Richmond Station Nicaragua Retreat 2018
Richmond Station is heading to Nicaragua for a week of cooking workshops, surfing lessons and yoga practice. In partnership with our friends at Coco Loco Eco Resort, Richmond Station will curate this once in a lifetime culinary getaway in a private oceanside paradise.
Our week together will include daily opportunities to participate in cooking skill boot camps, shared meals, surfing lessons, and yoga classes as well as off-site tours, private massages and late night salsa dancing.
The resort is situated in the tranquil surf town of El Manzano. While most traditional tours of Nicaragua focus on the party towns of San Juan Del Sur and the historic architecture of Granada; we are curating an experience centred around food and hospitality – the things you’ve come to expect from Richmond Station.
November 24, 2018 – December 1, 2018
7 nights accommodations single, double, or triple cabanas/h5>
4 healthy, fresh meals per day
Nightly snacks and appetizers
Fresh juice daily, soda, water, coffee, tea
Unlimited alcohol (rum, wine, vodka, tequila)
Daily Surf Lessons + Unlimited Board Rentals
Daily Yoga Practice
Daily afternoon smoothie
One 60 minute Relaxing Massage
Daily Cooking Boot Camps
SUP Kayaking Tour
Flor de Cana Rum Tour
A group donation to Waves of Hope
Transportation to and from the airport in Managua
Optional Add-On Activities
Horseback riding on the beach
Boat tour of local waters
$2150 USD per person
Space is limited!
Book This Retreat
For additional information or to reserve your space in the retreat please complete the form below.
What to Expect
A Tranquil Experience
Paramount to this experience, you should expect privacy. We will be taking over the entirety of this 6-acre paradise, and the space will be closed to other vacationers. This is a private holiday for our group. The resort is an outdoor campus with amenities situated throughout.
Our goal is to introduce you to the foods of Nicaragua. Coco Loco boasts an orchard of tropical fruits, and this will be the foundation of meals and classes. Healthy living is fundamental in the Chinandega Department. Processed foods and imported ingredients are in short supply, and the region survives off the fruit-bearing trees and the fish from the ocean. Oh, rice and beans are a staple too. Gallo Pinto anchors most meals, enlivened by the presence of coconuts, plantains and citrus.
Recharge at Coco Loco Eco-Resort
This retreat will help you unwind, get healthy and return to your life at home refreshed and newly charged. In addition to a focus on fresh and local foods, each day will offer activities that feed your soul, challenge your ego and provide a rewarding sense of accomplishment.
The yoga studio at Coco Loco is a raised platform that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and under a thatched roof is perfect for a deep stretch even during an afternoon rainfall. Included in the price is a yoga class guided by one of the resorts two in-house instructors. Also, the studio is open and available to guests through the entire trip. So if you need a little mid-afternoon Savasana or a morning flow, this retreat is the perfect place to have more yoga in your life.
Fun Filled Activites and Experiences
El Manzano is well known in the international surfing community. Along the northern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, the waves are perfect for both those learning to surf as well as those with more experience. A short ten-minute walk along the beach will bring you to Nahualapa Bay. Here we will host daily surfing lessons guided by the incredible staff from Coco Loco. In Chinandega, surfing is a way of life – a daily activity that is as important as a cup of coffee in the morning. In fact, surfing is so essential that it has a direct impact on the food: there are two traditional breakfasts at Coco Loco. First Breakfast is served at sunrise, before surfing, and focuses on fresh fruit and hearty grains. Second Breakfast is served upon returning from the beach and focuses on restorative vegetables and protein.
Afternoon cooking boot camps will be an essential part of the retreat. In the heat of the afternoon, the beach is often dangerously hot for the uninitiated and seeking the cover of shade is wise. After a morning of yoga, surfing and breakfasts, Hayden and Ryan will curate a cooking seminar rooted in local ingredients and techniques. Together we’ll workshop tortilla making, fish filleting, fruit dissection, as well as local preservation methods like ceviche. Each of the cooking workshops will be optional attendance if you’d rather nap, swim or stretch. The goal of each class will be to explore a new method and help you gain the confidence necessary to apply this technique on your own.
Culture, Community and Giving Back
Each evening, we will all sit down together for a shared family-style meal prepared by the kitchen team at Coco Loco. Our team will work in concert with the resort staff to host a grand meal every evening. The meal will not be the food of Richmond Station – sorry, no burgers! Rather each meal will embrace our core values: great technique applied to excellently sourced local foods. Our goal is not to cook Richmond Station in Nicaragua, but to bring our food philosophy to a region that is new to us, and to learn about those foods alongside our guests. During our recon trip in 2017, the meals prepared by Coco Loco were among the highlights. The care put into procuring great ingredients and making each meal fresh, from scratch, was impressive.
Over and above the food, yoga and surfing, this private vacation will offer a unique glimpse into the efforts to build and operate sustainably in Nicaragua in a way that integrates into the local community. Coco Loco stands as a great example of how resorts can and should be built. A range of solutions is in place to protect the landscape, preserve wildlife as well as conserve energy and water. The partners of Coco Loco will be on hand to tour the property and discuss the solar panels, composting toilets, water cisterns, and reforestation efforts.
Beyond the green build solutions, Coco Loco also operates a local charitable foundation called Waves of Hope. As a group, we’ll spend time engaging in Waves of Hope initiatives. Among the options, this is an excellent time of year to join with the sea turtle conservation initiative. The community around Chinandega has initiated a brilliant local solution to turtle egg poaching that has helped hatch nearly 35,000 endangered sea turtles since 2010.
In addition to great food, giving back and active itinerary you can expect reliable communication, a flawless booking process and great value from your family at Station Events. Jenn will orchestrate all your information intake, provide an easy to understand and execute a contract that allows you to pay online with security and peace of mind. Our goal is to create a complete experience for you.
Each afternoon we’ll take over the harvest table in the dining room of the main building. Here we’ll set up the cutting board, bowls, ingredients and condiments. Richmond Station’s Chef de Cuisine, Hayden Johnston, will lead the group in a focused class unpacking a fundamental technique or classic local dish that personifies Nicaragua.
A few of these classes will be cocktail based and will focus on fruit harvested from the orchard. In these classes, we’ll work in concert with El Coco Loco’s staff to harvest fruit, with Chef Hayden to unlock the fruit with the right knife skills, and with Jenn Hornak to mix the perfect cocktail.
Coco Loco boasts a stunning yoga studio with a 180-degree view of the ocean. There are two yoga instructors, and each day we’ll have a guided one hour class. Yoga classes are optional. We’ve scheduled the yoga classes for late afternoon. This is a good time to charge the battery, get out of the heat and to watch the sunset.
If morning yoga is essential for your daily routine, the yoga studio is always accessible, and you can roll out a mat any time. If there’s enough interest from the group in a morning yoga class, the opportunity exists to add more classes to the existing itinerary.
The yoga studio comes complete with mats, straps and blocks for everyone attending. There’s no need to bring your own gear. Having a water bottle of your own is a good idea for the trip.
Surfing is a part of life in Chinandega and is a core component of our week-long itinerary. Surf sessions are always optional, and if your body needs a rest, you can always opt to sleep in, hang by the pool, book a massage or stretch out in the yoga studio. At the same time, there is no time sensitivity to the yoga. In the morning, the tide is best, and the beach is the most hospitable temperature. Surfing in the afternoon can be dangerous if there is no cloud cover and heat stroke is a real thing! The staff at Coco Loco are all surfers, and each trip to the bay will include a handful of trained instructors to help the uninitiated learn to surf.
If you’ve never surfed before, a single day is usually enough to help you learn to get up and catch some water. A few days of commitment will bring any rookie enough board time to catch green waves and stay up long enough that you could look a stranger in the eye and honestly say you can surf! It’s hard to believe, but we’re living proof. The ocean wants you to learn, and the staff are great instructors.
Why Richmond Station in Nicaragua
With the 2016 launch of our offsite events brand, Station Events, our team has committed to hosting your most important moments – your weddings, your children’s graduations, and your companies’ product launches. We are equally committed to curating unique events focused on food and hospitality: from secluded winter feasts to long table dinners celebrating the bounty of a small garden. Richmond Station in Nicaragua is our first foray into international travel, and you can expect to spend a week shoulder to shoulder with our team as we experience new foods, try new cooking techniques, take on new challenges and embrace a new culture – together. Station Events is Richmond Station out on the open road, in November 2018 that path will lead us to Nicaragua.
Coco Loco is owned and operated by four Canadian friends. Richmond Station got to know El Coco Loco through family – what better connection is there. When the idea arose that we could work together on curating a food-focused retreat, well, we had to check it out for ourselves. Every great event involves a site visit!
So in November of 2017, Ryan, Jenn and Hayden took a quick three day trip to Nicaragua to check out Coco Loco. We had all sorts of questions. Was the food fresh? Were the sheets clean? Was the surf that good?
Suffice to say the recon trip was a success. The resort is perfect: quiet, clean, secluded and private. Coco Loco is a campus-style resort strewn over 6 acres of oceanfront property. The main restaurant sits on top of the hill looking over the ocean. Adjacent rests an in-ground pool, cabana chairs and a platform for napping in the afternoon. Along the side of the hill en route to the beach is an assortment of cabanas, as well as a tiki-style yoga platform that can comfortably host a group of 20 students.