David McLay Kidd's Guacalito Golf Club in Nicaragua is golf's new must-play escape
The centerpiece of the new Mukul Resort, Guacalito lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Nicaraguan Coastal mountain range along the Emerald Coast, a 30-mile expanse of shoreline, cliffs and jungle, 73 miles from Managua International Airport.
The understated front nine meanders along Manzanillo Beach, while the dramatic back nine ventures high into the foothills and dense jungle, before returning to the ocean with a singular par-3 closing hole that edges the beach.
Kidd injected a sense of adventure into his layout, in the process illuminating the region's natural virtues. There are screeching monkeys, a tropical rainforest, and holes where Indiana Jones would feel at home, such as the short par-4 8th, its green accessed via a suspension bridge slung between giant hardwoods.
Mukul is a Mayan word meaning "secret." Thanks to full-service pampering at the resort and a course destined for fame, this isolated paradise won't stay a secret for long.
Guacalito Golf Club at Mukul Luxury Resort & Spa
6,676 yards, par 72
Green fees: $175
(Photo: Laurence Lambrecht)