Craving a hot weather vacation? Go to Nicaragua.
When it comes to Central American travel, it’s not the most popular destination. It’s not widely recognized for it’s adventure and eco-tourism like its neighbor, Costa Rica. It isn’t known for impressive SCUBA diving and snorkeling like Belize. Guess what? Nicaragua has all of these things, yet its tourism industry hasn’t exploded (well, at least not yet). That’s what I love about it, and it’s why Nicaragua is one of those places that’s just stuck with me.
A trip here is truly immersive. I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice, and both times I instantly felt like I was a part of the local fabric, not a voyeur. People would pass me on the street, smile and say “hola” as if they had known me my entire life!
Nicaragua is beautiful, with something for everyone. I love trekking through the enchanting rainforests, filled with colorful birds (over 700 species!), howler monkeys and sloths. The beaches are nothing short of spectacular, with stunning seascapes and waves that call to surfers from around the world. And by the way, did you know Nicaragua has 24 (!) volcanoes?
If exploring an active volcano isn’t quite your speed, fear not: there’s lots of eating, drinking and relaxing to be done. As far as cuisine goes, Nicaragua is all about comfort food– I could live on fresh fruit, nacatamales (steamed corncakes) and vigoron, a banana leaf topped with yucca, pork, chicharrón (aka pork rinds!) and a cabbage and tomato salad. And let’s not forget the AMAZING coffee. Starbucks has nothing on the stuff they’re picking, roasting and brewing here. You’ll also find a number of accommodations that actually prove “luxury eco-lodge” isn’t an oxymoron.
Lonely Planted dubbed Nicaragua #4 on their 2015 list of the world’s top travel destinations. I have to agree. So do yourself a favor and go soon! You’ll thank me later.