Nicaragua: Our idea of Central America. It is stunning, easy to visit but most of all absolutely unspoiled. And we just need 60 seconds to prove it. Tim spent one week here in late September and definitely recommends it to everyone.
It went all too fast? You want the details? No problem. Here are our recommendations in order of appearance:
00:06 Cascada Blanca, Matagalpa
Nicaragua has lots of beautiful and very original waterfalls. The Cascada Blanca near Matagalpa, Matagalpa is one of them. It’s not a long walk from the street to get there and there’s a very nice restaurant with an included guest house: The Eco-Lodge Cascada Blanca. This place is very popular amongst the locals who come here for a swim especially on weekends.
00:10 Sloth Content
Yep. You get them here – a lot. And you don’t have to visit a national park to see them.
00:14 Cuallitlan Hotel
When you’re in Estelí you might encounter difficulties to find a place to stay that you would consider “traditional”. The Hotel Cuallitlan is something like this. The lovely owner greets every guest herself and did a lot of artwort throughout the resort. The little cottages have small hammocks on their front porches. Simple but beautiful.
00:17 Selva Negra and Tourism
Selva Negra means “Black Forest” – a region that is actually located in Germany. But since a German family brought a coffee plantation here in the late 19th century, they renamed the whole area. You can stay on the huge Selva Negra, Nicaragua farm and see yourself why it is considered to be one of the most sustainable resorts in the world by tripadvisor.
On the other hand: Tourism.
Nicaragua is a country that you could call “unspoiled”. After the civil war they had other issues but developing a tourist industry and this is a very good thing for you as a traveler: Prices are low, you won’t have any issues concerning the classical tourist crimes and meet a lot of locals that are actually interested in why you are here.
Managua is kind of a forgotten capital of Central America. But it has gone through a huge development in the past years. The best place to see it from above is the Parque Histórico Loma De Tiscapa
00:26 Masaya Volcano
What makes the earth move? Right. Volcanos. There are no fewer than 19 in this little country. Some of them are active and can be visited easily. The Volcán Masaya for example is very close to Managua. You can go there by night and by day and see the stunning lava 300 meters down in the crater.
00:32 El Castillo del Cacao – Carretera Sur
Damn they make good chocolate there. The little factories can be visited easily and sell their world famous chocolate for the lowest prices you can imagine.
You have to go to Estelí (Stadt) – probably the world’s capital for tobacco. No less than 80% of the population work for the cigar industry. By the way: They only produce cigars here, cigarette tobacco does not grow in Estelí. I visited the factories of Plasencia Cigars and Joya de Nicaragua Cigars Even if you’re a non smoker: Do it!
00:38 Flor de Cana
Nicaragua is the proud distributor of Central Americas favourite booze: Flor de Caña. A very, very, very good rum for a very nice price. They mix it, of course, with Coke. But noone will understand you, when you’re ordering a “Cuba Libre”. You’re in Nicaragua. It’s NICA Libre.
Until 1990 Nicaragua was in constant chaos. The revolutionary forces tried to overthrow the dictator Somoza for more than 11 years.
But Sandino, the national hero, had nothing to do with the latest revolution. He was the leader of another rebellion against the US occupation between 1927 and 1933. You’ll find evidences of the war on every corner and yes it can be quite confusing – but I enjoyed it very much that you can ask every local what the revolution meant to the country.
I’m not joking in the video: Mobile reception is not available everywhere. But I would never call Nicaragua an underdeveloped country. In fact the infrastructure is great. Overland busses are plenty and easy to use. There may be no trains anywhere, but you just don’t need them.
The city is just a one hour drive north of the capital managua and is definetely worth a visit: Djungle, Cocoa and Coffee await you. And, as seen in the video, a very nice lookout point above the city. A very convenient and nice place to stay is one of the very few hostels there: Hostal La Buena Onda