Travel Nicaragua

Nicaragua itinerary

Volcanoes, lakes and colonial gems

Follow our Nicaragua itinerary

Masaya
Granada
Léon
Isla Ometepe
Golfo de Fonseca
Copan

Duration: at least 2 weeks

Best time to travel: October – June

Budget: $ 40 per day

Nicaragua seems to have it all: Rich culture, lush vegetation, 500 km of coastline on both the Caribbean and the Pacific, relaxed surf villages and picturesque colonial cities. To top it off, Nicaragua is home to six active and 13 inactive volcanos. There is so much to learn and to experience in Nicaragua that it’s impossible to spend one dull moment.

Nicaragua boasts 500 km of coastline on both the Caribbean and the Pacific. With such a variety of beaches, there is sure to be one that suits your taste. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed surf village or a picturesque colonial city, you’ll find it in Nica. And don’t forget about the delicious food!

  • Culture 90% 90%
  • Food 85% 85%
  • Volcanos 110% 110%
  • Beaches 100% 100%

Prices are affordable, making it the perfect place to visit on a budget. We left Nicaragua via Potosi and had a fantastic time! Thanks for everything, Nicaragua! We’ll be back soon! Beaches in Nicaragua are some of the most beautiful in Central America. With glistening turquoise waters and beautiful white-sand beaches beckoning you, Nicaragua is an authentic slice of paradise!

Discover Nicaragua

Why visit Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s beaches

If you’re dreaming of a tropical paradise away from the crowds, look no further than Nicaragua. Located on Central America’s stunning Pacific coastline. Nicaragua is home to hundreds of miles of pristine beaches that are perfect for those looking for a little rest and relaxation. Whether you’re looking to bask in the sun or take some epic surfing lessons, Nicaragua has something for everyone.

Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast

In the Caribbean, you’ll find Little and Big Corn Island islands off the coast of Nicaragua. It’s beautiful with white sand beaches, clear blue water, and lush vegetation. Many activities keep you busy, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. The food on the island is amazing, and you can find affordable accommodation. Little Corn Island is the perfect place to relax and enjoy
the natural beauty of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s Pacific coast

On the Pacific Coast where you’ll find miles of unspoiled coastline. This part of Nicaragua is known for its surfing, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you’ll be able to find the perfect waves here. Playa Maderas is one of the most popular beaches on the Pacific Coast, and it’s perfect for surfing, swimming, and relaxing on the beach. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, head to Playa Hermosa, where you can relax in a hammock with a cold drink in hand.

Nicaragua’s best beaches:

 

beach in Agadir, Morocco
Morocco surfing

Nicaragua’s volcanos

Nicaragua is a geological hotspot — 19 volcanoes are strung across the west coast of this Central American country. All have played a part in literally shaping the country. Hiking and climbing enthusiasts searching for a new adventure should consider Nicaragua as their next destination. Apart from being fun to climb, the volcanoes in Nicaragua serve as an incredible backdrop for an abundance of natural beauty, including beaches, forests, and lakes. Some of the more popular volcanoes to hike and climb include Cerro Negro, which is an active volcano last erupting in 1999, Momotombo, a symmetrical stratovolcano that towers over Lake Managua, and Concepcion, one of Nicaragua’s most iconic volcanoes. You can even see glimmering lava at Masaya Volcano, an active volcano that has been spewing lava and ash since December 2015.

Breathtaking volcanos in Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s colonial cities

Controversy and exploitation aside, centuries of Spanish rule have left Nicaragua with some amazing colonial architecture. The most noticeable examples can be found in the cities of Granada and León, which feature a number of grandiose churches and cathedrals. However, there are also many hidden gems to be found in the smaller cities and towns, such as Masaya. So if you’re looking for a taste of the past, be sure to check out some of Nicaragua’s colonial architecture. You won’t be disappointed!

Nicaragua’s most charming colonial cities:

Granada, Nicaragua: dani in front of church
Morocco surfing

Food culture in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan food is hearty and filling, with a focus on beans, rice, and meat. One of the most popular dishes is Gallo pinto, which is a mixture of rice and beans that is typically served for breakfast. Another popular dish is vigoron, which consists of boiled yucca topped with cabbage salad and pork cracklings. If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, try tres leches, a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk and served with whipped cream. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find it in Nicaragua. Admittetly, Nicaragua’s cuisine is not very vegetarian-friendly. 

Get ready to travel to Nicaragua

Language: Spanish

Currency: Córdoba Oro

Public Transport in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a cheap and easy country to visit for those on the move. The local buses are North American-style school buses. However, an increasing number of express minibusses serve more popular routes with cheaper fares that can be paid in córdoba currency only – as opposed to dollars or euros which are used throughout most parts of Central America today (though not always). Most intercity trips begin running between 4 am and 7 am leaving about every thirty minutes; longer journeys cost between 1$-$20 depending upon how far you want to go along this frontier region’s Pacific coastline! There may also appear some information at the front.

Weather in Nicaragua

The best time to visit Masaya and its natural surroundings is from November to April, The Caribbean season is experiencing hurricanes from May – November.

Safety

Nicaragua is generally a safe country to travel to, but there are some things to be aware of. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common in crowded areas such as markets and bus stations. There has also been an increase in violent crime in recent years, so it’s important to be cautious when out and about, especially at night. Traveling in groups and keeping your belongings safe and secure is always a good idea. You should have no problem staying safe in Nicaragua with a little common sense.

Internet & Phone

Claro or Tigo (formerly Movistar) are the two biggest phone providers in Nicaragua. I have been using both and had a pretty good expereince. I highly recommend to get the sim card activated at the store. Make sure to bring your passport! Both Movistar and Claro also work in Costa Rica.

Tap water in Nicaragua

After a personal experience with some parasites: Tap water in Nicaragua is not good to drink! Bring a Lifestraw Go to get clean and cool drinking water. 

Biggest challenges for the responsible traveler

Trash: Often, you’ll find food vendors selling typical Nicaraguan dishes on the go. It’s not just delicious but cheap. To avoid plastic wrapping, choose to buy your food at the bus stations and have them put it in your collapsible container. Bring your Lifestraw Pro to avoid having to buy bottled water. 

Sunscreen: Protect Marine life and wear reef-friendly sunscreen!

Packing List Nicargua

Nicaragua is super diverse and offers plenty of things to do. Check out our packing list, get ready for an incredible adventure!

Going to Central America?

Let us inspire you!
More Central American destinations

PLACES TO VISIT NICARAGUA

Often overlooked, Nicaragua is home to friendly people, dramatic landscapes and rich culture!

Copan –  a pleasant if not surprising stop in Honduras

Copan – a pleasant if not surprising stop in Honduras

We traveled to Central America a couple of times and had the chance to see several Maya sites along the way. Each impressive in its own way. Contrary to other Maya ruins across Central America. You’ll often have Copan to yourself. The mysterious archaeological site boasts remarkable hieroglyphics and sculptures. On top of that, the town of Copan itself is drop-dead charming.

Maya Ruins & City life

Copan

Honduras majestic Maya ruins

Although it’s not as well known as some other Maya ruins in Central America, it’s no less impressive. Ruinas de Copan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins are spectacularly well-preserved and offer a sneak peek into Maya culture and architecture. The city of Copan has a very cool vibe and is a great starting point to ease yourself into Honduras. 

City & Nature

Granada

Nicaragua's colonial beauty

Granada was filled with its own unique charm that immediately entranced us. It’s one of the oldest cities in the Americas, bursting with colorful buildings and winding alleys. Granada lies close to two magnificent lakes, Lake Apoyo and Lake Nicaragua, and an impressive list of volcanoes at its nearby destination of Volcano Masaya National Park.

City & Nature

Léon

A charming city, wild volcano rides and cool beaches

Léon, Nicaragua's second largest city, often feels overlooked in comparison to Granada, but the charming town is actually full of life. The city offers amazing culture and heritage, but it also provides incredible opportunities for exploring nature all around. The volcanos outside Léon are some of the majestic sights of Nicaragua!

Culture & Nature

Isla Ometepe

The mysterious volcanic island

From lush forests to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Nicaragua, Isla Ometepe is an unforgettable destination! Our journey there was such a thrilling adventure - it's the perfect spot if you're looking for majestic landscapes and breathtaking views.

Nature

Golfo de Fonseca

The most scenic border crossing

Getting from Nicaragua to El Salvador can be quite a ride if you travel by bus via Honduras. Luckily we stumbled upon the most scenic and relaxed way to cross borders: A boat ride via Golfo de Fonseca. Golfo de Fonseca is a gulf on the Pacific coast bordering Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras making it the most convenient way to cross borders between the countries (if the waters are calm)