Perhaps Nicaragua is not your first choice when thinking about traveling to Central America, but that is exactly why you should rethink it. Nicaragua is one of the few places that have not (yet) been over-exploited by tourism. Its volcanoes, beautiful beaches, exuberant wildlife, warm people, and other features deserve attention.
Check out below just some reasons that make this trip unforgettable.
It may seem redundant, but the Nicaraguan coast and its islands deserve special attention. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, there are more beaches in Nicaragua than you will be able to explore. Famous for being a surfing spot, San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific coast, has amazing waves and great infrastructure with many restaurants, hotels, and bars. There are also untouched beaches, where you can watch dolphins, hammerhead sharks, a variety of fish, and even sea turtle eggs. Crystal clear blue water, white sand, secret coves, reefs, and perfect weather are the standard environment on any beach you choose.
Freshness is the trademark of Nicaragua’s dishes, with an emphasis on the abundance of seafood, caught on the same day to serve visitors. Also, rice and banana plantations are on the country’s list of delights. A strong point is the influence of international cuisine – Nicaraguans are very open to the cuisine of several countries. Take the opportunity to get to know and taste some local delicacies in the markets, always full of colorful products, and some fruits and vegetables that might be new to you. And, of course, accept and try the recommendations of the locals and eat dishes that you definitely would not (or would find) at home.
Nicaragua is home to historic Granada, one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The colorful colonial-style churches, shops, and houses form beautiful sites everywhere. To the north of Managua capital, is the city of Leon, which features numerous art galleries, cafes, and ancient cathedrals. Throughout the country, you will find plenty of historic cities full of creativity and friendly people.
This is simply an indispensable activity when visiting Nicaragua. It is not just the adrenaline of the climb (inactive or dormant volcanoes), as, during the journey, visitors pass through coffee plantations and humid and dry tropical forests. You have the option of driving to the top of a ledge of a volcano to take a peek inside or to be more adventurous and camp out to see the red lava at night. Also, where in the world can you go volcano boarding?
Nicaragua has an incredible number of islands, and most are relatively unknown to tourists, offering the opportunity to visit untouched places. Start on Little Corn Island, where there are no roads, cars, and motorbikes are not allowed and beach huts make up most of the properties. Then, go to Ometepe Island, the largest island in Lake Nicaragua, created from two volcanoes, with eco-friendly accommodation options. Pear Cays is a group of 18 islets that are home to a large number of turtles, white sand beaches, and crystal blue water.
It must be a characteristic of Latin Americans, as Nicaraguans are very friendly and open to welcome visitors. Many residents offer their homes to welcome visitors and teach them about the country’s land and history. From coastal towns to the charming historic villages, the people of Nicaragua do their best to show how adorable their country is. With little knowledge of Spanish, tourists can move around very easily.
Waterfalls, jungles, canyons, and more
In addition to beaches and volcanoes, the country is rich in jungles, forests, and waterfalls. Nicaragua is home to the largest untouched natural tropical forest in Central America, hidden along the western part, where flora and fauna are abundant. Four large waterfalls can be found, with the tallest reaching over 200 meters in height. Its natural beauty never disappoints.
Monkeys, turtles, parrots, sloths, whales, dolphins, armadillos. The list of wild species is endless. Howler monkeys are the most popular land animals found in practically the whole country: just pay attention to the treetops and their sounds. Bats, owls, parrots, and parakeets can be spotted flying around. In the water, marine life includes colorful fish, sharks, rays, and humpback whales. Five of the seven species of sea turtles reside here and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see the nests. To see everything up close, be sure to take the boat trips with stops for diving.
What makes Nicaragua so seductive is the fact that most tourists have yet to discover this breathtaking country. You will not find many high standard hotels, five-star restaurants, resorts, and crowds of people. Replace this with deserted stretches of sand, residents willing to help you, and vastness of unspoiled nature. It is the ideal place to escape from reality and enjoy breathtaking views. Enjoy it while everyone has not yet realized this paradise in Central America.