Pre-Columbian statuary in the Museo Arqueológico Gregorio Aguilar Barea.

Things to Do in Juigalpa, Nicaragua

The last big settlement on the road southeast to El Rama, Juigalpa bears the traces of its indigenous roots in elaborate statuary and other archaeological pieces still being discovered. Spend your time in its incredible museum and enjoying its many city parks.

White-water rafting on the Río Tuma.

Things to Do Near Matagalpa

North of Matagalpa you’ll find plenty of things to do in fantastic opportunities to explore the incredible landscape. For where to stay, take advantage of the area’s ecolodges and farming co-operatives to get to know and support the locals.

The view from La Garnacha's mirador. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

The Best of Nicaragua in Two Weeks

Nicaragua has a popular, carved-out tourist route based on its principal, most developed attractions. The beaten path is made up of the Granada-Ometepe-San Juan del Sur circuit, which can be done in about a week. Save another week for volcano-boarding near León, wildlife-viewing in Estelí, and relaxing on remote Big Corn Island. Wherever you head, Granada is a good place to ease into things, with colorful surroundings, wonderful cuisine, and a central location.

The tops of wreckage emerge from the turquoise water at Nicaragua's Corn Islands.

Diving Nicaragua’s Corn Islands

Three distinct layers of reef, composed of more than 40 species of coral, protect the north side of Big Corn Island. The diving and snorkeling are impressive, and divers regularly see nurse sharks, eagle rays, and lots of colorful fish. The wilder Little Corn Island’s delicate reef system is unique for its abundance of wildlife and coral formations, including overhangs, swim-throughs, and the infamous shark cave.

Sunset in Solentiname. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

San Fernando and the Solentiname Islands

Solentiname’s best-known attraction is the creativity of its inhabitants, so don’t expect a lot of tourist infrastructure. Take a fully guided, four-day exploration of the entire Solentiname archipelago and the Río Papaturro in Los Guatuzos, including all its natural, archaeological, and cultural attractions.

Bilwi's main dock. Photo © Elizabeth Perkins.

Planning Your Time in Puerto Cabezas and the Río Coco

Isolated from the rest of Nicaragua by vast tracts of inaccessible forest and coastline, the municipality of Puerto Cabezas, its capital Bilwi, and the Río Coco watershed are remote and wild. Tourism is undeveloped throughout this region, which for some travelers makes it all the more enticing.