Traveling in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, and surprisingly the safest! The country has done a great job avoiding the drug trade and gang wars that terrorize its northern neighbors. It also can offer absolutely everything that its southern neighbor Costa Rica has. Since Nicaragua and Costa Rica are similar in many ways, this was a special trip for me. Costa Rica was where my first adventure started nearly 20 years earlier, and this trip brought back so many memories of how my travels all got started!
Nicaragua’s capital is the sprawling city of Managua. Managua has a relatively safe reputation, but most travelers do little else other than fly in and out of the city. A few things to see include the old cathedral, which was completely abandoned after the devastating 1972 earthquake, the modern cathedral, national palace and museum, and the Oriental Market.
Granada is the oldest European city in the continental Americas, founded in 1524 by Spanish Settlers. With all its history, colonial buildings, and small town charm Granada is one of the best places to visit in the country. The city also provides a good base for day adventures. Nearby Granada is the active volcano Masaya, which offers plenty of outdoor activities and an opportunity to see molten lava!
Ometepe Island is one of Nicaragua’s natural wonders. The island rises out of Lake Nicaragua and is dominated by two volcanoes. Each volcano is unique and offers a different environment, such as the higher scree covered Concepcion, or the cloud forest and lagoon on the summit of Madera. Other activities in the island include camping, mountain biking, kayaking and sailing.
The Corn Islands are located 40 miles east of Nicaragua’s mainland in the Caribbean. Both the Big and Little Corn Islands have good tourist infrastructure, but the far majority of travelers stay in the Little Corn Island. The Big Corn Island is more developed and populated, while the Little Corn island is known for its lack of motorized vehicles and tranquility. Throughout the two islands you can find excellent beaches, hiking, and access to Nicaragua’s best scuba diving site, Blowing Rock.