Pre Departure Questions
Monty’s Beach Lodge and Surf Camp
We’re excited to have you join us in at Monty’s Beach Lodge in Jiquilillo, Nicaragua. Here is some information to assist you in preparing for your trip.
Jiquilillo is a remote fishing village, with no tourist “industry”, so it provides a great opportunity to see authentic Nicaraguan life. Right on the beach, the sea is the life blood of this community that consists of about fifty families whose livelihoods depend on fishing. The majority of families live in small ranchos (palm roof huts), which is the typical Nicaraguan home of this region. The village is typical of how Nicaraguan families provides for themselves using the scant resources available to them.
Village life is quiet and laid back, the people friendly and welcoming. Foreign visitors are a novelty here: if you speak any Spanish (and even if you don’t!) whenever you visit the beach or pulperia (shop) someone will chat to you. .. maybe even invite you out fishing. If you are able to learn some common words in Spanish your experience will be enrichened.
Jiquilillo has no services beyond a few tiny pulperias selling sodas, snacks, cigarettes, beer, rum and essentials like soap. Most food is bought from the markets in Chinandega and brought into the village. At Monty’s you will have great food, and fresh local seafood caught in Jiquilillo. If you have any special requests, regular trips to Chinandega will ensure your needs are met.
Pre-Departure to Nicaragua
Do I need shots?
Hepatitis A, Tetanus & Typhoid are recommended but not mandatory. Gammoglobin is a good immune booster to have as well. Whatever you decide is best for you, as everyone has different immune systems and beliefs about vaccinations. Visit the Center for Disease Control's Site (CDC) for the latest information. http://www.cdc.gov/ Nicaragua also has a very good health system and there is a health clinic steps behind Monty’s Surf Camp should you require medical attention.
Do I need passport or visa?
You will not need a visa to travel to Nicaragua however you will need a validpassport.
What is the weather like?
What do I bring?
Ø Valid Passport
Ø $10 U.S. cash for ENTRY fee
Ø While you are able to exchange US cash for Nicaraguan money in Chinandega, is always a good idea to bring some with you for the first few days for activities, souvenirs and incidentals
Ø Beach Towel
Ø Bug Spray
Ø Water Bottle
Ø Light long pants (volcano hike)
Ø Light long sleeve shirt for night
Ø Benadryl of After Bite (if you are allergic to anything)
Ø Headlamp for night time when the power sometimes goes out.
Ø Personal toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, soap
What should I do with any donations I collected?
If you have donations to bring with you we suggest packing them in an extra suitcase and checking them in with your personal bag. Please check with your airline to insure you meet the baggage with and size limitation or you may be charged additional fees. If you have cash donations check with Monty in advance to discuss what is most needed in the community. Monty can make arrangements with Gerry to pre-purchase items in Nicaragua, prior to our arrival to alleviate checking in too many bags.
Donations we are presently looking for are the following…
1. Books for reading, preferably for younger students with both Spanish and English. If not then Spanish is great. We are trying to build a library both at the schools and at our Community Centre. Learn to read English books would be good too.
2. Painting and Crafts supplies. We would like to have regular painting and craft sessions at the Community Centre. As well the adults in the Community would like to learn these skills to be able to sell their work.
3. Games and Sports Equipment. Soccer balls, baseballs, Frisbees, volleyballs etc.
4. Beauty Supplies. The women would like to start a beauty school at the community centre.
6. Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
7. School Supplies
There is a $10 US arrival fee at customs upon arriving into Managua airport. There is free internet access in the Managua airport if you bring your laptop.
There will be a driver waiting for you upon your arrival with a sign that reads Monty’s Surf Camp. Most likely his name will be Javier. If you do not see him please be patient as he will be there shortly. Javier also speaks little to no English, but knows exactly what to do, so no need to worry. If need be feel free to contact Gerry (Lodge Manager) at 505 8949-1952. There is a phone at the Lodge and Internet access with a computer you may use for $5 per day.
If your flight arrives late, you may overnight in at the Best Western Hotel beside the airport and get picked up in the morning. We can also have a driver bring you to Chinandega and stay at the San Juan Hotel which is owned by Gerry and is included in your accommodation. The drive from the airport to Hotel San Juan is about 2 hours. It is another 45 minutes to Monty’s. We can also have the driver take you direct to Montys from the airport any time day or night. This drive is just under 3 hours from the airport.
Upon arriving to the lodge you will be met by Gerry, the camp host. Gerry, a native Nicaraguan, and partner to Monty, has been instrumental in developing Monty’s Jiquilillo Lodge and in providing for the people of Jiquilillo and Chinandega through humanitarian efforts both spearheaded by Monty and his own organization. He will regale you with local and historical knowledge, his great sense of humour, his amazing Latin dancing abilities and will be an important resource for you at the camp.
The camp has electricity and the outlets are the same as Canada, so all electrical devices (such as camera rechargers will work in Nicaragua. The camp has fully equipped washrooms with showers, running water and toilets just like home. The rooms have mosquito nets and fans for comfort. Those who are sleeping in dorm or private room with communal bath please be sure to bring a flashlight as it is quite dark at night.
Safety is not a concern, however as an additional comfort, all the rooms with the exception of the dorm rooms have a private lock and there is an overnight security guard at the property.
If you have any dietary restrictions please let Monty know at least one week prior to departure. Breakfast is usually served between 7:00am - 10:00am. Lunch is generally served around 12:30pm and dinner around 6:30/7:00pm.
The wave in front of the lodge is a beginner wave and is usually around 2-4ft. If you would like surf lessons you will be able to sign up upon your arrival. Boards are available at the camp so no need to bring one unless you prefer your own.
Boat trips to the sand break (10 minute boat ride) are an additional cost and can be arranged when you arrive. To check on the surf forecast please reference these sites -
For an up to date list of volunteering activities, check out the website!. This is a huge focus for us at Montys. So even if people want to come and relax for a week a portion of their package money goes to help with our projects!
There are many activities you can enjoy during your stay. These activities may be part of your package or may be individually charged. These can be arranged prior to your visit or once you arrive.
There are mountain bikes for use on the beach and in the village. There is a $5 half day charge and $10 full day charge for these that helps sustain the Community Centre.
Available to ride along the nine kilometres of beach, estuary and trails.
Typically departing early in the morning with one of the local fishermen, the boats hold 4-6 people and drinks and snacks are included. Cost is $50 and usually a minimum of four people to cover the boat driver, fuel and lost lures!
Kayaks & Canoes
Kayak or Canoe Padre Ramos Wildlife Reserve. This is a mangrove estuary chock full of fish and migrating birds. We are getting 5 “SURF KAYAKS” this December that can be used both on the waves and in the estuary!
Volcano Hike & Slide
Tours to Cerro Negro just outside of Leon where you can hiking and slide down the volcano! We typically also go for lunch in Leon where you have time to walk around the main square.
Coffee Plantation tour
We can arrange for group or private Spanish lessons with advance notice.
Paddleboarding—we have two paddleboards for use and looking to get more for this winter season!
"Upcoming Dates, Events and Activities"
Guests are welcome to join in or relax and do your own thing!
Elementary schools latrines build completed, pop bottle school in progress....Need more volunteers to help! Come and join this amazing effort and travel with a purpose!
Email Monty for more info..
Anyone interested in a Yoga Karma Service retreats in August, November, January ?
Email Monty for more info..
Together Works Society
Together Works is a Canadian non-profit founded in 2010. It was born out of the desire to support long term sustainable, community led projects taking place in Jiquillio and the surrounding communities. Ensuring projects have on going funding and support is essential to creating lasting improvement in people lives.
I had a tremendous experience in Nicaragua at Monty's surf camp. The place is sooo relaxing, people and staff so friendly, food tasty. For me anywhere else, just being able to doze off in the afternoon is near impossible, but not there, I could do it several times. As minor as that sounds, it was huge for me. The sunsets were great and I can never forget them..so beautiful and could not ask for more. Gerry did an outstanding job at keeping us entertained in, and outside of the the camp as well; I will be returning soon, I miss it . What an awesome, friendly place to be !!