Tourism in Nicaragua
In recent years, Surfers have flocked to the Southern Pacific coast where clean waters and offshore winds propelled by the huge Lake Nicaragua provide almost constant great surfing conditions. San Juan del Sur, formally a sleepy small fishing village, has developed into a hot base destination for surfers who take day trips to their preferred surf spots while enjoying an array of restaurants and nightlife at the days end. San Juan del Sur also offers high-end rental homes for families seeking a quiet ocean view rental home overlooking the bright blue San Juan del Sur bay.
The Island of Omatepe, formed by two perfectly conical volcanoes bursting from the center of the over 8,000 km2 Lake Nicaragua offers an unparalleled mystical beauty with its rich fauna and flora blooming from its volcanic soil.
The colonial city of Granada, situated on the Northern point of Lake Nicaragua caters to a broad audience of retired expats and backpackers alike. The oldest city in Central America, known for its colorfully painted cathedrals and colonial architecture, is conveniently located for day trips to popular tourist destinations such as San Juan del Sur, Mombacho Volcano, The Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya Volcano, and the quaint Pueblos Blancos.
North of Managua in the Occidental region of the country exists the city of León. For those interested in the history of Nicaragua and the intellectual roots of its revolutionary history, León provides a number of colonial cathedrals and historical museums dedicated to the Sandanista revolution and the late great poet Rubén Darío. An hour trip from the city León lies Poneloya and Las Piñitas, popular for beach vacations and surfers alike. For more adventurous surfers seeking less populated surf destinations, the beaches of Aserradores and Jiquilillo in Chinandega, north of León, provide excellent waves still on less developed beachfront properties.
Many vacationers in Nicaragua overlook the Northern Central region of the country where the mountain cities of Matagalpa and Estelí provide unparalleled natural beauty and a cooler mountain climate. Estelí, known as The Diamond Of The Segovias, is known for its cigar and leather industries. Surrounded by the beautiful Natural Reserves of Tisey Estanzuela, with it’s panoramic mountaintop views, and Miraflor, with its rich biodiversity and diverse orchids, Estelí offers a wide selection of day trips for the tropical eco-tourist. The Somoto Canyon, just a short drive north of Esteli, is one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful eco wonders. Matagalpa, known more for coffee, also provides many beautiful getaways for the eco-tourist seeking peace and nature. The historical German coffee estate, Selva Negra, is argued to be the most beautiful hotel in the country. This full service ecolodge located in the heart of a 300-acre cloud forest offers an ideal eco-tourist destination for hikers and birders and all who seek a peaceful mountain getaway. For the more adventurous eco-tourist, the coffee estate Finca Esperanza Verde of San Ramon is also a short daytrip from Matagalpa city and offers a less frequented, smaller ecolodge with an equally beautiful array of flora and fauna in the beautiful coffee growing hills of Nicaragua.
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