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Learning to surf in Las Penitas is one of the best things to do in Nicaragua
Nicaragua

The Nicaragua Bucket List: 25 Epic Things to Do in Nicaragua

Nicaragua was just made for bucket list adventures – with nearly 20 active volcanoes and two equally epic coastlines, it’s heaven on earth for the adventurous spirit. The icing on the cake? Nicaragua is one of the safest and cheapest places in all of North America, with a dorm bed starting at $5 USD per night.

If you’re wondering what is there to do in Nicaragua, you’re in luck – this country has something for everyone. I spent over five weeks in this small yet action-packed country and had the adventure of a lifetime. From hurdling down the slope of an active volcano to scuba diving in the Caribbean sea, I couldn’t simply pick a top 10… so here are the 25 best things to do in Nicaragua before you die.

Wondering what to do in Nicaragua? Let’s get started!

1. Volcano board down Central America’s youngest volcano

Volcano Boarding, one of the Nicaragua top things to do

Of all the top things to do in Nicaragua, volcano boarding down Cerro Negro is perhaps the most unique. Cerro Negro is a young volcano at only 150 years old, and it’s also one of Nicaragua’s most active. In fact, it’s overdue for an eruption, adding an extra death-defying element to your 30+ mph hurdle down thousands of feet of volcanic gravel. It’s one of the most popular activities to do in Nicaragua, and you can’t go far in the country without seeing a backpacker wearing a volcano boarding T-shirt.

This one’s not for the faint of heart — I fell three times and lived to tell the tale — but it’s an adrenaline rush that only Nicaragua can offer. Volcano boarding is something you have to do with a tour – book ahead to be sure you have a spot.

Where to Stay: Poco a Poco Hostel is excellent if you’re on a budget; if you’re not into hostels, Casa Azul is a great value for your money.

 

2. Cliff jump and swim through Nicaragua’s version of the Grand Canyon

One of my favorite things to do in Nicaragua - Canyoning in Somoto, a fantastic place to visit

Somoto Canyon was only “discovered” in 2004, and it’s a well-kept secret (until now – sorry y’all) as few outside of Nicaragua have even heard of it. Those who go will be rewarded with turquoise blue water surrounded by limestone cliffs reaching hundreds of feet high. You can jump off cliffs up to 33 feet high or just swim and float through the peaceful water — no matter how you enjoy it, Somoto is one of the best things to see in Nicaragua, so be sure you make time for it if possible.

Be sure to reapply your sunscreen carefully under your life jacket, so you don’t end up permanently branded with a tramp stamp suntan like I did. Ooops. A day trip costs around $30. Mine included two meals and a guide but not transportation; luckily, transport is cheap in Nicaragua so roundtrip buses to Somoto were only $2.

Where to Stay: For hostels, I recommend Sonati (they will help you book your tours too. Be sure to book ahead with this place, it’s quite popular!). For hotels, Casa Vínculos is the highest rated in town and an excellent bargain.

3. See lava bubble and glow at Masaya

Looking into the lava at Masaya is one of the best things to do in Nicaragua - what to see? Everything!

In Granada and wondering what to do? Nicaragua’s most lively volcano is right outside the city!

There’s nothing that makes you respect the badass bitch that is Mother Nature like staring into the eye of a bubbling orange lava pit. At Masaya, you can peer into the volcano from a safe distance, though because of the noxious fumes they limit your time at the crater to about 10 minutes. Still, it’s an incredible experience, and definitely one of the most iconic things to do in Nicaragua. At about $15-20 for a night tour, it won’t break the bank, either, for one of the most exciting Nicaragua points of interest.

Best as a day trip from Granada, and surely should top any list of must dos in Nicaragua.

Where to Stay: I prefer to stay in Granada and take a tour, though it’s possible to stay in Masaya as well. For hostels, I recommend El Caite since they have a pool and Granada is hot, hot, hot. If you prefer hotels, try Hotel Colonial – the nicest in town and not too expensive – or Mansion de Chocolate, which has its very own chocolate spa!

4. Swim in an ancient volcanic caldera at Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo is a lake formed in the caldera of an extinct volcano between the capital of Managua and the tourist favorite of Granada. At 175 meters (574 feet) deep, this natural lake is surprisingly warm thanks to the geothermal activity below.

Hostels nearby offer amenities like kayak and stand-up paddleboard rental. You can do a day trip for as little as $12 including roundtrip transportation and day access to amenities. Now really, where else can you kayak inside a volcano? There’s a reason this is one of the most popular places to visit in Nicaragua, so join the crowds and enjoy it.
Where to Stay: Same as above – stay in Granada, my recommendations are above!

5. Learn to surf in Las Peñitas

Learning to surf in Las Penitas is one of the best things to do in Nicaragua

Many people go to San Juan del Sur to learn to surf, but I preferred quiet little Las Peñitas, about a 30 minute chicken bus from León. Lessons start around $20, cheaper than San Juan del Sur where they’re around $30, and the beach in town is much lovelier than San Juan’s. If surfing’s not your thing – the sunsets ain’t bad either!
Where to Stay: For a hostel, I recommend Mano a Mano Eco Hostel. For a guesthouse, I’d suggest Nayal Lodge.

6. Hike in the Miraflor Nature Reserve

Nicaragua’s north is untouched and pristine, and Estelí makes the perfect base for jumping off to nearby Somoto Canyon and Miraflor Nature Reserve. You can even arrange 3- to 4-day long homestays with local families who live within the nature reserve if you really want to get off the beaten path and discover Nicaragua’s north, or you can easily make it a day trip for around $20-25 per person.

Where to Stay: Same as my recommendations for Somoto Canyon. For hostels, Sonati; For hotels, Casa Vínculos.

7. Party in San Juan del Sur

Partying in San Juan del Sur is one of the top things to do in Nicaragua

This little touristy town in the very south of Nicaragua (that’s where the “del Sur” comes in) is surprisingly charming despite the legions of Sunday Funday-ers. Sunday Funday is a massive pool crawl that takes place — you guessed it — each Sunday, with an open bar across 3 different hostels. 

The bad news is that this’ll cost you a cool $30 USD, a fortune in cheap Nicaragua. My liver definitely cannot make $30 worth of beer worthwhile, so I passed. If you’re younger and hipper than I am, this is one of the can’t-miss things to do in Nicaragua.

Not enough boozing for you? There’s also a nightly open bar sunset cruise

Where to Stay:Pick a hostel wisely – some places in San Juan del Sur are super party, which may not be your speed. Saltwater Hostel is a good mix of social and chill. If you have more of a budget, Hotel Alcazar has some of the nicest rooms in town.

8. Sleep on top of an active volcano

Sleeping atop Telica - one of the best things to do in Nicaragua

Telica Volcano is another one of Nicaragua’s most active, but it has the best view of all of them (and that’s saying something, as Nicaragua has nearly 20 of them). It’s home to a constantly smoking lava pit and views out to the Pacific as well as San Cristobal. Since it’s located right on the Ring of Fire, you can also see the other surrounding volcanoes (five of ’em in a row) all the way down to Lake Nicaragua.

The smoke from the crater may look ominous, but it’s actually a good sign — my guide from Quetzaltrekkers told me that when it stops smoking, that’s when it’s time to run! On lucky nights, you can look down and even see lava glowing, not quite at the level as you can at Masaya. We didn’t have any luck, but the sunset and the following morning’s sunrise were more than worth the climb. In my eyes, this is one of the best places to visit in Nicaragua, so if you’re into hiking, be sure to make time for Telica.

If you want a bigger challenge, Quetzaltrekkers also offers a one-day hike up San Cristobal, Nicaragua’s highest volcano

There’s nowhere to stay on Telica — just your tent — so find a hotel or hostel in Leon for before and/or after your hike.

9. Scuba dive – or just relax – in the Corn Islands

Little Corn, one of my favorite places in Nicaragua

Little Corn will forever have a little piece of my heart – this gem of an island is simply special. In contrast to the lovely laidback island life, the surrounding reefs are teeming with active marine life. Swim with nurse sharks, parrotfish, spiny lobster, barracudas, blowfish, and more. It’s one of the best places to visit in Nicaragua, if not the entire Caribbean.

Little Corn is one of the cheapest places in the world to get SCUBA certified; it’ll only set you back $330 USD. If you’re already certified, dives here are cheap. You can get a package of fun dives, 5 for $150, or single dives for about $35 each.

Where to Stay:There aren’t too many options for hostels – Green House Hostel is what I would recommend. If you have more money to spend and want something a bit fancy, Little Corn Beach & Bungalow is a great choice.

10. Learn how chocolate is made in Matagalpa

Learn how chocolate is made in Matagalpa - one of the most delicious things to do in Nicaragua

Wondering what to visit in Nicaragua’s northern highlands? If in Matagalpa, be sure to check out El Castillo de Cacao, a small little chocolate operation where for $6 you can receive a tour showing you how they make their own chocolate from nearby farms.

It’s no Willy Wonka, but it’s a charming and humble little factory — and samples and coffee are included, of course! As chocolate is one of the most important crops in the country, it’s definitely one of the most iconic (and delicious!) top things to do in Nicaragua.

Where to Stay: In my opinion, Martina’s Place can’t be beat! Both dorms and private rooms are available.

11. Visit a coffee farm

Nicaragua is renowned for its delicious coffee, and Matagalpa’s surrounding highlands are some of the best places to grow coffee in the world. If you take the chicken bus from Matagalpa towards Jinotega, you can stop at Selva Negra and take a coffee tour for $20, including coffee tasting of some of the best of Nicaragua.

These tours only happen once or twice daily, so be sure to call ahead to inquire about schedules. If that’s not in your budget, you can get a cup of freshly brewed coffee at the restaurant for a mere 50 cents and enjoy a hike around the surrounding cloud forest, which is extremely well marked with clearly defined paths.
Where to Stay: See above recommendations for Matagalpa!

12. Stand atop the largest cathedral in Central America

In a country not particularly known for its architecture, the Cathedral de Léon is one thing you simply must see in Nicaragua. It’s iconic for a reason: how incredibly dreamy is that white rooftop? They keep it so white by requiring you take off your shoes — wear socks or be prepared for your feet to scorch!

From there, you have an amazing view of the volcanoes surrounding León – you can see Cerro Negro of volcano boarding fame, Telica, Momotombo and Momotombito, San Cristobal, and others flanking the city. Definitely one of the most photogenic things to do in Nicaragua – I may have had a 30-minute long solo selfie shoot, #sorrynotsorry.

Where to Stay: As before – Poco a Poco Hostel for budget; Casa Azul for mid-range.

13. Pay your respects to those who died in the Revolution

Wondering what to do in Nicaragua’s revolutionary city, Léon? Visit the Museo de la Revolución, of course! It is not really a traditional museum; there are no informational placards and very few artifacts to speak of. What makes this collection of rooms — mostly filled with simply framed photos resting on the floor — a museum is the people who guide you through it: survivors of Nicaragua’s bloody revolution. Listening to the guide will help you understand the issues both historical and present which face the country today. One the biggest Nicaragua points of interest in Léon for good reason!

If you’re looking for further history, there are also guided historical walking tours of Léon.

14. Learn how to roll Nicaragua’s finest cigars

Learn to make cigars from a badass lady - one of the top things to do in Nicaragua

When you think cigars, your mind naturally goes to Cuba – but did you know that hundreds of Cubans fled to Nicaragua after the Cuban Revolution and brought their tobacco farming knowledge with them? Now, Estelí makes some of the finest cigars in the world, and for a mere $8 you can take a tour of one of the city’s many small cigar factories selling the best of Nicaragua.

One of the most badass grandmas in the world, who had been working at the factory for nearly 50 years, carefully taught me how to roll cigars. Perhaps the proudest moment of my life was when she deemed me fit to work in the factory and dubbed me “la reina de la fabrica” — Queen of the Factory. Learning to roll cigars from the pros is definitely a can’t miss thing to do in Nicaragua’s north, even if you’re not a cigar smoker!

Where to Stay: Sonati is great and will help you book your cigar factory tour as well, or stay at a hotel – Casa Vínculos is the highest rated in town.

15. Chase waterfalls in Estelí

If you’re in Estelí looking for some exciting things to do, Nicaragua’s waterfalls can’t be missed! The cigar factories of Estelí are so cool, but you leave them feeling as if you’ve just lost a year of life from your lungs because the fumes are ridiculous.

Refresh your poor lungs at one of the many beautiful waterfalls flanking Estelí. Tisey Estanzuela is the most well-known and is quite close to town – about two hours’ walking distance or a cheap, quick taxi ride away. If you want to go further afield, there are day trips to Colocondo and Quiabuc las Brisas, each for around $20-25 for a day trip including transport, guides, and meals. Again, Sonati organizes a lot of these tours!

Where to Stay: See recommendations above

16. Kayak in Nicaragua’s idyllic mangroves

Kayaking through mangroves of Isla Juan Venado, a nature reserve near Las Peñitas on Nicaragua’s northern Pacific coast, is one of the most peaceful things to do in Nicaragua. Look for birds and other native life, and if you’re lucky, you may even see a turtle laying its eggs in the sand, as this is a protected turtle sanctuary. It’s one of my favorite places to visit in Nicaragua, and it’s peaceful and not very touristy.

Where to Stay: I recommend staying in Las Peñitas and getting a day tour or overnight stay. For a hostel, I suggest Mano a Mano Eco Hostel or for a guesthouse, I’d suggest Nayal Lodge.

17. Get a chocolate massage

You may be exhausted just reading all of the epic things to do in Nicaragua…. so why not take 5 (or 60) and relax with a chocolate massage at the luxe Mansion de Cacao, a colonial era building turned hotel and spa in the beautiful city of Granada? For a mere $34 USD, you can get lathered up in chocolate, scrubbed off, and then have an invigorating massage to soak up all that cacao-y goodness.

Where to Stay: If you’re on a budget, try El Caite. If you have some extra cash, though, you can stay at the Mansion de Chocolate itself for not that much money!

18. Photograph the colonial buildings of Granada

Granada is an Instagrammer’s dream and its colonial architecture is one of the top attractions in Nicaragua – houses of every color line the streets. From deep cobalt blues to vibrant yellows and hot pinks, basically every color you can think up has a home here. The doors are no less stunning, and so fun to pose in if you can grab a photo buddy. One of the can’t-miss things to do in Nicaragua without a doubt!

It’s also possible to tour inside the colonial homes of Granada as well if you’re interested in taking a peek inside!

RELATED: 13 Things to do in Granada, Nicaragua’s Colonial Gem

Where to Stay: See above recommendations for Granada.

19. Get the best view of Nicaragua’s most iconic church

The best view in Granada costs only a buck, and it’s a Nicaragua must see. Climb to the top of Iglesia de la Merced’s belltower and marvel at the view of the yellow and red postcard-perfect Granada Cathedral. Lake Nicaragua even peeps behind it to make a photobomb appearance so you can really grab the perfect photo. Go around 5 PM for the best light and a sneak glimpse of sunset before the belltower closes at 5:30.
Where to Stay: See above recommendations for Granada.

20. Try the local food

Nicaragua’s food will never win any awards for creativity, but it’s not without its comforts. Gallo pinto – a simple side of rice and beans – will adorn basically every local meal you eat in this country. Have it with pollo asado (grilled chicken), tajadas (super-thin plantain chips), ensalada, and maduros (sweet roasted plantains) for the most Nica of meals. Other things to try include vigerón in Granada, a dish made of yucca, cabbage, and chicharrón, and nacatamales, a Nicaraguan spin on the tamale.

Also, if you like lobster, this is one of the cheapest places in the world to eat it! Get a whole lobster meal for $6-10 in certain parts of the country, particularly the Pacific Coast and Little Corn Island.

21. Swim in a natural spring on Isla de Ometepe

El Ojo de Agua is a natural swimming hole on the stunning Isla de Ometepe, an island composed of two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Nicaragua is freaking hot pretty much any time of year, so cool off with a lovely dip at this natural beauty.

Where to Stay:I didn’t make it to Ometepe – I blame the beautiful Corn Islands for holding me captive for two weeks – but I’ve heard to skip Moyogalpa, the port city. Instead, try to find accommodations in Altagracia, Balgue, or Mérida on Ometepe.

Check out hostels in Ometepe

22. Hike Nicaragua’s toughest volcano, Concepción

Warning: not for the faint of heart. I didn’t even attempt this one after hearing from countless people that it took over 10 hours and was the toughest thing they have done in their lives. At 5,282 feet or 1,610 meters, altitude is not what’ll get you here: it’s the sheer steepness of the incline, muddiness of the paths, and relentlessness of the Nicaraguan sun.

After climbing Telica and Cerro Negro, I can attest that climbing any volcano in Nicaragua is tough, and Concepción only ups the ante. Maderas, the other volcano composing Ometepe, is also tough but supposedly not quite as difficult. It is illegal to hike either volcano without a guide, and with good reason – people have lost their lives trying. A guide will cost you around $50-70 for a day hike.

23. See a Pacific sunset

Seeing a pacific sunset, one of the simplest yet best things to do in Nicaragua

As a California girl, the Pacific holds a special place in my heart. Whether you watch the sun sink into the ocean from the chilled out beach town of Las Peñitas, the surf mecca of Popoyo, or the party city of San Juan del Sur, you can’t go wrong with that view. One of the simplest yet best things to do in Nicaragua.

24. Check out a traditional craft market in Masaya

If you’re a souvenir person, Nicaragua’s got your back. Quite literally, in fact, if you opt for their most famous export, the high quality hand woven hammocks. These’ll set you back about $20 apiece. Ceramics, jewelry, and embroidered clothing also round out the craft offerings you’ll find here. Masaya’s craft market is the most traditional in the country. Just make sure to ask to be directed to the municipal or local market – prices are half the price of the tourist market!

Where to Stay:Masaya is easy enough to get to on chicken bus from Granada, but if you’d like to stay and get a more local experience, there are lots of cheap places to lay your head at night in Masaya.

25. Ride a chicken bus

The humble chicken bus, the real Nicaraguan experience

If you haven’t taken a chicken bus, I don’t think you get to say that you’ve been to Nicaragua. The humble chicken bus will take you virtually anywhere you need to go in this country for a song – I never paid more than $2 for a single journey, and often less than $1. These are converted American schoolbuses tricked out to the nines with distinctly Jesus-y vibes. Enterprising locals swarm the bus at every stop, selling sodas, tajadas, enchiladas (which are basically empanadas with salad), cakes, coffee, you name it. It doesn’t get more Nicaragua than that.

 

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There are so many epic things to do in Nicaragua - why not try volcano boarding, surfing, camping on an active volcano, or diving in the Caribbean?


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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 1, 2017 at 7:02 am

    We just did the Masaya Volcano trip a few days ago, and all I can say is WOW. It was amazing, even if I did spend way too much time thinking about how the lava reminded me of playing Mario 64 as a kid.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 1, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Isn’t it incredible? I’ve never seen anything like that. I really hope you’re enjoying your time in Nicaragua!! It is definitely one of my favorite countries in Central America — just so many fun things to do. Really try to get over the Corn Islands if you can! And hahahah on the Mario, I can totally relate. Bowser boss battle flashbacks!!

  • Reply
    The Family Voyage
    April 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    You may have just convinced us to add Nicaragua to our RTW itinerary! It looks amazing!!!! I need to do some research into kid-friendly hikes

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 2, 2017 at 12:06 am

      You should! Definitely try Mombacho near Granada (you can take transit up most of the way and then do a hike from the summit) and Masaya (volcano tour at night, totally safe and so cool! – not really hiking since they drive you, but a great experience)

  • Reply
    Ellis
    April 2, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I heard so many great things about Nicaragua and after reading your post I can really understand why. This post just put Nicaragua a lot of places higher up on my bucket list 🙂

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      So glad to hear it! I hope you get to go soon, it’s amazing!

  • Reply
    Therie
    April 11, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Oh my this is AMAZING! The lava pit is ridiculous! I’ve never seen anything like that. Nicaragua is ultimate destination if you want some adventure. Saving this for future travel plans, thanks Allison!!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Isn’t that lava crazy?! It’s really an incredible place, I hope you get to go to Nicaragua soon. It’s such a beautiful country with so much to see!

  • Reply
    Paul
    April 26, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    NICARAGUA seems a heavenly travel destination. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      April 27, 2017 at 4:53 am

      It’s a beautiful country — thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply
    Thais Saito
    May 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Nicaragua sounds amazing! I’m considering taking my kids this summer after Costa Rica! Do you think it’s child-friendly? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      May 27, 2017 at 12:36 am

      Yes, I definitely think so 🙂 Your kids will love it.

  • Reply
    Rohini Swaminathan
    June 16, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    As I am planning my trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and reading through dozens of blogs and overwhelming myself, yours is one of the best and cleanest list of things to do that I have come across so far. Very well written, nice pictures and thanks for sharing! If I end up booking the places you have suggested, will make sure to use your links!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      June 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      Rohini, that’s so great to hear! I’m glad you found this list useful and easy to use 🙂 I totally feel you on getting lost down a rabbit hole of blog posts when trying to plan! Thanks for using my links, it helps keep the blog going!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    August 17, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I generally don’t find lists like this super useful but i completely agree with the comment above. This is the best list ever… so excited for Nicaragua now

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      As someone who shares your skepticism of lists, I’m so happy you found it useful! I hate blogs with super vague information so I’m glad you found this useful. Feel free to email/comment with any questions, I hope you have an AMAZING time in Nicaragua!

  • Reply
    Rick
    August 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I was born and raised in Nicaragua until the age of 15 and now live in NYC and heading to Nicaragua tomorrow for two weeks after 14 years of absence, can’t wait to see my beautiful country again. Thinking of Gallo Pinto, Tajadas, Pitaya, etc, and fritangas of course.

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      August 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Oh wow, you will have SUCH an amazing time! I really miss tajadas… oh man! Enjoy your trip back to your homeland, hope you have a great time 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 2, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    What a great list!! Do you speak Spanish? If not, did you find it difficult to navigate through the country? I can speak basic conversational Spanish and am hesitant to travel without a better understanding of the language. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      September 6, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Hi Sarah, sorry for the delay in answering your question – my wifi has been spotty in Turkey. I’m fluent in Spanish so I had no problems navigating my way through the country, but I think you will be fine with a basic understanding of Spanish. I frequently travel places where I don’t speak the language and manage to get around anyway! Nicas are super friendly people, and the country has lots of English-speaking tour offices where they can help you book tours, shuttles, etc. as needed – so don’t worry, you’ll be fine there 🙂

  • Reply
    Daphne
    September 13, 2017 at 7:33 am

    OMG I love your blog! Do you have the route you did? I need some inspiration for a 4 week route?
    Thanks for this blog

    xoxo

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      September 13, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Hi Daphne! Thank you! So I had 5 weeks and this was my route, though you definitely could do it differently as I stayed for two weeks in the Corn Islands. Flew into Managua –> Granada –> Léon –> Las Peñitas –> Estelí –> Matagalpa –> Corn Islands (flew via Managua) –> Granada again –> San Juan del Sur. I’d also recommend adding Ometepe between San Juan del Sur and Granada, or skipping the second trip to Granada. I wish I had gone but I was feeling kind of burnt out and just wanted a place to catch up on work after wifi trouble and nearly destroying my laptop in the Corn Islands.

      Btw, if you fly to the Corn Islands, I recommend calling them and requesting them to book you on an open ticket — it’s cheaper than buying one ways online – I think only $130 roundtrip?

  • Reply
    Toni
    September 30, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Hey Allison, any recmendations on a 2-week trip (wish we had more time!)? We’re planning our honeymoon and are really thinking Nicaragua. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Allison Green
      September 30, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Hi Toni! Oh that’s so great to hear, congrats! I would say fly into Managua, then fly straight to Little Corn for 3-5 days for some beach time (I highly recommend Yemaya Island Hideaway if it’s in your budget, Little Corn Beach & Bungalow if you want something mid-range, and Grace’s Cool Spot if you’re on a budget). After Little Corn, go to Leon (2-3 days), doing a volcano hike or going to the beach at Las Peñitas, Granada (2-3 days) visiting Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo, then Ometepe (2-3 days) before going back to Managua. You could switch it around and add Estelí or Matagalpa if you really want to get off the beaten path (in that case I’d skip Granada/Ometepe) but this is probably the best route to see the best of Nicaragua 🙂 Don’t skip Little Corn!! And congrats!

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