food, health, running, travel

The Backpacker Chronicles Week 8: Spontaneous Adventures in Nicaragua

Well well well, how are we in Week 8 of my trip already? It feels like it’s flying by!

What I’ve been up to

On Sunday I arrived in Nicaragua after a 20 hour bus journey and was surprisingly raring to go. There’s nothing like arriving in a brand new country to get you excited!

My first day in Leon was a whirlwind, as I visited the famous cathedral including climbing the roof for panoramic views of the city. Then I grabbed a coffee and headed to the Museum of Myths and Legends, which is in an old prison, and gives a fascinating history of the country, told through its narratives.

Then I hitched a ride to the local beach, Las Peñitas, for cocktails at sunset. It was absolutely stunning.

My second day in Leon I woke up equally excited, and headed to the Museum of the Revolution, where I was shown round by a guide who actually fought in the independence movement, and was held and tortured for 27 days before being released. Again, I was humbled.

Then, in a last minute change of plan, myself and two fellow travellers decided to drop everything and travel to Estelí, to hike the Somoto Canyon. It was definitely a faff with all the public transport, and the fact that we were going off the beaten track, but my god was it worth it.

The hike itself was tough, with 6 hours spent walking in the sun, along rocky terrain. We even had to boulder and traverse some parts, as well as swim for large portions of the way. It was hard work, but I absolutely loved it, and the views were surreal in their beauty!

The following day I headed to Granada, the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua. This involved three public buses and a lot of hassle lugging my heavy backpack around. Nonetheless, I made it there by mid afternoon, and after a wander, cooked some dinner, before heading off to treetop bar The Treehouse, about 15 minutes drive outside of the city. It was live music night, and so we drank mojitos under the stars whilst the music played.

On Saturday I took a tour of the little islets of Lake Nicaragua, and even saw howler monkeys swinging in the treetops. Absolutely loved it. Then, I headed to The Treehouse again for their famous Friday night party, where I whiled away the night drinking rum and dancing in the jungle. Not too shabby!

Workouts and fitness

In line with my new plan for travel workouts (which I’ll share soon) I managed to get in three HiiT sessions early on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, before the sun really set in. Even at that hour of the morning though, you find yourself dripping sweat within 10 minutes.

On top of that, I did the canyon hike, which was intense and long, but not necessarily hard fitness-wise. You had to spend a lot of the time looking at your feet to avoid rolling an ankle, so core strength and glute stability definitely came into play. Thank god for all my workouts!

Food and Nutrition

I have to say I’ve been a lot better this week with regards to nutrition. I’ve been sure to get as many fruits and veggies into my diet, as well as gorgeous smoothie bowls that I found at a place called Pitaya in Leon. My only annoyance was the 20 hour bus journey, where I really had no choice but to snack away all day, as there wasn’t a stop for meals. I still managed to make this relatively healthy though, with fresh mango, apples, bananas, trail mix and granola bars. It could have been worse! Then on top of that I’ve been lucky to have a kitchen everywhere I’ve stayed, so I’ve been cooking up a ton of locally bought veggies to get all my nutrients in!

So that’s my update for the week – how have you been? Is Nicaragua on your travel bucket list? (Hint: it should be!)

Lots of love,


3 thoughts on “The Backpacker Chronicles Week 8: Spontaneous Adventures in Nicaragua”

  1. Wow! This looks amazing. The food looks delicious too. Any monkeys?? cool!! I have never been to Nicaragua. I will have to add it to my list 🙂 And me? I just ran a marathon on Sunday. NBD. haha (ok yes, I have been consumed with it for 17 weeks, so yeah, it was a big deal!)


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