One of the perks of living in San Juan del Sur is that any given day has the potential for a unique experience. Nicaragua’s raw natural beauty and untamed wildlife inspires visionaries with a passion for nature. Every day brings new travelers from all ends of the earth.
And every once in a while, travelers connect with locals to create something that enables a rare connectivity to nature. The Nica Chill Surf & Yoga Retreat at Hostel Clandestino is one of those special experiences.
Clandestino’s might be one of the best kept secrets in the region. Founded in 2012 by two nature loving travelers, the thatch-roofed cabins are nestled in the jungle above Playa Maderas. From the handmade mosaic mirrors to the bamboo lined bathroom doors, it’s obvious that every piece of the property was built with thoughtful precision and loving hands.
Choose between 5 private or dorm style cabins, each wrapped by a wooden balcony, eye level with the surrounding tree tops. Papaya and plantain trees line the internal dirt walkways between the outdoor community bathrooms and shared kitchen. Travelers congregate each morning at the dining palapa to enjoy locally sourced fruit and coffee. The simplicity of this place is good for the soul.
The yoga deck has a bird’s-eye view of the jungle. Because I was fortunate to visit during a retreat, it was Nathalie de Haaij, a certified Ashtanga Vinyasa yogi guru, who led our class through an energetic vinyasa flow series. Her passion for healthy and peaceful living echoed the gratitude for nature instilled by the founders.
Walk 7 minutes on a dirt road and your toes will hit the sandy beach of the most consistently good surf break in the region – Playa Maderas. Several other breaks are within a 30 minute drive.
The Take Away
Hostel Clandestino is evidence that communal life near nature doesn’t require the destruction of the environment or the sacrifice of human comfort. If you’re looking for a change of pace or perspective, book a surf retreat with Ale Romo and pay a visit to Clandestino’s.