Nicaragua

Alex Barth

The view from your hammock can vary wildly in Nicaragua. It may be of a lush jungle island, a turquoise Caribbean shore, a green sandy lagoon with a volcano in the background, or a beautiful colonial archway with intricate Spanish tiles. Whatever it is, you're guaranteed one constant: peace and tranquility in what is Central America's largest and safest country. It is hard to believe that Nicaragua's recent history has been one of war, rebellion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and devastating hurricanes. This country is so fully on the mend and experiencing an energetic and colorful renaissance, that it couldn't be more primed to be discovered by travelers.

This land of poetry and poverty, murals and martyrs, is located on the lower elbow joint of the Central American isthmus. Honduras borders it to the north and Costa Rica to the south. Its landscape varies greatly from the volcanic lowlands along the Pacific to the impenetrable swampland of its Caribbean coast, with misty mountain highlands in between. It is dominated by two large lakes that are in turn dominated by volcanic peaks towering above the waterline. It is a land of coffee, tobacco, and banana plantations. Despite being the second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, its people are proud, educated, and passionate about literature and art. It is the birthplace of Rubén Darío -- a giant of Spanish poetry -- and the location of a vibrant art scene based around the primitive paintings of the Solentiname Archipelago.

If you're after fun and adventure, you can surf the rum-and-sunshine town of San Juan del Sur or hike the jungle paradise of Miraflor nature reserve; or choose between visiting the misty mountain retreats of the Northern Highlands versus the white, deserted beaches of the Caribbean Corn Islands. But people are not just coming here to kick back but also to give back. The country has a profusion of volunteering opportunities, from helping street kids in Granada to rehabilitating wildlife on Ometepe Island. Wherever and however you decide to visit the country, know that Nicaragua's fascinating history and character will surely make an impression on you -- as will those glorious views from your hammock.


Regions in Nicaragua

Caribbean Nicaragua

Don't let its reputation fool you. Nicaragua's Caribbean coast is not entirely the whirlpool of turquoise postcard images you may have heard about or seen. Most of this steaming 520km (322 ft.) of Atlantic... read more

North-Central Nicaragua

Deep, fertile valleys drift upward into misty skies, hiding humble homesteads, dark forests, manicured fields, and tumbling waterfalls. North-central Nicaragua is mysterious, charming, and relatively unknown.... read more

Western Nicaragua

You will certainly not be wanting for adventure on the pacific coast of Nicaragua. At the collision point between two tectonic plates, the northern part of the region has some of the highest volcanic activity... read more


Top Destinations in Nicaragua

Archipelago de Solentiname

Balgue

Brig Bay

Chinandega

Corn Islands

Esteli

Granada

Isla de Ometepe
Laguna de Apoyo

Leon

Managua

Masaya

Matagalpa

Pochomil Beach

San Juan del Sur

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