Nicaragua is one of those places that still has not been visited by all your friends and family. A great country for backpackers due to the cheap prices of public transport, local food and beers, but mainly a beautiful place to visit because it is such an adventurous destination with great surroundings and very friendly people.
There are plenty of things to do in Nicaragua that can keep you busy during a visit, but the great part of it is that over here you can still get of the beaten track and go with the flow of the locals.
Prepare yourself to eating a lot of rice and beans, getting whistled at non-stop if you’re a woman, seeing many beautiful birds anywhere you go, going out to party for six dollars all night, taking chicken-buses, seeing smoking volcanoes in the background and amazing surf beaches you just can’t get enough off. Here is a top 5 of things I loved doing in Nicaragua.
1. Hike a volcano in Ometepe
Ometepe is an island located in the biggest lake of Nicaragua, with the suiting name Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe exists of two volcanoes which makes it quite spectacular from a distance, but even more impressive when you are walking on the island.
You can hike the active volcano Concepcion or the no longer active volcano Maderas. The hikes are a lot more challenging than they seem, since so many people are doing this activity.
2. Visit the city of Léon
Léon is an amazing city, where you can wander around and get lost in the many streets with beautifully colored houses. It is the kind of place where you keep on adding more days to your stay and then realize you still have not done everything you wanted to do.
You can go volcano boarding, which is like the main activity all the tourists do in Léon with the BigFoot hostel. You can also surf at the beach of Las Peñitas or explore and hike to the other volcanoes such as the active Telica.
3. Party and waves in San Juan del Sur
Probably the most well-known beach destination of Nicaragua all over the world. San Juan del Sur is THE place to be for parties and surf. With pub and pool crawls almost every day and surfing spots for any kind of level you can enjoy yourself here for many days (if you need to rent a surf board expect to pay US $10 per day).
The famous “gringo” pool crawl party Funday Sunday is held every Sunday at different locations. You start your Sunday in Pachamama or The Naked Tiger early in the morning (ten-ish) to buy your entrance ticket (expect to pay US $10 if you’re staying in either Pachamama or The Naked Tiger and US $20 if you’re staying elsewhere) and begin to party at 2pm going from one amazing infinity pool location to another. Don’t forget to visit the Loose Moose on any of your other party nights in San Juan del Sur. You’ll enjoy yourself with the local shot challenges!
4. Visit Granada and see the lava of the Masaya volcano
You cannot miss out on a visit to Granada during your stay in Nicaragua. Even if you just have one day, go there. It’s a great city for taking photos of the local culture and beautiful buildings as well as taking day trips to the volcano of Masaya.
You can actually go to a lava-tour at Masaya and see the red, almost neon-looking colors of the lava inside the crater. The smoking volcano will amaze you if you have never seen an active volcano before.
5. Visit Laguna Apoyo
Not a name you will hear from many other travelers when talking about places to go to. However, Apoyo lagoon is one of the most relax and beautiful lakes in Nicaragua. The amazing part of it is that it is actually an old volcano crater which has turned into a giant lake.
A nice spot to relax, go kayaking, enjoy some hammock time or to spend time with your friends or perhaps the love of your life. Stay at the Monkey Hut for a dorm with a great view!
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
Nicaragua is amazing. I traveled safely through this country by myself as a solo female traveler and had a fantastic time.