Hacienda Iguana is a gated community on the Emerald Coast, also known as the Tola Beaches. We spent five nights there in a rental house a two-minute walk from the beach and it was perfect.
The beach there was amazing! It was a few kilometers long and we shared it with only a few other beach-goers and a handful of surfers. Speaking of surfing – the breaks off this beach are considered to be the best in Nicaragua. We usually set ourselves up right in front of the Colorados break and we had fun watching the surfers. Trevor also took a surf lesson with Ryan from Iguana Surf Rentals and he said it was the best surf lesson he’d ever taken.
Most days we had breakfast at our house, then headed to the beach for a few hours. Went back to the house for lunch and afternoon naps then went back to the beach to catch the sunset. It seemed like everyone came down to the beach for sunset – to walk, play and visit with other people. It had such a great community vibe. Near our house there was also a restaurant and beach club. Every evening the bar there had great happy hour specials on food & drinks, so we had dinner there a few times.
Within the community there were several other restaurants and a few little shops. We visited Spokes & Scoops (an ice cream and coffee shop) several times. Both the ice cream and coffee were good and it was fun to lounge on their pillows while watching surf videos (if the kids would sit still for a minute or two).
While we were away it was our dating anniversary, so Trev surprised me with dinner on the beach at Aqua Wellness Resort (about a 20 min cab ride). The food and atmosphere were great, so we brought the kids back the next day to eat lunch and play on the beach there. The cove there is a bit more sheltered than Hacienda Iguana, but that day the waves were still fairly large. We didn’t pay to use the beach when we went, but we heard they were in the midst of changing the policy and some people were being charged $20USD to use the beach, beach toys and lounge chairs. If this is something you’re planning on doing maybe check into it first.
Stay tuned, I've still got two more Nicaragua posts coming up!