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MAIN Arrow to TravelTravel Arrow to Central AmericaCentral America Arrow to Nicaragua Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua
View of Mombacho Volcano
from Lake Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major cities to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua
What to see:
Managua, Leon, Granada, Lake Nicaragua, Mombacho Volcano, Isletas de Granada
Currency: gold cordoba
Official language(s):

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and also among its poorest. Although the country is still thought of as a hots pot for civil unrest, today it is relatively safe and inexpensive to travel about the country.

With an almost non-existent train rail system, buses are the modern and comfortable mode of transportation for seeing Nicaragua outside the main cities of Managua, (the capital), Leon and Granada.

Most travelers will begin their journey in the capital city, offering lush, tree-lined streets, cheap and affordable accommodations, a variety of fine international restaurants and a swinging nightlife, along with an extensive lagoon system and nature reserve all within city limits.

Top attractions begin at Plaza of the Revolution, including stops at the Catedral de Santiago (Old Cathedral), the National Theater, and the impressive National Palace of Culture. Also don't miss a stroll around Parque Central (Central Park) featuring historical monuments to Nicaraguan national heroes and poets.

About 1 1/2 hours away from the capital is Leon, the nation's second largest city. While here, don't miss a visit to the Leon Cathedral, the largest in Central America.

garden entrance, Granada, Nicaragua
Garden entrance, Granada

Leon is rich in Spanish colonial history as well as providing easy access to nearby coastal Pacific beaches and beautiful offshore islands.

To the south lies Granada, located on Central America's largest freshwater lake, Lago Cocibolca (a.k.a. Lake Nicaragua or Lake Granada). The historic colonial settlement is the oldest in the Western hemisphere, offering a lively city center, colorful markets, and coastal lake boat tours around Volcan Mombacho and the peacefully beautiful Granada Islets.


DID YOU KNOW? Nicaragua Travel Fun Facts

Oldest footprints.

2100 year old human footprints are preserved in volcanic mud near the lake in Managua, Nicaragua making them the oldest footprints on the American continent.

• Bull sharks which once swam upstream from the Pacific ocean to Lake Nicaragua eventually adapted to live in fresh water. Today, they are the only freshwater sharks to be found in the Western hemisphere.

• There are no street names in the Nicaraguan address system. Directions are usually given via landmarks such as "the first street after the big church and then left next to the small white house."

• Off the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, the Corn Islands were either named for the corn that used to grow or for the misspelling of "carne" (meat in Spanish) by English buccaneers who settled there. English is still spoken on the islands.

More about Nicaragua travel & tourism around the Web: - The official travel site featuring information and photos of top attractions by city or town with related feature stories on entertainment, culture and historical highlights, blog reports & weather facts, related resources.

Introducing Nicaragua - Lonely Planet - Good insider guide to top attractions including looks at Corn Islands, Granada, Managua, Leon and more with photos & maps, travel safety tips.

Nicaragua Living - Online community of travelers, ex-pats and business people with ties to Nicaragua offering an active online forum, photo galleries, maps, information on top attractions and getting around, related resources.

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