Nicaragua was put on my radar thanks to my mum’s obsession and burning desire to visit. I became intrigued and soon came to realise why she wanted to visit so much. After a couple of Google searches, I didn’t need much convincing to go after seeing endless images of white sand beaches littered with palm trees. I returned from my holiday there not so long ago, and I can assure you, it has a lot to offer. Here is 10 reasons why you should go to find out for yourself:
1.It is widely unknown
Nicaragua is one of the counties wedged between Mexico and Costa Rica, two well-known destinations people flock too. Although tourism is certainly there, the smaller numbers mean that there is less people, minimal tourist traps and whole new world to explore.
2. It is cheap
Thanks to tourism still being a small industry, Nicaragua is much more cost effective and equally as beautiful as its more well-known and popular neighbours.
3. It is full of history
As much as I hate to admit it, I can start to nod off when overloaded with too much history. So whether you are a history buff or not, it doesn’t matter. The old architecture alone is enough to take anyone’s breath away. Granada is one of the oldest, most colourful cities in all the Americas and such an interesting town to get lost in. Make sure you stay at the Tribal Hotel, it is the central, beautiful modern, equipped with a plunge pool and costs approximately US$100 a night.
4. The people are friendly
This part of the world has a reputation for being dangerous, and that might be true in some areas. I have to admit I was a little startled by the machine gun-clad security guards at Budget car rental. But from my experience everyone was so appreciative of us visiting, incredibly friendly, helpful and most of very patient with us as we spoke minimal, extremely poor Spanish.
5. It is untouched
Almost 20% of the country is protected by national parks, meaning that on top of the all that green space, lakes and beaches, there is a huge amount of space inhabited, untouched and ready to explore.
6. The coffee
Coffee and beer are the two consistent things that bring people together in most parts of the world and some of the best coffee is sourced from Nicaragua. When you visit you get to taste it before it has embarked on long journeys on planes, trains and boats.
7. The food
My favourite type of food is simple food, done well. They have nailed that in Nicaragua with no-fuss, delicious cuisine like grilled fish caught from their lakes and oceans served with seasonal vegetables. Restaurant quality food is usually served on the street for about $5.
8. It is bloody beautiful
The country is dotted with some of the biggest lakes in the world with small scattered tiny islands, squeezed between two oceans with stunning beaches and filled jungles and volcanos that you can hike. The lush greenery and abundance of water makes it looks like a post card at every turn.
9. It is relaxing
Life is simple in Nicaragua. No one rushes anywhere, there is nature everywhere you look, the people are friendly and there are more eco-yoga retreats than you can poke a mat at. If you want to switch off, unwind, get bendy or sit in a hammock for a week – Nicaragua is the place for you.
10. It is fun
If you get board of that hammock there is also plenty of fun to be had. Thanks to some world class surf breaks calling Nicaragua home, there is a small but rowdy community of surf and party loving travellers and expats. If this sounds of interest, look no further than San Juan del Sur.
Have you been to Nicaragua? I would love to hear what you loved about it or what you would like to see on your visit.