Best At Travel set us the challenge of writing about ‘what luxury travel means to us’, so here goes….
As a very sociable couple we spend most of our time, whether it be at home or abroad, surrounded by people. We love making new friends from different cultures and meeting up with old friends to have a laugh about all the good times. So I guess our version of luxury is when we finally get some time alone, and I mean, real time alone, no phones, no laptops, no TV… just us!
Even though we were working full time during our travels, we were lucky enough to have a few moments of downtime. One experience that stands out, was during our time in Nicaragua. Some friends, living in San Juan del Sur, highly recommended a trip to Laguna de Apoyo. Laguna de Apoyo is situated in the middle of the long volcanic chain, which runs through the country from north to south. This one particular volcano has a wide crater in the form of an inverted cone, in the centre there is one of the most beautiful lagoons in Nicaragua: the Apoyo Lagoon.
The lagoon isn’t well publicised to tourists or backpackers, so you could say it’s Nicaragua’s best kept secret! Located between Granada and Masaya, it’s actually really easy to reach, although you might find you have to lug your bags a fair way when you get close, but that all adds to the adventure! It was declared a nature reserve in 2001, and because of the strict laws that came into play, human activity is very limited in the reserve and most of the new housing projects were stopped.
We were directed to one of the few lodgings in the reserve, Hotel SelvAzul, which was totally empty when we arrived. The owner kindly gave us a tour of the rooms that were dotted down the side of the crater and offered us the choice of any room we liked, so of course, we took the lakeside room with an infinity pool offering views over the entire lagoon. We had our own sound system, four poster bed and hot water (which is a luxury in itself when you’re backpacking through Nicaragua!) The Internet didn’t reach our room, because it was the furthest from the main house and router, so we were wifi free.
We spent our time floating, tubing, kayaking in the lake (in the middle of a volcano!) and when we were tired of that, we lounged by the pool listing to music. There were no people, no distractions, just natural beauty that took our breath away.
So when I think of what luxury travel actually means… I think of quality time together with my partner in crime and exchanging a laptop screen for a view more stunning than I could have ever imagined.