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For such a tiny country, there’s a lot to see and do in Nicaragua. Fortunately, road communication in the Pacific Basin is good and most areas of interest are less than 200 km from the capital. A great deal of ground can be covered in a matter of days. The rest of Nicaragua is off the beaten track with large nature reserves and small villages devoid of travellers and commercialisation.
Managua is not overburdened with attractions but makes a convenient stop on arrival. However the laid-back colonial city of Granada is just one hour away. Granada’s touristic infrastructure is well developed and it makes a great base for exploring the region. In Granada, few visitors can resist a jaunt on Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest freshwater lake, or a trip to Volcan Mombacho, where you can hike or zip-line through cloud-drenched forests.Read more
A shopping trip to the city of Masaya, just 30 minutes from Granada, is an obligatory venture, as is a visit to smoking Volcan Masaya. Many enjoy the tranquil waters of Laguna de Apoyo, whilst side-trips to the pottery town of San Juan de Oriente and the flower-filled village of Catarina are also rewarding.
From the port of San Jorge, boats regularly depart to the glorious island of Ometepe with its rustic villages and twin volcano complex. You’ll need time to soak up the ambience and explore everything it has to offer.
The vibrant colonial city of Leon lies under two hours from the capital and is also a great place to stay. Be sure to summit a volcano or two, perhaps running down the sandy slopes of Cerro Negro, before hitting the Pacific beaches of Las Penitas and Poneloya. More intrepid travellers can continue to the remote Cosiguina Peninsula before backtracking and cutting east to the coffee capital of Matagalpa, two to three hours away.
Places of interest in Nicaragua
A bastion of old money and conservatism, Granada is Nicaragua’s most handsome and romantic city. Plied by...
Leon Viejo, Nicaragua’s accursed first capital, was destroyed by forces of nature and haunted by its notorious...