Nicaragua is enjoying its day in the sun. With eco-tourism on the rise, and adventure travel topping so many recent trend lists, the countryÂs best destinations are morphing from hidden gems into must-see hotspots.
Here are six experiences you simply canÂt miss.
1. Surfing Near San Juan del Sur
Situated just outside Rivas, this low-key town is a great home base for surf expeditions, and checking out its shores is one of the best things to do in Nicaragua.
Hit Playa Madera to catch a warm-up wave, head south to Playa Colorado to surf with the locals, or check out the often-deserted Playa Hermosa for a truly secluded experience. Want to stay a little longer? Consider booking a Nicaragua vacation rental.
2. Exploring the Corn Islands
Palm-studded vistas, coral-fringed waters and seriously gorgeous beaches: NicaraguaÂs Corn Islands are a sight to behold. Located 50 miles off the countryÂs Caribbean coast, these spots are perfect for hiking, diving or simply soaking up the sun. Head to Big Corn for its remote beaches and verdant hills, and then hop a boat bound for Little Corn to spend a few days gazing at the azure sea.
3. Hiking a Volcano (or Two)
No trip to Nicaragua is complete without a peek at its volcanoes. Expert climbers should go straight to San Cristobal, this active volcano is among the most challenging of the bunch, but intermediates and beginners will find just as many thrills on the two smoking peaks located in Masaya Volcano National Park. Even if you prefer to view the volcanoes from afar, this is one of Nicaragua's most exciting things to do.
4. Escaping to the Solentiname Archipelago
If you thought Little Corn was remote, wait until you see the Solentinames. Perched just south of Lake Nicaragua, each of these 36 islands offers unparalleled tranquility, and Islas Mancarron and San Fernando are fantastic spots to explore petroglyphs, spot some rare birds and unwind under the shade of a tropical tree.
5. Biking around Granada
Does sightseeing top your list of things to do? Granada is the place to go. Rent a bike to peddle your way through the colonial architecture, 18th-century forts and historic churches, and then stop for lunch at the markets near Centro Turistico. Make sure to spend some time people-watching in Central Park; the nearby colonial houses and cathedral are the perfect backdrop for a quiet afternoon.
6. Trekking through the Canyon de Somoto
Ancient and otherworldly, this national monument is one of those places you have to see to believe. Scientists discovered this Miocene-era spot in 2004, and its teal waters, narrow cliffs and dramatic rock formations have been stunning tourists ever since. Our advice? Hire a guide to help you explore the canyon from top to bottom.
Of course, this list only scratches the surface of things to do in Nicaragua. From city-centric vacations, to Managua, to shopping journeys through Masaya, the local guides at Gran Pacifica can help you find the best activities for your traveling style. Plan your trip to the countryÂs most interesting places, and then pack your bags for the getaway of a lifetime.