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Category Archives: Nicaragua

What to eat in Nicaragua

Flickr: Adam Cohn

Nicaragua is fast becoming to hottest destination in Latin America. The Central American country is flanked on both sides by the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, and is known for its dramatic landscapes of towering smoky volcanoes, golden sand beaches, and glistening lakes. It also has a rich history, and glorious Spanish colonial architecture, particularly in the southern city of Granada. We’ve just launched the country as a new destination, so to celebrate we’ll be publishing a series of articles on the culture and history. Most are unsure about what Nicaraguan food is all about, so here’s a typical day in food.

Breakfast in Nicaragua

Flickr: hollykathryn

Breakfast in Nicagua is a hearty affair. Typically, gallo pinto is the stable breakfast dish found in very restaurant across the land. Translating to ‘spotted roster’, gallo pinto is simply rice and beans cooked with fried onions and garlic. On the Caribbean coast, the rice is cooked in coconut milk. It’s served with fried or scrambled eggs, and sometimes comes with Nicaraguan cheese, fried plantain, and tortillas. On Sundays, be sure to try nacatamales, traditional cornmeal tamales wrapped in banana leaves and filled with pork, rice, and vegetables. They are usually found being sold from people’s homes. If you’re staying in a hotel or you visit an upmarket restaurant, your breakfast will usually come with plenty of exotic fresh fruit and juices. Wash everything down with plenty of Nicaraguan black coffee.

Lunch in Nicaragua

Nicaraguans take the time for a big lunch, and there are plenty of dishes to choose from. If you’re near the coast or Lake Ometape, try the guapote, deep fried while fish covered in mango, tomatoes, and lime. Alternatively, try vigorón, shredded cabbage mixed with tomatoes, onions, chilis, vinegar, and salt. This is topped with boiled yuca and chicharonnes (fried pork belly). Corn is another stable in Nicaragua, so if you’re looking for something light for lunch, try the grilled corn on the cob sold from vendors on every street corner, delicious covered with lime salt. Questillas, tortillas stuffed with cheese, are also popular street snacks.

Dinner in Nicaragua

In the evening try indio viejo, a mouth watering stew of meat, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and mint. Usually mobbed up with plenty of warm tortillas. Sopa de mondongo is a hearty soup made from cow tripe, onions, achiote chilies, ayote, garlic, yucca, and sour oranges. Even if you aren’t a fan of tripe (stomach lining), give this a go. It might just change your mind. Wash all this down with cold cervezas. Try the local Nicaraguan Tona or La Victoria Bufalo, both of which are excellent. Alternatively, el macua is a popular cocktail made from rum, lemon juice, guavas, and sugar. A must try for an visit to the country. Before you go to bed, try a pinolillo, a hot chocolate drink made from toasted corn, cacao power, milk, sugar, and spiced with cinnamon and cloves.

Would you like to try the food in Nicaragua? To start planning your trip to the country, take a look at our Nicaraguan suggested tours, call one of our travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478, or email us here.

WIN a fabulous 8-day holiday for two to Nicaragua

The Colonial city of Granada

We have teamed up with The Travel Magazine to have the chance to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime touring Nicaragua. Known for its colonial cities, volcanoes and unspoilt beaches, Nicaragua is one of the region’s best kept secrets. Enjoy beautiful lakes, active volcanoes, nature reserves, inviting beaches and friendly locals.

Your tour (see full itinerary here) starts in the capital city of Managua where you can rub shoulders with locals in the street markets, then on to the beautiful colonial city of Leon Nicaragua’s historical, cultural and religious capital. You could even go boarding at the Cerro Negro volcano if you have the stomach for this exciting ride down the volcano. Then take the ferry to the Isla de Ometepe, situated on Lake Nicaragua, with two volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas. Spend the night on a nature reserve by one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Then on to the vibrant colonial city of Granada believed to be the second oldest in Latin America and attacked many times by pirates. You will visit the city by horse-drawn carriage. Climb the bell tower of Merced church and enjoy spectacular views over Lake Nicaragua and Mombacho Volcano. The trip is for two and includes flights, hotels some meals and activities. Select Latin America has been offering quality trips to the Central America for over three decades.

To enter the competition, click here. Winner will be chosen at random on May 16th 2017.

Top 8 things to do in Nicaragua

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Nicaragua may not be the most visited country in Latin America, but it certainly packs a punch and is tipped to be one of the hottest travel destinations of 2017. The large Central American country has everything from steamy volcanos, rich wildlife, pretty colonial towns, excellent food, white sandy beaches and adventure sports. So, what are you waiting for? Here’s our pick of the top 8 things to do in Nicaragua.

Wander through Granada

Flickr: elaine faith

Flickr: elaine faith

Granada might just be one of the prettiest towns in Central America. Wander through the old cobbled colonial streets and gawk at the beautiful architecture. There are plenty of excellent cafes selling Nicaraguan coffee, the perfect place to people watch.

Go volcano boarding

Flickr: Pete

Flickr: Pete

A must for adventure junkies. Hit the lava slopes of Cerro Negro outside León and throw yourself down on wooden boards. It’s well worth it, but don’t expect the same infrastructure as ski resorts. There’s a steep walk to the top before the fun begins!

Scuba dive on the Corn Islands

Flickr: @N3T1O

Flickr: @N3T1O

These paradisaical Caribbean islands are the perfect place to while away a few days at the end of the holiday. Though it’s well worth the visit just to lounge on the beaches, most come for the snorkelling and scuba diving which is world class. Both Little and Big Corn are both excellent places to stay, but try Little Corn for something a little quieter.

Hike up Concepción Volcano

Flickr: ashokboghani

Flickr: ashokboghani

Concepción Volcano is the second tallest volcano in Nicaragua and is still live. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike across lava flows and through rainforest. Be sure to only take this on with the help of a guide.

Surf at San Juan del Sur

One of Nicaragua’s best surf spots, San Juan del Sur is a must for anyone looking to hit the waves. With year-round swells, it’s also an excellent place to learn with plenty of surf schools. Grab a cold beer and watch the melting sunset from the beach each night. Be warned, it has somewhat of a reputation as a party town, so won’t be for those looking for a quiet holiday retreat.

Eat the street food

Flickr: hollykathryn

Flickr: hollykathryn

Nicaraguan street food is simply delicious (and cheap!). Be sure to try the nacatamal, a type of tamale filled with meat and vegetables and cooked in a banana leaf. The typical morning breakfast of gallo pinto (spotted rooster) is rice and beans served up with eggs, refried beans and plantains. Stuffed pupusas (a type of corn tortilla) are served with everything.

See wildlife on Ometepe Island

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Ometepe Islands was created from two volcanoes and lies in the middle of Nicaragua Lake. It’s laid back vibe, rustic charm and opportunities for hiking and kayaking make it somewhat of a mecca for those visiting the country. However, one of the biggest draws is the wildlife. There is plenty of exotic birdlife on the island as well as tropes of howler monkeys that can be heard making their calls in the morning and at night.

Climb up León Cathedral

After exploring old León, it’s well worth climbing up the bell tower and taking in the views from the domed roof of the cathedral.

Want to visit Nicaragua? Get in touch with our travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 to discuss your travel plans.

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