Nicaragua is home to stunning beaches, charming towns and breathtaking scenery, but those willing to venture off the beaten track will be rewarded with even more to see, do and explore. Whether you live in Nicaragua or you are simply visiting for a few days or weeks, these are five of the most interesting places in Nicaragua.
1. The Capital City of Managua
Arguably the most interesting destination in the entire country of Nicaragua is the capital city of Managua. Home to palaces, religious structures, museums, casinos and shopping malls, it is easy to find things to do in this bustling city that is the second most popular urban area in Central America. Highlights of Managua include the stunning Catedral de Managua and the old national palace, or Palacio Nacional.
2. Art and Culture in Leon
After Managua, Leon is one of the top cities to explore while in Nicaragua. Unlike Granada, which gets large numbers of tourists on a regular basis, Leon still retains an authentic cultural environment. Those interested in the history and heritage of Nicaragua will want to visit the old colonial church Iglesia de San Juan Bautista de Subtiava and the Museo Ruben Dario, which honors Nicaragua's most famous author.
3. Mombacho Natural Reserve
While the cities of Nicaragua are fascinating, there is no question that getting out into nature can be an equally thrilling experience. The Mochambo Natural Reserve is full of native animals, and travelers can opt to hike through the wilderness with a knowledgeable local guide or take a motorized tour through the lush canopy and spot animals up close.
4. Masaya National Park
While this national park boasts incredible scenery as well as flora and fauna, the highlight is unmistakably the Volcan Masaya, a volcano that is active. While it hasn't spewed lava in more than two centuries, the volcano does have a significant place in the culture and heritage of the surrounding area. Along with simply soaking up the incredible views of this volcano, visitors can walk around its perimeter and watch smoke rise from its peak.
5. Colonial History in Granada
This colonial city is incredibly popular with visitors from around the world, and it offers a staggering number of cultural attractions and historical landmarks to tour. Fuerte La Polvora, an 18th-century fortress, is a must-see item for the itinerary while in Granada, and there are six major cathedrals reflecting the area's colonial past. Other things to explore while in Granada are the parks, the Mi Museo and the bustling markets selling everything from local produce to carvings by regional artists.
Visiting Nicaragua is a wonderful opportunity that allows travelers to enjoy history, culture and scenery. Click here for additional tips on how to make a trip to Nicaragua a truly memorable experience.