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NicaraguaMexico and Central America

Discover the active volcanoes, tropical islands, beautiful scenery and colonial architecture of Central America’s largest country.

Nicaragua is a fascinating Central American country with coastal beauty, pre-Columbian history and numerous outdoor activities. Enjoy the contrasts of two exciting coasts along the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

León in the north has museums, cathedrals and an exciting nightlife. Find art of Latin American masters in the Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Gurdián. East of town, climb the active Cerro Negro Volcano and sandboard down its black slopes.

Travel to Managua, the capital, to admire the National Palace (Palacio Nacional), an impressive building that miraculously survived a devastating 1972 earthquake. See theater, ballet or a festival in the Rubén Darío National Theater nearby. Just north of the city, the Museum of Acahualinca features human footprints trapped in volcanic mud that’s thousands of years old.

In Granada, climb to the top of the bell tower of Iglesia de la Merced (Church of Mercy), an ancient worn-looking church with a beautiful interior. Gaze across the city to see another colonial treasure, Granada Cathedral (Catedral de Granada). Explore the waterfront, drive into the cloud forest at the top of Mombacho Volcano and kayak around islets in Lake Nicaragua.

Visit the farmers markets of Estelí. See a remote waterfall and take a unique tour in this region of cigar factories.

Along the southwestern coast, enjoy the beaches of San Juan del Sur, where you can sunbathe or ride a horse. The surf scene here includes great wave conditions and an exciting nightlife. Find more surfing near Chinandega, farther north along the Pacific Ocean.

The two Corn Islands 43 miles (69 kilometers) off Nicaragua’s eastern Mosquito Coast in the Caribbean Sea offer excellent snorkeling and diving. Swim along the living coral reef among rays, dolphins and schools of colorful fish. On the mainland, enjoy sunrises and seafood in Bluefields and see the turtle hatcheries near the Pearl Lagoon.

Visit Nicaragua for Spanish language immersion while you enjoy attractions and activities. Check the U.S. State Department Nicaragua travel pages for any specific concerns before your travels.

Popular cities in Nicaragua

Managua which includes a city and a sunset
Managua
Known for Tours, Volcanoes and Entertainment

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Reasons to visit
  • Puerto Salvador Allende
  • Masaya Volcano National Park
Leon showing a statue or sculpture and heritage elements
Leon
Known for Cathedrals, Walking and Tours

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Reasons to visit
  • Cathedral of Leon
San Juan del Sur featuring a coastal town, a beach and tropical scenes
San Juan del Sur
Known for Beaches, Bars and Surfing

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Esteli
Known for Tours, Coffee and Volcanoes

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Matagalpa
Known for Hiking, Chocolate and Libraries

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Puertas Azules
Known for Natural Parks

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Nicaragua