New Yorkers rarely stop to rest. Last year, I diagnosed myself with chronic over-scheduling: 12-hour work days and social events that led to burnout.
The cure: Nicaragua, essentially the wilder little sister of its popular neighbor to the south Costa Rica.
I plotted out 10 days exploring the Central American country’s jungly landscape, peaceful waterways and scenic shores along the Pacific and Atlantic. Its pace was slow, its landscapes jaw-dropping, its locals welcoming.
The nation of 6.5 million — slightly smaller than New York state — has cultural lures, like festivals tinged with native and Spanish traditions. There’s plenty to do without a ton of must-sees, making it ideal for some R&R. Here’s how to recharge in settings from mountains to beaches.
Most visitors pick Granada as their home base. And for good reason: It’s less than an hour from the capital of Managua, where the major airport is located, as well as lakes and volcanoes of interest. Its cobblestone streets are lined with pastel-colored facades that hide lush interior courtyards and intricate tile work. Prime spots to ogle the latter include the trendy Tribal Hotel (from $145), owned by New Yorkers Yvan Cussigh and Jean-Marc Houmard. Its seven rooms book up fast, thanks to an inviting pool with a patterned bottom and photogenically funky decor sourced from Nicaragua and surrounding countries, as well as Turkey, Morocco and Thailand.