Nicaragua is still the ‘little brother’ to Costa Rica and not nearly as famous and hyped up as its neighbor in the south. However there are plenty of reasons why you should visit the country of lakes and volcanos. It has something for everyone whether you are an adventure loving adrenaline junkie or a sun worshipper after cocktails, pampering and lazy days on a beautiful beach. There is no point in waiting, because this jewel won’t be a bargain for too much longer. Buckle up and book your flight, here are 11 reasons why you will love Nicaragua!
1. Mighty Volcanos
It doesn’t matter if you are the one who will climb them or the one who don’t, volcanos are such a character in Nicaraguan landscape and no matter where you go you are bound to see one shoot out of the ground and rise mighty above you. However, as much as they make for beautiful scenery there’s a feeling of adventure and accomplishment to actually climbing one. Whatever your fitness level there will be a volcano for you and it is a great way of challenging yourself and see the Nicaraguan nature. The view will never disappoint whether it’s lava, craters, sunsets or the amazing views of Nicaragua from above. And who can resist the temptation of boarding down an active volcano? In Nicaragua you’ll get your shot!
2. The Nicaraguan Highlands
If you love nature you will never forget the days you spent exploring the Northern Highlands of Nicaragua. Even in dry season this part of the country is a lush and green jungle forrest that fills your lungs with fresh air and your heart with appreciation for nature. Around the city of Matagalpa the landscape is breathtaking. Hike through coffee farms and jungles and make your way up over the trees for stunning views of it all. Camp underneath the stars or in a cave behind the waterfall. Nature never looked so good.
3. The ‘new’ Somoto Canyon
In the far north of Nicaragua, on the border to Honduras you will find a gem that is still unknown to most, the Somoto Canyon. This place, that was discovered as late as in 2004, is a sight for sore eyes. Pictures won’t do this place justice and it is a must when you go to Nicaragua. Float in the cool emerald green water while you navigate your way through the Coco river and gaze up on beautiful rocky walls that carved this canyon millions of years ago. Jump off cliffs and go abseiling or listen to the peace of nature. Go visit the small community that lives at the edge of the canyon and at night, camp on one of the miradores (viewpoint) that has the most amazing views of it all. Don’t take my word for it, GO!!
4. The Corn islands
If you are dreaming the Caribbean dream then get yourself off to the Corn Islands. Nicaragua will become paradise when you step on to these two gorgeous islands that you can reach within an hour flight from Managua. It has exactly what you would expect a tropical island to have; white beaches, turquoise water, bungalows, hammocks, fresh seafood, diving and spectacular sunsets. Opt for the Big Corn if you want resorts and a more developed island or the Small Corn for the backpacker scene and even more stunning beaches.
5. Flor the Caña
The national pride of Nicaragua is Flor the Caña, an award winning rum that you will find everywhere in the country, well known for being one of the best rums in the whole of Latin America. It comes in white and dark rum with a span between 4 to 25 years of storage. Whether you have it on the rocks, with lime or in a cocktail you won’t be disappointed, they are not lying, this is good stuff. In thre rest of the world they drink Cuba Libre in Nicaragua we enjoy Nica Libre.
6. Chicken buses
Maybe it’s just me, but there is no better transport than the crazy chicken bus. For as little $10 these yellow beauties will take you from the north to south, as long as you got the time for them. Here, passenger, salesmen, preachers, animals and cargo are stuffed and squeezed in together often with blaring music or for longer rides, a ridiculous tesosterone filled movie. Never will you starve nor be thirsty on a chicken bus and a good story is rarely far away!
Yep, that’s right, Nicaragua has coffee and a good one at that. It’s one of the principal export products of the country, which in some ways are a shame since most of the good stuff is shipped to other destination. But fear not, there are still places to get a taste of quality coffee. Go on a tour at a coffe plantation, taste and then buy to take home.
8. Beautiful Beaches
Who doesn’t love wild beautiful beaches where you can tiptoe in soft sand while listening to the waves or watch epic sunset? Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast is littered with untouched grand beaches that at time is easier to find deserted than not. Soak up the sun, smell the salty air and relax.
9. Great Surfing
Not only does Nicaragua have great beaches, but the waves are pretty darn good too. The west coast is gradually becoming a surfers destination with something for everyone. Surf camps are getting more popular and why wouldn’t they, Nicaragua is a great place to learn how to find that perfect wave.
10. It’s one of the cheapest country to explore
Let me just put it out there, cause we all love it. Nicaragua is ridiculously cheap. Transport, food, drinks, accommodation you name it. It has a budget for everyone, but is especially heavenly for the backpackers who want to spend more money on adventure and less money on necessities. But it’s a fact, nothing gets cheaper. Take advantage of Nicaraguan prices now that they are easily 1/3 of the price of places like Costa Rica and Panama.
11. The fact that Nicaragua is still ‘undiscovered’
It’s true. Referring to Nicaragua as Costa Rica’s unknown neighbour is no lie. It’s what makes Nica the perfect place to travel now. With the tourism industry still fresh and growing you can still get away with enjoying everything this country has to offer before the masses starts pouring in. Because that is what we look for, an authentic experience. They say Nicaragua is what Costa Rica was 15 years ago and although that might be true for tourism, Nica will always be Nica. However right now is when you can travel through the country on broken spanish and no more than $15 to survive the day. It won’t be long before the unspoiled beauty of this place will be crawling with investors. That’s what happens to anything worth wild. Go and explore the land of lakes and volcanos now and see it before the rest of the world beats you to it!