Travel and Logistics FAQs
Is the water warm or cold?
The water temperature changes with the seasons and global conditions. As a rule of thumb, once water temperatures drop the fishing season begins to take off. The water is warm from the months of May to December. Around the beginning of January and through March, when temperatures on land begin to rise, the Humboldt Current passes the Nicaraguan Pacific Coast making the water a bit chillier. Depending on your origin and the activities you partake in throughout the day it can be very refreshing or a bit nippy. Rash guards are a popular item to bring as they keep you warm and ward against la agua mala.
Is Nicaragua a safe place?
Nicaragua has come a long way in the last several decades since it’s revolution and is now leading the way as one of the safest Central American countries, including Costa Rica and Panama. For various political reasons, Nicaragua received negative PR in the past, however do not let this daunt your perception of the beautifully diverse and culturally rich place Nicaragua is. Nicaragua is a developing nation, one of the poorest in the Western hemisphere, but is still remarkably safe, and crime rates are low. Tourists should use normal, common sense when travelling in the country. Keep copies of your passport in a safe location. There is no need to carry a lot of cash. There are not many violent crimes reported in the country, but petty theft does occasionally occur in more touristy spots (San Juan Del Sur, some part of Granada
What is the best season to come to Aqua? When is the rainy season?
The weather at Aqua from mid-November until April is a perfect 75 – 85 degrees, night and day, only seeing a few light morning showers and a handful of breezy days. The months of May to August are still warm beach days with a couple more light showers lasting around an hour or two, but nothing that would put a damper on your vacation. Heavy rains begin in September and carry into October. It’s a great time to take Spanish lessons, meditate, and surf the big swells.
How much cash should I bring? Do I need to bring Cordobas or Dollars? Are there ATMs in the area?
The USD is readily accepted in most parts of Nicaragua. We recommend bringing small dollar bills, nothing greater than $20, to Aqua as there are no ATMs in the nearby area. The closest ATM is located in Rivas, about 40mins away. Aqua and most other establishments in our area accept cards as well as dollars and will give you change back in the local currency, Cordobas. Please note, all of Aqua’s prices are given in dollar amounts.
Are there many mosquitos, bugs, etc. Should I take anti-malaria meds? Do you provide bed-nets? Can I bring a bed-net?
Mosquitos and other insects are present within Nicaragua but are not what we consider an issue. Aqua Wellness Resort and the whole southern pacific side of Nicaragua are zero malaria risk areas. All rooms have mosquito nets in the windows. Since it is in a no risk area we do not provide bed-nets. When you go out, we recommend using bug spray, which we sell on site, but be advised it is only natural that you will incur a few bites. At night time it is best to wear light weight pants to keep your legs covered. For more information please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov.
How close is the nearest hospital?
There is a small clinic located in Rancho Santana 45 minutes away. The largest hospital in Managua is 2.5 hrs away.
Things to Do FAQs
What can we do while there?
Aqua offers a wide variety of around 30 exclusive tours, wellness classes and spa treatments. You can pamper yourself with a relaxing treatment from our spa or stretch out in our daily yoga classes. Whether on land or sea there are many activities for you right here at Aqua including hiking, snorkeling, sea kayaking, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, and of course world class surfing. In addition to our local tours we also offer a wide variety of day trips to Nicaragua’s top tourist attractions such as Granada, Ometepe, the Masaya Artisan Market and San Juan del Sur. If you are interested in more information or reserving any of our exclusive excursions please email our front desk staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will take reservations one week prior to your arrival or once you are on site. Please note, reception needs 24hrs advance notice of any bookings to give ample time to coordinate your trip.
Is there surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling in the area?
We have an onsite surf instructor who can take you to the best breaks on the Pacific and give lessons if need be. As our beach is in a cove, there aren’t large enough swells to surf from our own beach. At the moment there is no scuba diving offered in the area, however as tourism grows we expect this industry to catch up. We have snorkeling gear at the resort for guest use. You can go out in our private cove or take a boat trip and stop in various places to peek at the underwater world. Please inquire for more details at email@example.com
What type of community outreach programs are there? I’d love to volunteer while in the area.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the local community and a humbling experience into the lives of our locals and the general populace of Nicaragua. There are a number of volunteer opportunities for those who wish to get more involved during their stay: Playa Gigante hosts an NGO called Project Wave of Optimism, or Project WOO as it is locally referred to. WOO is inspired to facilitate community-driven, sustainable development in Latin American surf travel destinations. Many activities include teaching young children, giving transportation access to the community so that job and school opportunities are more accessible, and doing beach cleanups. They can be found on the web at www.projectwoo.org or check out their facebook page www.facebook.com/Project.WOO . Aqua’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Shanks, was originally brought on board to design our Sustainability Systems at our resort. He has been living and working in Nicaragua on his organic farm, Bona Fide, on Ometepe island for the last 10 years. Project Bona Fide has since turned into a flourishing non profit organization that uses the principles of agro-ecology to promote food security, nutrition, education and reforestation in Nicaragua. They have ongoing volunteer projects as well as yearly Permaculture Courses. For more information about volunteering and internships please email Coordinator@projectbonafide.com
Do you recommend renting a car for our vacation? How else can we get around once on site?
Driving in Nicaragua might be more of an adventure than one might imagine. The Pan American is a well paved highway traversing through most of the country, however roads beyond that tend to be in rougher conditions or are simply dirt. Do not expect to see many directional signs throughout the country, so having a good understanding of directional Spanish is highly recommended. We offer transportation services to most locations throughout the country. Please inquire at the front desk for a current list of prices. There’s plent to see within walking distance of Aqua as well.
How far away is…
The Managua Airport: 2.5 hrs The Costa Rican Liberia Airport: around 3-4 hrs due to the border crossing San Juan del Sur: by car it is about 1 hr, by boat 30min. We would be happy to coordinate either for you. Granada: 1.5 hrs Rivas: 40 mins Ometepe: 2.5hrs León: 4hrs
Is there a large pool on site for everyone to use?
At the moment we only offer our signature plunge pools with some of our penthouse suites and the pristine Pacific Ocean made calm by our cove at your doorstep. Our beach cove is calm, sandy and swimmable.
Resort Information FAQs
Do you have shampoo, soap? Should I bring shampoo, soap?
Each room is equipped with natural shampoo, conditioner, and locally made, biodegradable soap to help protect our fragile sewage systems. Our septic systems hinge on organic product use, and shampoos and soaps with chemicals like propylene glycol, which is in most nonorganic soaps and shampoos, will kill the essential bacterial in our system. We strongly encourage you to bring organic cosmetics for your stay or purchase some organic soap, made using only solar energy and local ingredients, here at the resort. Please inquire at front desk for more details.
Is the resort suitable for children?
Aqua is designed as the perfect family getaway. It is a place where families can come together and engage in a natural setting with an array of outdoor activities focused on physical health and fun. We know traveling with a family takes a lot of planning, so we make it a priority to offer a wide arrange of services that allow you worry less and enjoy more. You will discover that Redonda Bay is the perfect environment for kids once you see them playing with hermit crabs on the beach, watching the howler monkeys dangle from tree to tree across the canopy, or chasing blue morphos into the reception garden. There is much adventure for the young spirit here at Aqua. Our beach is a secluded cove which prevents big swells from coming in and only Aqua & Bucaneer guests can access it, which will allow you to have a more carefree time at the beach. Babysitting services are available upon requests. Please inform reservations if there are any toddlers who cannot swim so as to reserve a room without a plunge pool.
Is there WiFi?
Yes. Part of Aqua’s vision for wellbeing is to provide you with an environment suitable for disconnecting a bit from the hustle and bustle of our lives at work and home. This provides you with the opportunity to truly reconnect with yourself and all that is natural. We invite you to unplug and indulge in the serenity of our beautiful resort. With that said, all of Aqua Resort is WiFi accessible. Please note, as Nicaragua is a developing country, the internet can be subject to inconsistent connections at times. If internet goes out there is always a separate backup network in the reception, which you are welcome to come and use. There are no internet access fees.
Are there restaurants, stores, convenient stores, etc. near by? If we want to go out to eat where can we go?
Aqua has a full service restaurant on-site with breakfast, lunch, dinner and beach side bar service. Our “Pan de Vida” bakery has fresh baked pizzas and baked goods as well. We are also located next to Playa Gigante, a small, rustic, and authentic fishing and surfing village which has various restaurants and a convenience store with basic toiletries and food. Nicaraguan and American cuisine can be found in this tranquilo town. Roads are accessible by normal 2WD car but are not paved. Please note that most restaurants stop serving food between 8-9pm. There is a 20 minute footpath joining Aqua to Gigante that meanders through part of our beautiful forest and leaves you right on Gigante beach. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our Howler Monkeys and the wide variety of birds in the area. We also offer a taxi service to Gigante for $10 per ride. If you are in a room with a kitchen we would be happy to arrange a grocery stop at a larger super market on your way to Aqua for $20.
Do the rooms have blow dryers?
Blow dryers are available upon request at the reception.
What else should I know before I come?
The Tola region of Nicaragua where Aqua is located is the site a of several exciting new development projects that will bring jobs and resources to the surrounding communities. These projects and other regional factors cause occasional interruptions of electricity and water service. The outages are not common and usually last for only a few hours. During a power outage some features of the villa such as lights, wifi, air-conditioning, fans, and refrigerators may not work. Although these occasional outages are beyond our control, whenever possible we will notify guests of changing conditions and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
What are the safety features of your property?
We have 24 hr guards at our entrance, night guards who roam the property from sun down till sun up, each room comes with a safe that’s large enough to fit a laptop, all doors and windows have locks.
Is the water potable?
We provide purified water in every suite, at the restaurant, the yoga platform, and in reception.
What are your check in and check out times?
Our check in time is 3pm, although you are welcome to come earlier and hang out at the beach and restaurant if your room is not ready. Check out time is 11am, but we are happy to accommodate a late checkout whenever there is availability. Also, you may safely leave your luggage at reception at the time of checkout and spend a little extra time relaxing at the beach and restaurant before taking off.
What is the tipping policy at Aqua? Do I tip the chauffeur directly?
To allow for a more relaxing stay here at the resort we recommend that guests wishing to leave tips for the staff do so upon check out. Any tips left are at the total discretion of the guest and can either be given to specific persons, departments, or shared equally amongst all Aqua staff.
What is the appropriate dress attire for your resort?
Smart beach casual. Make sure to bring light clothing, sandals, boots if you plan on doing any hiking or horseback riding, long flowing dresses recommend for ladies, dress up at dinner is optional and many people do. Heels aren’t recommended as the elevated wooden walkways, pumice stone steps and sandy beach make them more challenging.
What are the restaurant hours?
Restaurant is open 7am – 10pm (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) Breakfast is available from 7-10am Lunch and dinner are available from 12pm until close Bar opens at 11am and remains open until close
Does every Ocean View Suite have panoramic views?
One of Aqua’s core earth friendly principles is protecting the local flora and fauna. This includes taking great steps to preserve the primary forest and its indigenous population of Howler Monkeys. These wonderful primates rely exclusively on leaves and blossoms from the trees located on this property, as well as the complex network of branches interconnecting their traces (trails) throughout. As a conservation effort, we try not to disrupt their natural habitat and so some views will be partial ocean and forest, giving you the best of both worlds. Relax on your deck while watching the waves and the Howler Monkeys napping or eating above you.
Do you have laundry service on site?
A bag is provided in each room that you may bring to reception and they will inform you once it is ready to be picked up. This service is $5 per bag. Sorry, no dry cleaning or special delicates service is available at the moment.
Do all the rooms have plunge pools?
Most of our penthouses come with plunge pools. Only a few treehouses have the plunge pool feature. Reservations can verify if your specific room has a pool.
Is there air conditioning in all the rooms?
Yes. We want our guests to be as comfortable as possible, however, as we are an eco-luxury resort we ask that people be mindful of their AC use. All rooms have high powered ceiling fans as a great alternative to the AC units and keep everyone comfortably cool.
Can the restaurant prepare gluten / sugar free vegan / vegetarian cuisine?
We take pride in providing healthy food the way you desire it. Our menu currently features many vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Please make a note of any dietary and allergy restrictions on your reservation and we will inform the kitchen prior to your arrival so that they may prepare your food accordingly.
I hear there are many stairs on your property. What room types are the closest to the beach and restaurant?
Aqua does have many stairs on property. We poke fun and say it’s an integral part of our wellness programs, the “stair master”, and keep climbing enjoying the scenery along the way. All of our Beach Front Suites have the easiest access to the beach, restaurant, bar, and yoga platform. There are a some Rainforest View Suites that are also closer to the beach, while most of the Ocean View Suites sit further back on our hillside and require more stair workout. For anyone with a handicap, recent injury, elderly, or young children we highly recommend a beach front suite which can be arranged for you at the time of booking. No matter where you are located at in our resort, you can hear the sound of the waves crashing from your room and getting your toes in the sand is never more than a five-minute walk down to the beach. The restaurant, bar, and yoga deck are located beach side.