Nicaragua – Nation of Beaches and Natural Beauty
Nicaragua, with its beaches, architecture, scenic routes, and agritourism and ecotourism, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America.
Nicaragua was conquered by the Spanish during the early part of the 16th century. After getting independence in 1821, the country became a republic in 1838. It was again annexed by the British in early 19th century. It was attacked by the United States in 1909 for opposing its erstwhile President, Zelaya, and his liberal policies for Nicaragua. It remained under U.S rule between 1912 and 1933. Nicaragua went into the hands of the Somoza Family between 1936 and 1979. This dictatorship was followed by insurgencies and internal infighting throughout the 1980s.
Popular Places and Attractions
Nicaragua is home to some of the most amazing volcanoes and lakes in the world. Momotombo and Mombacho are two of its major volcanoes located in the Pacific lowlands. Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua are also found here. The Nicaraguan sharks, the only freshwater sharks in the world, are found in Lake Nicaragua. The world’s largest lake island, the Omtepe Island is also located in this lake.
Leon, San Juan Del Sur and Tola are the centres of Nicaragua’s beach tourism. The Brito Beach and Chacocente’s Turtle Reserve are two of the most interesting places here. In fact, turtles are very commonly found on Nicaraguan beaches. Leon and Granada are known for their colonial heritage in the form of churches, buildings and cathedrals. The Momotombo and El Hoyo volcano are located in Leon and volcanic treks are quite popular here. The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve and the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve are popular for their biodiversity.
Planes, boats, cars, buses, minibuses and taxis are the various modes of transport available for getting around Nicaragua, the best guide is to keep some money handy to pay for your travel.
Places for Entertainment
Restaurants, bars, casinos, discotheques and clubs are the usual places for entertainment in Nicaraguan cities. Cinemas and theatres featuring exhibitions, cultural performances and concerts can also be visited.
Avid shoppers would want to visit Mercado Oriental which is the country’s biggest market. Traditional crafts, gold-work, embroidery, paintings, hand-carved wood and shoes are some of the popular local items of Nicaraguan markets.
Nicaraguan lakes make for excellent swimming venues. Trailing and horseback riding amongst the forests and hiking on volcanoes are few other adventures that can be taken up while in Nicaragua. The city of San Juan Del Sur and its surfing facilities are ranked amongst the top 5 in the world.
Hammocks, budget hotels, youth hostels, guesthouse, bed & breakfast, beach resorts, dorm rooms, backpacker hostels, private rooms, inns and pensiones are the usual modes of tourist accommodation available in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua has adopted the Nicaraguan Gold Cordoba (NIO) as its official currency, check the news and internet for the latest exchange rates. Money can be exchanged at airports, banks and foreign exchange bureaus. Traveller’s cheques and credit cards are also accepted at many places but it is suggested to prefer carrying the local currency above these forms of payment.
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