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Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languageSpanish
Area130.373 km²
Population6,759,067  (2021)
Currencycórdoba  (NIO)

Vacations and Sightseeing

Nicaragua has colonial cities, active volcanoes, a vast rainforest and beautiful beaches. Nicaragua gets far fewer visitors than neighbouring Costa Rica, making it a great Central American destination for travellers interested in nature, tropical beaches and off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Nicaragua's main resort San Juan del Sur is just minutes away from some of the most beautiful surf beaches. San Juan del Sur gets a steady stream of tourists and its restaurants and bars are some of the best in all of Nicaragua. The beautiful beach stretches along the bay and rarely feels crowded. It is no wonder that San Juan del Sur is increasingly considered one of the top beach resorts in Central America.

Ometepe Island is located in Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. Ometepe Island was formed by two volcanoes and today the volcanoes form the backdrop to this remarkably beautiful island. Ometepe Island can be reached by boat from the cities of Granada or Rivas. It is a unique destination in Nicaragua and offers a glimpse into local life. Life on the island is relaxed and slow. But for active visitors, there is no shortage of activities and attractions. It is possible to hike and there are pre-Columbian rock paintings, waterfalls, lagoons and numerous beaches to explore. Transport on the island is limited and many of the sights are remote and isolated.

Granada can be reached by a short bus ride away from Nicaragua's chaotic capital. It is a beautifully restored old colonial city. Granada was founded in 1524 along the north-western shore of Lake Nicaragua. Today, Granada is the tourist capital of Nicaragua. Masaya Volcano National Park can be easily visited on a day trip from Granada. The park is just off the main highway connecting Granada to Managua and local buses drop off passengers just outside the entrance. From there, you can reach the top of the volcano in 6 kilometres.

The colonial city of León is the country's main centre of art, culture and religion. León is considered the most politically progressive city in Nicaragua. Political murals can be seen on many of its outer walls and in some of its plazas. Nicaragua's first university, the Universidad Autónoma de Nicaragua is located in the centre of León and the city is young and increasingly educated. The largest cathedral in Central America is in the centre of the town square. The cathedral was built in the 18th century and is surrounded by carved stone statues of lions. The cathedral is the focal point of León and one of its most visited tourist attractions.


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Last updated May 2024
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