Nicaragua, Central America's largest republic (the size of New York State) is a friendly land of volcanoes, lakes, offshore islands, 565 miles of combined Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, and as their current advertising proclaims is A Country with a Heart.
From capital city Managua one may cruise upon two volcano-trimmed lakes, tour the historic colonial city of Granada, ascend smoking Masaya volcano, and shop scores of artisan markets for hammocks, ceramics and unique souvenirs.
For the active traveler Nicaragua offers surfing safaris, mountain biking, spelunking, and trekking in newly created national reserves. Scores of tiny islands in Lake Nicaragua boast small, new hotels, and centuries-old megalithic statues of the mysterious Chorotega civilization.
The great beach at Montelimar boasts Central America's largest resort, and the tiny Corn Islands in Nicaraguas Western Caribbean may have the have the smallest number of rooms of any paradise topic isle in all the Americas.
Biggest news in Nicaragua today is the rebirth of former capital city Granada. Since the turn of this century the remarkable city, that dates to 1524, has seen once decaying colonial buildings restored, refurnished and re-opened as a wide ranges of businesses. Best example may be La Gran Francia, an imposing, luxury, downtown hotel now offering four-star accommodations in a stately setting. Check it out at: www.lagranfrancia.com
In addition to restoration Granada has become a magnet for retired North Americans. A growing real estate boom in underway with retirement homes being built in both Granada and in the nearby Pacific coastal resort of San Juan del Sur. Take a look at Investment Opportunities at Pacific Marlin at: www.rcalvet.com
Granada isnt the only place retirement and tourism are being developed. Several new country inns, now converted into luxurious hideaways, are located near volcanic lakes and in old coffee plantations. Check out one of the best which is located less than hours drive from capital city Managua popularly called Las Nubes www.hotelbosquelasnubes.net
Hand-in-hand with hotel and resort development has come an improved infrastructure. New roads link major attractions, and a well administered, government/private sector tourism initiative is underway. Check the website link on our menu to the left for new, excellent, travel information sites.
Internal transportation has also improved greatly in the past few years. Two domestic airlines, Atlantic and La Costeña, now offer service from Managua as far east as Great Corn Island. TAXANIC (Taxis Aéreos de Nicaragua) is a reliable air charter service for travel to adventure and eco-travel sites.
And theres plenty of adventure to experience! For soft adventure one may climb volcanoes (or ride the new bench busses up Mombacho Volcano). All water sports are offered both in the Pacific and Caribbean. Exotic diving is being discovered in Nicaraguas remote Pearl Lagoon.
Most popular beach, however, continues to be Montelimar now a popular, all-inclusive, oceanfront resort under the management of Spains Barcelo hotel chain.
And dont forget Managua! The capital city has plenty to see and do plus casino action and lively nightlife. Managua boasts several luxury hotels including the unique, pyramid-shaped, former Intercontinental Managua, now a Crown Plaza. The hotel boasts Howard The Aviator Hughes old suite on the eighth floor.
Today, bargain-priced Nicaragua is set to give Costa Rica, its good neighbor to the south, real competition as a premier Central American vacation destination thats only just over a two hour American Airlines jet flight from the USA.
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