The variety you will discover on your highlights holiday is staggering - the volcanic and jungle-choked scenery, timeless colonial cities, cultures ranging from Spanish to indigenous communities: you could extend your trip to visit its English speaking Caribbean Corn islands.
Nicaragua, following a history of political and economic upheavals is now a peaceful and congenial place which has become impressively reconciled with the conflicts of its past. Visitors are increasingly drawn to its wonderfully unspoilt landscapes, where the bucolic tranquillity of countryside little changed over the centuries has as its counterpoint seething volcanoes and the legacy of earthquakes in times gone by.
Here you’ll find a couple of the continent’s finest Spanish colonial cities, Granada and León. Spruced up now, with their central Spanish cores faithfully restored, they have a real historical atmosphere, with lovely old mansions, baroque churches and cobbled lanes.
Beyond, rising from the vast silvery waters of Lake Nicaragua is the dozy island Ometepe, whose isolation has protected it from the political upheavals of the past, and held back modern development. Rio San Juan is too important a river to be called a backwater, but its jungle-fringed banks have a timeless, wilderness feel, and the quaint little port of wooden houses on stilts, El Castillo, will make you feel you are on a real adventure of discovery.
There’s more: alongside the cowboy cattle country, quiet, yawning, pure-gold Pacific beaches and rolling coffee plantations: think about an extension to make your holiday complete.