Uncrowded and underdeveloped Nicaragua tipped to be new Central America hotspot
Costa Rica has been one of the hottest destination in Central America to visit over recent years, but the neighbouring country of Nicaragua is having its own breakthrough in the tourism industry. The lack of huge hotel chains and development, and its affordability is making Nicaragua a hotspot for travellers who are seeking something fresh and uncrowded.
In recent years, Costa Rica has emerged as one of the top destinations in Central America, due to its stunning natural environment, eco-awareness and diverse activities. However, the neighbouring nation of Nicaragua is coming into the limelight for travellers who are seeking an underdeveloped and affordable destination.
In the past Nicaragua has gained a reputation for its civil war and rebels, but 20 years has passed since the unrest and travellers are now heading to the country to explore its lesser-known towns and cities, and uncrowded coastlines.
Raymundo Solorzano, a guide in Nicaragua with 22 years of experience, says:
“There are so many people saying Forget Costa Rica, that’s over. Nicaragua is the new big destination in Central America.”
Unlike its neighbour, Nicaragua has not yet been put on the radar of large hotel developers and restaurant chains, so travellers can enjoy an affordable country that is home to a plethora of natural delights. The increase in interest could partly be down to the U.S TV show Survivor, which filmed three seasons in Nicaragua, making people feel that it is now a safe destination to travel to in Central America.
The colonial city of Granada is located on Lake Nicaragua and boasts a lovely nightlife scene with festivals, clubs, bars, and restaurants. The small city has narrow cobbled streets, pedestrianised tree-lined squares with markets and music, and the beautiful La Cathedral. The Calle La Calzada is a street that comes to life at night with people enjoying traditional rum drinks and delicious seafood on pavement cafes and bars.
The country’s capital, Managua, has historic sites and attractions including Palacio Nacional, the ruins of the Catedral de Managua, and Tiscapa Lagoon, a fresh water lagoon in the crater of an extinct volcano.
With coastlines both on the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, approximately 330 days of offshore winds, sunny weather nearly all year-round, and waves that can measure up to 12 feet, one of the main reasons more people are visiting the country is because of its fantastic surfing conditions.
Popular surf spots include Playa Maderas, Playa Majagual and Playa Marsella, and some of the best beaches can be found in Playa Colorado, Las Pinitas, and San Juan del Sur.
As well as surfing, tourists can enjoy an array of activities while visiting Nicaragua, such as trekking through thriving national parks and cloud forests that are home to monkeys and colourful birds; touring historic coffee plantations or cigar factories; or hiking to the smoking crater of the active Masaya Volcano.
While it is unlikely, that Nicaragua will remain underdeveloped and uncrowded, now is the time to visit before the inevitable developers move in.
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