The largest Central American country, Nicaragua (the “land of lakes and volcanoes”), is full of natural parks and reserves, and more lakes than any other Central American nation.
Bordering Lake Nicaragua, the city of Granada is known for its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, including a carefully restored cathedral and a picturesque plaza. Its cobblestone streets are lined with striking homes, stunning churches, art galleries, museums, and cafes. Just off Granada’s shores sits a smattering of small islands formed by millennia-old volcanic eruptions. “Las Isletas” vary in size, and while some islands are privately owned, others welcome visitors with restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions. A simple kayak trip is a great way to explore the small isles.
With its elegant streetscapes, León boasts Nicaragua’s culturally richest community. Once the site of uprisings, today’s León features beautiful street art and intricate, urban murals. Here Nicaragua’s famous literary son, Rubén Darío, lies in an awe-inspiring, pearl-white cathedral. Both the dabbler and art connoisseur can enjoy the city’s art galleries, prison-turned museums and colonial-age churches.
Sitting on a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur remains a beach bum’s heaven. Surfers from around the world gather here for its big swells and beautiful natural beaches. Once a fishing village, San Juan today offers an interesting mix of local culture with complete and diversified tourist offerings, from whale watching to canopy and rappelling tours and everything in-between.
Located on Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island sits between the Concepcíon and Maderas volcanoes. The rustic, off-the-beaten-path island is home to just a handful of communities. Explore pristine jungle forests, hike a volcano, set out for picturesque waterfalls and discover remote coves and beaches.
The Solentiname Islands are in the southern part of Lake Nicaragua. These four relatively large islands host an astonishing concentration of birdlife, including tiger herons, roseate spoonbills, and many migratory species. Today, the Solentiname community is widely known for its thriving artist population. Paintings by resident artists capture local imagery: exotic flora, vibrant birds, and inhabitants going about their daily life. Visitors can hike, swim, or explore the islands by canoe.
This is our Alluring Nicaragua, a secret gem little known among travelers.