Travel Guide
Nicaragua which includes tropical scenes, rugged coastline and a sandy beach

Discover the active volcanoes, tropical islands, beautiful scenery and colonial architecture of Central America’s largest country.

Nicaragua is a fascinating Central American country with coastal beauty, pre-Columbian history and numerous outdoor activities. Enjoy the contrasts of two exciting coasts along the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

León in the north has museums, cathedrals and an exciting nightlife. Find art of Latin American masters in the Museo de Arte Fundación Ortiz-Gurdián. East of town, climb the active Cerro Negro Volcano and sandboard down its black slopes.

Travel to Managua, the capital, to admire the National Palace (Palacio Nacional), an impressive building that miraculously survived a devastating 1972 earthquake. See theater, ballet or a festival in the Rubén Darío National Theater nearby. Just north of the city, the Museum of Acahualinca features human footprints trapped in volcanic mud that’s thousands of years old.

In Granada, climb to the top of the bell tower of Iglesia de la Merced (Church of Mercy), an ancient worn-looking church with a beautiful interior. Gaze across the city to see another colonial treasure, Granada Cathedral (Catedral de Granada). Explore the waterfront, drive into the cloud forest at the top of Mombacho Volcano and kayak around islets in Lake Nicaragua.

Visit the farmers markets of Estelí. See a remote waterfall and take a unique tour in this region of cigar factories.

Along the southwestern coast, enjoy the beaches of San Juan del Sur, where you can sunbathe or ride a horse. The surf scene here includes great wave conditions and an exciting nightlife. Find more surfing near Chinandega, farther north along the Pacific Ocean.

The two Corn Islands 43 miles (69 kilometers) off Nicaragua’s eastern Mosquito Coast in the Caribbean Sea offer excellent snorkeling and diving. Swim along the living coral reef among rays, dolphins and schools of colorful fish. On the mainland, enjoy sunrises and seafood in Bluefields and see the turtle hatcheries near the Pearl Lagoon.

Visit Nicaragua for Spanish language immersion while you enjoy attractions and activities. Check the U.S. State Department Nicaragua travel pages for any specific concerns before your travels.

Popular cities in Nicaragua

Managua which includes a city and a sunset
A rich cultural and natural heritage, including ancient crater lakes and remnants of 16th-century colonial architecture, characterize the Nicaraguan capital.

Reasons to visit

  • Managua Cathedral
  • Carlos Roberto Huembes Market
  • Puerto Salvador Allende
Leon featuring night scenes, a city and street scenes
Learn to surf, see turtles at coastal resorts and find out about the country’s complex past as you discover this fascinating Nicaraguan city.

Reasons to visit

  • Cathedral of Leon
Granada Cathedral showing a city, interior views and a church or cathedral
One of the oldest settlements in Nicaragua is known for its colonial architecture, churches and natural surroundings.

Reasons to visit

  • Granada Cathedral
Ometepe Island showing mountains as well as an individual female

Reasons to visit

  • Charco Verde Lake
San Juan del Sur featuring a coastal town, a bay or harbour and a sandy beach
San Juan del Sur
Join the sun-kissed surfers at the beautiful beaches of this colorful and fun-loving town located on Nicaragua’s sunny southwest coast.


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