Nicaragua has it all...! Travel to Nicaragua, you will fall in love with the country just as I did...! Countries like Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala are the old destinations in Central America. However, Nicaragua as only country has it ALL from two oceans, the biggest sweet water lake, many volcanoes, dry and wet tropical forest, and an incredible unique bio-diversity, all within reach. Therefore, I am convinced that everyone should at least visit Nicaragua to feel the temptation to live here. There are many natural and cultural attractions in Nicaragua, that will make you want to put it at the top of your destination list. I was very open in my expectations when I visited Nicaragua for the first time in August 2008, and……… I went again, again and again. Needless to say, I fell in love with the people and culture, and so much that I changed my location from Jaco, Costa Rica to Granada, Nicaragua. The diversity and the people are unique, nature lush and abundant.
MANY REASONS TO VISIT NICARAGUA Nicaragua is WORLD known for its surfing, but if you are looking for other things to do, you have endless options to visit Nicaragua and it will entice you to put it at the top of your travel options.
VOLCANOES Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanoes. There are 20 volcanoes in the country and most of them are active. Anywhere I went in Nicaragua, a volcano was within eyesight. Nicaragua offers some of the best volcano hikes in the continent with nature parks, like the Mombacho, next to Granada.The small Isla Ometepe, which can be reached by ferry from San Jorge, 6 km east of Rivas, has two volcanoes – Maderas and Concepción. Nicaragua is also where volcano boarding was invented at Cero Negro. It's an amazing adventure where intrepid travelers slide off the top of the volcano.
COLONIAL CITIES Granada, almost 500 years old (1524), the oldest city in the Americas, is the perfect example of a colonial city: cobbled street, bright colors, magnificent churches, airy squares and great museums and…….culture. Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua it's just one hour from the capital Managua and it is the country's biggest tourist attraction. Another stop is León located two hours north of Granada (and one hour from Managua) It may be rather decadent and crumbling, but this decadence makes it even more gorgeous and the Leon churches are a must go and you don’t need to be religious for that, they are incredible inside. It is the most intensely political city in the country and is packed with young people, interesting museums and great art galleries.
TROPICAL FOREST Most forests at the Pacific lowlands and coast of Nicaragua are dry tropical forest. Another type of forest that can be found in Nicaragua is semi deciduous tropical forest. This is a type of forest with more rain and humidity than the dry forest, yet without the permanent rainfall and humidity of wet tropical forests. Nicaragua is home to many kinds of monkeys, sloths, jaguars and ocelots and many more animals, to much to name. It is also a unique place to spot numerous species of birds such as the great green macaw, the turquoise browed motmot and different types of toucan. On the Pacific and Caribbean coast lines you have several sanctuaries for the tens of thousands of Sea turtles.
THE CARIBBEAN Surfers love the surf of San Juan del Sur and all other beaches from Nicaragua and sun worshippers flock to the beaches on the Pacific. But Nicaragua has its very own Caribbean hideout at big and little Corn Island. They are located 70 km from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, untouched beauties. Getting there is now easy with the new electric double decker from Managua, over the brand new road to Bluefields, on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. From Bluefields you can fly or take a boat to Great Corn Island and then another boat to the tiny Little Corn Island. The 600km Caribbean coast is unspoiled and now with the new road, tourism just started Traveling their is worth the effort: picture pristine beaches, white sand, no cars at all, snorkeling, diving and….. fresh seafood.
NICA FOOD Food in Nicaragua is healthy and simple. This abundant Central America country has many great fruits and interesting dishes. Be sure to try two of my local favorites. Vigoron is a dish served on banana leaves which is made of a cabbage salad, boiled yucca and pork scratching. Quesillos are corn tortillas filled with thin slices of mild cheese and a salad of pickled onions and tomatoes, all wrapped together and over which abundant cream is poured. There are many different types of Quesillos also vegetarian.
THE KINDEST PEOPLE Nicaraguans are very kind and welcoming. They are always willing to give a hand not only to each other but also to travelers. The indigenous community feeling is the base of the character of Nicaraguans who show pride for their own country and unique culture. Where ever you go and Nicaraguans have a party, they will invite you to join their celebration.
AFFORDABLE TRAVELING Compared to surrounding countries of Central America, prices are low in Nicaragua. A 6 dollars will land a backpacker a bed in a dorm, and 3 dollars will buy a good meal in a local eatery. Hotels start from US$20 and up to the most luxury at around US$120 A liter of beer costs $1.30 - $1.5. If you really want to to a more exclusive restaurant, a gourmet meal will cost around 12 dollars. Public transportation is marvelous from Granada to Managua a one hour drive US$1. These crowded, yellow buses are the most common means of transportation in Nicaragua and also new electric buses are now seen in Nicaragua. Buses go everywhere and they are great to get a picture of the local life and get to know local people. Nicaragua is never crowded with tourists like Costa Rica, Belize etc. even at peak season (December through March) the crowds are light. Travel to Nicaragua, you will fall in love with the country just as I did.