Nicaragua, a country rich in natural resources, is one of the emerging ecotourism spots in the Americas. Called the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, this country shows off various natural riches from its extensive Atlantic coastal plain to the central interior mountains and volcanoes lying between the narrow plain by the Pacific coast. This gives one many acres of areas to explore which one can visit to see national parks and countryside villages.
Other than its nature spots, Nicaragua's colourful history is an exciting subject to learn more about. It was once wrestled over by colonial powers which inspired its revolution. Various landmarks in old cities such as León and Granada allow visitors to glimpse its heritage left over by centuries of foreign occupation. Poetry is also a national passion tourists will discover, which hints at the general love for deep and well-written words of literature.
What to see & do
Ecotourism is the major draw for travellers out to see Nicaragua. Its landscape of lakes and lush rainforests, as well as beaches and volcanoes call out to nature lovers everywhere. Those eager to hike through the trails of this country in Central America can check out Domitila Private Wildlife Reserve, where one will see the local wildlife in its natural habitat. Howler monkeys, butterflies, and birds are the primary attractions here, with the flourishing plants and flowers. From here, one can visit Peñas Blancas Massif, another rich natural destination. This area is particularly beautiful due to its large rainforests, waterfalls, and superb vistas. Interesting rural communities are also located here, where one can stay and get to know the people and their customs.
Sailing to the Zapatera Island can also be part of the itinerary. Its location in Lake Nicaragua gives it a peaceful ambiance with an interesting mysticism due to the presence of various indigenous cultures. Those going here will find a dormant volcano with an irregular shoreline where various small bays can be found. Natural beauty is not its only defining quality, as tourists will find interesting petroglyphs, statues, and ceramic artefacts here which date back to the pre-Columbian times.
Travellers coming from a tour of various natural sights can move on to the colonial cities. León is particularly charming with its energetic vibe and breath-taking landmarks. One of the areas to visit here is the Basilica de la Asunción, the largest cathedral in Central America. This baroque-style structure is a marvel inside, as it features magnificent works of art such as the Stations of the Cross, the El Cristo Negro de Pedrarias, and a host of beautifully-carved marble statues. From here, one can visit the Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Guardián where one can view some of the best collections of contemporary art in Central America.
Granada, another colonial city, makes a beautiful sight with its important landmarks. The Iglesia de la Merced can be found here, which is famous for the icon of the Virgen de Fatima and its beautiful architecture. From here, tourists can head on to the Mi Museo for a view of an amazing collection of ceramics dating back to about 2,000 years CE up to the modern times. Tourists who intend to do some shopping, on the other hand, can look around the Mercado Municipal, where one can buy local produce and other types of food. Other sights in the surrounding area can also be added to the list such as the Nicaragua Butterfly Reserve or the Nicaragua Libre, a nearby village.
How to get around within Nicaragua
Travellers going around Nicaragua will find a basic yet fairly reliable transportation system. One can get around by bus, which will take one to various parts of the country. The local transport is also composed of taxis and rickshaws. Tourists will have to verify the rates, however, before boarding to prevent overcharging. Those going to the countryside will find that many places are accessible only by boat while others are best reached by a rented car. Domestic flights are also offered, with bicycles also a possible mode of transport for some areas.
How to get there
Travellers who want to visit Nicaragua can book flights via Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua. Various airlines in the region connect here, as well as some big names in the commercial aviation industry of the United States. Some of the airlines serving here include Aero Caribbean, Aeromexico Connect, Air Transat, American Airlines, Avianca Costa Rica, Avianca El Salvador, Avianca Nicaragua, Conviasa, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Nature Air, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.
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