Usually the first country that comes to mind when you want to go travelling in Central Amerika, is Costa Rica. With its beautiful nature, dense jungle and endless beaches it’s a true favorite. It’s a country which made its way onto many travel bucketlists from people all around the world. Nicaragua is not a frequently seen country on those lists. A real shame, since it’s definitely a place you should visit. Nicaragua shares a border with Costa Rica, so it’s kind of similar in landscapes. But it’s cheaper. You want to hear more?
Here are, according to me, 6 reasons to visit Nicaragua.
In some of the most famous cities in Nicaragua, like Granada and León, you can find beautiful architecture. When walking the cobblestone streets you’ll see many brightly colored houses and buildings with (political) streetart.
Also read my Complete León Travel Guide >>
The atmosphere is lovely, with many little restaurants and cafés. There are cathedrals, a big white one in Léon and a bright yellow one in Granada. Both worth visiting for sure. In short: these colonial cities are one of the reasons you should visit Nicaragua!
Sick of the city life? Do not worry, because if you are into tropical beaches, palm trees and turquois oceans, you should definitely visit Nicaragua! Take a small plane to the Corn islands and you are good to go. You can choose between Big Corn and Little Corn, with the latter being a little more remote and less touristy. There are no cars and on little Corn there are no ATM’s. Just relax in your little bungalow at the beach and enjoy the ocean views. Alternate relaxing with some activities like snorkeling, surfing or diving… This is paradise!
But don’t forget Las Penitas beach, which is near Léon. It’s a nice spot for a gorgeous sunset.
Fun activities to do in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is extremely versatile in terms of activities. There are many ways to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Hiking volcanos, camping, volcano boarding, swimming in a natural swimming pool in the middle of the jungle, kayaking between many small volcanic islands (while giving fruit to cute little monkeys), cycling or scootering along the shore, surfing in San Juan del Sur, snorkeling and diving… you name it.
Volcanos (and other beautiful nature)
Costa Rica is mostly known for its beautiful nature. But you can imagine Nicaragua, which shares a border with Costa Rica, is equally beautiful. There are dozens of volcanos, many of which still active! You can see lava at some (Masaya & Telica) and volcanoboard off others (Cerro Negro).
The jungle is also absolutely stunning, like the forest of Selva Negra, which is located in the heart of Nicaragua. There’s a beautiful eco-lodge on a coffee plantation where you can stay the night. If you’re lucky, you will see many tropical birds and howler monkeys.
Isla de Ometepe
In Lago Nicaragua you’ll find an island which consists of two volcanos with a small strip of land to connect them. Explore the island with a scooter and for example visit the natural swimming pool in the middle of the jungle, with crystal clear water. Absolutely magnificent.
At night you just enjoy the sunset over the lake. The biggest volcano, Volcán Concepción, looks stunning in the background when the sun sets in the distance. Also, the harbor turns into a canvas of bright colors at sunset. Definitely worth a visit.
Nicaragua is safe and inexpensive
If you are a traveller like me, you like cheap travel. I got myself some extremely cheap airplane tickets to Nicaragua, so for me that was the actual reason why I chose to go there. When I was there, I found out it’s a quite inexpensive country in general. Especially if you compare it to other Central American and South American countries.
In addition to that it’s a very safe place to visit. I must say I was a bit alarmed when I saw officers with guns guarding bank buildings. I never encountered anything like that in Asia. But apparently that’s business as usual in Nicaragua. So after a couple of days I was completely used to it.
So these are 6 reasons to visit Nicaragua. Is this country on your travel bucket list too?