I had the incredible opportunity to travel with the university to Bosawás, a national reserve that takes up a large part of northern Nicaragua. The reserve mostly consists of rainforest. It is home to tons of plants and trees. While we trekked, our guides pointed out bamboo (that grows at a rate of 1 meter every day!), pine trees (in a tropical rainforest?!), maple trees, and trees from prehistoric times (we’re talking dinosaurs). And those were just a few of the hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of varieties that grow in the reserve. Suffice it to say that it was green everywhere and always interesting. Bosawás also has crazy cool animal life – jaguars, sloths, birds, snakes, frogs, bugs (large ones), and plenty more. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any jaguars or sloths. I’d imagine it would be an incredible site for wildlife biology research.
While we were in this world of LIFE in so many forms, we stayed at an educational center that had a few small houses and rooms for guests. It was so tranquil and lovely! There was a short path that led to a waterfall. We learned about some of the environmental problems in Nicaragua, such as the water shortage in some cities. We also learned about the bees that they raise at the center and tried some of the pure nectar which has a crazy flavor – it’s bitter, tangy, sweet, sour, kind of everything!
Each morning, I woke up to the sound of rain. It felt great to stay under a blanket and listen 🙂 Then we ate an incredible breakfast – beans with lime and chili flavor, fresh fruit, coffee from the nearby farms, freshly baked bread (I think I ate 5 pieces), pancakes with their own honey, and granola. What a way to start the day! Then we went on hikes. On the first day we took a fairly short hike to a waterfall. Along the way we stopped often to learn about the plants and such. The waterfall was gorgeous. It fell quite a distance onto a rocky area and formed a pool that trickled into the rainforest. We adventured along the rocks underneath the falls, swam across the small pool, and got to a high rock where there was a great view of the rainforest and the hills in the distance. We were all wearing our hiking clothes and rainboots that the center had provided, so we got completely soaked. We stayed cool on the hike back! We were welcomed back by a lunch that did not disappoint. I stuffed my belly with fresh juices, the best gallo pinto I’ve had yet, handmade tortillas, juicy chicken, and tons of flavorful veggies. Naturally, we all napped after lunch, explored a bit more around the center, then had an equally impressive dinner. That night, we took a quick hike to a clear spot and stargazed. The skies were clear and absolutely sparkling.
On the second day, we took a more intense hike. This time, we summited the mountain and arrived at the top of the waterfall! The path got pretty steep and they’d constructed ladders for us to scurry up at points. Between the intensity of the hike and the humidity, I was literally dripping with sweat by the time we got to the top. Fortunately, there was a natural swimming hole which cooled us right off 🙂
Bosawás was amazing. I got to see a type of environment I’ve never seen before and be blown away by the diversity of creation. God is quite the artist. 🙂 Swimming under the waterfall and hiking through the rainforest will definitely be some of my fondest memories of Nicaragua.