Coconut Hunting in Nicaragua

One of our favorite things to do on a warm sunny day on the beach is hunt for coconuts. We go down to our favorite part of the beach near St. Cristo where there are several coconut trees in front of vacation homes with no one in them. When the home looks vacant, we’ll look over the front yard fence to see if there are any freshly dropped coconuts.

Occasionally there will be a security guard in the front yard of a expensive home on the beach, who gives us a curious and suspicious look. We usually just wave to him and offer him a piece of coconut once we’ve opened it, which makes him smile and leave us alone.

We go to the beach with nothing but our green whole foods bag–no tools, knives or anything. It’s fun being crafty and using the resources the beach gives us. I mean, if Tom Hanks opened coconuts in the movie Castaway with rocks as tools, we can too right? Right. We’d never done it before living in Nicaragua, but we learned on the fly. The process is pretty simple and fun, but does require a bit of muscle, time and energy. Coconut water on a hot day and fresh coconut meat make it all worth it though when you’re enjoying it on the beach.

Step 1:

Find the coconuts. There are tons of coconuts scattered on the sand under the trees, but the majority of them have either already been opened or are rotten from the heat and bugs. The best ones are the big brown coconuts that have an extremely hard shell and lots of coconut water inside when you shake it. The hard brown shell is key to look for because it seals in the water and meat, protecting it from the heat and bugs. Unfortunately, the hard brown shell also means a lot more work to break the coconut open.

Pick them up, make sure there are no holes, shake them to see if there’s any water and even smell them to see if they’re rotten. The small yellow ones aren’t usually the best because they’re young and haven’t acquired that hard brown shell to seal the freshness. So look under coconut trees (obviously) all throughout the beach–the hunt is my favorite part!

Step 2:

Once you’ve found one, find a large sturdy rock or large hard piece of wood to throw the coconut at. Like I said, the outer shell is really hard to break open, but if you can find a small crack somewhere on it and then throw it against something hard the shell will slowly crack open a bit more. You most likely won’t get it right on the first try so keep throwing it and put some muscle into it!

Step 3:

Once you’ve gotten the outer shell to break open a bit more, then you must find a smaller flat sharp rock to help you pry open that crack even more. The sharper the better. JB usually does a combo method of prying the coconut open with a sharp rock and then throwing it against the large rock to really get the crack to bust open.

This is usually the step when the coconut water comes dripping out, so just put your mouth under it and enjoy the healthy juice nature produces.

Step 4:

Crack the coconut open! Sometimes the nut will split into two perfect slices and sometimes it breaks into several peices. Doesn’t matter. Actually, the more pieces it breaks into, the easier it is to pull the white part from the shell. You can pry the white meat off with your teeth, rocks or by cracking the nut into more pieces.

Step 5:

Sit back on the beach, relax and eat. Sharing is also recommended as you just got this food for free and everyone here LOVES coconut. It’s nature’s candy.


2 responses to “Coconut Hunting in Nicaragua

  1. Congrats! You should definitely think about buying a machete, makes opening coconuts so much easier and yeah much more dangerous. A household in Nicaragua without machete is no real one 😉

  2. Thanks for the advice, completely agree! We have actually been looking into buying one for opening coconuts and exploration. By the way we love your photos on your site. Keep them up!-JB & Q

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