great job of bringing the outdoors in. (Think sugarcane twig headboards, carved teak tables—a private plunge pool and ocean views come standard.) If you really want to spread out, the six-bedroom, 20,000-square foot Casona Don Carlos compound can be booked when the resort owners family isn’t in residence. The spa is top-notch with its Turkish baths and Indonesian massages For meals, the hotel has several dining options on site, ranging from canopy dining on the beach to fine dining at La Mesa, where Nicaraguan-inflected dishes include a yellow fin tuna confit with chili oil and blue crab ceviche.