Here are our picks for the top things to see and do around Nicaragua. Reply. With the country realizing its potential as a destination for tourism, Nicaragua is finally catching up to its more developed and highly visited neighbor to the south: Costa Rica. Nicaragua is known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, fitting for a country with more than 50 volcanoes (19 active) and two enormous freshwater lakes - Lake Nicaragua is the largest in Central America. We hope you make some marvelous memories in Nicaragua! Biodiverse and naturally beautiful, Nicaragua is a still off-the-grid destination, filled with active volcanoes, cloud forests, jungles, lakes, and two coastlines, all boasting plenty of attractions and things to do. While those in search of wildlife experiences can explore one of the many protected reserves around Nicaragua that are home to everything from jaguars to howler and white-faced monkeys and hundreds of species of birds. What makes the whole experience more amazing is that the gorge only came to the world’s attention when two Czech geologists stumbled across it in 2004. Read More Show Less. Trekking. I loved to travel through Nicaragua back in 2013. Isla Ometepe, Lago Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua), Cascada San Ramon, Ometepe | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. Subscribe for More Awesome Videos http://bit.ly/YoutubePTLWhere to travel to in Nicaragua in 2017? One of the most interesting things to do during a visit to Lake Nicaragua is to explore the lake's series of small islands, known as "Las Isletas de Granada," or the Islets of Granada. Puerto Salvador Allende Nicaragua may not be as popular as other cities in Honduras, but don’t let that fool you. Subcategories. Lakes, lagoons, forests and islands make Nicaragua into a paradise for outdoor lovers. Colorful Granada is a wonderful old city to wander for an afternoon. The stunning river gorge that cuts deep through ancient rocks to create the Cañón de Somoto in northern... Masaya Volcano. The Corn Islands, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur (RAAS), Little Corn Island | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. The town itself is filled with colorful buildings and murals. Travelers are voting Lake Nicaragua, San Cristóbal Volcano and Concepción Volcano as the best of 37 tourist attractions in Nicaragua. The six-hour trip also includes rappelling down cliffs into bat-filled caves. Nice summary Claudia! Nicaragua has an enticing mix of Caribbean and Pacific beaches, remote cays, active volcanoes and colonial cities, and boasts one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Nicaragua. Nicaragua Tourism: Tripadvisor has 179,093 reviews of Nicaragua Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Nicaragua resource. A 16-year conservation effort by the Wildlife Conservation Society has seen the numbers of nests increase dramatically, which bodes well for the future. It picks up most of the swells that hit Nicaragua and is best approached at medium to high tide. Hiking through the rainforest is one of the top things to do in Nicaragua. From Big Corn, it is a 40-minute boat ride to Little Corn. Things to Do in Nicaragua, Central America: See Tripadvisor's 40,103 traveller reviews and photos of Nicaragua tourist attractions. The stunning river gorge that cuts deep through ancient rocks to create the Cañón de Somoto in northern Nicaragua provides one of the country’s most exciting adventure experiences in some of its most beautiful natural surroundings. Want more? Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country. You'll also find plenty of mammals, including jaguars, Baird's tapir, and spider monkeys in the trees and on the forest floor. The big draw for both islands is the diving, with experienced divers heading for Blowing Rock, a spectacular tower of coral off Little Corn that is teeming with colourful marine life. Lakes, volcanoes, culture, and history make this a country worth working into your itinerary. Filter • Filter Close. You'll be wearing a boiler suit and goggles for protection, and you can reach speeds of upwards of 60 miles per hour. Reached on a boat trip across choppy open sea from Pearl Lagoon, the majority of the islands that make up the archipelago are now privately owned. The results for Nicaragua's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar This category has the following 13 subcategories, out of 13 total. Discovered by miners in 1874, these fossilized tracks record the passage of... Antigua Catedral. Managua is Nicaragua's capital city, but people tend not to linger here unless visiting for business. Do you take a canopy tour of the forest - swinging from trees on specially adapted cables not quite unlike a monkey? White-faced capuchin | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts can hike to natural attractions like crater lakes in dormant volcanos or sled down mountains of ash on wooden boards. A sweet man with a soft voice and green fingers, Don Alberto has adorned the trails around his sculptures with orchids and fruit trees, and likes to hand out mangos and sweet lemons as he explains the inspiration behind his creations. August 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm. No beach is as popular as Playa Maderas, which has a board-friendly sandy bottom, right and left breaks, and waves that will give both beginners and pros a ride to remember. And then there is the long gold-sand meets Pacific Ocean Playa Maderas beach, which is also lined with small hotels and eco-resorts. Cleared of the landmines that were laid here to stop illegal entry from Honduras along this remote stretch of border, the only danger nowadays is slipping and sliding on the muddy trail or getting caught briefly in the clouds that nurture the moss-covered forest at the summit. It is such a useful language to know! Head to Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast between July and January to witness sea turtles by the thousands come to shore to lay their eggs at Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor. Resplendent Quetzal, Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. Puerto Salvador Allende Learn more. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping a bit then head to Cerro Negro. In Nicaragua, you can find unspoiled natural beauty waiting to be lived and fallen in love with, starting from Corinto, home to the largest port in the country and one of the destinations on your MSC World Cruise. Nicaragua is divided into states known as departments. Maderas is the volcano in the south of Ometepe, and it is less active than the Concepcion volcano in the north. Travelers are voting Lake Nicaragua, San Cristóbal Volcano and Concepción Volcano as the best of 37 tourist attractions in Nicaragua. The island has not one but two volcanos, both of which can be climbed. Day trippers should include a visit to the Estanzuela waterfall on the way back to Esteli. And then there are the multitude of volcanoes, some dormant; others, like the Masaya Volcano, still very much active. Nicaragua’s Pacific surf beaches have gained a legendary status among international surfers as the breaks are good all year round and the tubes are consistent. Find what to do today, this weekend or in December. They won a decisive victory in 1984 elections, but their leftist orientation also attracted US hostility and drove them to turn to the USSR and Cuba. Laguna de Apoyo is a lake formed in the caldera of an extinct volcano between the capital of Managua and the tourist favorite of Granada. A birder's paradise, you'll find that 600 of the 790 bird species that call Nicaragua home live in this reserve. We have reviews of the best places to see in Nicaragua. Solentiname Archipelago, Lago Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua), Mancarron Chapel, Solentiname | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. Dramatic coastline and incredibly beautiful beaches are what makes the area of Tola one of the top tourist attractions in Nicaragua… The city has some of the best tourist attractions in Nicaragua such as marketplaces and museums. Tourist attractions Nicaragua by Jocelyn Petrillo View Menu . Pearl Cays, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur (RAAS), Nicaragua, Pearl Cays | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua it’s just one hour from the capital Managua and is the country’s biggest tourist attraction. Managua may not be as popular as other cities in Nicaragua, but don’t let that fool you. The Rio San Juan links the town of San Carlos on Lake Nicaragua with San Juan de Nicaragua on the Atlantic coast, but most visitors stop off at El Castillo to access the nearby Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve, one of the best preserved areas of rainforest in Nicaragua. While it's still considered active, today most people head to Cerro Negro to try their skills at volcano surfing. Discovered accidentally in 2004 by two Czech geologists, Somoto Canyon National Monument is now a protected gorge in northern Nicaragua about 2.5 hours from Leon. Finca El Jalacate, Reserva Natural El Tisey, Esteli, Nicaragua, Don Alberto, the cliff carver of El Tisey | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. While jaguars and Baird’s tapir roam the forest floor, Central American spider monkeys and harpy eagles inhabit the canopy. Nature & Parks 2. Central America: This part of the world offers many great adventures and intriguing destinations. I just returned from my 2nd trip in 18 months doing mission work in Leon Nicaragua. Perhaps if you are clever enough you will be able to combine a few short, action-packed days at each location into one truly memorable holiday. Facts. The reserve is also home to a tourist center, where you can pick up a guide to hike around one of the four volcanic craters, all covered with a rare type of cloud forest that is only found in one other spot in Nicaragua: the Maderas volcano on Ometepe Island. From cooling off under icy waterfalls to horseback riding or trekking in search of some 300 species of birds that live here, including the bright queen quetzal, there is plenty to keep you naturally entertained at Reserva Natural Miraflor. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination. The country has three regions which vary greatly in weather, geography, and population. Both volcanoes can be climbed, and Maderas has a crater lake at its summit, and at its base the San Ramón waterfall that cascades 50 metres (164 feet) down a sheer wall. Nicaragua provides beaches, colonial character, nightlife, history and natural beauty to all visitors. March 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm. Nicaragua Tourism: Tripadvisor has 179,086 reviews of Nicaragua Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Nicaragua travel resource. It is home to some of the best-preserved architecture in Nicaragua, including a number of buildings and churches constructed in Spanish colonial style. Nature & Parks. Little Corn Island is a thrilling 40-minute panga (boat) ride away and has no cars or banks. Trekking. The scenery here is stunningly beautiful, and this is also another perfect destination for adrenaline addicts. There’s a Spanish fort that was built to warn of pirate attacks, a refuge for rescued monkeys, a few restaurants and some upscale spa hotels, where guests can start the day by saluting the sun on an open-air yoga platform. A full page Google map showing the exact location of 37 tourist attractions in Nicaragua. Managua is getting a tourist-friendly makeover that has breathed bright new life into the once forlorn downtown area and spruced up the lakeshore promenade with shiny new attractions. Most people try this on an organized adventure tour. Lake Nicaragua is home to 365 small islands that form an archipelago known as Las Isletas or... 2. Visit after dark to see the glow the bubbling lava creates inside the pit. The Cathedral of Granada, located in the Parque Central, is what comes to mind when thinking about Nicaragua tourist attractions – it makes for a perfect postcard picture. It’s easily to visit from Managua or Granada; come in the day to learn all you can about the volcano at the onsite museum and take in the full extent of the crater and surrounding lava fields, or come at night for a brief but thrilling peek of the bubbling lava lake and the golden glow it casts in the crater. Nicaragua Travel Phrases. The island is also popular for horseback riding, mountain biking, or kayaking the Istian River that runs through it. In southwest Nicaragua, on the Emerald Coast, near the border with Costa Rica, San Juan del Sur is a vibrant town with a large expat community and an excellent surf beach just 20 miles to the north. Activities include kayaking, swimming, scuba diving to explore thermal vents, or just chilling at one of the restaurants on the beachfront. Naturally, Costa Rica popped up everywhere as the adventure and ecotourism hotspot of the region. It is the largest freshwater lake in Central America and home to hundreds upon hundreds of islands, including some with amazing ecolodges. Nicaragua is the Central American country with the greatest extent of protected areas and biological reserves, making clear the concern of Nicaraguans to preserve their natural environment, so rich in flora and fauna. This reserve in Nicaragua's north covers three climate zones, including dry forest and cloud forest. There is also an impressive waterfall at the base that cascades for almost 50 meters down a sheer rock wall. Hello! You can travel to San Carlos by air, bus or by 4-wheel drive vehicles from Managua. Top Attractions in Nicaragua 1. The Great Lake of Nicaragua covers a massive 8000 sq km. Granada is the perfect example of a colonial city: cobbled street, bright colours, magnificent churches, airy squares and great museums. Islets of Granada In the Caribbean Sea, about 70 kilometers off Nicaragua's east coast, the Corn Islands are where to go... 3. Inspired by a vivid dream he had as a child, Don Alberto – known locally as the Michelangelo of Nicaragua – has spent the last 30 years painstakingly carving snakes, jaguars, elephants, biblical characters and scenes from Nicaragua’s past into the rocks, using just a large nail and a stone. In Panama City, you'll find a modern metropolis with shopping, dining, and an assortment of attractions and things to do, including the country's most famous site, the Panama Canal. To lose the crowds, head over to the distinctive shark fin-shaped rocks on the right as you enter the beach and a short walk will take you to rock pool ‘jacuzzis’ and small secluded coves. To the south of Nicaragua, Cost Rica is fill with natural attractions, beaches, and incredible opportunities to see wildlife. The city has some of the best tourist attractions in Nicaragua such as marketplaces and museums. Cerro Mogotón, Reserva Nacional Cordillera Dipilto y Jalapa, Nicaragua, Cerro Mogoton | © Yamil Gonzalez / Flickr. One of the youngest volcanoes in the world, it last erupted in 1999 and features a dramatic black cone. Naturally, Costa Rica popped up everywhere as the adventure and ecotourism hotspot of the region. You can also just laze on the white sands of Santo Domingo beach. Guided tours can be arranged in the town of Ocotal for the 3–4 hour ascent, which is more of a hike than a climb. Sort by: Traveller Favourites. The best things to do in Nicaragua-tourist attractions. Isla Ometepe is in Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America and also home to the Islets of Granada. The most amazing part about visiting this active volcano is how close you can get to the lip of the crater in a private vehicle - you simply drive right up to the edge and park, although you have to park facing downhill in case an emergency evacuation is necessary. Non-hikers can take it easy and swim in the fresh waters of the lake and relax on the white sands of Playa Santo Domingo. We have reviews of the best places to see in Nicaragua. Top Attractions in Nicaragua 1. Tours from León leave in the morning and in the afternoon. Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Nicaragua.Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. Top tourist attractions in Nicaragua. Nicaragua Tourism: Tripadvisor has 179,086 reviews of Nicaragua Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Nicaragua travel resource. Check out our map of tourist attractions in Nicaragua or these 4 tourist attractions in Managua. Nicaragua map . Here are 15 inspiring places to add to your Nicaragua bucket list. There are many beautiful places in the world. Nicaragua has quietly become one of the top travel destinations in the world and a hot spot for surfers and backpackers on the Central America circuit. The second-largest area of rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, after the Amazon in Brazil, Bosawas was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997 to protect the incredible biodiversity found in this northern corner of Nicaragua and maintain the free flow of species through Mexico and Central America in what is known as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. The lake is about 198 meters deep and is so big that when the wind blows hard enough, there are waves big enough to windsurf. Islets of Granada The last eruption was in 1999, but it was in 1992 that one of the biggest recent eruptions occurred, with a plume of gas, ash and rocks reaching 7 kilometres (4 miles) into the air. Nicaragua provides beaches, colonial character, nightlife, history and natural beauty to all visitors. Granada is a popular base for exploring the islands in Lake Nicaragua on whose shore it sits. Paty says. The Cathedral of Granada, located in the Parque Central, is what comes to mind when thinking about Nicaragua tourist attractions – it makes for a perfect postcard picture. Laid back in the way only Caribbean islands can be, Nicaragua’s beautiful Corn Islands offer a change of pace to those lucky enough to visit. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. You can also visit the 16th-century ruins of Leon Viejo (old Leon), a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the first Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas. The big draw, however, are the community tourism projects on coffee cooperatives that give visitors the opportunity to live with local families, milk cows, fetch water from the well and slap tortillas into shape for breakfast before hiking the hills. Volcano boarding at Cerro Negro | © Russell Maddicks / Flickr. The beach is also known for its long, drawn-out sunsets with an amazing display of bright, shifting colors. Corn Islands. Over the millennia, the marine life has adapted to living in freshwater. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination. The trek takes about 40 minutes. Evening. Trekking. Here, you'll find Convento San Francisco, which is one of the oldest churches in Central America. Tourist attractions in Nicaragua. The boards can either be ridden sled style (sitting down) or standing up like a surf or snowboard. Nicaragua - Top Travel Experiences & Attractions. 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