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Nicaragua: A Hidden Paradise to Discover

By Julia M. Robleto Flores

In the heart of the American continent, a land of lakes and volcanoes emerges known as Nicaragua, a country with old colonial cities, lonely beaches, impressive lakes and lagoons, many volcanoes, bodies of water, wild jungle, and breathtaking mountains with 70 different exotic ecosystems. It’s hard to believe that there are so many things to do in this country. I invite you to learn more about what is now one of the top tourist destinations in Latin America.

One of the most popular attractions in Nicaragua are the volcanoes. Currently, Nicaragua has 6 active volcanoes (San Cristobal, Telica, Cerro Negro, Momotombo, Masaya, and Concepcion) with some of the most unrestricted views that you will find on the planet. You can participate in fascinating activities at these volcanoes such as hiking, canopy tours, climbing active and dormant volcanoes, swimming in crater lakes, and sandboarding on the Cerro Negro volcanoes. Nicaragua also has a famous lake known as Lake Nicaragua. It is the only freshwater lake in the world known to have sharks. Rising out of the middle of Lake Nicaragua is Ometepe, an island that is formed by two volcanoes (Maderas and Concepcion). It’s an amazing and peaceful place to enjoy nature.

There are also beautiful beaches on both the Pacific and Atlantic coast in Nicaragua. You can choose the perfect beach for you in this country. Some of the beaches have calm currents; others have great waves for surfing; some are popular while others remain untouched by man. Generally, the Atlantic beaches have white sand while the Pacific beaches have darker sand, caused by an active volcanic chain that extends throughout the entire pacific region of Nicaragua. Also, you can visit beaches where you can watch the arrival of thousands of Olive Riddle Sea Turtles who come to lay their eggs.

The Nicaraguan people are cheerful and friendly and the culture on the Pacific coast is a mixture of Spanish and indigenous while on the Atlantic coast the culture has a stronger Afro-Caribbean influence such as the Garifuna community. For this reason, the Atlantic coast enjoys music that has intense and sensual rhythms and colorful costumes. Many tourists seek them out to enjoy their rich distinctive tunes.

“El Gueguense” is a satirical drama that represents the folklore of Nicaragua and combines Spanish and Indigenous theater, dance, and music. UNESCO declared this play an important representation of Nicaraguan folklore, calling it a “Masterpiece of the oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry in the Spanish-speaking world, with internationally renowned contributors such as Rubén Darío who is regarded as the most important literary figure in Nicaragua, referred to as the “Father of Modernism” for leading the modernist literary movement at the end of the 19th century.

A trip to Nicaragua is not complete without a visit to its colonial jewels, the majestic cities of Leon and Granada. These cities are fine examples of colorful Spanish colonial architecture, history, cathedrals, and the facades of its churches. Leon and Granada also have hotels, restaurants, local tour operators, bars, and clubs.

Nicaragua is the best kept secret in Central America. This country has a lot to offer so let yourself be surprised by the most authentic and safest country in Central America.

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