Nicaragua is a country in Central America that’s perhaps a little bit off the beaten backpacker track. I always think those places that are slightly under the radars of other travellers are the best to visit, and Nicaragua is no exception.
If you don’t know much about the Central American destination and would like to learn more, I’ve put together a brief guide about Nicaragua.
Where is it?
Nicaragua is located in Central America between Costa Rica and Honduras, making it well worth visiting if you decide to travel between the two. Many trips to Central America begin in LA in California, before backpackers make their way down through Mexico, stopping at Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador along the way.
Holidaymakers who want to fly out of the USA for a break in Nicaragua can catch planes from Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.
When is it best to visit?
I think travelling is what you make of it, and I speak as someone who toured south-east Asia during the monsoon season. Yes, I might have got drenched a few times, but the downpours in places like India and Thailand tended to be over no sooner had they started.
The dry season in Nicaragua spans November to May, so while this is probably a good time to book your adventure for, the green season can be very pretty. Tropical rains sweep the country between June and October, delivering cooler air and lush plants.
What is there to see and do?
There will be many highlights of your trip around Nicaragua, especially if you like to get active. I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible and the Central American country certainly caters for this. Scuba diving, surfing, snorkelling, swimming and sea kayaking are just a handful of the sports you can get to grips with.
Scuba diving and snorkelling will allow you to take a closer look at the amazing aquatic life the country boasts. The warm and crystal-clear waters of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast are ideal for grabbing a mask and snorkel, while the Pacific Ocean is fantastic for scuba diving thanks to its deep waters housing the likes of surgeonfish, moray eels, snappers and parrot fish. You might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins. That’s not to say snorkelling isn’t interesting, and I recommend you swim close to Corn Island. Here, you might see the likes of sea turtles, nurse sharks and huge schools of the African pompano.
On dry land, Nicaragua is just as interesting. Known as the Land of the Lakes and Volcanoes, the nation boasts 24 volcanoes and many more bodies of water. It’s also home to seven per cent of the world’s biodiversity and over 70 unique ecosystems.
Exploring the varied landscape is a must, and I think one of the best excursions is to Cerro Negro. This volcano stands at 400 m, and your efforts hiking to the top will be rewarded thanks to the 360-degree vistas. However, what really stands out for me is that you can sand board down the slope on a piece of wood to quickly get to the bottom!
There’s too much for me to mention here, but some other highlights of backpacking around Nicaragua include taking a zip-wire through one of its rainforest canopies and keeping your eyes peeled for some of its fantastic wildlife. Just some of the creatures you might see include hummingbirds, howler monkeys, ant-eaters and sloths.