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All reviewstide poolsgreat waveslow tideother guestslocal communitythe kitchen staffwater pressurefeel like familyrelaxing placeper daycold beermin walkyoga retreatboat triprocking chairsprivate bathroomallison
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Reviewed January 26, 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed the extremely relaxing environment. Our whole family was doted on. It's not luxury by any means. It's quite rustic, but beautiful and has everything you "need". The pool wasn't sparkling, sometimes they ran out of towels or coffee mugs or breakfast cereal. Oh well. It's in a super isolated tiny village. This isn't Hawaii or Puerta Vallarta. BUT, if you are okay with not having sparkling perfect lodging, you can experience an amazing and authentic trip, far from tourists and crowds and vendors bugging you to buy their wares.

What really sets this resort apart is the staff, and I hesitate to use the word staff. They are more like hosts-friends-locals taking you into their personal paradise. I have never felt so well taken care of in my life. The owners, instructors, yoga teachers, bartenders, etc. will do ANYTHING to take care of you. My 9 y/o daughter loved a cake they made one night. The next day she asked for cake again, as a casual request for dinner that night. Within hours one of the kitchen ladies came up to our place and made a cake just for her. Over the top service. The surf coaches went out of their way to befriend my 14 year old and they were a great influence on her.

The organization really cares about the locals, too. They are investing in teaching locals to surf and sponsoring all kinds of education projects. Be sure to go eat at the cafe that sponsors internet and education for the local kids (whose families live on less than $1 a day). Each meal you buy pays for two school lunches. And the meals cost $3.50!!

We came during low surf season so the waves weren't great but the Solid Staff had plenty of activities and distractions for us like tidepools and super special spots in the town of Leon. My daughter befriended a couple little local girls that didn't speak English and we had them over every day eating with us and swimming the in pool. They were teaching each other words and using sign language to communicate and now are inspired to "actually" learn Spanish. My kids are pampered and spoiled and don't like Mexico or dirt or roughing it surprisingly loved this place. My picky eater cleaned her plate over and over and both say they want to live there.

I can only imagine how much fun it must be during high surf season!

  • Stayed: January 2017, traveled with family
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Thank Elke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2017

SOLID Surf and Adventure is a time I'll never forget.

I'll just leave a fairly short review, as most excellent points have been covered by previous reviewers. In fact...I experienced so many of the positive aspects I read, it's uncanny.

Long & short of it: Seamless trip to & from the airport. (Thanks, Jose!) 3 excellent square meals a day. (the food is no joke...see all the other glowing reviews, I won't re-hash) Coffee was ready when we woke up. Bar nicely stocked. Tona!! All employees are salt of the earth, great vibes. Comfortable rooms. Definitely do the sandboarding volcano trip...unforgettable!

SOLID is an experience that may cause you to re-think the way you live. This ain't the Waldorf Astoria. But it will make you realize so much of what we do day-to-day is extraneous. Simplify! You don't need to be online 24-7, texting, checking emails, blah blah. If you want to step away from all the trappings of modern civilization, this is the place for you. Trust me, all that work and BS will be waiting for you when you get back. El Transito is totally off the radar. Untouched by modern civilization and overdevelopment. I hope it stays that way.

Finally, a HUGE shout out to Dave who got me up and running early in the trip. I'm 45, but relatively new to surfing. (I decided to get serious about it in 2016) Dave gave me the guidance and insight with some simple steps that have helped me paddle better and catch some waves. Solid techniques that I will continue to practice. (Granted, I'm currently surfing in a 5mm hooded suit..there ain't no lovely 85 degree air & water where I reside).

I even did a couple yoga classes. What????

Bottom line: Amazing location, great staff & co-travelers. The waves were awesome. (big for me, but the more-experienced were ripping it up daily) Get on this one, a serious bang for the buck!!

  • Stayed: December 2016, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Spike_and_Roxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2016

Solid Surf & Adventure is an exclusive and authentic experience of a lifetime. Staying in El Transit, you feel so far removed from the rest of the world with the most consistent break in the whole country, all to yourself. The staff is amazing and will go out of their way to accommodate you in any way, the meals were incredible – fresh, healthy and flavorful, and the drinks at the bar are just right day or night. Solid is also very kid and family friendly. We brought our 16 month old daughter and it was never a problem, she was able to explore the whole property and the staff even took her off of our hands a few times for some alone time. We are still in touch with the other guests who were there during our stay, and really felt like family by the time we left. We are already talking about planning to go back. If you are looking for an incredible experience full of adventure, relaxation and some of the best surf in the world, Solid is the place to be.

  • Stayed: November 2016, traveled with family
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1  Thank Joey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2016

I don't even know how to start my review for Solid, I went here on a last minute trip on a recommendation from a friend and was beyond happy with my experience. The staff was friendly and made me feel at home right away, and were always quick to help with any questions I had or anything I needed. The food was absolutely delicious and the kitchen is more then accommodating with any food preferences; I ate fresh fish every day for either lunch or dinner and even if I wasn't hungry I ate every bite because it was too good to pass up.

I took surf lessons with Dave who is one of the most happy, positive people I have ever met. There was always a smile on his face and he made getting in the water very comfortable, you had no fears trying to surf with him in the water with you! He is also certified in all kinds of first aid and helped doctor up a toe injury (from before I had even arrived at solid) and took good care of me when I got sick at the end of my trip. I couldn't have asked for a better instructor (and friend) for the week!

I also took a few yoga classes with the Solid yoga instructor, Amanda, who always seemed to know just what everyone was looking for from class and could gear the classes to a good work out or a really good, relaxing stretch after a day of learning to surf. She also helped show me around the small but really cool town of El Transito and told me where the best spots to go for a run were. Another member of the Solid staff who was always around to answer questions, find me coffee and just have a beer at the end of the day with!

Allison was also around and very hands on, giving me pointers, always making sure I was enjoying myself and everything was going smooth. She's an awesome person who has built a great place to stay. Whether you are into surfing or just relaxing in one of the many, many hammocks available Solid really has it all. The rooms are a good size, very spacious, and clean and the beds were comfortable and the AC worked great. The grounds were well maintained, and the bar was always fully stocked, the place truly had everything you could want. But without a doubt, the staff makes the experience! While kind of separate from one another, the hostel staff always went above and beyond for me too. Roxy and Lucas never let a question go unanswered or a request denied, Roxy would accompany me surfing as much as possible so that I had a friend learning with and when I was staying at the hostel (I extended my stay a little and there was no room at Solid) and I got sick the whole staff went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable, including giving me a room with AC in the hotel they also manage across the street. I felt like family at Solid and I can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed: October 2016, traveled solo
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2  Thank MeggsM3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2016

This is one of those reviews I hesitate to write because out of sheer selfishness I don't want SOLID or El Transito to ever be conventionally popular.

But share I will, because SOLID deserves it, as do people who can appreciate its unique charms.

After I dunno, 16? 18? hours of joyless modern air travel, we arrived (with the hardest thump I've ever experienced) in dark, rainy Managua, and in due course recognized (by his SOLID swag) Jose, a SOLID stringer, who had been sent to collect us. Speaking very little English, he indicated he would be back shortly with our ride. And on a rainy night in Managua, en route to somewhere at the end of a long dirt road, let me tell you there are few things more re-assuring than to see your driver pulling up in a great big shiny four wheel drive pickup. And when he proposes stopping en route to pick up some cerveza for our ride, you think 'yes, yes this is working out fine'.

After what was, beer notwithstanding, a longish drive passed trying every word of Spanish (Gato Negro???) we ever knew on Jose, we arrived at SOLID. The last few hundred muddy meters of the journey felt a bit like a mogul run: Welcome to El Transito, and within seconds, welcome from Dave, smiling and American and who knows, as if warned in advance, that we are exhausted and want nothing more than to go to bed. SOLID holds the record for fastest check-in ever!

This is not the Ritz. This is a "the green room" a comfortable, simple room in Central America, with AC, a bathroom and beds.

We awake to a glorious sunny morning. There is coffee waiting steps away, and some cereal in case we get hungry waiting for breakfast. I see our hostess (and I suspect the visionary behind SOLID) Allison, surrounded by her cadre of canines. The dogs are omnipresent, but quiet and not intrusive. (one morning they accompany us on our run along beach) Allison gives us a quick overview of SOLID and we chat about our flight and the surf. We are not surfers, though keen to give it a go, but not before breakfast.

Yes the food, Martha's food. Maybe it was the open air dining, or maybe it was the appetite generated by attempted surfing, or maybe it was the fresh (as in send-a-someone-down-the-beach-when-the-boats-come-in) fish that we ate most days, but I still miss Martha's wonderful cooking. Simple, authentic and so tasty.

Dave, the fellow who had greeted us the night before and who was to be our guide/surfing teacher and fixer, was genuinely attentive, showing us around, offering advice, arranging things, but also leaving us alone to do our thing. He was indeed a fine surfing teacher and had us both up on little in-shore waves in quite short order.

Nearly everybody at SOLID surfs, and we as non-surfers really enjoyed sitting under the shady ocean-facing patio, watching when it got big enough that most of the staff and management headed out for a session. (That's the kind of place it is and we love that)

All that lying about in hammocks watching the surf was of course thirsty work, but we needed only walk twenty steps or so to the little beach bar of the adjoining SOLID-operated hostel for cold Toñas or whatever. In the evenings that bar is the locus of whatever constitutes night life at SOLID, and we (a middle aged couple celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary) enjoyed passing our evenings with its staff and patrons, all of them with interesting stories to tell, and all young enough to be our kids.

Day trip
Certainly a highlight of our stay was a SOLID-organzed trip to the city of Leon, and the nearby Flor de Cana distillery. There is a fee for the tour and it is well worth paying if you appreciate rum. Afterwards, accompanied by Dave, and Denis, a local driver with fluent English, we spent a leisurely lunch at quite a nice local restaurant for what was quite a good price. As a bonus we got to talk Nicaraguan politics among other things with Denis. Having had a real, unhurried conversation with a local, ranks highly among my experiences in Nicaragua.

Serious surf
I need to talk about the surf. This was the most powerful (and loud) surf I'd ever encountered. As beginners, we restricted our attempts to the period around low tide. At high tide the waves come in with quite a lot of force even close to shore, so you want to keep your eye on them.

On the website, Allison (whether it is her intent or not) makes a pretty good case for SOLID as an easy introduction to the region and its surf. I agree. It was a wonderful chilled out introduction to Nicaragua. I miss it and I hope to be back.

Room Tip: We liked the green room
  • Stayed: September 2016, traveled as a couple
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Thank Manitssa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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