Nicaragua - Tola and Pacific Beaches
The Tola region, commonly referred to as the ‘Nicaraguan Riviera’, is an idyllic getaway with islolated pristine beaches and dramatic coastlines. Located off of a long, bumpy dirt road just west of Rivas, the beaches of Tola have maintained quiet tranquility in comparison to other Nicaraguan beach towns such as San Juan del Sur.
The string of lonely beaches that make up the almost 18 kilometers of Pacific shoreline between Tola and El Astillero are quite diverse. Secluded from each other by rolling tree-covered hills each beach has its own unique characteristics; some have sparkling white sand with steep rocky outcrops while others are situated in secluded bays. Some beaches are pefect for swimming and snorkeling while others provide perfect A-frame head-high peaks for surfers.
Originally a rural farming area, the Tola region has seen incredible growth over the past couple of years. While many still make their living off the fertile land, many locals are now trying their hand in tourism. Local restaurants, fishing charters, and transportation companies have begun cropping up along the coastline. Depsite the relative increase in tourism infrastructure, the area still remains quite remote; visitors are still likely to encounter herds of cows on the roads and most of the traffic in the area is limited to bicycles.
Visitors to the region have the option to stay in a variety of accommodations including hotels, eco-resorts, condos, and private beachfront homes. While there are a few local restaurants along the main road, food options are scarce. Visitors should either plan to bring in their own food or stay at a hotel or lodge that offers all-inclusive meal packages, as a trip to the grocery store is long, dusty hourlong drive.
Many who choose to make the trip out to this part of Nicaragua do so for one of two reasons: to surf or relax. Places to visit in the area include Chacocente Natural Reserve, the small fishing village of Gigante, and Guasacate. In addition other activities include horseback riding, hiking, fishing, surfing, or just hanging out on the beach. As for nightlife, a few of the small towns and developments have small bars but for the most part, things are rather quiet.
The Tola area is a perfect destination for those who wish to unwind and relax on a pristine beach with few interruptions. There are very few areas in the world with such immense natural beauty and little development.