Nicaragua has a great chain of volcanoes in the north, with lakes, rainforest, mangrove swamps, coffee plantations, a gorgeous Caribbean coast with coral reefs, and sandy Pacific beaches where turtles come to lay their eggs. For culture lovers, old Spanish colonial towns like Granada have some superb architecture, whilst León has a huge baroque cathedral and some excellent art galleries.
Nicaragua is bordered by Costa Rica to the south and Honduras to the north and it is very easy to combine the south of Nicaragua with Costa Rica.
Nicaragua has overcome several decades of political instability and is now a wonderful destination offering a mix of colonial cities, stunning beaches and fascinating wildlife. The south-west of the country is dominated by Lake Nicaragua, around which the majority of the population live.
Here are some of our Nicaragua highlights
Lakes and volcanos
Nicaragua has a backbone of volcanos and many of its cities lie at their feet, domintating their skyline and affording stunning views. Twin volcanos Concepción and Maderas form Ometepe Island on the beautiful Lake Nicaragua.
The beautiful Pacific coast offers some dramatic scenery and some lovely beach accommodation. From dark to white sand to virgin and wild beaches there is a staggering variety and in some protected areas, turtles come to lay their eggs.
Founded in 1524, Granada is the oldest city in the New World and has some wonderful colonial architecture. The cobblestone streets lined with colourful buildings and quaint churches make the city a great base to explore the surrounding countryside.
We had a fantastic time in Nicaragua, it more than lived up to our expectations and we enjoyed every minute. Every part of the trip was excellent and I think we got the activities and relaxing balance pretty much spot on. Both the Los Patios hotel in Granada and the Aqua Wellness resort are spectacular, and whilst Finca San Juan on Ometepe was a little basic, its location and staff were still excellent.
In terms of activities, we really enjoyed the Masaya volcano trip and the isletas tour in Granada, as well as nature trails and walks to Playa Gigante from Aqua Wellness. We also had a great time climbing the Maderas volcano on Ometepe but it was very tough! The local agents were excellent, they were always on time for all trips and transfers, the guides were incredibly friendly and spoke very good English, and you felt in safe hands at all times.
Many thanks for all your help in organising the trip and making everything so easy for us, we had a wonderful time. - PG