With a little under 6 million people, Nicaragua is the largest and least densely populated country in Central America. Bordering both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, fittingly named Nicaragua, meaning “here united with the water,” is located between Honduras and Costa Rica.
It is also known as the land of many volcanoes and lakes. Nicaragua is home to the buzzing city of Leon, the more remote Corn Islands, and the largest freshwater body in South America, Lago de Nicaragua. It also boasts wonderfully preserved colonial cities and vast areas of lush rainforests, making it one of the most underrated and untouched travel destinations in the world.
Nicaragua has been fully independent since 1838, but still continued to endure unrest, dictatorship, and more recently, a decade-long civil war that ended peacefully in 1990. Today, 25 years later, Nicaragua remains welcoming and tranquil, with a growing ecotourism industry and increasing number of visitors every year.
The lively and blissful culture of the “Nicas,” mixed with their laidback Caribbean-like pace, make this country a haven of hospitality for all kinds of travelers.
Nicaragua is a tropical paradise offering many incredible experiences for the adventurous traveler.
For those who love boarding activities, consider surfing San Juan del Sur, or "volcano boarding" down the sandy slopes of Cerro Negro, an active volcano.
If you enjoy city life, skip Managua and head straight to Granada and Leon. These two cities offer beautiful architecture - with some buildings and ruins dating back to the 16th century.
Finally, for a beautiful and often muddy hike, visit Miraflores. Exploring this national park with a mandatory guide is an incredible experience. While trekking through the jungle and enjoy its many rivers, farms, and waterfalls, you will rarely meet another tourist. If the purpose of your trip is to "get away from it all", visiting Miraflores is a must.
The major airlines serving Nicaragua's airport in Managua include United, American, and Delta. The least expensive airlines connecting to the United States and other Central American countries are Copa, Taca, and Spirit airlines.
Once in Nicaragua, getting around is as easy as catching a cab, taking a bus, or putting out your thumb to hitchhike. Ask a local what a reasonable taxi fair is before taking a cab - as the drivers often take advantage of tourists. And while hitchhiking is commonplace, solo female travelers should be careful - especially when carrying all of their luggage.