Nicaragua may be much less visited than neighbouring Costa Rica, but it has at least as much to offer. The extra advantage is that you don’t need to share Nicaragua with many other travellers. These are the travel tips for Nicaragua by our local travel expert. He knows exactly what you shouldn’t miss during your Nicaragua tour!
The real Nicaragua is located in León
Everyone who goes to Nicaragua visits the colonial Granada, a beautiful city with atmospheric streets and cool cafes. But student city León is perhaps even more special. Here you will find the most beautiful cathedrals, the largest squares and the best restaurants and bars. León is authentic and full of history – you can practically feel the revolutionary atmosphere as you walk through the narrow cobble-stone streets.
The blue crater lake Laguna de Apoyo
From above, you have a perfect view of the round, blue crater lake of the Apoyo volcano. The water shimmers in the distance and draws you in on the usually hot Nicaraguan days. Driving down, you’ll soon find that Laguno de Apoyo is the perfect spot for a relaxing day. Here you can swim, kayak or just lay in the sun.
Back in time on Isla de Ometepe
The first sight of Isla de Ometepe in the vast Lake of Nicaragua is an unforgettable experience. You’ll see two volcanoes appear on the horizon: one the perfect triangle, the other with a truncated top. Isla de Ometepe is a special place where time seems to have stood still. You can ride through sleepy villages where residents laze on their porch in their rocking chairs. You can trek your way to high waterfalls, climb up the volcanoes, take a horse ride and kayak along the coast. Or you can take it easy and simply do nothing but enjoy the beautiful views of the lake and high volcanoes.
Selva Negra: the greenest rainforest
In the cloud forest of Selva Negra in north Ncaragua, you’ll find your surroundings going from green to greener to greenest. Here you can go to escape the heat. Situated in the lowland of Nicaragua, Selva Negra has a cooler climate than other areas. The cloud forest is an oasis of exotic plants and trees, lakes, orchids and colourful birds. When you go for a hike, you even have the chance to meet a group of noisy howler monkeys.
Drink the best fair trade coffee in the country
Matagalpa is the coffee capital of Nicaragua. Here you can see how fair trade coffee is produced as well as visit a chocolate factory that makes delicious organic chocolate. In Matagalpa there are also several places where you can stay with local people and get to know the real Nicaraguan way of life.
Brave the smoke of the Masaya volcano
The Masaya volcano near Granada still erupts regularly. That makes a visit to the Masaya’s crater an exciting trip. Sometimes the mist is so thick that you can’t see the crater, but it’s worth waiting for the wind to blow the steam away. When this happens, you’ll suddenly see a spectacular natural wonder as you watch the deep bubbling of the volcano crater.
Learn to surf in San Juan del Sur
Have you always wanted to learn to surf? Then you are at the right place in San Juan del Sur. In this hippy village on the Atlantic coast, you can follow surf lessons. Not a super active person? Then relax and enjoy a Nicaraguan beer watching the gorgeous sunset.
On adventure in the Canyon de Somoto
If you are a nature lover, then you will love the Canyon de Somoto. This impressive canyon is more than 150 metres deep and at the narrowest point only five meters wide. Here you can go hiking, take boat trips or float down the river on a tire. You can also go on a scenic horse riding trip or even go abseiling down the steep canyon cliffs. Plenty of adventure!
Sandboarding down Cerro Negro Volcano
Nicaragua is the land of volcanoes and there are still many active ones. One of the volcanoes surrounding León is the active Cerro Negro. Once you’ve trekked up to the top, you have a great view of the crater and the rugged, colourful volcanic landscape. To go back down, you don’t need to walk. You can also sandboard your way down the steep black slope of Cerro Negro. Really something for the adrenaline junkie!
Reenact Robinson Crusoe on the Corn Islands
Looking for perfect white beaches with swaying palm trees and a laid back atmosphere? Then end your trip on the Corn Islands on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. These are paradise islands like those you find on postcards. You can choose from Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. The little one is even more untouched than its big brother. This is the ultimate destination to relax in a reggae-like atmosphere.