Cookies

At Journey Latin America we use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website.
Find out more


My Enquiry is for
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
January 02nd, 2014

Nicaragua: a beginner's guide

Chris Moss, Travel Journalist highlights emerging Nicaragua, a land of volcanoes, lakes and a blissful Caribbean coast, where the descendants of British pirates inhabit white-sand islands.

Sandinista guerrillas kept the fight for freedom alive in the 70s, seizing power in 1979 and ruling until 1990 (despite the best efforts of Ronald Reagan to have them overthrown). Puppet dictators aside, Nicaragua became an independent republic in1838, though the British claimed the Mosquito Coast until 1850.

Top five attractions 

  • Colonial Granada, on Lake Nicaragua, built as a showpiece city in 1524 and lovely to explore by horse and carriage.
  • Erupting out of the lake are the twin volcanic peaks of the Isla de Ometepe, which create an hourglass shape in the lake with beaches on the isthmus.
  • San Juan del Sur, hemmed in by cliffs, has undeveloped beaches and great surfing breaks.
  • The Mombacho cloud forest reserve, at the top of a volcano, where orchids, bromeliads and the rare quetzal bird hide in the canopy.
  • The two tiny Corn Islands, great for snorkelling coral reefs, eating lobster and shooting the breeze with the largely black population, which is of Jamaican descent.

Best city 
Colonial León has volcano views, a huge cathedral, thick-walled buildings and many churches and museums, including the Museum of Legends and Traditions, and a grieving lion guarding the tomb of the poet-philosopher Rubén Darío.

Souvenir to buy 
Sandinista T-shirt.

Quirky Nicaragua 
Lake Nicaragua has the world's only freshwater sharks.

Read 
‘The Jaguar Smile’ by Salman Rushdie, who was invited to Nicaragua by the Sandinistas. Even those who don't like Rushdie's fiction should enjoy this lively volume of reportage. 

Post a comment

Upcoming Events

See full Event Listing

Other articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

Journey with the UK's NO1 specialist in travel to latin america

Experience

  • The pioneers in travel to Latin America since 1980
  • The UK's no.1 specialist – nobody knows it better

Knowledge

  • All our staff are in-depth Latin America specialists
  • Get the inside track with expert advice based on first-hand experience

Passion

  • Our love of Latin America runs through all we do
  • We take pride in providing a genuinely personal service

Protection

  • Unbeatable and secure financial protection
  • Book with confidence, knowing every penny is secure

Flexibility

  • The widest range of travel options to Central and South America
  • The journey you'll love, in a style to suit you

Expertise

  • Award-winning holidays, endorsed by our clients and the press
  • Exclusively dedicated to 
    Latin America – it's all we do


Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards - Best Tour Operator to Latin America 2016

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award 2013

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards - Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards - Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator 2016

Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2015

British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/travel-inspiration/travel/nicaragua-a-beginners-guide

Page ID: {BA5D131D-E724-40DA-8738-6C630636CE2E}

Page Name: nicaragua-a-beginners-guide

Page Display Name: Nicaragua: a beginner's guide

Page Template Name: T031-PapagaioBlogPost

Page Template ID: {ECC6A232-9784-4CC7-BA26-18421546B8F5}

Parent ID: {DC65CFB2-D81C-4A04-A7F8-0A1B3D88E7EB}

Parent Name: travel

Parent Display Name: Travel

Parent Template Name: T029-PapagaioCategoryListing

Parent Template ID: {4D163066-ED7E-48E6-AF31-34B6C47536CD}