The Central American nation of Nicaragua, long a well-kept secret among savvy travelers, has recently experienced a huge surge in tourism, making hospitality the second-largest industry in the country.
New infrastructure in Nicaragua is aimed at keeping tourists returning to see all the beauty Nicaragua has to offer and bringing new visitors who might not have ever thought about visiting before.
A New Image
For some, Nicaragua may bring to mind images from the 1980s of political unrest and even drug wars. The end of political unrest and other tumultuous times has meant a 70 percent growth in visitors over the past seven years.
Now the country gives Americans and Canadians , its two biggest visitor nations with the easiest access, more beautiful images to think about: volcanoes, culture, flora and fauna, landscapes, wildlife, beaches, lakes and more. Read this article to learn more about Nicaragua's natural beauty.
Green and Pristine Nicaraguan Ecosystem
One huge draw for tourists visiting Nicaragua is the chance to see so much nature in its unsullied purity. Seeing the forests, wildlife and lakes of the country falls under the idea of "eco-tourism." It's a wonderful irony that the former strife that helped keep visitors away decades ago is also responsible for the lack of over-development that today brings the ecologically minded tourist to the country.
The influx of people anxious to see virgin forests and breathtaking vistas has meant that Nicaragua is almost as popular as longtime tourism champion Panama to the north.
The Islets of Granada
As special as all the natural sights are in the country, an group of 365 islands around the Ases peninsula known collectively as the Islets of Granada deserve an even more special mention. They were formed from eruptions of the Mombacho volcano - in fact, volcanoes are another big attraction for tourists - that blew a large part of its cone into Lake Nicaragua just southeast of the town of Granada.
Exotic birds and vegetation cover most of the islets, and while some of the islets are privately owned, the majority are open and provide facilities for visiting tourists.
The Importance of Having a Visa Card
If a visitor is from any of the following countries, a visa is needed to enter the country of Nicaragua: Afghanistan, Yemen, Albania, Syria, Angola, Vietnam, Armenia, Sudan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sri Lanka, China, Somalia, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, Romania, Ghana, Haiti, the Palestinian National Authority, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, North Korea, Lebanon, Nigeria, Liberia, Nepal, Mali, and Mozambique.
Tourists from the Americas don't need a visa but should talk to experienced travelers or check government websites for additional paperwork and fees that might be involved with entering and leaving the country.