Nica trip review: Hacienda Iguana

Discussion in 'Surf Travel' started by live4truth, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. live4truth

    live4truth Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Last May I had an incredible week in Nica...and I had a bit of time and thought I share a bit of my experience as well recommend the place where we stayed…looking back on it…probably the best trip I’ve taken (been in around the US, central America, and the Caribbean). If you have the opportunity…I would recommend going to Nica and strongly consider the accommodations where we stayed. With the canal in the works...regardless if it will be complete on time or not...I thought I'd float a few of my thoughts…


    Left NJ with a crew of 8 and flew outta of PHL for about a $400 round trip ticket to Manguana (we purchased our flight in Nov. 2013). After a quick 2 hr. ride through a few main and back roads our driver dropped us off at Hacienda Iguana. To say the accommodations were unreal is an understatement: 4 bedroom, 3 baths, balcony, entertainment area, living room and full kitchen—every room AC’d. Although we brought an “insta-crowd” it was totally worth it as the group brought the cost down substantially. We also participated in their meal plan ($30 a day per person) and received 3 squares a day—cooks took requests and even gave us lobster tails 2x during the week. Meals in general were freaking unreal and always fresh…they provided with water, snacks…given how much I was surfing I was eating a ton and they always provided more…I easily benefited from the meal plan and snacks. The place was about 50yrds away from the beach but could easily be seen from our place (4th floor). They also had a beach bar/infinity pool, etc. right in front of the break—with happy hour starting at 4:30 and beers only $1 per. Overall, stoked with the accommodations and the amenities provided…the place itself is one wherein I would definitely bring my wife to…kids…well…plenty for them to do—swim, sand castles, beach walk (I have a 4months old and 5year old), but I am sure my older kid would get a bit bored. However, if just the wife and I—she doesn’t surf—but loves to lounge at the pool…it would be a perfect get away.


  2. live4truth

    live4truth Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007

    As I said…our place was about 50yrds from the beach, but we could see part of Colorado’s from where we were staying each morning (solid beach break). Every morning I’d wake up look outside to get a sense of what we were in for that morning. Pretty much we surfed 3x per day (1 before breakfast…after breakfast…and after lunch…sometimes the evening). Luckily the surf was unreal all week 4’+ all week (depending on the tide) and built up to around doh by mid-week and then trickled down from there. We also surfed at Pangas which is about a 10 minute walk down the beach. Pangas broke really well at dead low and usually filled in pretty quickly…Colorados was always pretty solid and worked around mid-tide. As you can see in the pics below…Pangas was a fun wave…powerful but wouldn’t break top-bottom like Colorados. Colorados on the other hand was a monster at times…really manageable in the morning, but by time the push came through it was dredging…pretty freaking incredible. Although a lot of the locals were telling us the wave was a bit wonky—given where the sand was placed, etc. Didn’t really feel out of the ordinary for me given the beachies in Jersey. However, the water was incredibly warm—hot on a few days and we had solid surf. Overall, surf was definitely good and we hit a solid swell all week…nothing to complain about on my end…




  3. live4truth

    live4truth Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Boat Trip:

    Mid-week we decided to take a boat trip out to a break called Playgrounds (supposed like trestles) and a left point break called “Lance’s Left”—sadly, no pics from either place due to how we had to get out ot the boat. After working the logistics with our “agent” of sorts, 7 of us went on the trip. Boat showed up at 6a and we paddled out through the line-up jumped into the boat for a 40-50min. ride to Playgrounds—we skipped surfing Lance’s in the morning as there already seemed to be about 4 boats on site and thought that Playgrounds would be empty. Happily, it was empty…basically, Playgrounds is a cobblestone soft wave…according to my buddy who has regularly surfed trestles…the only similarity was that it had a rock bottom. The wave itself was fun…a soft left that was about head high. Nothing special, but fun and different from the surf at Colorados. Lance’s left on the other hand was freaking unbelievable! Part of the reason is that I am a goofy foot and the other is because the surf was fairly solid! I was frothing when the boat pulled up…most of my crew wanted to scope it out as there seemed to be around 50 guys already in eh water and about 5-6 boats hanging outside the lineup…I couldn’t wait and pretty much jumped in as the boat was moving. After paddling into the lineup I waited down the line to scope out where I should set up. After a few set waves I just paddled to the peak…sat off it a bit and snagged a long set wave…such a fun long wave…50 yrds later I jump out the back and paddle back up to the peak. Did that about 10x and my arms were noodles…after about a good 2 hrs. climbed back in the boat and headed back to Colorados…sadly when getting dropped off the driver threw us right into a rip and had to battle that for a bit then finally made it inside. Would strongly encourage anyone to head to lances…it made the trip for me…just a quality wave, easy going crowd…super fun.


    Overall the cost of the trip was fairly low given all the amenities and extras we enjoyed. I am sure that I could have done the entire trip for much less…but to be honest, I’d pay just as much again in a heartbeat. Further, the fact of the matter is that traveling with 8 (although hectic at times and socially trying) definitely brought down the cost significantly. A general estimate below:

    Flight: $400 (roundtrip)
    Board bag fees: $200 (each way)—I didn’t pay these…those of you who bought boards from me over the last few months pretty much secured this for me so thanks!
    Housing: $240 per person
    Transportation (to from airport Nica): $40 per
    Food: $30 per day = $180 per person (nt., includes 3 Squares a day with unlimited nonalcoholic drinks [coffee, tea, soda sports drinks water] and snacks as well as clean-up for each meal)
    Transportation (to from airport US): $20 per
    Boat Trip: $23 per
    Tips: $40 (for drivers, cooks, etc.)
    Total: $1300 (roughly)

    Overall…a great trip…I can honestly say that it was one of the best trips I’ve taken given the cost, quality surf, accommodations, and the company. Hell of a time…I would definitely recommend anyone taking this sort of trip…as the winds were pretty much offshore all day long (except between 3-4p when it would go sideshore and then back down). As for boards…I brought down my 5’9” HS Shred Sled and 5’11” HS Shred Sled King and a few of the days I wished I had a bit longer board for Pangas…however, both held and handled themselves well…
  4. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Nice breakdown on the surf spots and the hacienda...Looks tasty!
  5. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I used to own a condo in that building. Bot it new. Put my money down on that place before it was even a hole in the ground. Golf course in the front, Play Colorado out front. Could tell you some stories about waht I did in that pool with stunning Nica chicas that I imported from Managua. But, I wont. :cool:

    Dumped it after 16 months, to some dude who owns a bar in Colorado, due to corrupt property management by Ulrik & his Nica mafioso. Wasn't worth the stress nor the jacked up bills.

    Just curious which unit did you rent? Almost looks like Dale Dagger's joint, if he's still allowed in the building.

    Solid surf report. Accurate, too.
  6. illuminite

    illuminite Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2014
  7. leetymike808

    leetymike808 Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Went to the same area just last september. Stayed in one of the Houses further down the way. Loved every second of it. I wanna go back pretty much every day.

  8. CDsurf

    CDsurf Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2014
    awesome.. I went there this summer. I stayed at MagRock. I didn't have a car, I didn't go with anyone else (huge mistake). I got skunked for solid summer surf that I wanted. It was about chest high tops the entire 10 days. I surfed popoyo reef with 40 people who half of which, were kooks. I have to say that wave is a blast if you get a good one. So long and fun to carve on. Great country but if I went back I would go with friends and stay somewhere else with a car.
    Actually the next time I go its going to be to Chinadega. Great pics man!
  9. im way better than you

    im way better than you Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    why don't you just shut your mouth. This is why colorados is full of clowns like you. The wave sucks and there are sharks and bandits
  10. NICAfiend

    NICAfiend Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2012
    Hellavu review! Great photos too. Iguana is one of my favorite beaches. When I was there last I actually got as many barrels at Panga as I did Colorado but it was definitely tide dependent. Colorados was closing out a lot during my stay and was always 50 times as crowded. It's nice to have that option when 8 boats pull up.
  11. live4truth

    live4truth Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Yank...nt., the pic below. On this trip I was along for the ride and one of my buddies worked out the housing logistics. Place was pretty unreal...I was oblivious to the politics and such, but could only imagine...but man...two stories and a great place to stay. While we were there...Pancho showed up and was in the apartment next to us...saw him a couple of times, but he was smoking some stogies on the porch when I did catch him. Really nice guy...sadly his board smacked him in the face and he had to get stitches...

    Beachfront Condos.jpg for making that barrel...not that one...I got hammered...a good punishment for dropping in too low...;-) But the waves really were great...just a solid swell all much fun!

    Nica...Pangas was always fun for us in the morning during the tide. Then we hit breakfast and it'd be just about right for Colorados...hope to go back in the near future!
  12. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Solid review - have a friend out in CA who is currently building a resort in Nica. Very interested in getting down there. Hope I don't see any bandits about, though.
  13. berthpass

    berthpass Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Effin ridiculous. No need to write a review/novel with so much detail.
  14. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    take a lap dude.
  15. metard

    metard Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2014
    where is mr novella himself

  16. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Second job at WalMart takes up all of his time.
  17. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Looks like you scored one of the PH - - sweet.

    The one I owned was second floor all the way to the left.

    Colorado had just started getting crowded when I was there (boats coming up from SJDS are usually the culprits) but you could almost always score there & the boats would eventually call it a day & then us 'locals' at Iguana would have it to ourselves. Panga Drop was fickle, and a longer paddle out, but it could get pretty big.

    I distinctly recall watching, from my balcony, guys tow in at Colorado.

    There was a fantastic shack of a restaurant about 8 or 10 clicks down the main dirt road, run by this really old woman in a bandana, with her daughters as the waitresses. Cold Tonas & a plate full of the freshest fish I've ever eaten, dinner all for less than 10 bucks. Still, to this day, the finest meals me & my crew have ever experienced.

    Cops still extorting the he!! out of all gringos on the road from MGA to Iguana?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  18. cepriano

    cepriano Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    I plan on taking a surf trip beginning of august when I get my vaca time from work.not too sure where I want to go.somewhere cheap,i got doe saved up,and willing to spend doe to go wherever,i just don't want to go to some super expensive surf resort where its 1500$ for 5days.

    im debating between mexico and costa rica.I really don't want to go to costa because of how crowded it is,the only reason I would go is because I know a few people there that I can stay with.i did some research on mexico and found a few good options.i am going by myself,if any fellow si'ers want to chip in and join that would be cool.thought about indo but with all them airliners going down I don't think im ever going to go to indo.

    any central American country would be cool,nica looks good by this guys reviews,but I don't know shyt about nica or how to get around.thats the 1 problem im facing,once I get off the plane what do I do?im not going to a surf camp where they pick u up at the airport and take u to a house on the good with a basically looking to just pay a few hundred bucks and crash in someones backyard for a biggest thing is I don't want to pay to go surf waves with a hundred other people from all over the world,if I wanted to do that I would go to the north shore where its still America.not too smart with the 3rd world countries
  19. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    CR wasn't crowded when I would go in August & September. Labor Day wknd is actually a great time to go (shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone) because the norteamericanos are stuck up north for various reasons: end of summer, school, kids back in school, family vacays are done, holiday plans, et. al. Of course, CR is not inexpensive but you can find niches of affordability.

    Nica is inexpensive once you get in-country. And after you pay the pigs their pork on the highways. But you kinda gotta know what's up in terms of getting around. And, if you don't stay near a break you're looking at panga fees to get to waves. Or, 4wd, the bigger rigs to handle cratered dirt roads , which can be pricey.

    MEX: have always wanted to do Sayulita or San Blas in late USA summer. Sounds like a cool vibe in both places, consistent waves, not too expensive & not too crowded yet. All I know about both places is what I've read; more of a longboard wave, supposedly. Maybe this year.

    Anyways, yah, CR would be my pick w MEX close behind.
  20. bungholesurfer

    bungholesurfer Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    I also was there at hacienda in the beginning of may for a little over a week and it was awesome. flew out of ft lauderdale. spirit flights were 235 round trip but we arrived a little after midnight in managua so win some lose some. but once we got there it was head high barrels most of the week at colorados and the food was unbelievable. people there are very nice also. brushing up on your spanish before the trip will definitely help out. the total cost for me for the 9 day trip was just over 1100 bucks too. best bang for your buck if you want a solid surf trip