Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Our Top Nine Things To Do In Nicaragua


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Madelene Tiller



Welcome to Nicaragua, a country rich in natural beauty, vibrant culture, and fascinating history. Located in Central America, Nicaragua offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. From exploring colonial architecture to hiking volcanoes, relaxing on pristine beaches, and discovering unique natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating destination.


Nicaragua boasts a unique blend of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences, making it a cultural melting pot that will enchant and intrigue visitors. The people of Nicaragua are known for their warmth and hospitality, eager to share their customs and traditions with visitors. Whether you’re wandering through the colorful streets of Granada, sipping on a traditional cup of coffee in Matagalpa, or enjoying a thrilling surfing session in Popoyo, you’ll be embraced by the welcoming spirit of the Nicaraguan people.


With its abundance of natural wonders, Nicaragua is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. From majestic volcanoes to pristine lakes and stunning beaches, the country offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re hiking up the Concepcion Volcano in Ometepe, kayaking through the waters of the Somoto Canyon, or catching a wave in San Juan del Sur, you’ll be captivated by Nicaragua’s breathtaking landscapes.


For history buffs, Nicaragua is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, colonial architecture, and fascinating museums. The city of Granada, with its well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings, offers a glimpse into the country’s past. Meanwhile, the city of Leon is known for its magnificent cathedral and vibrant street art scene. By immersing yourself in Nicaragua’s rich history, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for its culture and heritage.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and memorable travel experience, Nicaragua is a destination that will captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to discover the wonders of Nicaragua.


Explore the Colonial Architecture in Granada

Granada, with its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, is a captivating city that transports visitors back in time. Strolling through the streets of Granada feels like stepping into a living museum, with its colorful facades, ornate churches, and charming cobblestone streets.


One of the highlights of exploring Granada is a visit to the iconic Cathedral of Granada, which dates back to the early 16th century. This imposing structure showcases a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic and Baroque, and offers panoramic views of the city from its bell tower. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find beautiful artwork and intricate woodwork that pays homage to Nicaragua’s rich religious heritage.


Another must-visit attraction is the San Francisco Church and Convent, which is one of the oldest churches in Central America. Its yellow facade and imposing bell towers make it a distinctive landmark in Granada. Step inside to admire the colonial-era artwork, explore the museum, and visit the rooftop terrace for stunning views of the city and Lake Nicaragua.


For a glimpse into the city’s history and culture, wander through the streets of the historic center, Parque Central. This vibrant square is flanked by colorful buildings and bustling cafes, making it the perfect spot to relax and soak up the atmosphere. Don’t forget to visit La Merced Church, known for its striking yellow facade and beautiful views from its bell tower.


As you explore Granada, be sure to visit the local markets, where you can find traditional Nicaraguan handicrafts, delicious street food, and vibrant produce. The markets offer a unique insight into the daily life of the locals and provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.


To truly experience the charm of Granada, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city’s streets. This nostalgic mode of transportation is not only a delightful way to get around but also allows you to see the city from a different perspective as your guide shares stories and historical tidbits along the way.


With its captivating colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and rich history, Granada is a city that will transport you back in time and leave you enchanted with its beauty and charm.


Hike up the Concepcion Volcano in Ometepe

Ometepe Island, located in Lake Nicaragua, is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. One of the most thrilling experiences on the island is hiking up the majestic Concepcion Volcano, an active stratovolcano that stands at an impressive 1,610 meters.


The hike up Concepcion Volcano is not for the faint of heart, but the rewarding views and sense of accomplishment at the summit are well worth the effort. The trail takes you through lush rainforests, where you can spot a variety of wildlife, including howler monkeys, parrots, and butterflies. As you ascend, the air becomes cooler, and the landscape changes, with vegetation giving way to volcanic rocks and ash.


The hike is challenging, with steep inclines and uneven terrain, but there are experienced local guides available who can ensure your safety and provide valuable insights about the volcano and the island. It’s recommended to start the hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and give yourself enough time to reach the summit.


Reaching the top of Concepcion Volcano is an awe-inspiring experience. On clear days, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua, and even neighboring volcanoes in the distance. The summit also provides a glimpse into the volcano’s activity, with steam vents and swirling gases reminding you of its volatile nature.


It’s important to note that due to the volcanic activity, access to the summit may be restricted at times for safety reasons. Therefore, it’s always recommended to check with local authorities or tour operators before planning your hike.


As you descend from the volcano, take a moment to relax and rejuvenate at Ojo de Agua, a natural spring located at the base of the volcano. The crystal-clear water is fed by underground streams and offers a refreshing oasis to swim and unwind after your challenging hike.


Hiking up the Concepcion Volcano in Ometepe is an adventure that will test your physical endurance and reward you with unforgettable views and a sense of accomplishment. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of the natural wonders of Nicaragua.


Visit the Masaya Volcano National Park

For a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience, a visit to Masaya Volcano National Park is a must when in Nicaragua. Located just outside the city of Masaya, this national park is home to the active Masaya Volcano, one of the country’s most iconic and accessible volcanoes.


Upon entering the park, you’ll be greeted by the sight of billowing sulfuric gases rising from the volcano’s crater. It’s an otherworldly scene that captures the raw power and beauty of nature. The park offers several viewing areas where you can witness the volcanic activity and marvel at the lava lake nestled within the crater.


One of the highlights of visiting Masaya Volcano National Park is the opportunity to hike up to the crater. The moderately challenging hike takes you through the park’s lush rainforest, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings. As you make your way towards the summit, knowledgeable guides will share fascinating information about the geology and history of the volcano.


At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the crater and its active lava activity. As the sun sets, the glow of the lava creates a mesmerizing spectacle, illuminating the night sky. It’s a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the power and majesty of the natural world.


Aside from the volcano, the national park is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for colorful birds, such as parakeets and toucans, as well as mammals and reptiles that inhabit the area. The park also offers several scenic lookout points where you can capture stunning photographs of the surrounding landscape.


As you explore the park, be sure to visit the visitor center, which provides valuable information about the volcano’s history, geology, and ongoing research. There are also educational exhibits that highlight the importance of preserving and protecting the natural environment.


A visit to Masaya Volcano National Park is a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience that allows you to witness the raw power of nature up close. It’s a reminder of the dynamic forces that shape our planet and a testament to the incredible natural beauty of Nicaragua.


Relax on the Stunning Beaches of San Juan del Sur

If you’re dreaming of sun, surf, and relaxation, look no further than the beautiful coastal town of San Juan del Sur. Located on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, San Juan del Sur is renowned for its stunning beaches, vibrant beach town atmosphere, and world-class surf.


San Juan del Sur offers a wide variety of beaches to suit every preference. Whether you’re seeking a lively beach scene with beach bars and volleyball games or a secluded stretch of sand where you can unwind in tranquility, you’ll find it here.


Playa Maderas is a popular spot for surfers, with consistent waves that are perfect for beginners and experienced surfers alike. It’s a great place to take a surf lesson or simply sit back and watch the surfers catch some waves. The beach is surrounded by lush cliffs, offering a picturesque backdrop for your beach day.


If you prefer a more secluded and pristine beach, head to Playa Hermosa. This hidden gem is known for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. With its calm waters, golden sand, and surrounding tropical vegetation, it’s the perfect spot to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy a picnic.


For a lively beach scene, look no further than Playa San Juan del Sur. Located right in the heart of the town, this beach is a hub of activity. You can rent a surfboard, take a boat tour, or simply stroll along the shore and soak in the energetic atmosphere. Beachside restaurants and bars offer delicious seafood and refreshing cocktails, making it an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the local cuisine.


Aside from sunbathing and surfing, San Juan del Sur also offers a range of other beach activities. You can go kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or take a sunset cruise along the coast. The area is also known for its excellent sport fishing, so you may also consider booking a fishing excursion to try your luck at catching marlin, sailfish, or dorado.


When the sun sets, San Juan del Sur comes alive with beachside bonfires, live music, and vibrant nightlife. You’ll find a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants where you can dance the night away or simply enjoy a relaxed evening with friends.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a lively beach town experience, San Juan del Sur is a destination that has it all. With its stunning beaches and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that it has become a favorite choice for travelers visiting Nicaragua.


Discover the Beauty of Isla de Ometepe

Situated in the midst of Lake Nicaragua, Isla de Ometepe is a truly enchanting destination that should not be missed when exploring Nicaragua. This volcanic island is formed by two majestic volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas, and offers a unique blend of natural wonders, rich biodiversity, and cultural heritage.


One of the highlights of visiting Isla de Ometepe is the opportunity to explore its lush and diverse natural landscapes. The island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding. You can embark on a thrilling hike up the Maderas Volcano, which is renowned for its misty cloud forest and a beautiful lagoon at its summit. Along the way, you’ll encounter a myriad of exotic plants and animals, making it a paradise for nature lovers.


For a more relaxed experience, head to Ojo de Agua, a natural spring that is fed by fresh mountain spring water. Here, you can take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools or unwind in one of the hammocks while surrounded by the island’s breathtaking beauty. The area also boasts lush gardens and a vibrant bird population, providing a serene and tropical atmosphere.


The island is home to several charming villages where you can immerse yourself in the local culture. Altagracia, the largest town on the island, is known for its colonial-era church and interesting archaeological museum. The town also serves as a gateway to the Maderas Volcano, making it a popular base for hikers and adventurers.


Another must-visit village on Isla de Ometepe is Moyogalpa, the island’s main port and a vibrant hub of activity. Here, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as a bustling waterfront where you can watch the local fishermen bring in their daily catch.


As you explore Isla de Ometepe, you’ll also encounter the island’s friendly and welcoming residents. The indigenous communities that call the island home have preserved their traditions and customs, giving visitors a unique insight into their way of life. You can visit local artisans who create intricate pottery and crafts, or even participate in a traditional cooking class to learn about local cuisine.


One of the most unforgettable experiences on Isla de Ometepe is witnessing the mesmerizing sunsets over Lake Nicaragua. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or gazing at the horizon from atop a volcano, the vibrant colors of the sky reflecting off the tranquil lake create a truly magical moment.


Isla de Ometepe is a destination that seamlessly combines natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, exploration, or a deeper connection with nature, this captivating island has it all.


Experience Adventure in the Somoto Canyon

Tucked away in the northern region of Nicaragua, the Somoto Canyon is a hidden gem that offers an exhilarating adventure for nature enthusiasts. This stunning natural attraction is formed by the Coco River, which has carved deep canyons into the landscape over millions of years.


A visit to the Somoto Canyon promises a thrilling experience as you embark on a guided tour to explore its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush vegetation. The adventure begins with a scenic hike through the surrounding countryside, where you’ll witness the beauty of the landscape before reaching the canyon entrance.


Once inside the canyon, prepare to be amazed by the rugged rock formations and narrow passages that will make you feel like you’ve entered a hidden world. The best way to explore the canyon is by swimming, floating, and even cliff jumping in its refreshing waters. As you navigate through the canyon, your guide will point out interesting geological formations and share stories about the area’s history and cultural significance.


The Somoto Canyon offers a variety of activities to suit different interests and fitness levels. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, you can go rappelling down the canyon walls or try your hand at rock climbing. Alternatively, you can choose a leisurely boat ride along the river, allowing you to take in the majestic scenery at a more relaxed pace.


Throughout the tour, you’ll have opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife, including colorful birds, reptiles, and possibly even monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the local fishermen who skillfully navigate the canyon in traditional wooden canoes, providing a glimpse into the local way of life.


When the tour comes to an end, you’ll leave the Somoto Canyon with a sense of awe and a profound appreciation for nature’s power. The adventure and natural beauty of this hidden gem are sure to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.


Before visiting the Somoto Canyon, it’s important to book a tour with a licensed and experienced guide who can ensure your safety and provide insightful information about the area. They will provide any necessary equipment, such as life jackets and helmets, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


For those seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, an exploration of the Somoto Canyon should not be missed when visiting Nicaragua.


Take a Surfing Lesson in Popoyo

If you’re looking to catch some waves and experience the thrill of surfing, look no further than the charming beach town of Popoyo. Located on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, Popoyo boasts world-class surf breaks, making it a popular destination for surfers of all levels.


Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer seeking a new challenge, popping up on a surfboard and riding the waves is an exhilarating experience that is sure to create lasting memories.


Popoyo offers a variety of surf breaks suitable for different skill levels. Beginners can start with the gentle waves at Playa Guasacate, which provide a friendly and forgiving environment to learn the basics of surfing. Here, you’ll find qualified surf instructors who can guide you through the process, teaching you proper techniques and ensuring your safety in the water.


For more experienced surfers, the world-renowned break at Popoyo Reef offers powerful and consistent waves that will test your skills and provide an adrenaline rush. This challenging reef break attracts surfers from around the world, offering an opportunity to ride waves of varying sizes and shapes.


Aside from the incredible surf, Popoyo also offers a laid-back beach town atmosphere, where you can relax and soak up the sun after your surf sessions. Beachfront accommodations, cozy cafes, and vibrant beach bars provide the perfect setting to unwind and share stories with fellow surfers.


Beyond the surf, Popoyo is also close to a range of other natural attractions. You can explore the nearby mangrove forests, go horseback riding along the beach, or take a boat trip to nearby islands and observe the diverse marine life. It’s a destination that offers a mix of adventure and relaxation.


When planning your surf trip to Popoyo, it’s important to note that the surf conditions can vary depending on the time of year. The best surf season is typically from April to October, when the swells are more consistent. However, surf can still be found throughout the year, providing opportunities for surfers of all levels to enjoy the waves.


Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to try something new, taking a surfing lesson in Popoyo is an experience that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and a deeper connection with the ocean. So grab a board, paddle out, and prepare to ride the waves in this surfer’s paradise.


Explore the Coffee Farms in Matagalpa

Nestled in the lush highlands of northern Nicaragua, the region of Matagalpa is renowned for its rich coffee production. Exploring the coffee farms in Matagalpa offers a unique opportunity to learn about the intricate process of coffee cultivation, while immersing yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the area.


Matagalpa’s favorable climate, fertile soil, and elevated terrain make it an ideal location for growing high-quality coffee beans. As you venture into the coffee farms, you’ll be greeted by endless rows of coffee plants, their vibrant green leaves shimmering in the sunlight.


A visit to the coffee farms allows you to engage with the local farmers who meticulously tend to their crops. You can witness firsthand the traditional harvesting methods, where skilled pickers carefully select the ripe coffee cherries that are ready for processing.


Follow the journey of the coffee beans as they are taken to the processing facilities. Here, you’ll learn about the meticulous steps involved in removing the outer layers of the cherries to extract the precious beans. From pulping to fermentation, washing, and drying, each step plays a crucial role in creating the distinct flavors of the coffee.


During your exploration, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in a cupping session, where you can savor the aromatic flavors and nuances of the freshly brewed coffee. Expert tasters will guide you through the sensory experience, explaining the flavor profiles and characteristics of the different varieties.


Beyond the coffee tasting, a visit to the coffee farms in Matagalpa allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscapes that surround the plantations. The rolling hills, misty forests, and cascading waterfalls create a picturesque backdrop as you explore the coffee-filled valleys.


If you’re particularly interested in experiencing the full coffee journey, consider a farm stay experience where you can spend a few days living and working on a coffee farm. This immersive experience provides a deeper understanding of the labor-intensive process and allows you to truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of the farmers.


Don’t forget to visit the local coffee shops in Matagalpa, where you can enjoy a freshly brewed cup of Nicaraguan coffee and bring home a bag of your favorite beans as a souvenir. These beans, sourced directly from the local farms, make for a delightful memento of your coffee farm exploration.


Exploring the coffee farms in Matagalpa is an enriching experience that offers a deep insight into the world of coffee production while immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the region. It’s a journey that will awaken your senses and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the art of coffee craftsmanship.


Discover the Charming City of Leon

Located in western Nicaragua, the city of Leon is a captivating destination that offers a rich blend of history, culture, and architectural beauty. Known as the intellectual and cultural hub of the country, Leon is a city that stimulates the senses and captivates the hearts of its visitors.


One of the main attractions in Leon is its stunning colonial architecture. The city is adorned with grand churches, colorful buildings, and picturesque squares that transport you back in time. The Cathedral of Leon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit. This imposing structure boasts an intricate baroque façade and houses a collection of religious art and artifacts.


As you stroll through the streets of Leon, you’ll encounter vibrant murals and street art that showcase the city’s creative spirit. The art scene is thriving, and you can visit local galleries and workshops to admire the talent of the city’s artists.


For history enthusiasts, Leon offers a glimpse into Nicaragua’s revolutionary past. You can visit the Museum of the Revolution, located in the former residence of dictator Anastasio Somoza, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Sandinista Revolution and its impact on the country.


Leon is also known for its lively culinary scene. The city boasts an array of restaurants and street food stalls where you can savor traditional Nicaraguan dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the local specialty, “quesillo,” a delicious treat made from tortillas, cheese, and cream.


Music and dance are an integral part of the city’s culture. You can immerse yourself in the lively rhythms of salsa and merengue by visiting one of the local dance clubs or catching a live performance at one of the city’s many venues.


A visit to Leon would not be complete without exploring its natural surroundings. The nearby Maribios volcanic range offers opportunities for outdoor adventure, such as hiking up the Telica Volcano or sandboarding down the slopes of Cerro Negro. These thrilling experiences allow you to witness the raw power and beauty of Nicaragua’s volcanic landscapes.


Finally, don’t forget to visit the local markets, such as the Mercado Central, where you can browse for souvenirs, handicrafts, and fresh produce. Engaging with the friendly locals and experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of the markets is a true delight.


With its rich history, architectural beauty, vibrant culture, and natural wonders, Leon is a city that beckons to be explored. Whether you’re interested in history, art, gastronomy, or adventure, Leon offers a myriad of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Nicaragua.



Nicaragua is a country that has it all – from colonial architecture to stunning natural landscapes, exhilarating adventures to relaxing beach getaways, and vibrant cultural experiences to delicious culinary delights. It is a destination that captivates the hearts of its visitors with its warm hospitality, rich history, and breathtaking beauty.


Exploring the colonial architecture of Granada and Leon allows you to step back in time and witness the splendor of Nicaragua’s colonial past. The cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and magnificent churches transport you to a different era, while the vibrant markets and lively atmosphere provide a glimpse into the daily life of the locals.


Nicaragua’s natural wonders are nothing short of awe-inspiring. From hiking volcanoes in Ometepe and exploring the fiery landscapes of Masaya Volcano National Park to relaxing on the stunning beaches of San Juan del Sur and discovering the beauty of Isla de Ometepe, the country offers a diverse range of outdoor experiences for nature enthusiasts and adventure lovers.


The Somoto Canyon provides an adrenaline-pumping adventure as you navigate its narrow passages and swim in its crystal-clear waters, while a surfing lesson in Popoyo allows you to catch some waves and experience the thrill of riding the Pacific swells.


Immersing yourself in the world of coffee on the farms of Matagalpa gives insight into the meticulous process of coffee cultivation while savoring the flavors of Nicaragua’s world-renowned beans. Lastly, exploring the charming city of Leon with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture offers a well-rounded experience of Nicaragua’s culture and heritage.


Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, a cultural immersion or an exploration of nature, Nicaragua has something to offer every traveler. It’s a destination that will leave you in awe of its beauty, charmed by its people, and with memories to last a lifetime.


So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and let Nicaragua enchant you with its captivating allure.