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Nicaragua Tourist Attractions

Nicaragua, the biggest Central American republic, is home to a host of tourist attractions. Tourism industry of the country has witnessed considerable development over the last decade and this had a positive effect on other industries of the country. Nicaragua tourist attractions include cities, islands, volcanoes, waterfalls, wildlife reserves, lakes, and beaches.

At present, tourism is the second biggest industry in Nicaragua. It makes a significant contribution to the Nicaraguan economy. Over the past seven years or so, the industry has experienced a countrywide growth of approximately 70%. Yearly growth rates range between 10% and 16%. With the significant development of the travel and tourism industry in the country, the industry is looking forward to becoming the biggest industry in the future.

Most of the people touring Nicaragua are Americans and Europeans. The top Nicaragua tourist attractions are as follows:

  • Masaya – Masaya is well known for its traditional handicrafts. The products of tourist interest that are found here include Leather goods, rocking chairs, large hammocks, jewelery, embroidered dresses, carved masks, toad skin purses and hemp tapestries.
  • Volcan Masaya National Park - This is an extremely beautiful national park. The entrance of this park lies outside Masaya. The journey through the park is a 7 km drive through cliffs of solidified lava and patches of tropical forest. The journey to the rim of an active volcanic crater involves fumaroles and bubbling mud. There is a museum, natural history exhibition and information center in the park.
  • Lake Nicaragua – This lake is home to the world's only freshwater sharks. The interesting part of the lake is the boat excursions to its many islands.

    Important tourist attractions in Granada include the following:
    • Xalteva Church
    • San Francisco Church and Museum
    • Plaza de la Independencia
    • Plazuela de los Leones
    • Cathedral
    • Central Park
    • La Merced Church

  • San Juan del Sur
    San Juan del Sur is a seashore town in southwestern Nicaragua, located on the Pacific Ocean. The town is a popular surfing location and is a tourist attraction for many domestic and international tourists. Tourists mainly get involved in surfing, fishing, and other activities. San Juan del Sur experiences a large number of footfalls from Canada, United States, and Europe. The town lies alongside a half-moon shaped bay.

    Most of the people visiting San Juan del Sur come for either holidaying or surfing purposes.
  • The Corn Islands
    The Corn Islands are one of the major tourist attractions near Nicaragua. They are basically two islands approximately 70 km east away from the Caribbean shore of Nicaragua. These two islands form one of the twelve administrative districts of the country. The Corn Islands comprise Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island. The area of Big Corn Island is 10 km2 and the area of Little Corn Island is 2.9 km2. Scuba diving and snorkeling are two popular activities in these islands. The variety of aquatic creatures found here includes the following:
    • Nurse sharks
    • Barracudas
    • Spotted eagle rays
    • Green turtles

  • Volcan Masaya National Park
    Volcan Masaya National Park is one of the major tourist destinations in Nicaragua. Situated at a distance of only 16 km from the national capital of Managua, the national park features tropical rainforest and a wide variety of animals. There is a natural history gallery and museum within the park. It will take just 20 minutes from Managua to reach this picturesque national park.
  • Ometepe Island
    Ometepe Island is located in the center of Lake Nicaragua. It is famous for being the biggest lake island in the world. Ometepe Island is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers.
  • Beaches in Nicaragua
    The beaches of this country draw millions of domestic and international tourists. These beaches are ideal locations for fishing, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Most popular beaches include the following:
    • Montelimar Beach
    • Poneloya Beach
    • La Boquita Beach

  • Maderas Volcano Natural Reserve
    It is a protected area in Nicaragua and a popular tourist destination. Maderas Volcano is one of the two volcanic cones that constitute Ometepe Island. This protected area is a favorite location for birdwatchers. Avian species seen here include parrots, waterfowl, and other types of neotropical birds.
  • Chacocente Wildlife Refuge
    This is a protected area by the Rio Escalante. Chacocente Wildlife Refuge is one of the most popular ecotourism spots in Nicaragua. This wildlife park is also popular among backpackers. You have to make a request to visit this place.
  • Indio Mais Biosphere Reserve
    You can reach this protected area from El Castillo on the Rio San Juan River. The reserve is a perfect example of moist tropical rainforest. You can get accommodations at cheap rates near the border of the forest. It is an ideal spot for adventure tours or safaris. Guided backpacking trips are offered to the tourists.
  • Mombacho Volcano
    Mombacho Volcano is one of the top tourist draws in the country. The most attractive feature of this volcano is a small cloud forest on its summit. Spectacular orchids, colorful hummingbirds, green trees, and coffee orchards are the popular aspects of this volcano. The spectacular sights of the neighboring regions are simply unforgettable.
  • La Flor Wildlife Refuge
    Situated close to the southern edge of Nicaragua, this protected area is a natural habitat for the Olive Ridley marine turtle. It is a heaven for nature lovers and marine biologists. La Flor Wildlife Refuge is a perfect ecotourism location.

    Rivas It is a picturesque town in the country, which is situated in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean. One of the most significant features of Rivas is the range of beach resorts where you can go and take part in many interesting activities like snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. Guided fishing charter tours are also available.
  • Lake Nicaragua
    Lake Nicaragua or Granada or Cocibolca is a huge freshwater lake in the country. It is the biggest lake in Central America. It is somewhat smaller than Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world. Major species of marine wildlife include the following:
    • Tarpon
    • Seafish
    • Sharks

  • San Ramon Waterfall
    San Ramon Waterfall is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Central America. It is situated on Ometepe Island.

    There is no scarcity of things to do and see in Nicaragua. Nicaragua tourist attractions make your visit to the country a memorable one.