There are some countries that really deserve more tourists. So this is why you should visit Nicaragua…
The Nicaraguan Tourist Board has announced that they will be targeting UK and European visitors as part of a drive to encourage more people to visit Nicaragua. As part of a general strategy to encourage growth and investment in the country, you might start to see more advertising and media encouraging you to visit this small Central American nation.
Not sure what the big deal is? Well, let us tempt you with these reasons to visit beautiful Nicaragua.
Easy To Get Around
As a small country there is loads to do in a small space. Choose from sleepy colonial towns, dormant volcanoes, stunning lakes,virgin rainforest and a choice of Caribbean diving or Pacific surfing – you’ll be able to see a lot in whatever time frame you have in Nicaragua.
Travelling around Nicaragua is cheap and efficient, with a great network of buses with prices as low as a couple of dollars.
You’ll also no doubt find yourself on several boats, especially if you’re visiting some of the outlying islands such as the Corn Islands or Isla Ometepe (in Lake Nicaragua).
Super Budget Travel Destination
Central and South America are cheap travel destinations anyway. But Nicaragua is still one of the cheapest. Expect to pay around US$30 per day (less if you’re frugal).
As the tourism scene in Nicaragua isn’t quite as advanced in Costa Rica or Panama, prices still haven’t caught up with the more popular neighbours. This is the time to make the most of being a tourist in Nicaragua, especially if you’re looking for a budget break.
Low Crime Rate
You probably hear all sorts of stuff about how dangerous it is in Central America. Well, Nicaragua is one of the safest places in the region with one of the lowest crime rates across the board.
Of course, taking precautions and being careful are still recommended, but the likelihood of anything untoward happening is much lower than in neighbouring Honduras or El Salvador.
Always wanted to learn Spanish but never got around to it? Nicaragua is one of the cheapest places to find immersive language courses, so why not combine a holiday and ticking off that language skill you’ve been meaning to do since way back. You also get to experience more of the culture in towns such as Léon or Granada.
For an immersive Spanish course with accommodation and activities, you can pay as little as US$250 a week. Consider the fact that that’s US$35 a day for everything you’d be spending anyway, plus learning a language… Seriously a bargain.
As an English speaker you’ll probably find Spanish pretty easy to learn as the vocab is pretty straightforward. Grammar is a whole other bag though…
Beaches For Days
Just wanna sit on the beach and drink cheap mojitos while watching the sun set? You’ll be wanting to head to San Juan del Sur. This is the premier surf spot in the country and also a pretty bumping party beach town with probably Nicaragua’s most established tourism sector. You’ll find cheap hotels and plenty of places to drink and dance.
Prefer that Caribbean vibe? The Corn Islands are palm fringed, golden sand tourist islands with exceptional diving opportunities and a very laid back vibe. As a plus, English is spoken widely here due to previously being occupied by the British. Little Corn Island is the most popular of the Corn islands. As these are slightly cut off by the vast swathe of jungle you will need to fly here (unless you don’t mind taking a boat or bumpy bus ride). The Corn Islands are a bit more expensive than the rest of Nicaragua by virtue of their remoteness.
Rain Forest Treks
Costa Rica gets all the press for affordable eco tourism and rain forest hangouts, but Nicaragua is perhaps one of the most unspoilt. The Rio San Juan region borders Costa Rica and shares some of the same rain forest which inlcudes the largest rain forest region in Central America.
Head to Boca de Sabalos which is the centre point for tourism in the region. You can kayak down quiet rivers, find eco lodges and go wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for jaguars, hummingbirds, porcupines, various species of monkey, ant eaters and toucans.
Like going downhill fast on planks of wood? Well, Nicaragua can offer you volcano boarding. This hugely popular tourist draw is one of premier activities for tourists to the country. Head to Léon, in the north of the country and book a trip to Cerro Negro. Warning: It is an active volcano!
Lake Side Vibes
Lago de Nicaragua and Lago de Managua are two very large lakes which are one of the main features of the country. You can fish, kayak, hike or simply relax at one of the budget resorts. Ometepe Island is one of the main draws for relaxation and wildlife spotting with its twin volcanoes forming a picturesque backdrop.
The Next Big Destination
Like Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua is going to be one of the next big tourist draws in Central America. With the tourism department’s drive to attract more visitors you can only expect to see more tourists and therefore prices going up and more development. For the people of Nicaragua, this is obviously a good thing and a great way to develop the country.
For you, the adventurous budget traveller, you’ll be wanting to book that flight as soon as possible so you can say you did Nicaragua before it was super popular.
Nicaragua Fact File
|Mid Range Hotel||US$20-40|
|Bottle of beer||US$0.60 – $1|
|Cocktail in bar||US$2-3|
|Street Food Snack||US$1.50+|
|Restaurant Meal||US$5 (local food)
US$10 (western food)
|Bus Journey||US$2-20(length depending)|
|PADI Dive Certification||US$300-350|
|Jungle or Volcano Trek||US$20-40|
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Have you been to or are you about to visit Nicaragua? Comments below are always welcome… And don’t forget to share!