Passionate. Graceful. Powerful. Nicaragua melds colonial charm and cabana beach life.
While Nicaragua’s cities whisper of bygone colonialism and the lattice of geological faults beneath them, elsewhere it is a wild land of fire and water, volcanoes and lava fields, poetry and revolution. Where the rugged Pacific shoreline is woven with dense jungle and peppered with traditional fishing villages and unexpected surf spots, on the other side are desolate beaches, pristine Caribbean islands and ‘Lake Nic’, dotted with private islands and palatial villas. You can still get to Nicaragua before mass tourism does.
Take a helicopter to the impressive active volcano, Cerro Negro, and surf down the summit on an ash board; heli-drop into the colourful Spanish colonial city of Granada; tour the city’s markets and restaurants with eccentric local guides; discover the pristine serenity of Guacalito Beach, a quiet cove where you can enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving around the rugged Anciana Island; take a seaplane to the remote Solentiname Islands in Lake Nicaragua; visit an artists’ community known for its primitivist oil paintings and wood carvings; snorkel and see fish on the Corn Islands; sail across Lake Nicaragua and kayak up the small channels of the Rio Istian to spot a menagerie of birdlife; horse trek to the San Ramón Waterfalls.
Where to Stay
In historic mansions owned by prominent families; canopy-level cabins on the wild Pacific coast; hillside villas; luxury lodges or working farms.
When to Go
From November to mid-March it is dry, and yet to feel the intense heat that precedes the rainy season try the end of March to May.