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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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