Reasons to Visit
Wonderful, colourful local arts and crafts can be found throughout Nicaragua, but if you have a particular interest then exploring the traditional Chorotega villages that surround the Masaya Volcano, which are well know for their talented craftsmen, is a must. San Juan de Oriente in particular has gained international recognition for its elegant ceramic earthenware.
Nicaraguan coffee is simply delicious! The country boasts some of the best coffee in the world and ranks in the top ten in gourmet coffee production, with over 30,000 different coffee farms. It was introduced in the mid nineteenth century and has since thrived, becoming one of Nicaragua’s principal exports along with sesame, tobacco and palm oil.
With beautiful cities, like Leon and Granada, and their bright colourful buildings offering a spectacular insight into the Spanish colonial era, Nicaragua is a wonderful destination for history-lovers or those in search of a unique cultural experience.
Nicaragua is a wonderful country for those looking to get off the beaten track. It is much less visited than neighbouring Costa Rica and the infrastructure in the core regions surprisingly good. This is Central America at its most authentic and unspoilt, and for those looking for something a little different, the history, the people, the rum, the volcanic landscapes and the music will fascinate!
Kick back in a beach hammock in San Juan del Sur, just a two hour drive from Granada. Set on a pretty horse-shoe shaped bay, this sleepy fishing village hasn't lost any of its charm and the restaurants serve excellent seafood.
Nicaragua’s volcanoes provide a stunning and distinctive landscape, and all of them are fascinating to explore. Many of the surrounding towns and villages have been destroyed by eruptions over the centuries and several (in particular the Masaya volcano) remains active, spewing gas and ash into the air. Others, such as the Maderas volcano, cradle spectacular crater lakes, are havens for wildlife and provide excellent hiking opportunities.
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Our Nicaragua specialists are experienced and passionate about the country - between them they have spent many weeks a year researching new experiences and ensuring everything is of the highest standard. They know Nicaragua inside out.
NickNicaragua Specialist01993 838 607
We think this country is a real hidden jewel in Central America and one to visit now.
Nicaragua is learning fast from its Costa Rican neighbour and it is rapidly changing: delightful new hotels are opening up, making whole areas of the nation accessible for the first time. We are constantly keeping up to date with the changes and we have sought out some fantastic hideaways.
Our guides’ excellent knowledge will more than enhance your trip.
Although most definitely a destination in its own right Nicaragua makes an excellent combination with Costa Rica and we have researched the best land routes between the two.
Spanish is the official language however English is spoken in some tourist areas and on the Atlantic Coast. Along the Atlantic Coast there are three Indian languages spoken- Misquito, Mayangna and Rama.
The traditional diet today is a delicious mixture of soups, meats and sweets which reflect the ancestry of the Creole people. One of the most fundamental components of Nicaraguan food is corn which is used to make drinks such as Chicha and Pinol. It is also used in the Nacatamal, Indio Viejo and Sopa de Albondiga dishes which are commonly served as a main meal. Popular sweets featuring this dynamic vegetable include Atolillo and Perrereque.
The cordoba (C$) is the unit of currency used in Nicaragua with one cordoba can be divided into 100 centavos. It is best to use larger cordoba notes in restaurants and in the hotels as using these notes to purchase smaller items may cause a problem with change. US dollars is the preferred currency for exchanging money and can be used to purchase items however be aware that if you pay in US dollars change will be given in cordobas at an unfavourable exchange rate for the tourist. Travellers cheques cannot be exchanged anywhere in Nicaragua so please take only cash and cards.
Tipping for good service is an accepted fact. It is common to be expected to tip the service you receive whilst eating in a restaurant also. A tip of around 10% is acceptable for good service.
Please ask permission before taking photographs of Nicaragua's indigenous people - it is discourteous not to and many may refuse you, those who do pose may ask for a tip. Please bear in mind that children earn more by posing for tourists than their parents earn in a week and so they are not going to want to go to school. Please consider donating to a local charity or giving a gift instead.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
Music of Nicaragua is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish influences. Musical instruments include the marimba and others that are common across Central America. Pop music includes Cuban, Brazilian, Mexican and Panamanian performers, as well as stars from Europe and the United States.
'The Jaguar Smile; a Nicaraguan journey', by Salman Rushdie.
The Nicaraguan staple diet revolves around beans, rice and meat. Much of the food is fried often with onion and red chillies. One of the most traditional dishes is gallo pinto (beans and rice).
Nicaragua's two favourite beers are Victoria and Toña. The local Flor de Caña rum is legendary and the older the better.
Tuanis! (Right on!).
Volcanoes and lakes, colonial cities, coffee plantations.
Gold and silver are good buys and can be purchased in major jewellery stores in Managua. Many towns sell a good range of leather, hemp and wooden handicrafts and pre-Columbian type ceramics.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Nicaragua by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in NicaraguaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoPanama
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