I have visited Nicaragua for the past three years now and am beginning to see a huge influx of tourism that this beautiful country rightfully deserves. This gem is north of Costa Rica and south of Guatemala. The particular situation of Nicaragua provides this country with some unique characteristics. I have to admit that I am a little biased as this is my family’s native country but find that this country is unique and rich with culture. I will be blogging highlights of many cities throughout my six-week stay here so be sure to sign up for my daily alerts!
Here are some reasons why you should get to this country:
1. Just as beautiful as Costa Rica with less tourist traps.
Costa Rica used to be the “Go to” location for yoga and surfing, but now there are Starbucks everywhere (not a bad thing but has a state-side feel to it and the point of leaving the states is well, leave the states!) If you want to discover a new and raw culture than Nicaragua is definitely for you. Nicaragua is the land of lakes and volcanoes. The coasts of Nicaragua are just as gorgeous as Costa Rica and absolute killer waves for surfing. The colonial city of Granada is my favorite, it is about 45 minutes from the capital of Managua and what makes Granada so special is that the houses and buildings are colorful, the people smile and the weather is always perfect. The city is central to many attractions like the Isletas on Lake Managua, Vulcan Mombacho, nearby Laguna de Apoyo and about 2 hours from the Pacific Coast.
2. It is so affordable!
Staying in Granada or the Pacific Coast – Accommodations vary but if you’re on a budget, you stay at a comfortable and clean hostel for about $15 USD/night. If you’re looking for a mid-range accommodations, you can find hotels ranging from $55-$99 USD/night. Do not be fooled, there are many luxury hotels all over the country if you are seeking to splurge on all-inclusive accommodations. Food + lodging is about half the price in Costa Rica or Panama. Airfare ranges but you can find roundtrip fares starting at $420 USD.
3. Wildlife & Biodiversity.
There is really so much to see and do. If you have penchant for adventure or just easy relaxing, you can achieve that here. You can travel down the Rio san Juan, or visit the island of Ometepe, where there are two islands on a lake, which makes this unique. The Caribbean Coast, and the Pacific Coasts. Through out the country you will find plenty of horse back riding, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, surfing, hiking, dancing, dolphin and whale watching and so much more. Best bird watching in the world! There are 704 species of birds in Nicaragua. Exactly, WOW! In the rainforest areas, there are 5 species of cats, including jaguar and cougar; 3 species of primates, spider monkey, howler monkey and capuchin monkey; 1 species of tapir, called Danto for the Nicaraguans; 3 species of anteaters and many more.
The beautiful coasts of Nicaragua are becoming popular for surfing. You’ll find some of the best quality waves along the Pacific and no crowds! Nobody likes surfing in a big crowd and the crowds in Nicaragua are pretty light. A few beaches that are on the Pacific Coast worth mentioning are: Playa Colorado, Playa Hermosa in Tola, which are bit more secluded but some of the most pristine beaches and Playa Maderas off of San Juan de Sur.
Amongst the million reasons why you should visit, I gave you the top 4 and I would definitely recommend this country to explore. Best time to visit – Anytime! If you’re from the East Coast, I recommend skipping harsh winters in Nica 🙂