Top 10 things to do in Nicaragua

Nicaragua

The largest country in Central America with an area of 130,373 km2 and contains the largest freshwater body in Central America.

Nicaragua is a country.

Nicaragua (AmE i/ˌnɪkəˈrɑːɡwə/, BrE /ˌnɪkəˈræɡjuːə/), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (Spanish: República de Nicaragua [reˈpuβlika ðe nikaˈɾaɣwa] ( listen)), is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordering Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country's physical geography divides it into three major zones: Pacific lowlands; wet, cooler central highlands; and the Caribbean lowlands. On the Pacific side of the country are the two largest fresh water lakes in Central America—Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. Surrounding these lakes and extending to their northwest along the rift valley of the Gulf of Fonseca are fertile lowland plains, with soil highly enriched by ash from nearby volcanoes of the central highlands. Nicaragua's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contribute to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot.

The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Nicaragua achieved its independence from Spain in 1821. Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship, and fiscal crisis—the most notable causes that led to the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Nicaragua is a representative democratic republic, and has experienced economic growth and political stability in recent years. Since 2007, Daniel Ortega has been the president.

The population of Nicaragua, approximately 6 million, is multiethnic. Its capital, Managua, is the third-largest city in Central America. Segments of the population include indigenous native tribes from the Mosquito Coast, Europeans, Africans, Asians, and people of Middle Eastern origin. The main language is Spanish, although native tribes on the eastern coast speak their native languages, such as Miskito, Sumo, and Rama, as well as English creole. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in art and literature, particularly the latter given the various literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers, including Rubén Darío, Pablo Antonio Cuadra and Ernesto Cardenal. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate, and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an increasingly popular tourist destination.

Overall rating: 4.4
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Nicaragua

Ometepe

Ometepe
Ometepe is an island formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua in the Republic of Nicaragua. Its name derives from the Nahuatl words ome and tepetl , meaning two ...

Somoto

Somoto
Somoto, meaning The Valley of Geese, is a town located in the hills of northern Nicaragua around 20 km south-west of Ocotal, and is in the department of Madriz. It ...

Solentiname Islands

Solentiname Islands
The Solentiname Islands are an archipelago towards the southern end of Lake Nicaragua in the Nicaraguan department of Río San Juan.They are made up of four larger islands, each a ...

San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is a municipality and coastal town on the Pacific Ocean, in the Rivas department in south-west Nicaragua. It is located 140 kilometers south of Managua. San ...

Lake Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua
Lake Nicaragua or Cocibolca or Granada is a freshwater lake in Nicaragua. Of tectonic origin and with an area of 8,264 km2 , it is the largest lake in Central America, ...

Matagalpa

Matagalpa
Matagalpa : is a city in Nicaragua, the capital of the department of Matagalpa. The city has a population of 150,643 , while the population of the department is more than ...

Estelí

Estelí
Estelí, officially Villa de San Antonio de Pavia de Estelí is a city and municipality within the Estelí department. It is the third largest city in Nicaragua, an active commercial ...

Masaya

Masaya
Masaya is the capital city of Masaya department in Nicaragua. It is situated approximately 14 km west of Granada and 31 km southeast from Managua.The town of Masaya is just east of ...

Managua

Managua
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as the department and municipality by the same name. It is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of population and ...

Bluefields

Bluefields
Bluefields is the capital of the municipality of the same name, and of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region in Nicaragua. It was also capital of the former Zelaya Department, ...

Zapatera

Zapatera
Zapatera is a shield volcano located in the southern part of Nicaragua. It forms the island of Isla Zapatera in the Lake Nicaragua. Isla Zapatera constitutes one of 78 protected ...

Diriamba

Diriamba
Diriamba is a municipality in the Carazo department of Nicaragua, with a population of 57,542 . It is located 41km west of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.EconomyHistorically, ...

Juigalpa

Juigalpa
Juigalpa is the capital city of the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. It is located within the municipality of Juigalpa, approximately 140 km east of Managua on Carretera Rama, in the central ...

Puerto Cabezas

Puerto Cabezas
Puerto Cabezas is a municipality in, and capital of, the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of Nicaragua.The municipality and the entire region are indigenous lands. The city of Bilwi is ...

Jinotepe

Jinotepe
Jinotepe is a city and municipality in the Carazo department of Nicaragua.It borders with Managua, Masaya, Granada, and Rivas.SportsThe city is home to football club Xilotepelt. They ...

Ticuantepe

Ticuantepe
Ticuantepe is a municipality in the Managua department of Nicaragua with an estimated population of 34,000.EtymologyTicuantepe comes from the Nahuatl language of the first inhabitants of Nicaragua. ...

Masatepe

Masatepe
Masatepe is a municipality in the Masaya department of Nicaragua.SportsThe town is home of football club Deportivo Masatepe. ...

Chinandega

Chinandega
Chinandega is a city and the departmental seat of Chinandega department in Nicaragua. It is also the administrative centre of the surrounding municipality of the same name. It is Nicaragua's ...

Corinto

Corinto
Corinto may refer to any of the following:Brazil Corinto, Minas GeraisColombia Corinto, CaucaEl Salvador Corinto, MorazánNicaragua Corinto, Nicaragua ...

Catarina, Masaya

Catarina, Masaya
Catarina is a municipality in the Masaya department of Nicaragua with 4,500 inhabitants. ...

Boaco

Boaco
Boaco is the capital city and municipality of the Boaco Department of Nicaragua. The municipality of Boaco has a population of 56,900 and an area of 1,086.81 km² while the department ...

Tipitapa

Tipitapa
Tipitapa is a municipality in the Managua department of western Nicaragua. The area is located between Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua.HistoryTipitapa began as a settlement of local ...

Nagarote

Nagarote
Nagarote is a municipality in the León department of Nicaragua with a population of approximately 32,000 people.The city of Nagarote itself is home to about 18,000 people whilst the rural ...

San Rafael del Sur

San Rafael del Sur
San Rafael del Sur is a municipality in the Managua department of Nicaragua. ...

Tola

Tola
Tola may refer to:PlacesBella Tola, a mountain in the Pennine Alps in the Swiss canton of ValaisLa Tola, a town and municipality in the Nariño Department, ColombiaTola, ...

San Rafael del Norte

San Rafael del Norte
San Rafael del Norte is a municipality and a town in the Jinotega department.The town is located 188 kilometres north of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. Elevated at over 3,000 ...

Ciudad Sandino

Ciudad Sandino
Ciudad Sandino is a municipality in the Managua department of Nicaragua.Located just outside west-Managua, it has an estimated population of 74,238. ...

La Paz Centro

La Paz Centro
La Paz Centro is a municipality in the León department of Nicaragua.The population is approximately 10,000 people. It is located along the highway between Managua and León. The small municipality ...

Altagracia

Altagracia
Altagracia is a municipality in the Rivas Department of Nicaragua.It is the second largest town on the island of Ometepe. Its original name was Astagalpa, meaning ‘house of the herons’ ...

Masaya Volcano

Masaya Volcano
Masaya is a caldera located in the department of Masaya, 20 km south of Managua, Nicaragua. It is Nicaragua's first and largest National Park, and one of 78 protected areas of ...

Chichigalpa

Chichigalpa
Chichigalpa is a town and municipality in the Chinandega Department of Nicaragua.HistoryPre-ColumbianIt is presumed that Chichigalpa's first inhabitants arrived from the north. While their ...

Ocotal

Ocotal
Ocotal is the capital of the Nueva Segovia Department in Nicaragua, Central America.HistoryIn 1927, Ocotal suffered one of the first dive bombing attacks in history during a ...

Lake Managua

Lake Managua
Lake Managua is a lake in Nicaragua. The Spanish name is Lago de Managua or Lago Xolotlán. At 1,042 km², it is approximately 65 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. Similarly ...

Nindirí

Nindirí
Nindirí is a municipality in the Masaya department of Nicaragua.In 2005 the population was 38,355 in the metropolitan area, and 17,313 in the city limits. Nindirí is 3.5 km from downtown ...

Moyogalpa

Moyogalpa
Moyogalpa is a municipality in the Rivas department of Nicaragua. Moyogalpa is the largest village on the Ometepe Island and the home of the largest port. There are multiple hotels, ...

Las Peñitas, Nicaragua

Las Peñitas, Nicaragua
Las Peñitas is a fishing village and tourist beach community on the North Western coast of Nicaragua. It lies within the León, Nicaragua municipality and the department of León and ...

San Jorge, Rivas

San Jorge, Rivas
San Jorge is a municipality in the Rivas department of Nicaragua. ...

Sébaco

Sébaco
Sébaco is a municipality in the Matagalpa department of Nicaragua.Situated at the junction of the Pan-American Highway and the Rio Grande de Matagalpa, Sébaco is the largest city of the ...

San Marcos, Carazo

San Marcos, Carazo
San Marcos is a municipality in the Carazo Department of Nicaragua. It is located at 45 kilometres south from the capital, Managua, and has a population of around 30,600 inhabitants.San ...

Popoyo

Popoyo
Popoyo is a small beach town in the Tola municipality of the Rivas Department of Nicaragua.The 1992 Nicaraguan TsunamiOn September 2, 1992 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake off ...

Camoapa

Camoapa
Camoapa is a municipality in the Boaco department of Nicaragua.Camoapa city is the capital of a municipality described within the Boaco departmental area of Nicaragua. Although Camoapa is a small ...

Nueva Guinea

Nueva Guinea
Nueva Guinea is a municipality in the Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur department of Nicaragua.Nueva Guinea was founded in the 1960s and saw significant growth in the early 1970s as ...

Cerro Wawashang Natural Reserve

Cerro Wawashang Natural Reserve
Cerro Wawashang Natural Reserve is a nature reserve in Nicaragua. It is one of the 78 reserves that are under official protection in the country. ...

San Isidro, Matagalpa

San Isidro, Matagalpa
San Isidro is a municipality in the Matagalpa department of Nicaragua. ...

Rivas

Rivas
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Tisey Estanzuela Natural Reserve

Tisey Estanzuela Natural Reserve
Tisey Estanzuela Natural Reserve is a nature reserve in Nicaragua. It is one of the 78 reserves that are under official protection in the country. ...

Cementerio

Cementerio
The Colon Cemetery, or more fully in the Spanish language Cementerio de Cristóbal Colón, was founded in 1876 in the Vedado neighbourhood of Havana, Cuba on top of Espada Cemetery. ...