Planning for 2 Weeks in Nicaragua: The First Stop on Our Round-The-World Travels

Granada, Nicaragua (Photography Credit: welcometonicaragua.net)

Nicaragua is the first stop on our Round-The-World trip, so, naturally, I have spent the most time thinking about what to do in Nicaragua.  This destination is of significance because it’s the first stop on our Round-The-World trip, and I believe what we do here, will set the pace and direction of the rest of our nine months abroad.

How we travel, how will we approach unknown situation, and even the receptiveness of hotels and tourism companies (if any) to ‘host’ us as bloggers and provide us with content to review.  Will the reality of what we have decided to do (quit our jobs, pack our bags, leave our lives in North America behind, to travel) sink in when we are in Nicaragua?  How will I like being a full time travel blogger?  Will we be bored?

In my opinion, Nicaragua seemed like the perfect destination to begin our trip.  Its activities and attractions are a mix between city and beach, with good, hot weather year round!  It’s a relatively small region, so our two weeks there will give us enough time to get a taste of the country at a leisurely pace. I’ve heard many people visit Nicaragua for a week, and end up there for a month…or more!

Compared to Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua is more of a developing nation, so the experiences in Nicaragua may be more unique.  It’s also one of the most affordable countries in Central America, so we can afford to stay there and take our time, and won’t be over spending in our first weeks of travel.

From my research on things to do in Nicaragua, here are the options for regions I would like to explore:

Granada

This is main tourist city in Nicaragua, with many colourful, colonial sights.  We will be here for four days.

Isla De Ometepe

There’s a lake in the middle of Nicaragua, with an island — Isla De Ometepe — shaped like the number “8”.  It’s known for its twin volcanos, Maderas and Concepcion, which you can hike up with a guide.  If going on a 10-hour hike isn’t our thing, there’s also a lot of outdoor activities we could do on the island.

Leon

I read that this was more of the ‘intellectual’ city, and home to the National University. I think the reason why I’d want to come here is to see the beautiful, stark-white, Cathedral of Leon.  This is also near where Cerro Negro is, a famous volcano known for volcano boarding.

Esteli

This region in Northern Nicaragua is a bit off the usual tourist loop. It’s at a higher elevation, so its cooler temperatures are perfect for cultivating coffee and tobacco.

San Juan Del Sur

Located on the Pacific side of Nicaragua, this area is known for surf.  This area seems quite close to Costa Rica, so it’ll probably be our last stop in Nicaragua before we continue onwards to Costa Rica.

The Corn Islands

These islands are located on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.  They seem to be a hassle to get to, and many people don’t make it here, but people who visit, don’t regret it or call it their favourite!  However, I’ve also heard that there isn’t much to do there, it’s just beautiful and relaxing.

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In terms of activities, I think the main bucket-list activity I would like to check of in Nicaragua is Volcano Boarding on Cerro Negro.  Not too many places in the world where you can climb up a young, active volcano and ‘surf’ down on a piece of wood!  There’s also a nighttime tour of Masaya Volcano, where you can see lava glowing in the dark.  Of course, visiting a local coffee, cigar, or chocolate factory would be cool too, but we can also do these things further south as we continue through Latin America.

In planning for my Nicaragua trip, some blog posts I found helpful included:

We are departing on our Round-The-World travels in three weeks.  Stay tuned on Modern Mix Travel, I will be sharing about our actual Nicaragua travels soon.

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Photography Credit: welcometonicaragua.net.

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5 Comments

    1. Thanks so much Ariane! Hope to cross paths with you at an event before we leave, or, more likely – when we get home!

  1. Good luck with your trip! I have always wanted to be able to spend a few months traveling. I am currently planning a trip for this June and Nicaragua is one of the places I am considering going to. I was interested in visiting Granada and San Juan del Sur if I were to visit.

    1. Hi Aurora, thanks for reading! If you end up going to Nicaragua, feel free to reach out with any questions about our experience. Happy trip planning!

      -Vanessa

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