Nicaragua is the largest nation in Central America and owing to its lack of mainstream tourism remains a perfect destination for the discerning traveller who enjoys a more off the beaten track experience. Traversing Nicaragua can be a challenging, intensive adventure but when you reach one of the many worthwhile destinations the charm of its people and its beautiful scenery will be well worth the effort.
The streets are laid out in the traditional grid pattern in the foothills of Mombacho volcano and the most noteworthy buildings include the cathedral rebuilt in neo-classical style, the Church of La Merced and the fortress church of San Francisco.
Nicaragua has stunning low key beaches on the Pacific coast including El Coco, Marsella and Ocotal. San Juan del Sur provides a more upbeat beach stay with good surfing opportunities along with marvellous sunsets. Close by is the country’s most important turtle nesting ground at La Flor. Poneloya and Las Penitas are both fantastic little beach towns. In addition to sunbathing, swimming and surfing you can also visit the Juan Venado Island which is located only 100m off shore. This island is flanked by mangrove forest and offers a great habitat for many animals, including thousands of birds and many crocodiles.
Leon is the cultural city and its most famous son is the poet and diplomat Ruben Dario, whose former home is now a visitor museum. Twelve colonial churches are dotted throughout the city along with the Ccathedral of Leon which is the largest in Central America. Leon has always been one of Nicaragua’s most important cities both from an economic, cultural and historical perspective and provides the visitor with the opportunity to wallow in history.