The Best of Nicaragua
- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Like other countries in the region, Nicaragua has a popular, carved-out tourist route based on its principal, most-developed attractions. Nicaragua’s beaten path is made up of the Granada–Ometepe–San Juan del Sur circuit, which can be done in about one week; save another week for tackling the northwestern lowlands and a third week for the Atlantic coast or Río San Juan.
Wherever you head, Granada is a good place to ease into things, with colorful surroundings, wonderful cuisine, and more creature comforts than elsewhere in the country.
Arrive in the afternoon at Managua’s International Airport. Transfer to a hotel in town, catch a performance, enjoy some of the local restaurants, and above all, get accustomed to the heat and relax after your flight.
Hop a bus to Granada and spend at least two or three days there. Tour the city the first day, visit museums and enjoy the languid waterfront. Your second day, paddle to the nearby isletas or go hiking on Volcán Mombacho, whose heights above the city make for a cool day.
Using Granada as your base, make a day trip to the city of Masaya and its the active volcano of the same name. Start early at Volcán Masaya National Park, then browse the handicrafts in the Old Market. Return to Granada that evening.
Pack up and head south. Catch the boat at San Jorge to Ometepe. Spend 2–3 days exploring the island’s unique getaways, or arrange a guide to take you to the top of one of the volcanoes for more adventurous travel.
Catch a ride to Matagalpa, then continue east to the village of San Ramón. It will take you the better part of a day to get here, so enjoy the afternoon and that plate of gallo pinto waiting for you in the mountains. Spend the next two days hiking to the mines and touring a coffee farm or two.
Return to Managua and take the afternoon flight to Corn Island. Spend two days on Corn Island and two days on Little Corn, soaking up sun, fresh lobster, island vibes, and perhaps a dive on the reef.
Take the morning flight back to Managua to see a few more of the city’s sights before last-minute shopping at the Mercado Roberto Huembes.
¡Adios, jodido! ¡Feliz viaje!
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition