Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua is becoming a hot destination spot for families and backpackers. Apart from having a stunning coastline with two of the greatest water bodies in the world, Nicaragua is bursting with fascinating history, volcanic landscapes, beaches, mountains, beautiful colonial cities with charm and lush jungle with wildlife and villages. It has interesting culture and art, fascinating history and friendly people. Check out our Top 7 Things To Do In Nicaragua.
Ometepe – Ometepe is an 8 shaped island which hosts two active volcanoes. It is the largest island on a freshwater lake in the world. With its two majestic volcanoes, relaxing small beaches, a lagoon, archeological sites, natural biodiversity and cultural background, Ometepe Island is really a natural paradise. The volcanoes that formed it, Concepcion and Maderas, offer challenging trails to experienced hikers, and stunning views from above. Another option is to rent a bike and go ‘finca hopping,’ exploring ancient petroglyphs, and bountiful coffee plantations.
Corn Island – Some say that diving around these islands is like what diving in the Caribbean used to be like, with unbroken coral, few other dive boats and plenty of marine life. Little Corn Island is the smaller and less developed of the islands, with a smaller diving community on the island. Big Corn Island has a larger choice of places to eat, sleep and dive. You can either catch a short flight or a long ferry ride to reach these islands. Source: runawaytravellers
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Granada – As the oldest city in Central America at its original site, Granada is a fascinating and colorful city that is filled with interesting colonial-era treasures. Much of it has been built and rebuilt throughout the centuries, as various marauders and colonists have sacked the city. From 17th-century churches and museums to hidden courtyards and historic buildings converted to boutique hotels, Granada demands exploration. Among the top highlights in the town center are the grand cathedral at the main square; the tower at Iglesia de La Merced, from which many iconic skyline photos of Granada have been snapped; Antiquo Convento San Francisco, now a museum with a remarkable pre-Colombian collection; and the colorful streets themselves, with an architectural surprise in every block. Have lunch at Calle La Caldeza, a street blocked off from car traffic filled with restaurants and bars. Just outside central Granada, don’t miss the Fortaleza de la Polvora, a rather small medieval fort, and the nearby cemetery, which is fascinating to wander and explore, providing nearly limitless photo-ops. Source: theexpeditioner
León – One of Nicaragua’s great cities, León is the political and artistic capital of this country. It hosts enchanting buildings of Spanish colonial architecture, museums, art galleries and a beautiful courtyard central square. Spend some time simply by walking around the city square, exploring Recoleccion Cathedral and its rooftop views, as well as the baroque theater, street markets and sidewalk cafes. Our favoirte city in Nicaragua is buzzing with vibrant, friendly locals, interesting colonial architecture and countless restaurants and bars to eat and drink your nights away.
Sandboarding on Cerro Negro Volcano – Near the village of Malpaisillo you will find the Cerro Negro volcano is a relatively young volcano (only 161 years old). In its young life it has erupted 23 times — the last one occurring in 1999. The slopes of the volcano are covered in gravel that makes them extremely slippery. Adventurous locals have invented a grand game that works on this volcano; it’s called volcano boarding. You hike up the mountain with a board, set it on the slippery gravel and sit on it. With a push, you fly down the slope at breakneck speed. It’s a very popular adventure sport. Source: amerikanki
San Juan del Sur – The Pacific beach town of San Juan del Sur is Nicaragua’s most popular coastal destination. With its warm waters and beautiful sands, the San Juan del Sur is an undiscovered treasure. Direct access to a wide variety of activities such as surfing and fishing along with beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife makes San Juan del Sur the ideal location for your Nicaragua vacation.
Apoyo Lagoon – Apoyo Lagoon is a beautiful deep and blue crater lake just outside of Granada. It is one of Nicargua’s most beautiful natural wonders and kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, soaking up the sun, dining and relaxing are the some of the main activities here. The lake measures 48-square km in area and about 213 meter (700 ft) deep.
Just So You Know…
- While the majority of Nicaraguan remain below the poverty line, the country boasts a very low crime rate.
- Nicaragua is home to 25 volcanoes. Make sure you hike at least 2 of them. Remember that 9 ofthem are still active and thus unsafe for hiking.
- Nicaragua host 2 of the largest fresh lakes in Central America: Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua. Lake Nicaragua though, is the only one in the world to contain fresh-water sharks.
- A few hours inland from the northern Pacific coast, the landscape rises up into the hills and mountains of Nicaragua. It’s here where you’ll find the town of Matagalpa and the land positively covered in coffee farms. Pay a visit to the free Museo de Café to learn about the history, struggles of the region, and how coffee is processed. For a treat afterwards, head to Café Selección Nicaragüense, one of the nicest little cafes I’ve encountered in Central America. Source: globalgrasshopper
- The name Nicaragua was adapted by the Spaniards from the name ‘Nicarao’. It was the name of the chief of the most populous tribe during the Pre-Columbian times.
- Eat a pupusas (small, handmade corn tortillas), nactamale (steamed dough stuffed with meat) and indio viejo (a traditional tomato and orange stew).
- Grab A Bite:
- Pan & Paz – Great French bakery in León, serving fresh mango smoothie and awesome sandwiches on crunchy, tasty baguette.
- Imagine Restaurant and Bar – Probably the best of Granada restaurants. A really cool spot with Beatles memorabilia decorating the walls. Imagine works directly with local farmers to provide the best in local and organic products.
- Cafe Del Arte – Located in Granada, attached to a small art studio and has excellent options for breakfast and lunch.