Best Places to Visit in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a biodiverse and naturally gorgeous location with active volcanoes, cloud forests, jungles, lakes, and two beaches, all of which offer lots of attractions and things to do.

Hiking to natural attractions such as crater lakes in dormant volcanoes or sledding down ash slopes on wooden boards are options for outdoor adventurers. Those seeking wildlife encounters can visit one of Nicaragua's many protected reserves, which are home to everything from jaguars to howler and white-faced monkeys, as well as hundreds of species of birds.

There are beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean coasts, so there are lots of opportunities to get wet. San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific Ocean's Emerald Coast near Costa Rica, is a must-see destination known for its colorful architecture and vibrant surf scene. The Caribbean Sea's Corn Islands are noted for their laid-back beach ambiance.

Nicaragua's capital, Managua, is a place where few people stay unless they're on business. Smaller cities like Leon and Granada, which are noted for their colorful architecture and churches, as well as natural features like Lake Nicaragua, have a lot to offer. It is Central America's largest freshwater lake, with hundreds of islands, some of which include spectacular ecolodges.

Then there are the numerous volcanoes, some of which are dormant but others, such as the Masaya Volcano, are currently active. Here are our top recommendations for things to see and do in Nicaragua.