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Spotlight on Aqua Nicaragua Yoga Retreat

September 14, 2015

aqua yoga retreat center


While driving through empty fields, farmlands, and endless forests, Aqua-bound passengers will see that the countryside in this part of Nicaragua remains virtually untouched. Simply follow the hand-painted signs for Aqua Wellness Resort that eventually guide you down the final stretch of dirt road to reception. Guests will feel like they have just arrived deep in the tropical jungle of Southern Nicaragua as they walk along the wooden bridge towards the villas. The view is surprisingly expansive and looking out above the canopy of infinite tree tops makes the ocean seem distant. Only when you walk out to the deck of your villa will you realize that one of the most beautiful, emerald-colored bays is right below you. Aqua is the perfect getaway regardless of individual intention. This rustic and dreamy resort cultivates space for everyone to refresh in paradise, reconnect with your partner, rediscover yourself, and revel in your escape.

aqua yoga retreat center

Aqua Wellness Resort is tucked away in the tropical hillside above Redonda Bay on the stunning Emerald Coast of Nicaragua. The secluded cove shelters a pristine white sand beach and waters that sparkle in every shade of blue and green. The resort itself is made up of Balinese style luxury villas scattered among the steep terraced hillside connected by wooden bridges and a steep staircase. From the sea, these villas are almost completely camouflaged into the lush hillside. The elegant and elevated treehouses come with private plunge pools overlooking Aqua’s signature backdrop of Redonda Bay and Giant’s Foot rock. There are 46 units total including swank treehouses and luxury suites with up to 3 bedrooms, making up the collection of 24 villas. All of the villas, built sustainably from indigenous woods, are above the forest floor to preserve the permaculture and natural ecosystem that spans the resort grounds. There is an abundance of wildlife here from turtle sightings and fireflies at night, hundreds of scattering rainbow crabs in the rain, iguanas and troops of howler monkeys during the day. Guests are guaranteed to hear these vocal primates and likely to spot them relaxing in the trees or drinking from the plunge pools.

aqua yoga retreat center

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Located less than an hour north of San Juan Del Sur and just 2 hours from the international airport in Managua, guests may not expect such a natural setting, peaceful privacy, and the ultimate paradise that Aqua effortlessly offers. Nicaragua is the largest and safest country in Central America and tourism is beginning to rise as people continue to discover how special this country is. Aqua Wellness Resort is one of the many gems of this beautiful and rugged place and there are grand plans for expansion. While the resort may grow and evolve, it will surely continue to preserve the wildlife and wildness that makes this place so extraordinary. This resort truly has it all: sustainable luxury accommodation, delicious organic food, unmatched views, and unspoiled nature on a picturesque beach.

aqua yoga retreat center


Imagine the most beautiful yoga space you can think of. Now remove the walls, replace the ceiling with an impressive palm thatched roof, and nestle it right where the jungle meets the sea. Then imagine an uninterrupted 180 degree view of a stunning sea cliff rising out into the open ocean and a sparkling turquoise bay that ebbs and flows onto a perfectly white sand beach. Welcome to the gem of Aqua Wellness Resort: the yoga platform. This is perhaps the most beautiful yoga space ever. Experience instant bliss as you walk up the steps to the smooth hardwood floor of an open air platform and begin to attempt taking in the beauty and vastness of this breathtaking view. While just above the restaurant and below the villas, this 1,100 square foot platform is still so secluded that you can barely see the resort and even people on the beach seem afar, making it feel completely isolated from the rest of world. And in a way, it really is. Move, meditate, and marvel in this soul-enhancing space.

Must do: strike a pose at the far corner of the platform for the most epic photo opp!

aqua yoga retreat center

Photo by author (Amanda Anspach)


Nicaragua boasts world class surfing and the southern pacific coast offers waves suitable for everyone from first timers to pros. Aqua is situated right between some of the best surf breaks in the whole country with Colorados to the north and Manzanillo to the south. The closest break is Lance’s Left which practically neighbors Aqua; On the other side of Playa Gigante lies a long stretch of empty beach swirled with black and white sand called Playa Amarillo. Just a quick ride from the resort via land or sea (and also walkable), Lance’s Left is suitable for learning on a long board and also completely rippable on a short board with it’s friendly and consistent waves.

To learn more about the surf breaks that surround Aqua in the southern end of Nicaragua’s pacific coast check out:

aqua yoga retreat center

Photo credit: Sean Murphy/Lonely Planet


Aqua inspires the balance that we all seek in our everyday lives. The atmosphere in Redonda Bay inspires the soul to calm and the spirit to adventure. Yoga and surfing are certainly the two most prominent activities here but right on Aqua’s property there is also an array of other experiences awaiting you including:

  • snorkeling
  • kayaking
  • paddle boarding
  • swimming
  • fishing
  • boating
  • ATVing
  • horseback riding
  • hiking
  • hammocking

Other highly recommended activities include taking a raw chocolate making class with local cacao or scheduling a massage at the spa, which has the best view in the whole resort!

Further afield, reception can also arrange excursions including day trips to the mystical island of Ometepe, the surf and shopping mecca of San Juan Del Sur, and the colonial wonder of Granada, plus many more opportunities to get out and explore.

Must do: rent a SUP board and paddle out during sunset!

aqua yoga retreat center

Visiting the local community and surf town of Playa Gigante is a must. The simple fishing village has a surprisingly active nightlife, and a number of charming restaurants are just a 15 minute walk away. This is where the resort hand picks fresh seafood each day! Aqua is very involved with the community in Gigante and encourages guests to get involved with the local schools, children, farms and conservation efforts in the area. They are also a proud member of Pack for Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community surrounding your travel destination. The resort specifically supports the school in Gigante, a one-room school for kids 4-11 years old with no running water and very scarce school supplies. Aqua invites guests to leave space in their suitcases for school supplies and they will take you to deliver them. Find out more about how you can help here.

Must do: head to Playa Gigante on a Monday for their famous burgers, Trivia Night, and good vibes.

aqua yoga retreat center


Aqua’s restaurant, ONDA, is serving up a variety of health conscious foods with consistent freshness and contemporary flair. The reoccurring theme at the restaurant is always fresh: a variety of juices are squeezed daily, seafood is selected each morning from local fisherman, meats and produce are obtained locally and organically, Nicaraguan coffee beans are ground each morning, and fresh coconuts are always available. ONDA’s eclectic menu also features Thai and Italian influences, American cuisine, and of course, comida típico of Nicaragua. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with happy hour, including a stellar piña colada. Two nights a week, the chefs fire up the wood-burning stone hearth oven to make delicious thin crust pizzas complete with real mozzarella cheese and all of the fixings. The restaurant area consists of a beachfront bar and lounge area, open-air dining room, and the pizzeria, all of which provide their own inviting atmospheres. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals are available.

Must do: after drinking a fresh coconut, ask your server to chop it open and scoop out dessert!

aqua yoga retreat center

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Nicaragua is warm year round with only a couple months from Sept-Oct where the country experiences a lot of rain. The rest of the “rainy season” is surprisingly pleasant with occasional afternoon showers. Falling between December and May is the “dry season” and also the high season for travelers. The climate is especially beach-friendly during these first few months with temperatures in the mid 80° and lots of sun. Temps begin to climb in March when days can reach 100°. There is virtually no rain during the high season and flora begins to dry out, but the fauna actually becomes easier to spot. With such a tropical climate, there is never a bad time to visit Nicaragua!

Must do: get in the water! Surface sea temps average around 78° year round.

aqua yoga retreat center

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(Photos belong to Aqua Wellness Resort unless specified otherwise.)

To find out more about this extraordinary place visit Aqua’s FAQ:

Amanda Anspach

Amanda is a yoga and travel enthusiast, professional tie-dyer, advanced scuba diver, yoga instructor, and amateur blogger. She currently lives in Nicaragua. Connect with her colorful world through instagram @tiedyeallday.