Where is Nicaragua?
The Republic of Nicaragua is born between Lagos and volcanoes. Between 4 natural borders, located in the Central American isthmus, in the North American hemisphere.
It is a tropical nation, which enjoys 3 regions that give the country a great diversity of climates and cultures, volcanic territory and multiethnic population, part of the old Spanish colonies in the American territory.
That invites you to discover its places full of culture, history, and Central American heat. Full of magic and exceptional color, able to conquer even the most demanding of tastes.
The culture in Nicaragua
The culture of Nicaragua is a product of the mixture of the indigenous culture (Chorotega and Nahuatl), the Spanish and African.
Our history is intrinsically linked to indigenous and white Europeans especially Spanish, beginning with them the conquest, colonization, and independence. However, cultural traditions such as dances with different musical rhythms, colonial cities, and gastronomy that make this country magnificent are still preserved.
Nicaraguan folklore is an intangible cultural heritage of our peoples, they have their origin by joining indigenous elements with Spaniards. The traditional Pacific dances such as La Gigantona, El Enano Cabezón, and El Toro Huaco are colorful and rhythmic, typical of the city of León, it is a form of expression towards the Spanish crown.
In the Nicaraguan Caribbean, the Palo de Mayo dance begins with specific purposes such as fertility, reproduction, new crops in honor of the goddess Mayayá, the dance was performed around a tree. Currently, it has varied and today it is a rural dance full of joy and colors.
Food, Restaurants, and Gastronomy
Nicaraguan culinary art dates back to pre-Columbian times, as evidenced by the names of some of its best-known dishes. Then, during the Spanish conquest and colony, the union of two races and two cultures resulted in a peculiar, creative and varied Creole menu, in which interesting ingredients are used and from which they are part from soups and meats, to sweets of various types.
The sons of corn
The fundamental basis of Nicaraguan cuisine since its origins has been corn, and its wide use and derivations constitute the culinary heritage bequeathed by the ancient indigenous cultures existing in the area.
This fact explains the great familiarity between typical Nicaraguan food and that of the countries of the Central American region and Mexico. We were all children of the corn.
Corn, as an ingredient, has an infinite number of uses: drinks like the traditional Chicha and Pinol are made from it; main dishes such as Nacatamal, Old Indian and Meatball Soup; and sandwiches or desserts such as Atolillo and Perrereque.
A world of ingredients
There are also other ingredients widely used in a unique cuisine, many of them local products, typical of the tropics. However, Nicaraguan culinary creativity is thorough and open. Ingredients used throughout the world, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, flour, rice, orange, mustard, and mayonnaise, are also of great use. milk and cheese, vanilla and cinnamon, among many others.
Popular Activities to do in Nicaragua
Miraflor Nature Reserve
One of Nicaragua’s attractions is its nature. To live it fully, you can approach the natural reserve of Miraflor, in the north of the country, which you can access from the city of Esteli. It is one of the places that nobody wants to miss in the country, a paradise full of rivers and waterfalls, and where the clouds are so low that they flood the trees.
Surf in Cerro Negro
The image of adventure tourism that everyone knows about Nicaragua is the descent of the Cerro Negro volcano with a surfboard. This volcano is one of the youngest in the world and is active, so much so that in its little more than 160 years it has erupted 23 times, but that is no reason not to have fun surfing the volcanic gravel. If you dare, take a good one hour walk to the crater of the volcano and then go surfing or volcano boarding.
Of the 25 volcanoes in Nicaragua, nine are active. If you have been wanting more after the volcano surfing in Cerro Negro, you can always climb to other craters such as Telica, San Cristóbal or Momotombo, although some require a good shape. There are even night climbs to Masaya volcano, an unforgettable experience.
Explore an island in the middle of a lake
Ometepe Island is located in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, formed by the eruption of the Concepción and Maderas volcanoes. Right where they both join, it crosses the Istian River, which divides the island in two. If you feel like kayaking, hiking, and cycling you should not miss Ometepe.
Getting around the roads of the island is an adventure in itself. And how could it be otherwise, here there are also volcanoes trekking and good hiking trails. By the way, watch out for monkeys!
Relax in the lagoon Support
Many travelers overlook Managua, the capital of the country, but not the nearby Laguna lagoon, very different from Lake Nicaragua. It is a perfect place to rest next to its calm waters, sail with kayak, fish or just relax.
Surf and party in San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur is the most frequented beach spot in Nicaragua. Good beaches, warm water, surfing and partying make it the quintessential destination for backpackers.
This corner is located in the south of Nicaragua, very close to the border with Costa Rica and may be too built and full of foreigners, but for the paradisiacal beaches, there are already the Corn Islands.
Relax on the Corn Islands
Of course, after so much activity, you could use a few days off on good beaches. Well, in Nicaragua you will find them from those films. And if it is on two islets of the Caribbean Sea, what more can you ask for as a climax to a trip to Nicaragua. Just look at it in photos to get an idea of the Corn Islands.
Popular Places to Visit in Nicaragua
- Corn Islands
- Masaya Volcano
- Islets of Granada
- Cerro Negro
- Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve
- Playa Maderas
- Solentiname Islands
- Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Momotombo Volcano
- Charco Verde
- San Cristóbal Volcano
- Cerro Negro Volcano
- Pearl Cays
- Calala Island
- Waterfall of San Ramon
- Loma de Tiscapa
- Christ of the Mercy
- Playa Popoyo
- Reserva Natural Isla Juan Venado
- Calle La Calzada
- Fortress of the Immaculate Conception
- Playa El Yankee
- Church The Recollection
- Salto de Estanzuela
- Canopy Tour San Juan del Sur
- Central Park of Granada
Most of those place is easy to find since they are really popular in Nicaragua. You could find a cheap bus ticket with travel guides across those beautiful places.
Tourist General Risk: MEDIUM
Nicaragua is relatively safe to visit, but you should keep in mind that minor robberies and violent crimes are extremely common here, so all precautionary measures must be taken.
Risk in Taxis and Transportation: MEDIUM
Taking public transport at night is highly inadvisable, due to the presence of criminals, both on public transport and on roads. Calling a taxi or sharing a taxi with another person is much safer and more usual
Risk of Natural Disasters: MEDIUM
As for natural disasters, there are a few that affect Nicaragua, such as earthquakes, that can occur at any time. Then there is the hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, and the rainy season, which often leads to flooding. There are some active volcanoes in Nicaragua, the most dangerous is San Cristóbal, which has been active since December 2012.
Assault Risk: HIGH
There have been reports of unauthorized taxis that kidnap people for ransom. Assaults, robberies, and rapes are also frequent. Be very careful.
Terrorism Risk: LOW
Although there has been no terrorist attack in the recent history of Nicaragua, they should not be ruled out. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Risk of Scam: HIGH
As in all countries, taxi drivers can try to charge you more. Apart from that, double-check the change, and negotiate everything in advance. Tourists are strongly advised not to use public ATMs, or if they do, not to show their credit cards publicly.
There have been many cases of credit card fraud in Nicaragua, as well as cases of extortion calls.
There is an extreme threat of misdemeanors. Pickpockets operate mainly in the main cities of Nicaragua. You must be extremely careful, especially in the markets. Take as little as possible. and never carry money in a purse or in a back pocket.
The Risk for Traveling Women: MEDIUM
Women who travel alone are recommended to be careful with men, including employees of hotels, shops, and men who provide any type of tourist service. Many women have been sexually assaulted on the beaches of Nicaragua, so they are strongly advised not to walk alone, both day and night. Women should be prepared for rude comments from men when they walk alone through the streets of Nicaragua.
So … How safe is Nicaragua really?
Although in recent years there is talk of a reduction in the crime rate in Nicaragua, in reality, it still has some very dangerous neighborhoods, especially in the north, wherein 2008 the gang violence started in Honduras.
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