View Map

Overview

Nicaragua, warm heart of the Americas, was all but broken by a war that kept tourists at bay long after the 1987 Peace Accords. They've finally returned to this country of national parks, active volcanoes, fine beaches and spectacular Spanish colonial architecture. Granada is at the epicenter of it all, while León, the country's longstanding cultural center, also offers great museums, churches and more. Surfers head for San Juan del Sur and less crowded beaches nearby; hikers climb to the Central Highlands, where cloud-forested towns offer high-altitude adventures. The Caribbean Coast remains largely undeveloped — save for the Corn ...

Nicaragua, warm heart of the Americas, was all but broken by a war that kept tourists at bay long after the 1987 Peace Accords. They've finally returned to this country of national parks, active volcanoes, fine beaches and spectacular Spanish colonial architecture. Granada is at the epicenter of it all, while León, the country's longstanding cultural center, also offers great museums, churches and more. Surfers head for San Juan del Sur and less crowded beaches nearby; hikers climb to the Central Highlands, where cloud-forested towns offer high-altitude adventures. The Caribbean Coast remains largely undeveloped — save for the Corn Islands, with great food, beaches and snorkeling. Or visit Isla Ometepe: two volcanoes, one active, rising from Lake Nicaragua. Real adventurers could visit Solentiname, home to a primitivist art collective and close to the Río San Juan's sportfishing and birding paradise, or trek into Bosawás, the largest preserved swath of rainforest north of the Amazon.

Paige Penland
About the Expert

Paige R. Penland is the author of the Nicaragua portion of Lonely Planet Nicaragua & El Salvador and the cult hit A Week or Two in Southwest Nicaragua.

view full overview

Paige Penland for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Nicaragua is a representative democratic republic and the largest nation in Central America. It is also the least densely populated with a demographic similar in size to its smaller neighbors. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west of the country, while the C
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Nicaragua Cordoba
  • Research: Wikitravel | Nicaragua
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight