Though the civil war ended 14 years ago and the Sandinistas now do their fighting at the polls, word is still getting out about Nicaragua. Further evidence of this Central American destination's arrival on the global travel scene: the opening of its first luxury eco-resort last October. The French owners of Morgan's Rock, situated two and a half hours south of Managua and embedded in the jungle above a private stretch of Pacific coastline, have made protection of their 4,500-acre preserve paramount.
ROOM & BOARD: Walk a 360-foot-long canopy-level suspension bridge from the main lodge to 15 exquisitely constructed tropical-wood bungalows, with open-air showers and bug-thwarting screens. Wake to the surf breaking and watch howler monkeys swing branch to branch as you lounge in your hanging daybed. While the primates snack on native foliage, you'll be enjoying far better fareelaborate meals including adobo-spiced red snapper, tamarind barbecued duck, and, for dessert, passion-fruit sorbet.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Sea-kayak a half-hour out to the lodge's namesake, Morgan's Rockan islet with a pristine white beachor try handlining for mackerel or diving for lobster from a fisherman's skiff. End the day with a hike to a wooden pavilion atop one of the two highest points on the property to watch the sun set over the twin volcanoes of Isla de Ometepe, in nearby Lake Nicaragua.
DETAILS: Doubles, $302$418, all meals included; 011-506-296-9442, www.morgansrock.com