Photos by Dylana Suarez, Natalie Suarez, and Kiara Schwartz. Group shot by Gabriel Honzik.
Like many warm-weather escapes, Nicaragua offers woven hammocks for resting in, colorful colonial architecture for photographing, and beautiful beaches for relaxing on. But that’s not what drew model and photographer Dylana Suarez back for a second trip.
“Nicaragua is a county where community is its greatest strength,” Dylana wrote us as we thumbed through photos from her latest trip with sister, Natalie, and friend Kiara Schwartz. “Community is its foundation. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in Central America.”
“Nicaragua is a wonderfully simple place with really welcoming people,” echoes Natalie. “I was surprised by all of the untouched, beautiful locations where we were. I’m happy that a lot of these spots along with its wildlife are being preserved. We were actually woken up by monkeys on our doorstep of our treehouse. It was pretty wild!”
Shop the Women’s Terra-Float 2 Knit Universal.
It’s that acute awareness of natural spaces and close-knit communities that Kiara believes has prevented a fast sprawl of mega-resort style buildings.
“The people here know that bigger is not better — quality is where the real magic lies,” she says. “They know how sacred their space is and that what will bring the right people into it will be the preservation of simplicity, beauty and deep kindness.”
That sense of global community, consciousness, and color was at the core of our spring design ethos, so there was no better place to showcase our adventure-inspired spring sandals.
“Each sandal was a comforting reminder of what the day had in store for us,” says Dylana. “Every pair felt bold and elegant. You can’t really say that about any other sandal brand out there. Teva sandals are made exactly for trips like these.”
“When the Suarez sisters are together, there has to be sister shot.” — Dylana
“This is me in my Teva Hurricane XLT Infinity sandals in the lovely little surf town of San Juan Del Sur. There were so many colorful building row after row, restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream shops, yoga spots, you name it! It was super hot, but I didn’t mind in my cute skirt and matching top set. And at least my feet weren’t tired from walking all day. I felt like I could have explored forever.” — Dylana
“Exploring the tiny fishing village of Gigante. I love exploring local towns when traveling; it’s the only way to get a feel for the culture of the ‘real’ Nicaragua. When in warm places my color palette warms up as well. Not sure how that happens but bright yellow seemed just right for this little town.” — Kiara. Shop the Women’s Terra-Float 2 Knit Universal.
“Here I am in San Juan Del Sur. I decided to clean up from the beach and put on my favorite red dress and Teva Sun and Moon Original Universal sandals for our day in the town. When it’s so hot, I always like to wrap a little silk scarf around my head. It keeps my hair in place and it’s a retro style that I just love. Kiara pointed out the Coca-Cola stand to me and told me to take a photo since our colors matched perfectly! She was right.” — Natalie
“This image totally reflects the simplicity of Gigante, the town near the Aqua Wellness resort. All we really need is fresh food, warm weather, ocean water, and a little music to dance to. I feel like these locals have life figured out!” — Kiara
“This shot is very special because I think it portrays the grace and elegance of horses. I haven’t spent much time with horses, but this time felt very substantial because I learned to be patient with them, and in return they became very trusting of me. They walked with me in the middle very easily. There’s something so much more peaceful about walking side-by-side them, being on the same level.” — Dylana
“I met these two beautiful horses out at Rancho Chilamate, relaxed horse ranch with only a handful of rooms available for guests. It’s a 10 minute gallop to the beach.” — Natalie. Shop the Women’s Sun and Moon Original Universal sandal.
“Sacred moments by our private plunge pool. I love creating little rituals on getaways. One of mine was sitting by our pool and enjoying the view, my book, or a good conversation with the girls. The sunsets along the equator are always so intense and not to be missed!” — Kiara
“You can’t wear Teva and not take an action shot. And let me tell you, jumping and running around in the sand is so much easier with Teva sandals on. I own so many pairs of the Original Universal. They really go with absolutely everything, I even wear them in NYC! But at the beach is where I love to wear them the most, of course.” — Dylana
“Our sandals saved us from burning our feet on the hot sand and rocks in the shallow water. Honestly the most versatile sandals, which is why we keep choosing them over and over again for our yearly explorations.” — Kiara
“This was our last paddle out during our week long trip at Aqua Wellness Resort. We skipped out on 5pm yoga and spontaneously decided we would paddle out just before dark, going a bit farther out than expected. It was the relaxing moment ever. I was laying back on my board and letting the waves gently rock me back and forth. I have never felt so close to the earth!” — Natalie
“Going to yoga every morning and even a few times at sunset really created a feeling of retreat on this trip. Teva makes the perfect sandals to strap on and off for yoga.” — Kiara
My boyfriend and I are long distance right now, and this week we had in Nicaragua together was something we were both looking forward to so much. It felt so nice to be so close to him, sand on our skin, the sun going down, a nap thrown in. I could have stayed there forever.” — Dylana