Boasting of extraordinary natural beauty, Nicaragua is a land of sparkling lakes, dynamite volcanoes, colorful colonial cities, sun-drenched beaches and luscious rainforests. The biggest country in Central America has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea, in the east, and the North Pacific Ocean, in the west, and borders Costa Rica to the southeast and Honduras to the northwest. It is a hotspot for vibrant wildlife as a host of jaguars, monkeys and a plethora of bird species are regularly spotted there.
Kick-start the trip by hitting the sun-n-sand. The department of Rivas houses the surf and party hub, San Juan del Sur, as well as a few of Nicaragua's most gorgeous Pacific beaches, comprising of El Coco, Marsella and Ocotal and so forth. The beach at La Flor Wild-life Reserve is where several hundred Olive Ridley turtles are spotted. They come to lay their eggs. One can watch them between July and January. Don't miss out on Managua, Nicaragua's capital. Some of the attractions worth visiting are: the National Museum, beautiful fountain at the Ruben Dario Rotonda that illuminates upon night-fall, attend a concert in the Ruben Dario National Theatre or watch a baseball game at the Dennis Martinez National Stadium.
There are number of islands to be visited in Nicaragua. Big Corn and Little Corn are two secluded Caribbean atolls. Little Corn is characterized by sparkling turquoise waters, palm-fringed white-sand beaches, gorgeous coral reefs and so forth. One can go snorkelling, diving or horse-back riding in any of the two atolls. Isla Ometepe is the ideal twin-coned volcanic island - housing fishing and farming communities. Hop on to Solentiname Islands - archipelago made up of 36 tropical islands and islets. It is a paradise for hikers, birdwatchers and art fiends.
Fans of wild-life ought to hike through the woods of Domitila Wildlife Reserve. It houses several mammals, including howler monkeys and wild cats, as well as myriad species of birds, butterflies and insects. To experience the ultimate jungle adventure, do wander about the luscious forest of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve in the far southeast. It is home to more kinds of birds, trees and insects than the whole of Europe. Do try to catch a glimpse of the elusive jaguar.
Do explore the colonial city of Granada, perched on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. Wander around its cobbled alleys and visit its ancient churches. The former capital of the country is the wonderful colonial Leon. It houses the biggest cathedral in Central America. Colourful and vibrant, socio-political murals are often features on the walls. This city is also a the hub for Nicaragua's twin passions - politics and poetry. Those who are the adventurous kind can indulge in land-surfing down closeby Cerro Negro, the nation's youngest volcano.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for hand-embroidered clothing, wood carvings, hand-woven cotton hammocks, black pottery, coconut shell jewellery and so forth. As fro cuisine, do try out local delicacies such as Gallo pinto (Fried rice mixed with beans, often served with sour cream and tortillas) and Nacatamales (Corn dough filled with pork or chicken, rice and vegetables, all wrapped inside a banana leaf and boiled).
The stay options in Nicaragua are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
Nicaragua experiences warm tropical climate. The best time to visit would be from November - April, during its dry season.