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How a Three Dollar Bus Ride Led to My Favorite Weekend

March 25, 2015

ISEP student James, a History major from Arkansas State University, spent a full year studying at Universidad Americana Managua in Nicaragua. Here he tells the story of how a cold weekend trip to a coffee plantation became one of his favorite memories.

People describe Managua as hot and unorganized, but what many fail to realize is that the city is the perfect home-base for the weekend traveler. There are so many amazing places to go that are close and affordable. The country never fails to amaze me with its beauty and diversity.

The chapel at Selva Negra in Nicaragua
The chapel at Selva Negra in Nicaragua

Recently I took a trip to Selva Negra, a stunning cloud forest reserve and coffee plantation only two hours by bus (just 3 USD!) north of Managua. The reserve was great, I spent the whole weekend hiking, relaxing, and drinking some of the best coffee I’ve ever had.

After a great day of hiking!
After a great day of hiking!

The best part of the whole trip was the weather! It was actually cool and breezy the whole time I was there. I woke up cold a couple mornings, something that is much needed while living in Managua. While drinking coffee I also had the great fortune of meeting Mr. Eddy, the resident author, historian, and protector of local culture. We had the most interesting conversation about the history of coffee, tobacco, and Nicaragua in general. I had to really convince myself to leave the reserve, it was absolutely amazing in every way.

Want to learn more about James’ life in Nicaragua with ISEP? You can hear more about studying at Universidad Americana Managua by watching ISEP Live on March 25, 2015 at 4 PM EST, featuring Spanish opportunities around the world with ISEP Study Abroad. If you can’t make it, don’t worry – the video will be available for live streaming on YouTube after the show.

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