Over a year ago, I spent two weeks backpacking across Nicaragua with my best friend. Nicaragua is like a secret little hidden gem tucked away in Central America. It’s a picturesque country filled with kind locals, beautiful wildlife and landscapes, and stunning beaches. When I decided to visit Nicaragua, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I hadn’t heard much about the country itself. Little did I know, it would soon become one of my favourite tropical destinations to visit.
After recently writing a travel guide on Alberta, Canada, I decided that Nicaragua deserved a post on it’s own. If you’ve ever wondered why so many people have such great things to say about this country, keep reading for 10 reasons why you should travel to Nicaragua.
THE LOCALS ARE FRIENDLY
The locals in Nicaragua are some of the kindest people you will meet in your travels. They are so incredibly welcoming and helpful wherever you go. It’s still important to be cautious, as there will always be those who don’t have the best of intentions. But, you will feel the warmth of the people and their generosity as soon as you enter their home country.
THE COFFEE IS AMAZING
The coffee in Nicaragua is by far the most delicious coffee I have ever had. Homegrown in a great climate for coffee beans, the coffee is high in quality and perfectly blended. I drink my coffee with at least one milk but in Nicaragua, I didn’t have to- I didn’t want to take away from the taste. It was that good. The flavourful coffee is something you’ll remember for years to come.
THE ISOLATED ISLANDS ARE A HIDDEN PARADISE
Nearing Islands like Big Corn and Little Corn Island are an absolute must see if you have the time. Due to it’s remote location, Little Corn Island is a short plane and ferry ride away from Nicaragua. It is an absolute paradise. The water is turquoise and crystal clear blue, the beaches are tranquil, and the nature surrounding the island is surreal.
IT’S A SURFER’S DREAM SPOT
San Juan Del Sur is known for it’s incredible surfing, as well as it’s famous Sunday Funday Poolcrawl. Although known as a party town, there are surf camps and hotels to stay at if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience. This beach town is nestled by the coast and is lined with hostels and beautiful hotels that offer surfing lessons and camps for a great price.
THE BEACHES ARE BREATHTAKING
The beaches of Nicaragua are truly something else. Little Corn Island has some of the bluest and clearest water I’ve ever seen. It’s filled with wildlife and makes for a great snorkeling spot. The beach surrounding Little Corn Island is remote, tranquil and like something out of a postcard. Beaches like San Juan Del Sur may be less isolated, but are just as stunning and offer surfing spots and some of the best sunsets around.
YOU CAN MOTORBIKE THROUGH THE TOWNS
If you visit San Juan Del Sur, you’ll quickly notice that motorbikes are the preferred method of transportation. You can easily rent a motorbike and ride through the town. If you visit Ometepe Island, you can scooter around the island
THE CITIES ARE FULL OF CHARACTER
Leon is nicknamed the land of lakes and volcanoes for its natural landscapes and beauty. It’s also an artsy, historic and charming city with a vibrant nightlife. Granada on the other hand, is a colourful, laid back, cultural hub known for it’s beautiful colonial architecture. The cities in Nicaragua are filled with a culture and bright atmosphere that’s ==
Another thing I love about Nicaragua is that it’s cheap! The hostels, food and excursions are all fairly cheap which is why it’s so easy to spend weeks in this beautiful country. If you’re looking at an upgrade for a night or two, you can find some incredible hotels for a great price ==
YOU CAN BOARD DOWN A VOLCANO
That’s right, you can actually board down the ashes of a volcano. Cerro Negro is an active volcano located in Leon that you can board down (if you have the stomach for it!) If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this is the excursion for you. After lugging your board up the volcano, slide on your jumpsuit, goggles and bandana and ride down the ashes of Cerro Negro as fast as you can. I managed to clock in at 60km/h, while one of the fastest riders rode down at 90km/h!
THE CHICKEN BUS EXPERIENCE IS ONE FOR THE BOOKS
I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to expect with the chicken bus but it’s an experience I will never forget! The chicken bus is a school bus you can take for just $2. You’ll be riding with locals and will most definitely have one the most unique bus experiences of your life. There were some outright hilarious moments, and some chaotic ones too, but I wouldn’t trade in that bus ride for a cab any day.