Top 10 Things to do in Nicaragua

October 23, 2017 Leonardo Torrence

Nicaragua (/ˌnɪkəˈrɑːɡwə, -ˈræɡ-, -ɡjuə/ ( listen); Spanish: [nikaˈɾaɣwa]), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (Spanish:  República de Nicaragua (help·info)), is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is also the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City. The multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European, African, and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Native tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English.

1. Cerro Negro Volcano

Northeast Of Leon 25 km, Leon, Nicaragua +505 2552 8723
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Cerro Negro Volcano

Reviewed By Irena S - Copenhagen, Denmark

Do it! There is nothing to be afraid of!
If you like experiences which are special and different, try volcano boarding! I wanted to try it but at the same time I was a little bit afraid after watching small videos on youtube. It turned out that there was nothing to be worried about! It was very easy to control the speed of the board and after coming down I had a feeling of regret that I didn't try to run faster. I am 61 years old...
A lot of people write about great views, strong wind and fun during the boarding. I agree with all that, so I will concentrate on the practical things. When picked up at your hotel by the tour organiser, do not bring anything else then a bottle of water, sunglasses, sun creme, sport shoes (best in dark colour). Do not wear sandals - you will burn your feet! T-shirt and shorts are just fine, as you get a special suit covering the whole body while you are on the top of volcano. Take also a scarf to cover your face and a a sun hat which is tight enough to resist the strong wind. Or you can use your scarf as a protection from sun while you are climbing up and then as a protection of your face while you are boarding down. Before start of the hike you will get a little rucksack with a suit, gloves and a pair of goggles, where you also can carry your other things like water or sun creme. Do not bring your camera, unless it is well protected against the dust. Our guide took a lot of pictures during the whole tour and the pictures were uploaded to Facebook the same day. If you want some help with carrying your board, take 5$ which you will have to pay to the local guy who will carry it for you.
You need to be in a moderate physical condition, by another words - you will have to be able to manage one hour hiking with 3-4 short breaks. I had to friends with me - to men at the age of 65 and 71 and we all three managed to follow the group of significant younger participants. We all enjoyed the whole tour. So once more - do not let the fear stop you, try volcano boarding. Regarding local tour operator in Leon we used one called volcanoboardingnicaragua and we were very satisfied with them.

2. Mombacho Cigars

Calle Atravesada | One Block South of Sandino Park, Granada 43000, Nicaragua +505 8775 9137
Excellent
75%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 204 reviews

Mombacho Cigars

Cigar Factory and Cigar Lounge.

Reviewed By YogiJuancarlos - New York City, New York

One of the Top attractions in Granada! Highly recommended to those who enjoy beautiful architecture, Good service, Reasonable prices and want to see up close a Nicaraguan Trade.
I honestly did not know what to expect as a non Cigar smoker. From the moment you walk in though you feel totally welcomed and are promptly by one of the friendly staff members. This is not your average factory, as its located in a beautiful old mansion which by itself is a true architectural beauty. We decided to take one of their tours and totally glad we did. Our tour guide was full of knowledge and educated us on the whole Cigar cultivation. We got a nice behind the scene look at how the Tobacco leafs are cultivated, preserved, rolled and all in between. It was a true learning experience.

3. Isla Ometepe

Moyogalpa, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 752 reviews

Isla Ometepe

Reviewed By Nancy K - New York City, New York

We had very high expectations for Ometepe Island after hearing and Reading so much about it prior to our trip. Even the locals were saying it's a can't miss spot. We were VERY disappointed with our day and a majority had to do with the tour we selected.
Our day started with the ferry ride to the island. We were both extremely nervous on the ferry ride to the island. It was windy that day and the water was VERY rough. We were really thinking about skipping the island once we saw the waves but we didn’t want to regret not going to Ometepe. We heard the day before they cancelled Ferries to the island because of the wind and waves.
As part of our tour, we had a driver meet us once we arrived. Our first stop was Charco Verde. We really enjoyed the butterfly exhibit. Next we walked around to try and spot some animals.
The one thing that was on my list was Ojo de Agua. The lagoon was the best part of our day. The natural pool was relaxing. I would suggest stopping here for an hour or so.
We decided to take an earlier ferry back to St. Jorge. Due to our luck that day, our ferry was cancelled and the next one would be the last one, an hour and half later at 5:30pm.
We suggest if you plan to go to Ometepe Island, stay for a night or two and add hiking the volcano to your itinerary. It's not worth going for a day trip. We spent more time commuting than enjoying our day on the island.

4. Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia

Loma Pacific Marlin, San Juan del Sur, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 500 reviews

Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia

Reviewed By johnyoung22222 - Nanaimo, Canada

I walked from our lodging, Casa Andalucia, down to the beach, forded the river at the mouth, went along the beach and then took the next road up for one block, and then turned left. From there the route is well-signed. It took about 45 minutes from our hostel. It cost $1 to enter. I arrived just before 5 p.m. and stayed until after sunset. I was the last one there. Great for photos! Although it is very windy. By the time I walked down it was quite dark, but he walk back along the beach was beautiful.

5. Masaya Volcano National Park

Masaya, Nicaragua +505 2528 1444
Excellent
70%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Masaya Volcano National Park

Reviewed By BGarde - George Town, Canada

Hired a driver with a translator to visit the volcano at night. The night viewing is only open until 8pm, so it’s really more of an evening viewing. Apparently this lava was much higher not so long ago, but had since decreased significantly. There was an extremely long line up on the road just to get in. I would say we waited about 20-30mins just t enter the driveway off of the road. Our driver suggested that we go in and look at the education center while he waited in the line of cars. I would say we were able to be in the education center for at least 20 mins more before returning to the car and being allowed to drive up. You are allowed to drive to the top of the volcano in groups and once at the top, you are allowed to stay only 15 minutes because of exposure to harmful gases (I’m told). It’s super neat to see lava, but it’s also a lot of time is spent waiting.

6. Laguna de Apoyo

Carretera Masaya Km 38, La Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya, Nicaragua +505 5847 0711
Excellent
66%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 919 reviews

Laguna de Apoyo

Reviewed By robnkim - alberta

the water is warm and they say there are no fish in it, maybe because its volcanic or something. you can rent a kayak or just swim around, there was a dock that we swam out to. lots of little restaurants around the lake to sit and enjoy a beverage at too.

7. Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz

Rio San Juan | San Juan del Norte, El Castillo 90000, Nicaragua +505 8938 8552
Excellent
74%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 114 reviews

Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz

Reviewed By chuddington - London

Most wildlife, and there is a lot, including iguana, river turtles, tiger herons, Spider monkeys, Howler monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, kingfishers, parakeets and toucans, is to be spotted from the boat. Get a good tour guide (we had Orlando) who is prepared to stop and take more time on the river. The area next to the Rio Bartola where we walked has been extensively damaged by the recent hurricane and to some extent this has reduced the wildlife opportunities on the walk. we did see a Coati (big plus :)) and a Trogon though.

8. Mirador de Catarina

Catarina, Nicaragua
Excellent
58%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Mirador de Catarina

Reviewed By hsbvim - Dublin, Ohio

Clearly, outside of actual volcanoes, this has to be one of the best views we had of the countryside of Nicaragua. It was just beautiful. This is certainly worth 15 minutes of your time for several memorable photos!
A special treat for our Mission team is that at the first of the week we had helped build and raise a new water tower for a church near Masaya. From this view, we could see our bright blue water tank in the distance!!!

9. Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve

Las Penitas, Nicaragua +505 8772 6728
Excellent
58%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 135 reviews

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve

Reviewed By VGTravelGirl - St. Albert, Canada

You don't need a full tour to this tour - you can walk or ride bikes to the park entry point. You pay entry to the park and then pay your boat tour operator separately (about $20 US). The boat tour was just okay - we saw lots of birds and some racoons. It may be better with kayaks or electric motors on the boats (technology not available here yet). Our boat operator and guide did not speak any English - but they had a book which they used to show us which birds we were looking at. The best part was releasing the baby turtles (214 that night) at sunset. I thought that we would just get to watch, but we were actually part of the release using our hands to take the baby turtles to the beach and also move them forward whenever the waves pushed them back onto the beach. It was truly a wonderous experience.I don't think that we would have taken this tour if the turtle release was not part of the trip.

10. Puerto Salvador Allende

Puerto Salvador Allende - El Malecon, Managua, Nicaragua +505 2268 6061
Excellent
47%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 907 reviews

Puerto Salvador Allende

Reviewed By TexasTerry_12 - Fort Worth, Texas

one usd entry for 4 people. beautiful view of Lago Xolotlan. fairly typical tourist area with lots of restaurants.

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