“Initially, Nica World School was only hosting families for one month sessions, but when a few two week sessions opened up, it became one of the biggest blessings of our lives.
We are world travelers (or so we thought). My husband has been to over 80 different countries, our sons have been to around 30, and I’ve been to about 40, but we’ve never been able to really have the time or opportunity to dig deep and truly live like the locals before. Of course, we try to teach our boys about everywhere we visit with a mix of fun tourist attractions and tours given by local people. We learned very quickly that Nicaraguans have the best sense of community that we’ve seen.
We had a lot of concerns leading into this trip (many that were new to us). How the border crossing going to be (we flew into Costa Rica), how we going to get along with everyone, Covid concerns, will we like the food, just how bad are the bugs, will we be able to handle the heat, safety, and what will we do when it’s unscheduled time (logistics)? My husband is much more comfortable with handling unplanned things and new people than I am. He really had to “sell” me on this trip, but after we spoke to Britton via Zoom, I knew that everything was going to be great! She, Alex, all 3 of their kids are among the nicest people we’ve ever met.
Fast forward to our arrival date. Our flight went as scheduled, the drivers were there as promised, and they helped us understand and led us through the border crossing with zero issues. We arrived to the Nica World School mid-afternoon, and within 5 minutes our boys were in the pool playing with the other kids and Kevin and I were getting settled in our room. A little later we went on our first excursion to the town square for a festival.
Our safety concerns melted away instantly! We ended the night going out to dinner at a local place right on the San Juan beach. We had 3 plates divided among the 4 of us (the portions were big), and sodas for around $20 total! The food is amazing. In fact, we visited the same restaurant a couple times on our own.
Each day consisted of breakfast, Yoga, Spanish lessons, art class, lunch, and excursion ranging from going to a local farm, visiting a variety of beaches, relaxing at a resort while the kids enjoyed using their water slides, getting to release baby turtles, and everything in between). After the excursion, we’d often come back to an expertly prepared dinner. The food is excellent, fresh, and made with love. They are able to even meet a wide variety of dietary needs, but you’ll need to make advance arrangements. We had several vegetarians and gluten free needs in our group.
The bugs weren’t bad for us, but if you’re sensitive in other parts of the world you’ll need to bring good bug spray. Mosquitos normally love me, but I had maybe 5-10 bites in our 17 days. We stayed in screened open-air cabanas with some very minor critter encounters, but it ends up being a wonderful learning experience if you keep an open mind. Just be smart. Simple things like checking your shoes and clothes before putting them on. We actually miss going to sleep to the sounds of Howler Monkeys.
Nica World School is not the traditional definition of 5-star luxury, but if you look at it from a slightly different perspective, what could be much more luxurious than waking up to nature sounds, great coffee already made for you, having a private yoga instructor in a beautifully natural setting, eating fresh healthy meals that you don’t have to cook, private Spanish lessons, an afternoon excursion set up to a gorgeous beach with virtually no one else in sight, and all activities, meals, and transportation set up for you by the most gracious and considerate family with immense local knowledge and connections? That’s true luxury!
Nicaragua is of course a developing country, and if you come looking for things to complain about, you’ll probably find plenty, but if you come with an open mind and flexible personality eager to enjoy nature, wonderful people, and seeing the world from a fresh perspective, you’ll find plenty of incredible experiences as well! Overall, we had an amazing experience escaping the complexities of normal life in the US, teaching our children (and ourselves) about other cultures, and being able to really bond as a family, and we came away with life-long friends we now consider family. We can’t wait to return!”