Travel Central America: Nicaragua

Are you someone who likes adventure? Looking for something a little off the beaten path? Then look no farther, your Central American experience awaits you in beautiful Nicaragua! Geographically, Nicaragua is the largest nation in Central America and is bordered by Honduras to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Costa Rica to the south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Nicaragua has a rich multi-cultural heritage and is a warm and welcoming location for visitors. The multi-ethnic population includes people of European, Asian, and African heritage as well as various indigenous tribal societies. The predominant language and culture are Spanish, but various native languages and English are also widely spoken. The mix of different cultures has contributed to a wide diversity of music, literature, folklore, and cuisine. You will find something for everyone in Nicaragua! The Caribbean coast is more like the African heritage while the Pacific coast leans toward the Spanish and European heritage.

Nicaragua can be divided into three main regions geographically: the lowlands of the Pacific Coast, the highlands of the Amerrisque Mountains, and the steamy jungles of the Mosquito Coast in eastern Nicaragua. The bulk of the population and most major cities, including the capital of Managua, are located in the fertile lowland plains of the Pacific Coast. These lowlands are also home to the two largest freshwater lakes in Central America, Lake Managua, and Lake Nicaragua. The soil of this region is enriched by ash from neighboring volcanoes in the mountains of Cordillera Los Maribos. The area around Lake Nicaragua is a biodiversity hotspot and is home to some of the world’s only freshwater sharks. The “hot lands” of this region are generally less than 2,000 feet in elevation and temperatures remain virtually constant throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to April, from May to October the region is visited by heavy rains. The capital of Managua boasts excellent restaurants and an active nightlife; for those of a more historical bent, you can admire the museums and colonial architecture of cities like Leon and Granada. church in LeonOne interesting fact is that the southwest shore of Lake Nicaragua is only 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and for this reason, Nicaragua has often been considered as a location for a second canal across the Central American isthmus.

The north-central highlands region offers an array of opportunities for ecotourism and a diverse variety of landscapes to visit. The rugged highlands are much less economically developed than the Pacific Coast and produce some agricultural products such as coffee, cattle, vegetables, and flowers. Gold can also be found in some areas of the highlands. The region averages between 2,000 and 5,000 feet in elevation and is considerably cooler than the coastal lowlands; it also has a longer and wetter rainy season so you might want to consider appropriate rain gear if traveling in the highlands. The cloud forests of the region offer a rich array of plant and animal life and resplendent tropical birds such as quetzals, goldfinches and toucanets are a common sight.El Castillo

The lowlands of Mosquito Coast make up over half the country’s territory; this region is sparsely populated. Cut through by large rivers, it is a hot and humid land but with a vast amount of biodiversity. The enormous Bosawas Biosphere Reserve protects more than 1,800,000 acres of the La Mosquita rain forest, making it the largest rainforest north of the Amazon. The Mosquito Coast is also rich in mineral wealth, and there are still many active gold mines in the region. Panning for gold in the rivers is quite common. Native birds found in the area include eagles, turkeys, toucans, parakeets, and macaws. Monkeys, anteaters, deer, and tapirs are also widespread. Culturally, the Mosquito Coast is somewhat distinct from the rest of Nicaragua. In addition to native languages, English predominates in the northern parts of the region due to a period of British rule. The population and culture here more closely resemble those of the Caribbean islands rather than the Spanish culture found elsewhere.Isla de ometepe shoreline

The main industries of Nicaragua are agriculture and tourism. Ecotourism, in particular, has seen a boom in recent years. During 2010 the country welcomed over one million visitors! Beautiful wind sand beaches and historic colonial architecture offer some of the main attractions. corn island beachYou may also want to take in the diverse flora and fauna of the Mombacho Volcano reserve, which includes cloud and dwarf forests that are unique to the region. The island of Ometepe in the midst of Lake Nicaragua is home to ancient pre-Columbian petroglyphs and archaeological sites. The island is composed of two very symmetrical (and beautiful!) active volcanoes and is definitely worth a visit. If adventure is what you desire, we can do sand boarding on a volcano or some high-intensity hikes along the avenue of the volcanoes of Nicaragua. For fishermen, the offshore and deep sea fishing from the Pacific coast are amazing.isla de ometepe volcano 2

Are you intrigued yet? If so, contact Condor Tours & Travel, Inc. today so that we can get you started on your Nicaraguan adventure! We are the go-to experts for travel in Latin America, and we have the local knowledge to plan the perfect vacation for you. Nicaragua, land of lakes and volcanoes, awaits you! Reach out to us via our web site at www.condortoursandtravel.com or email us at info@condortoursandtravel.com

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