This post is for all those moms and dads out there that have Granada, Nicaragua on their radar for their dream immersion experience living abroad with family. You may have already noticed how popular Granada has become with families with kids from all over Europe, Australia, and North America. Granada has it all: the bilingual international schools, the beautiful housing, the restaurants and supermarkets, the safest streets in Central America and the most gorgeous natural scenery at its doorstep.
But did you know that Granada is exploding with amazing opportunities to get fit? Yep. You might not see this written about in other blogs but the gym craze is on here in Granada and you are going to want to jump in, too. This is your moment! Think about it. Back home, I know that your family is on the go and you’ve got all kinds of stuff you are heading out to every day. It’s not even just work and all the scheduled activities but you are also planning to spend some time abroad and that takes a lot of effort to organize. I remember all of it!
But fast forward to when you get here (you’re almost there, you’re almost there) and you are going to have more free time to really invest in yourself and your well-being than you have had in a long time. Why not make a commitment to yourself to finally make a fresh new start in a new place by planning to exercise regularly? If not now in paradise with life moving at calmer, healthier pace, then when?
Granada is full of happening gyms for every taste. In fact, The Fitness Club just opened as of March 2018 and features every amenity you can think of for the discerning gym goer (including air conditioning! Don’t laugh they are the only ones). If you need it glossy and new, this gym is probably your best bet.
The most popular gym with visitors and expats is Pure Gym for their amazing yoga classes, healthy vegetarian restaurant, and excellent massage services. Pure has a good mix of expats and Nicaraguans both in their membership and their class teaching staff. It’s kind of a happy medium between worlds. I personally like to stop by Pure for a really good therapy massage and pick up some quality kombucha and coconut oil.
But know that there is another class of gym that also deserves your attention and certainly has mine. The purely Nicaraguan gym frequented almost exclusively by Nicaraguans. Personally this is where I want to hang out. If I wanted to feel like I was in the US, I would be living in the US. I love Nicaragua and Nicaraguans and getting the chance to hang out with them for an hour each day is candy for me! There are endless opportunities to meet people! It’s so much fun to take advantage of the perfect venue to daily immerse yourself in the Nica experience.
I personally attend Junior’s Gym on Calle Xalteva and I love it. It’s as rustic as all get up but it’s a real Nicaraguan experience. The members are dedicated to working on their bodies and they are so nice! I love seeing them every day and getting the chance to hang out, chat and sip a smoothie with a local Granadino. I ask you, where else would I get that perfect opportunity? It’s awesome! Come and try it!
There is a smattering of local Nica gyms just like Junior’s all over the city. I am sure once you start walking the streets of Granada you will stumble upon a great gym in your very own neighborhood. Take a look at it and try to see how you can incorporate it into your goal of living differently abroad and learning about a new culture. This might be the one place you have everyday where you feel yourself really getting into your immersion experience and enjoying being close to the fascinating nationals in your new host country.
As a helpful aside, allow me please to give you an introduction to Nicaraguan culture. If you are wondering how to break the social ice at any of these gyms, it is really quite easy. I have never witnessed a buenos días, not responded back in kind to the greeter ever. If you say this greeting to anyone, including a crowded room full of people you will always be greeted back, by everyone! The same dependable principle holds true about throwing out a smile.
Nicaraguans are inherently well-mannered and super friendly, but may often wait for you to initiate contact out of shyness. Take the initiative to greet and smile your way all over Granada and you will find that that this bustling, beautiful city will start to feel like your very own, small hometown.
Starting with that rustic neighborhood gym that not only makes you fall in love with your body again and but also your most amazing adventure abroad in Nicaragua.
This is it! You’re heading to the most beautiful place on earth! Remember your trip fondly with the healthy body that you built here and the precious friendships that made that journey all the sweeter along the way.