10 Reasons to Visit Nicaragua
1. Friendly & Hospitable People
Nicaraguans are eager to welcome you into their home and honour you as their guest with their hospitality. Someone is always willing to give directions, share with you their culture and strike up a conversation about the local politics.
2. Authentic and Undiscovered
Nicaragua has been described as being Authentic and Undiscovered because compared to its Central American neighbours Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize, it still receives very few tourists. Therefore, you can enjoy the beauty of the country without constantly running into tourists.
3. Rich Culture & History
Nicaraguans are very proud of their culture and history. It is deeply ingrained in them as children, who they are as Nicaraguans and what defines being Nicaraguan. This is displayed in the food, music, dance and clothes of Nicaraguans. The tumultuous history beginning with the conquistadors from Spain, marks a long journey of strife and conflict in the country. This has brought forth a resilient people who still find joy amidst the hardships of life.
4. Great Value
Since Nicaragua is not inundated with tourists, the price of food, lodging, and transportation is very affordable. Hotels can range from $20-$100/night, or hostel dorm style rooms are still available for less than $10/night. Eating local cuisine and buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the market are very cost effective ways to make your trip affordable.
5. Safest Country in Central America
Nicaragua as expressed by many tourist websites, is the safest country in Central America. They have a low homocide rate in comparison to other Latin American countries, especially their neighbours Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The gang culture which is so prevalent in other Central American countries is practically non-existent in Nicaragua.
6. Land of Lakes & Volcanoes
Nicaragua is affectionately known as the land of lakes and volcanoes. It boasts 19 active volcanoes. Many of the volcanoes have become tourist attractions with varying degrees of adventure. One can go Ash boarding down Cerro Negro, enjoy the cloud rain forest on Mombacho, or be adventurous and hike up Telica, Mombotombo or Concepcion Volcano to see the craters. One of the most visited and easily accessible volcanoes is Masaya Volcano which currently has a lava lake visible.
Nicaragua also has two large fresh water lakes and many smaller crater lakes which offer options for swimming, kayaking, and relaxing by the water. Lake Nicaragua, the biggest fresh water lake in Central America, also is home to the only known fresh water sharks.
7. Bio- Diversity
Lakes and Volcanoes are not the only nature attractions that Nicaragua has to offer. There are beaches all along the Pacific coast which is known for its surfing. The Atlantic coast has Corn Islands which offer pristine blue waters and a Caribbean feel. If surfing and beaches are not your thing, just go north to the mountains where coffee farms are found in abundance among the rainforests. Or if history and culture are your thing, then Granada and Leon are two colonial cities that offer a wonderful look into the history and culture of Nicaragua. There is a place for all types of adventure seekers, those looking to relax and enjoy nature, or those who want to learn about the history and culture.
8. Fresh Fruits and Exotic Foods
Enjoy the variety of tropical fruits and exotic foods that Nicaragua has to offer. From fresh sweet bananas, mangos and watermelon to exotic pitaya and calala fruits the options for delicious in-season fruit is numerous. Many of these fruits are also used to make fresh fruit juices called refrescos.
The Nicaraguan diet primarily consists of rice, beans, plantains and tortillas. However, the local cuisine also boasts its speciality dishes from around the country such as; Vigoron, Chancho con Yuca, Tacos, Enchiladas, Carne y Pollo Asado, Quesillos and much more.
9. Place to Relax
When you land in Nicaragua, you are on Hora Nica, which means you arrive when you arrive to your destination. An emphasis is put on relationships rather than punctuality. People are laid back, flexible and go with the flow. So if you are looking for a place to just take it easy, relax, spend time in a hammock and just let time go by, Nicaragua is the place to be.
10. Opportunities to Volunteer
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with only Haiti being poorer. So it is a country with great need where many people live off of less than $2/day. So you can find many NGO’s working in Nicaragua in various ways such as education, sustainable agriculture, community development and evangelism. Spend a week or a year volunteering and at the same time you will get a truly authentic and cultural experience in Nicaragua.