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Discovering Nicaragua - My Extraordinary Experience & Top Recommendations

During the last years, the tourism industry in Nicaragua has being significantly growing and nowadays, this Central American hidden paradise is positively surprising many travelers with an authentic and splendid touristic offer.

This is one of the reasons of why I was recently invited by FENITUR and CANATUR to explore Nicaragua within a group of more than 60 travel agents from around the World and important international airlines on past June 2017.

During the Tourism fair day at Olof Palme Convention Center in Managua, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the main destinations and Nicaraguan highlights, stunning boutique hotels, luxury resorts and established commercial alliances with responsible suppliers. It was a pleasure to meet and share as well with Anasha Campbell, the Minister of Tourism of Nicaragua.

After the Tourism fair, each travel agent chose a post tour, selecting between: Granada, León, San Juan del Sur and Costa Esmeralda. Due my love for the beach, I selected of course the Emerald Coast tour with no idea about what to expect...

During my tour, I loved the Hotels I visited at Emerald Coast and get enchanted by it’s gorgeous beaches, also have change to visit the stunning Granada and took advantage for made a great networking, sharing my impressions and a wonderful time among with other travel agents from USA, Canada and Latin America.

Supported by one my favorites suppliers: Leonor Balmaceda, a local travel expert from Servitours, I have selected and created a top list of must visit destinations and hotels according with the taste and needs of our Eco-Travelers! I get happily amazed discovering that there are plenty hotels in Nicaragua, integrating sustainable practices looking for the preservation of the environment, supporting the communities and integrating the clients with local activities. These sustainable – luxury properties are the one I included on this list, hoping you fall in love with all of them as it happened to me.

The Seven Wonders of Nicaragua – Where to Stay:

History, culture, gastronomy, wellness, surfing, diving, adventure and nature are part of the Nicaragua’s extraordinary tourism offer. It’s time to choose from here your favorite destinations according to your favorite activities and lifestyle:

1. Managua, located on the shores of Lake Xolotlan, has been the capital of Nicaragua since 1852. In the historic center of the city, you will find the Central Park, the ruins of the Cathedral of Santiago, the National Palace of Culture and the National Theater Ruben Dario. Other interesting sites are Paseo Xolotlan, Salvador Allende Port and Tiscapa Historic Park. From here, you can enjoy truly worthy amazing one day tours to Leon, Masaya and Granada.

Where to Stay in Managua:

2. Granada, is the city I deeply fell in love with; the oldest city of the Americas, founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Granada welcomes visitors with its colorful colonial architecture, deep historical roots, mouth-watering international cuisine and extremely friendly people.

* Here I recommend you to stay 2 nights to discover all it’s wonders.

Where to Stay in Granada:

3. Leon, is a colonial city that stands out for its architecture and its important role in Nicaragua's history. You can visit two World Heritage sites, the ruins of León Viejo and the amazing Cathedral of Leon. Adventure lovers will love to do sand boarding at Cerro Negro Volcano, explore Telic or El Hoyo Volcanoes, and enjoy amazing landscapes.

* I recommend visiting this destination as a one-day tour or 1 night.

Where to Stay in Leon:

4. Masaya, is known as the cradle of Nicaraguan folklore due to its artisans’ towns and traditions. Among it’s destinations, we can mention Masaya Volcano National Park, the largest handicrafts market in Nicaragua, the beautiful Apoyo lagoon and the towns of Catarina and San Juan de Oriente.

* I recommend staying at this destination 2 nights or enjoying it in a one-day tour.

Where to Stay in Masaya:

5. Lake Cocibolca, is the largest lake in Central America. It holds two archipelagos (Las Isletas and Solentiname) with more than 300 islets, two larger Islands (Zapatera and Ometepe) and two volcanoes (Concepción and Maderas). Ometepe Island, is located on Lake Cocibolca and is known for its unmistakable eight-shape silhouette and its two volcanoes. The island was declared Biosphere Reserve for it’s beautiful scenery and biodiversity.

* I recommend staying at this destination 2 nights.

Where to Stay in Cocibolca:

6. Nicaragua’s Pacific Wonders:
San Juan Del Sur, holds one of the most popular beach towns of Nicaragua. Nowadays, its long waterfront is lined with delicious seafood restaurants, markets and decks overlooking the bay. Playa El Coco, located near San Juan del Sur, is the ideal place to enjoy the contact with nature, a few kilometers away is La Flor Wildlife Refuge, where thousands of Olive Ridley turtles come to lay their eggs between July and January.

Where to Stay in San Juan del Sur:

Emerald Coast and Tola, I have seen the most perfect waves at this area of Nicaragua, this is a must visit destination for surfers and wellness lovers! At Tola, there are beaches for all kinds of activities, some with calm waves and other for expert surfers, like Playa Popoyo, ranked globally as the 5th best beach in the world for its wonderful waves.

Where to Stay in Tola:

*I recommend staying at Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast San Juan del Sur or Emerald coast from 3 to 5 nights.

7. Corn Islands are a true Caribbean paradise. Their clear waters and beautiful white sand beaches are a delight for tourists who enjoy snorkeling and diving. Here you can enjoy the relaxing island lifestyle and experience the interesting local culture.

* I recommend staying at this destination 2 or 3 nights.

Where to Stay in Corn Islands:

Finally, I suggest you to take at least 7 days to discover all the Nicaraguan Highlights! I hope you liked my personal recommendations, let me know all your comments and don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance for your coming trip to Central America! Stay tuned :D

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