Horsebeats – Surfing and Galloping with Amigas

There’s nothing like galloping at full speed down the beach at sunset after a morning spent trying to catch the wave of your life. Think you wouldn’t be able to fully gallop down the beach on a horse? You’re wrong! Believe in yourself and you can do it! Just watch these ladies…

Holly Showing How It’s Done

Winter in Nicaragua is nice. Offshore winds, super fun waves, lots of Amigas. In between pushing Amigas into waves, I sometimes get a chance to sneak off and score a few fun waves by myself!

Baby Sea Turtle Season

Baby turtles are so freaking cute! The Amigas are partnered with a non-profit called Waves of Hope who are working to protect sea turtles from poachers. After several months of collecting eggs and keeping them safe, the nests are starting to hatch!

Every few evenings between now and mid-December we’ll be having baby sea turtle sunsets. Come down and help baby sea turtles make their way out to sea!

Learn to Surf with Amigas

Our location in Northern Nicaragua is an awesome place to learn to surf. The waves break far out and gently roll towards shore making it really easy to figure out how to stand up and ride them all the way in! There are great waves for intermediate surfers too and we always end up with a mixture of abilities, but the group featured in this video had mostly beginners. Check out the footage for some great rides, including the very last clip of Ahyoung. She didn’t even stand up on day 1 but ended up scoring the wave of the week with an awesome high 5 from William the sexy French guy! Score!
Come learn to surf and do yoga with us at the best women’s surf yoga retreat!
Check out the schedule for available dates!

Surf With Baby Turtles in November and December

November and December are the beginning of my favorite time of the year in Nicaragua. The rainy season is over, everything is green and beautiful, the waves are cute and groomed by offshore winds, but the best part might be baby turtles! Surf With Amigas is partnered with El Coco Loco Resort and Waves of Hope on their many projects including a sea turtle conservation project. Watch the video to learn more and visit in November and December to watch baby turtles released into the ocean at sunset.

Big Boards, Flowing Arms, Estuary Antics, and Iguana Orgies

At Amigas Surf Retreats we celebrate hilariousness. It is about surfing and yoga and adventure, but it’s the silliness that occurs along the way that truly exemplifies what we’re all about. This group was one of the most “saucy” that we’ve ever had as the video will show. Check it out and prepare to laugh!

Former Ballet Dancer Learns To Read Waves in Nicaragua

Renate is a former professional dancer who thrives on physical challenges. She recently learned to surf along with her 10 year daughter and absolutely loved it. After stumbling upon the Suave Dulce camp on the internet she signed up and spent a week in Nicaragua improving her surfing. Check out what the trip was like for her.

(mis)Adventures in the Third World

This is an excerpt from an incredibly entertaining blog called Lindsey’s Misadventures in Dating by an amiga who came to a retreat with Suave Dulce. Check out her version of what a Nicaraguan retreat is all about.

Last year, I was frustrated. I saw all my best friends taking these amazing yearly trips with their significant others– Guatemala, Turks and Caicos, Bali…and I was mega jealous. I looove to travel, I finally have the means to do it, and I was sick of waiting for a dude to do it with. Then, S-bomb (fka “Tita Sue“) popped up last summer and said, “Yo. Wanna go to surf and yoga camp in Nicaragua next spring?” 
Me: “Yep.”
Done and done.
Our awesome friend Ruth had put together the whole thing and, when I’m not in charge, I just go with it. Plus, due to my hectic schedule I just hadn’t bothered to do any research other than looking at the packing list [and then forgetting half of it]. I hurtled myself on a plane a few weeks ago and off I went to Managua. With a raging sinus infection, I might add. [Bonus!]
I got off into 90 degree weather feeling kinda crappy but was greeted by my nice driver.  I got into his car and asked “¿Cuantos minutos al Coco Loco?” (how many minutes to hotel Coco Loco?) His answer: “Dos horas y media.” 
Umm…2.5 hours??? 
¡Dios mio!
This is where some research would have prepped me for that. Oopsie.
But I slept most of the way there and enjoyed the ride.  I got there at sunset, just in time for the rest of the girls to greet me. I was a day late because I had stayed to go to a wedding with you-know-who. [Good idea at the time.]
S-bomb was there to show me our cabin and the lay of the land.  It was far more rustic than I had anticipated, however, as I adapted, I realized it was a very NICE rustic. Extremely well taken care of, with sprawling grounds and gorgeous views of the ocean.

The biggest shock: 
The outhouse.

But wait- let’s back that booty up a sec.

El Coco Loco is a beautiful and unique  

place that is eco-friendly. Which is very intelligent in a country where the power just randomly goes out for a few hours every now and again. Now, I’ve used an outdoor toilet before. However not one that has no water and doesn’t flush. Nope, this baby is straight up COMPOST. 
Yes, kind of a shock at first (once again, lack of research + idiocy on my part). Until you later realize it’s the least smelly bathroom you’ve ever used! 
And how brilliant to feel like your waste is not going to waste! [hee hee]. Plus the staff and people that run the joint are just top-notch. Lovely people who aren’t just beach bums– no no, my friends. This lot is extra-amazing and not just because they’re all pretty easy on the ojos. But they are committed to giving back to the community.  Not only can they drive down the dirt road and address all the local neighbors (and their roosters) by name, but they have done amazing things like BUILD A SCHOOL and give the area children a place to play and learn 2x a week, all through their Waves Of Hope program.  Totally awesome. Completely inspiring.
Speaking of inspiring, did I mention that I SURFED??!?! 
Talk about things I filed in the “probably never able to do” category! But when you have an incredible teacher and support crew, I guess anything is possible. 
Enter: Holly Beck

Surf instructor extraordinaire, Holly, is the one who puts the whole enchilada together. Her surf and yoga retreats, Suave Dulce, offer women (and the occasional dude) a unique adventure that allows you to take whatever you want from the experience. Holly is not only funny and California chillaxed, but her calm-yet-thorough style of teaching is undoubtedly what got all of us first-timers (like moi!) up on our boards and actually riding waves. And the chicks who had surfed before saw noticeable changes and improvements in their skills. How could you not from someone who not only teaches but stands on the beach jumping up and down cheering for you when you get up?  I mean really, what could be better than that kind of positive reinforcement?!  Plus, wouldn’t you want to take lessons from someone who can do this:

She’s got many “circus tricks” as she calls them, but this one was pretty epic to watch. Especially when you’re out there trying to figure out how to simply STAND up on the surfboard without breaking your entire body. 
And, even though Holly does pretty much all activities with the amigas, as she refers to us, it’s not all fun and games. She takes her role as teacher quite seriously. How so? The first day out, I noticed a video camera set up on the beach. I assumed maybe they took some footage of some good waves for us [assuming we caught them!] and that was part of the whole package. Turns out, Holly  tapes us surfing every day, combs through ALL the video, and then reviews it with each of us individually almost every day at breakfast, so we can see what we’re doing wrong, right and areas for improvement. What an amazing tool! That bit of extra effort and care was such an unexpected bonus and greatly appreciated by all. 

Look, Mom! I’m SURFING!

It’s Holly, her attitude, the entire vibe of all the staff at El Coco Loco, (shout out to Jamie!) that made this experience so completely unique and wonderful. Oh, and did I mention crazily, epically, FUN?? 

Holly rooting me on as I ride a “giant” in.

Sonny, yours truly, and Holly 

Even our daily yoga class, atop a lofted, breezy cabana with views of the serene ocean just felt like blissful relaxation, as opposed to “exercise.” It also helps to have an incredibly rad yoga teacher, like Cydney Gurvich.

Me n’ fave Brit chick, Jinx

If you need further proof, see my all-time fave pic from the trip. That’s Holly on the right– perfect herkie and all. Hollaaahh!
Did I mention that the trip also included a little thing called VOLCANO BOARDING
Apparently, it’s #2 on CNN’s “bucket list.” You basically hike your ass up a 1,000ft volcano, Cierra Negro, whilst carrying your board [think: sled]. Once at the top, dressed like a crazy, shrouded Hazmat scientist, you proceed to sled down. 

Me n’ the amigas at the base…
before we knew what we were in for.
Sunday driver.

For some, as fast as possible.  A dude at the bottom is actually holding a radar gun so you can know how fast you’re going. The record is 87mph. I somehow got stuck and went a whopping 10mph. [Ugh]. However the ever-adventurous Holly Beck has made several attempts to break the record. Unfortunately, she ended up breaking her ankle instead. 

This is some serious stuff people!
But what an awesome experience. What a view. What a rush. Well, for some people who went more than 10 mph.[Still bitter]. 
The magical week of what I began referring to as “Adult summer camp” was rounded out by getting to ride horses on the beach at sunset. And, even though I’m from Texas and have ridden many a horse, I’ve never gotten to RUN on a horse. 
Oh man, what a rush! 

Holly said to wear long socks. I took that memo.
It’s windy as a mofo!

Pic by Cydney Gurvich
Me & Crazy Eyes Killer

Here I am with my horse. I named him Crazy Eyes Killer. He did not like me. At. All.

So I could keep going on and on about this uniquely special experience, but really–y’all should just go there and experience it for yourselves. I’ll leave you with some more pics and a supa’ awesome {video} that Holly put together. Too bad vanity has prevented me from posting on Facebook, but I’ll let you guys in!

Sonny and her “sturdy” board
The inimitable Holly Beck
Another bit of Cydney’s magic!

With mejor amiga, Sue. And, killer dogs.

Amazing French resto, Al Cielo.

Me n’ mini Ruth! ummm- Who’s pale?

My awesome surf amigas and Coco Loco staff!

Ahhh…Pura Nica!

It Feels Fantastical

Yonghee learned to surf at a different surf camp in Nicaragua a year ago but didn’t feel like she really learned properly. She came to Suave Dulce wanting to un-learn and re-learn everything. By the third day she had it figured out and was getting super long rides. She claimed it felt amazing, fantastical, and was therapeutic.

Lindsay and Jinx Become Whitewash Buddies

Lindsay is a copy writer and musician living in NY. Jinx is a hilarious British documentarian. The two met up for the first time at Suave Dulce and became inseparable in the water. Between free use of air quotes and an SAT word or two, Lindsay also set the standard for surf wear style with her below-the-knee leggings – a must for next season!
Click Play below to watch…

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