Nicaragua is often overlooked as a holiday destination by neighbouring Costa Rica, which is great news for cyclists looking to gain a fascinating insight into a vibrant and beautiful country away from large scale tourism developments. On a bike trip of Nicaragua you can discover charming Spanish colonial towns, active volcanoes and pristine tropical rainforests. There is a variety of terrain to explore on two wheels from the idyllic Corn Islands lazing in the Caribbean sun to steep climbs in the jungle-clad northern mountains bordering Honduras.
With virtually no traffic and a traditional rural community that has changed little over the centuries, the volcanic island of Ometepe is an excellent place to cycle amid the peace and quiet of surrounding Lake Nicaragua. Rich farmland skirts the flanks of Ometepe and wherever you cycle you can see the perfect volcanic cone of Concepcion Volcano that dominates the island.
While eastern Nicaragua is covered by impenetrable rainforest, the central highlands that run parallel to the Pacific coast are punctuated by a chain of active volcanoes. As you ride your bike in these relatively cooler climes it is easy to see why the Spanish colonial settlers favoured the beautiful setting of Granada and Leon over the hot and humid lowlands. You can cycle between the national parks that protect volcanoes such as Masaya and Mombacho and spend the night sampling a local rum cocktail and admiring the colonial architecture.