Nicaragua is a beautiful and incredibly diverse country with lakes, lagunas, canyons, volcanoes, oceans, tropical forests and more. To really know Nicaragua, one must travel within it’s borders and explore and enjoy it’s many flavours. Here are some of the best places to visit while you are in Nicaragua.

San Juan del Sur

Of course, Dark Love Ink Tattoo Studio is located in San Juan del Sur, so we are a little bit biased on this one, nevertheless, San Juan del Sur is a fantastic place, vibrant and full of energy. San Juan is a place where beach and mountains collide, where young and not so young travelers surf the same waves and where you most definitely can have the vacation of a lifetime! Check out all the available activities in San Juan del Sur!

Christ of Mercy Statue San Juan del Sur nicaragua
Granada nicaragua central america
Granada

Granada is one of the most precious jewels of Nicaragua; it is home to dozens of stunning Spanish Colonial buildings that have miraculously survived the many pirate attacks the city has suffered in the course of the centuries; pirates such as the famous Henry Morgan. In Granada you can drink delicious coffee, eat a gourmet meal, experience great shopping and see beautiful architecture.

Laguna de Apoyo

Nicaragua is home to dozens of beautiful lagunas, but the Laguna de Apoyo is the most beautiful of them all. Its pristine, tranquil blue waters, set in a 200 year old crater are warmed up from both the Nicaraguan sun and from under the surface, by thermal vents, making it a fantastic place to spend a few lazy days, relaxing, swimming and soaking in the sun.

Isla Ometepe

The Island of Ometepe is obviously a must on your list of places to explore in Nicaragua. It is home to two impressive volcanos: Volcano Concepcion and Volcano Maderas. It is also covered in lush tropical forests, sandy beaches, and amazing clear water pools. If you are an animal lover, you will not want to miss the many monkeys populating the islands such as the howler monkeys and the adorable white face monkeys.

Léon

Even if Managua is the capital of Nicaragua, Leon truly is its metropolis, the Intellectual Capital of Nicaragua; abuzz with energy and diversity with its countless art galleries and many universities. Leon’s streetscape is truly beautiful, filled with amazing Colonial Architecture and awe-inspiring churches. In Leon you will find good shopping, excellent restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Leon Nicaragua cathedral
Corn Islands

The Corn Islands are two islands on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Leave the excitement of the mainland and come to the Corn Islands to find a completely different culture, white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, delicious spicy food, beautiful bays & quiet coves & even underwater caves.

Somoto Canyon

The Somoto canyon was formed over a period of thousands of year and is the result of the coco river gushing from underground and flowing towards the Caribbean sea. The Somoto Canyon is 3k long of crystal clear waters, with walls 160 meter high & widths of less than 10 meters in certain places. Take a swim in the Somoto Canyon, a truly unforgettable experience.

Somoto Canyon Nicaragua central america
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Masaya Volcano

The Masaya Volcano is an active volcano where you have the amazing opportunity to peer directly down, into the belly of the beast. When visiting the Masaya Volcano you can stand along a fenced area and look straight down at the bubbling red hot lava; a truly unforgettable experience!

Las Peñitas

Las Peñitas is a tiny fishing village near the city of Leon. It has a stunning 5km long beach, fun waves to surf & a good, relaxed vibe. You won’t find a lot of tourists or loud parties here, but you will find good restaurants & coffee shops.  If you are looking for a quiet & more traditional Nicaragua, las Peñitas is where you want to go.

las peñitas nicaragua Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve
Nicaragua northern highlands landscape
Northern Highlands

Get off the beaten paths and away from the backpacking trail and travel to the Northern Highlands of Nicaragua. Visit places like Matagalpa, Esteli & Jinotega where you will find colorful exotic birds, misty cloud forests, coffee and tobacco fields, impressive waterfalls and mind blowing canyons.