Green Flash – Or is there Really One?

When was the last time you asked about seeing green flash during a beautiful sunset while on Vacation?  Have you seen one and did not know what to look to see?  Here is our experience in Nicaragua and the world of travels.

The atmosphere has to be just right, and the view has to be in your favor.  First, you need to have had a picture of the sunset that is on the horizon or a parallel line.  The green flash is a phenomenon in which part of the sun appears to change color for about 1 2 seconds — the brief flash of green Flash at sunset.

This fleeting spectacle caused by the refraction of sunlight, which is particularly significant at sunset…that is when the light travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere which bends the sunlight passing through it.  Seems to separates the light into its different colors much like a prism bends and splits sunlight into rainbows from a study of Cornell University.  But here in San Juan del Sur, we have a different description.

The first is a happy hour on the beach from a higher elevation where you see the horizon without obstructions — a few of your favorite drinks like Flor de Cana or a national beer.  And then a stare at the skyline watching the sunset.

Green flashes are not only green but come in colors so you must watch.  If you see it, the flash is for 1 to 2 seconds.  Don’t worry; nobody will challenge you.  So you know hat you are looking for, the glow is oval and flat and occurs close to sea level when the surface of the water is warmer than the air above it.  There are also flashes the are higher and above the sun so be watching for those.  We have a happy hour each day at the office (Iguana Bar) where you can join us.

The rarest flash is known as a green ray. But let’s first concentrate on the green glow.

Do you want to know how to watch for the Green Flash?  Follow me on this journey and comment if it works or does not work for you.  The will frequently occur at the ocean and which at Casa de Cooper you have that advantage.  We are on top of the hill where you have the exciting view of that Pacific Ocean horizon.  Most of the times at Casa de Cooper the conditions are perfect for the look of the Flash.  The best time to catch it on your camera is at when the atmospheric optics are best for this reflection.  You could also find the green flash as the sun rises above the horizon but in San Juan del Sur that would be backward. We face the Pacific Ocean.

It lasts only a few seconds.  Let us know if you catch it and send photos.  I have seen it several times, sometimes not evening knowing it. HeHe  So if you miss it, try the next evening with another Flora De Cona or your favorite beverage.

Make sure not to stare at the sun.  Could hurt your eyes.  Now as a confession, the only real time in all 20 years of looking for a glimpse of the Green Flash was at Happy Hour looking through an empty bottle of Tona Beer, which is a green, and empty bottle pointed to the sun while ordering another one for Happy Hour.

You want to know a more truly descriptive of how the Sun and the earth work together in producing the Green Flash?  Take a look at this diagram.  In this photo, we see more of a description of how it all works with the Sun and the Horizon.  Let us know what you see and comment to us.

We can certainly discuss this and show you when you visit with us at Casa de Cooper in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

 


Did You “Burn” Today?

The Nicaraguan sun is strong, hot and ever-present – that makes Nicaragua the first choice for many travelers.

However, we sometimes hear “Ouch! It hurts! What do I do? I thought I was careful in the sun. How can I ever return home like this???”

Heard any of this before?

At Casa de Cooper in San Juan del Sur, we have a solution!

Our gardeners are always growing something. One of their special plants is Aloe Barbadensis. New to us…but we went on to explore Barbadensis and find out about it.

First of all, my concern is why we had so many of these spiky succulent plants growing in and around our beautiful Casa de Cooper in the first place. This is not to say they are ugly but the plants did not seem to fit with all of our other beautiful dry jungle flowers and all the fruit trees we grew and cared for our guests.

Our gardener told me in Spanish:

“Hace muchos siglos, las personas se dieron cuenta de que la planta tenía más que ofrecer que ser agradable de ver. El gel y el jugo que se encuentran dentro de Barbadensis se convirtieron en un popular remedio herbal que se usaba para ayudar a tratar todo desde problemas de la piel hasta problemas digestivos”.

“Many centuries ago, people realized the plant had more to offer than just being nice to look at. The gel and juice found inside Barbadensis became a popular herbal remedy that was used to help treat everything from skin issues to digestive problems. “

In my research, I found out this plant came from healing properties for at least

6,000 years ago. I also see where this is used in all the expensive solutions for sunburn and it clicked a spark in Sandra’s eye (m

 

y wife) She suggested we make this available to all of our guests and tell them how to use it, FOR FREE.

Today, at Casa de Cooper we can show you how to harvest the Aloe Barbadens

Click the Image to See More
Take a look at Vidio. Click the image.

is best known as the Aloe Vera plant. It is a simple operation with using the scissors in your kitchen to cut a small amount of the spinney stem. Skin it on all sides with a kitchen knife, (watch the stickers), and it will produce a which is the sponge and the inside of the plant. Take a hand full which you will use to rub onto your skin.

You will find the plant on each main porch of your Villa. The scissors are in the Kitchen :-).

Now, you know the rest of the story about our succulent plants at Casa de Cooper in San Juan del Sur Nicaragua.

And you know that if the sun is fierce one day and you get a burn, you have a solution right next to your door.


Teak is the Way to Go…

Do you want to talk Turkey? Not me! Today I want to talk TEAK.

To us at your wonderful getaway at Case de Cooper in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. it is a way of living and surviving the season, the rainy season, the dry season and all the repairs and maintenance to know about teak.

It is a tree that grows in the southern region of Nicaragua. Right here in our backyard. It is a tree that plummets way into the sky with only leaves at the very top seeking the sun. The teak is water resistant, insect repellant and makes for some of the beautiful architecture of your villa. Let me explain a little more.

You might have read our blog about the design of Casa de Cooper and the belief of “NO STRAIGHT LINE’. The teak brings in all the exterior wood used in the enormous amount of wood railings on the exterior of the Villa to complete this design.

We fought the rain, the sun and all the creatures that are here in our warm dry jungle year around. After being here since 2004 and after a study, we looked at how we could improve the replacement of the decorative railings that blessed our Villa’s design and do less harm to nature.

We decided on using the teak wood for replacing the railings then thought about how we could give back to nature. A simple solution was to start growing our own teak trees on land below our villa. Now, wait, yes, it does take years to grow the teak tree. In fact, some 25 years to grow to the size for making planks to build sailing ships. But, guess what, in a period of 2 – 3 years we can grow a teak tree that will make the size of a railing we could use at Casa de Cooper. We were off and growing….2018 was our first year of harvest!

Here is a picture of our early venture into planting and growing our small teak replanted the forest. We made a pledge, for every teak tree cut, we would plant back 2 trees. It works and we are a very proud farmer of our own teak railings. Take a look at the wonder of railings. Some small and some large.

Take a look at some of the small trees we used in this pergola and some of the unique railings our gardeners have formed. You might ask about the rope that surrounds the railings and post. This is the original way from years ago of how the railing and post were connected. We try to maintain that sense of the “old” days and be true to the original design.

The rope is a specially treated rope we purchase in Nicaragua. It is dipped into a special solution, dried for several days giving it the ability to sustain natures elements. We assisted in developing this protective way of preserving the rope with a paint company in Nicaragua. We now coat the rope after wrapping with that coating. We also reduced the amount of rope it takes to secure the railings. All this for providing our guest with the culture of Nicaragua and be a part of the movement that wants to preserve and protect this beautiful country.


Vacation Made by History

Vacation made by history

El Faro translated to English is “Light House”.  Your El Faro – one of our vacation rentals in San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua – was the location of William Walker’s second lighthouse to guide his soldiers for the takeover of Nicaragua.  Walker was a US mercenary hired by the Leon people to help defeat the Granada desiring to make Granada the capital of Nicaragua.

From your vacation rental of El Faro “Light House,” you can see the original “El Faro” Walker built next to the fort at the South entrance to our bay.  He was destined to protect the bay and guide his ships with his soldiers, military supplies and other items need for his expedition.

In fact, it is a great relaxing walk to visit the old fort of  Walker’s, some great history of Nicaragua.  On May 1, 1857, Walker surrendered to Commander Charles Henry Davis of the United States Navy and was repatriated. Walker finally on May 5, 1857, abandoned Nicaragua in the Sloop St Mary.

He returned to the U.S. to resume his law practice and make plans to try again to take control of Nicaragua.  After several unsuccessful attempts to leave the U.S., he finally landed in Trujillo, Honduras where he was captured by the British Royal Navy. The British turned Walker over to Honduran authorities, who executed him by firing squad on September 12, 1860.  He was 36 years old.

Today your El Faro is located in the upper section of our gated community allowing for great views of the ocean and fantastic sunsets as William Walker, the invaders, saw as the ships arrived. Today you will see large cruise ships arrive and depart to visit San Juan del Sur and farther areas of Nicaragua.

El Faro is located within a 2-minute walk to the Lap Pool and the Family Pool and just a short walk to the center of San Juan del Sur.

Carved into a premier patch of land above San Juan del Sur the Casa de Cooper offering El Faro has all the wonderful sunsets while sipping your favorite beverage.

 


No Straight Lines!

The rolling hillside architecture of Nicaragua

When we take a look at the hillside in the valley, we often think of the pre-Columbian people who once lived on that hillside and the valley was their ocean.  It is all evident by the artifacts which have been discovered there.

Was the design concept of Casa de Cooper and Pelican resort a dream coming from the rolling hillside or was it something from the history of the 16th Century culture or even a touch of the adobe style of building in the pre-Columbian days in this area?

Perhaps it was from an inspiration of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) – an Architect from Barcelona in Spain.  Gaudi was well known for making houses with curving organic form – inside and out.

Perhaps it was none of this,  just an inspirational design with all of the concepts over the years of study in Spain and building in Nicaragua.  However, I feel confident Gaudi had an influence from his impressive showcases at the 1888 World’s Fair.  Our Architect, by the way, studied in Barcelona.

Casa de Cooper and Pelican is built with “no straight lines”

The theme was to not have straight lines or as few as possible.  The architect wanted us to meet the culture and nature of Nicaragua through the conception of this awesome no straight lines design. The team wanted Casa de Cooper to represent not only the Culture but give an experience of a design which would depict the older culture of the pre-Columbian era and the 16th century with adobe finishes and a lot of wood railing.  This is where Nicaragua began and you can meet the Culture of the Country here.

You will get a feel of all this from your first arrival at Casa de Cooper. You will not only notice the delightful feel of the design with all the teak wood railings, high ceilings, large balconies and views that will display the wonders of Nicaragua from sea to a working cow ranch to the North.  Even our new 30-bed hospital is a speck in your viewing.

If our architect would have applied the rule of a straight line to the building, you would not have the splendid feel and comfort of the interior walls of your Villa. An art within itself.  Think about the added features of the doors with rounded tops of the screen doors and rounded frames of the windows all with screens to prevent the flies and other insects from entering your Villa.  An opportunity to rest with the warm and sometimes cool breezes from the Island of Ometepe without air-conditioning.

Even the stairs and entrances carry the theme of the culture with “no straight lines” continuing with exposing you to the country.  The replicated statues of the pre-Columbian days add to the story of Casa de Cooper meeting Culture along with the local fine artwork.


The One Thing You Can’t do Without

The One Thing You Can’t do Without

Casa de Cooper

We all have one or more things that are really important to us when shopping for that special Vacation Rental, and you might already have looked  at the list of amenities furnished and options for adventures.

This may seem like a good list which gives you comfort in knowing all is ready for you when you arrive.

But, there is one big amenity missing and overlooked by many guests.  Take a look at this list to discover the important thing or things needed for you visit to Nicaragua:

  • Family Friendly
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fans
  • Coffee Maker
  • Grill
  • Microwave
  • Private Pool
  • Shared Pool
  • Maid Service
  • IP TV- 500 Channels
  • DVD Player
  • Monument View
  • Mountain View
  • Ocean View
  • Airport Transfer
  • CD Player
  • Cycling
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • No Smoking

 

 

  • Linens
  • ATM
  • Babysitter Recommendations
  • Balcony
  • Beach View
  • Beachcombing
  • Internet
  • Child Friendly
  • Deck
  • Dishwasher Housekeeping
  • Essentials
  • Fishing
  • Fitness Center-In Town
  • Hair Dryer
  • Hangers
  • Iron – by request
  • Iron/Board – by request
  • Kitchen

 

 

  • Oven
  • Patio
  • Private Chef
  • Private Entrance
  • Refrigerator
  • Resort
  • Sailing
  • Shampoo
  • Shopping
  • Singles Friendly
  • Sleep Sofa
  • Stove
  • Telephone
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Towels
  • Kitchen Utensils
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Climbing

 

 

The list seems to be complete, doesn’t it?  Well not exactly.  You see, San Juan del Sur is in what we call a dry jungle where monkeys, iguana and other animals live such as those unwanted flies and mesquites.  The amenity we speak of are screens on your doors and windows.

Casa de Cooper was built for your comfort and enjoyment.  We are located on top of the mountain where there is a tropical breeze coming around the hillside.  Our prevailing wind is an offshore breeze which makes the area an ideal surfing area and comfortable at the numerous beaches in the area.  All of our doors and windows have screens which allows you to enjoy the breeze with you doors and windows opened to catch that wonderful refreshing tropical warm and cool breeze.  Match the openness with ceiling fans and you will be amazed at the comfortable without Air Conditions.

So…check your amenities closely and be sure your Vacation Rental has that protection.

By the way, do you like your coffee?  We have Espresso makers in our kitchens and never ending supply of coffee.


A Name Is A Name

At Casa de Cooper in Nicaragua, you might occasionally see our rescue dog around the property.  Millie was a rescue dog which came to us one night while we were relaxing on our porch in Arlington, Texas. She was a lot smaller but a loving little creature.

Of course, we did not really want a dog since we spent our life between Texas and our wonderful Casa de Cooper in San Juan del Sur – but she persuaded us with her amiable personality. One day I looked at the back of her neck and the little bit of white which was dominant, looked like a Schnauzer.  My favorite mother-in-law – Sandras mother – always had Schnauzers as her companion. I pointed this out to Sandra and she agreed. From that little observation, we felt the small cutie little animal of then just 6 pounds was sent to us as part of our family.

We adopted her after trying to find the owner. No chip, no ID just a cute little dog with a white spot that reminded us of Sandra’s mother. Our hearts were open after not finding the owner. Actually, we did find the owner – she was a puppy from a Puppy Mill. When we took her to the vet, we found out she had been bread when she was at least 2 years old and had the remnants of the left over matter after trying to give birth. While we can all get DNA tests as a human, we found out we could do the same and proceeded. The results came back and showed us that she was a cross bread between a Chihuahua and a Mini-Pincher. And yes, she has all the measurements of her body to prove it.

Mille – a name from the puppy Mill with a added “ie” to make her ours – became an important part of the family.

She weighs about 8 lbs and has a major duty while Sandra and I are on the property. She keeps an eye out for intruders, stray cats and birds that fly over the property without permission. She also always know when we’re sad or distressed and she will give her support willingly and with a wagging tail.


 This is Heaven On Earth – Our Little Piece of Paradise

Nicaragua

 After sharing all the reasons Nicaragua is the jewel of Central America and why Casa de Cooper is the villa of your dreams, we know you’re intrigued and ready for the experience.

As we said, staying near San Juan Del Sur is the perfect setup for access to food, beaches, excursions, and transportation. Casa de Cooper is situated a convenient distance in town with views of the ocean and valley, and our villas fit couples, groups and families.

Here’s what one couple had to say about staying our  Casita Romantica:

“This is the second year staying at the Casita Romantica. Let me tell you there is no mistake this is heaven on earth. Everything you see in the pictures is that and then some. But to make things even more spectacular the quality of service you get from Casa de Cooper and his constituents ia BAR NONE!…. As you can see I can’t say enough great things about this place! Do not pass go… If you are in the fence this is your house!”

We have multiple villas and properties to choose from, and as our guests  have so graciously said, this truly is a beautiful vacation haven. We would love to host you on your next getaway, because let’s face it, you deserve it! Book Your Stay at Casa De Cooper.


The Paris of Central America

Nicaragua is an adventure and serenity in one country. With exotic Latin culture and lively surfing spots and picturesque beaches across the coast and you’ll feel the exhilaration from the moment you step off the plane.

Nicaragua is a hidden gem that the Huffington Post described as “delightfully undiscovered”. Casa de Cooper is the perfect villa to relax and unwind as you spend your time in this blissful country.

Here are the top reasons why you need to book your stay at Casa de Cooper.

he Pacific Ocean is a light-hearted and full of the fun beach town. During the day you can find yoga, fishing, and just relaxing. You can also situate at one of the many beach bars and enjoy sun and a tropical drink. The night life is just as inspiring with many local bars to enjoy music, dancing, and the breathtaking Pacific sunset. When you’ve had a day to remember you can simply head back to your Casa de Cooper villa, just minutes away.

Step back in time and soak in the beauty of the “Paris of Central America”. Granada, Nicaragua is one of the oldest cities in the Americas.  In the 1500s Granada was discovered by Spanish conquerors and you can still see the colonial architecture, churches, and boutiques.

Nicaragua boasts some of the world’s most delicious and affordable fruit. From a roadside stand, you can buy a Watermelon for $1 or try exotic fruits only found in Central and South America. Enjoy your exotic fruit from the comfort of your fully equipped kitchen at Casa de Cooper.

If you love nature, you will be spoiled by Nicaragua. Nearly a fifth of the country is protected as a national park or reserve. You can explore the volcanoes, rain forests, beaches and islands in nearly untouched condition. Arrive early to Nicaragua and Experience Masaya active Volcano on way to Casa de Cooper.

Corn Islands off the coast was a real-life haven for Buccaneers in the 18th century. You can explore the islands and imagine what treasure could be hidden there. Visit the William Walker fort and learn the history of a man set on taking over the country.

Nicaragua is home to Central America’s most beautiful beaches. Hermosa Beach is one of the nicest beaches where the reality show of Survivor was filmed. Take a trip to Ometepe Island and have made to order lobster at one of the island restaurants. Or stay close to your villa and enjoy world-class views of the ocean straight from Casa de Cooper. Guests call our views some of the best they’ve seen – in the world! San Juan del Sur is a fishing village, so you have fresh fish each day to BBQ or cook in your kitchen. You don’t have to dream about a private chef because Casa de Cooper can furnish the chef.

Nicaragua is the adventure capital of the Americas. Where else can you volcano-board (yes that’s a thing) down a real volcano? Concepción Volcano is perfect for thrill seekers because it is still active. Hikers must check out the Somoto Canyon which was only just discovered in 2004. The Casa de Cooper staff can get you lined up with whatever excursion you’re craving! Experience the adventure.

Casa de Cooper is situated just outside of San Juan Del Sur. Our beautifully designed and comfortable villas are the perfect place to land after a day of Nicaraguan adventure.

Don’t take our word for it, here’s what a recent guest had to say:

We would have to write an epic novel to fully explain how amazing our experience was in Nicaragua and specifically at Casa de Cooper :). The house was absolutely gorgeous inside and out and so spacious….We loved the beautiful architectural details especially the bathroom sinks, which were carved out of stone. The kids loved the pool, which they couldn’t wait to get back to after our daily excursions to town or the local beaches. The views from the many balconies were beyond gorgeous. We could see the ocean, sunsets, fishing boats in the harbor, the statue of Christ, amazing cliffside homes, the forest where we zip lined, fields of green where horses and cattle grazed, and banana trees growing all around the house. .….We went zip lining, took surf lessons from a well-known and fantastic surf instructor, Baldo, went horseback riding on the beach, watched traditional Nicaraguan dancing at El Timon’s, shopped at the local Pali market, and even went sailing….We can’t wait to come back to Nicaragua, and we will definitely stay at Casa de Cooper again….t was the most memorable experience of our lives!”

 We hope to see you as the next guest at our villas! Book your stay at Casa de Cooper.


The Best Vacation You’ve Never Heard Of

Safety in a Third-world Country

Everyone wants to see the world from pristine undiscovered beaches to remote mountainsides. But sometimes exploring off the beaten path raises safety concerns in some people. Yet, the most unadulterated countries are developing nations.

While you should generally exercise caution when you travel, you can very securely travel and vacation in a country like the Republic of Nicaragua. Particularly, when you have access to a rental vacation home like the ones at Casa de Cooper.

Why travel to Nicaragua is safe:

 The Terror Threat is Low in Central America

 Though terrorism in recent decades has become an unfortunate threat, many developing countries have the lowest threat level of 1, that is lower than that of the US, Canada and the UK.

(Source: Telegraph Travel)

 According to the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report for 2017, Nicaragua, ranked higher in terms of safety than the UK.

How to be a safe, savvy, adventurer

Now that you’re more comfortable with the idea of travel to a nation like Nicaragua, let’s prepare.

Do your research, understand each country’s unique considerations to ensure you’re taking the right precautions.

Choose trusted shuttles and tour guides. Simply speaking with your travel agent, villa owners, and other trusted advisors you can set up a safe plan for getting around.

Set up Google Alerts for the country you plan to visit.

Search through the for information on your destination. Check out travel forums and guides for insider tips on Nicaragua travel.

Discover Nicaragua

Nicaragua is rich in culture, history, and experiences.  As mentioned, Nicaragua is safer than Mexico and the UK according to the Travel and Tourism Report of 2017.

Casa de Cooper is the perfect place for you to immerse yourself in a tropical paradise. We have multiple well-appointed villas, a pool, and out of this world views. You also will feel totally immersed in the Nicaraguan culture here.

A recent guest had this to say:

“We were so blessed to have had the opportunity to stay at this beautiful home for the month of February. The pictures don’t actually do the property justice… it was everything and more than we needed….We have travelled the world and this place is definitely one of our faves – we will be back!”

 We hope you’ll book your stay at Casa de Cooper and have an unforgettable vacation too. Learn more about Casa de Cooper.

 

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