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50 Incredible Things to Do in Nicaragua (with Photos)

Are you planning a trip to Nicaragua, but not sure exactly what things to do?  We have made this decision easier for you and have compiled a list of 50 of the best things to experience in Nicaragua.  There are honestly a lot more to experience than this list, but here are our recommended things to do in Nicaragua, and hopefully you can cross a few off your bucket list.

1.  Hike to the Christ of Mercy Statue in San Juan Del Sur
Jesus statue san juan del sur

The Jesus statue is located in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.   You can start your hike from town, walk along the beach then short cut through La Talanguera (other side of town across the river), then follow the road up to the statue.   You can also drive up and park, then walk the final 100 ft as it's probably a steep 70 degree slope and cars can't drive up.  Once at the gate, they will ask for around $2.  Then enjoy the views of San Juan Del Sur, and take the famous selfie :)

2. Ojo de Agua - Ometepe Island
Ojo de Agua - Ometepe Island
The Ojo de Agua is a natural spring pool filled with crystal clear water from an underground river that comes from volcano Maderas. The swimming hole is rimmed with cement to form two separate swimming areas where the water gets renewed constantly by the spring that emerges from the bottom of the upper pool. 

Admission to the Ojo de Agua costs $3.
If you can arrange it avoid holidays and weekends.

3. Ziplining

ziplining in nicaragua
There are about 5 zipline courses scattered throughout Nicaragua.   With 2 of them being in San Juan Del Sur.   Da Flying Frog Canopy Tours and Parque de Aventura Las Nubes.  You can sign up at most of the hotels as they can also provide transportation to and from the zipline courses.   The favorite one that we have done would probably be the course at Da Flying Frog in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.

4. Surfing
surfing in nicaragua

Nicaragua is well known for it's almost year round surfing.   There are hundreds of beaches and surf breaks all along the Pacific coast, starting south of San Juan Del Sur, all the way to the north in Chinandega.   Most hotels offer surf camps or surf lessons, so there is no problem on finding a board or an instructor.   
If you are a beginner looking to surf, most people flock to the town of San Juan Del Sur or the Emerald Coast for more advanced surfers.  But almost every surf destination in Nicaragua offers waves for beginners to pros.
5.  Natural Tide Pools in Popoyo
natural ocean pools popoyo nicaragua
(Popoyo).   Walk along the beach to the north, over the rocks and you will see the Natural tide pools where you can float or jump off the rocks.  It is a must do if you are in the Popoyo area.

6.  Visit a Waterfall
waterfall nicaragua
Nicaragua has quite a few water falls but only a few are made public.   This one is located to the north in Matagalpa.  It is named Cascada Blanca or "White Waterfall." This is one of the largest waterfalls in Nicaragua and has a hotel, restaurant and camping options for people looking to stay the night. Hike down to the waters edge and even go behind the falls on this one of a kind experience that you will never forget.

7.  Petroglyphs
There are a few petroglyphs scattered around Nicaragua.   There is one in San Juan Del Sur near the canopy tour (Da Flying Frog), and a few on Ometepe Island, which is the most recommended location to view the petroglyphs, as it also has statues and pottery from the same time period.

You can see more information here

8.   Somoto Canyon
somoto canyon nicaragua
The Somoto Canyon, one of oldest rock formations in Central America, has become one of the main attractions of Northern Nicaragua due to its recently "discovered" tourist potential. It is an impressive site with a unique scenario. Between its walls, visitors can undertake various activities which include cliff jumping, tubing, rock climbing and exploring the canyons.

You can see more information here

9.  Corn Islands
corn islands nicaragua

The Corn Islands (Little Corn Island and Big Corn Island), are located on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.  The most popular way to get there is to fly into the Managua International Airport, then walk to the domestic flight terminal which has daily flights to Big Corn Island. You might have to stop in Bluefields for a quick pit stop to drop off / pick up other passengers, then you will continue the flight to Big Corn Island,  once there you can take a taxi to the docks on the other side of the island and book a boat that will bring you to Little Corn Island.   There are no cars on the island, and has a different culture than mainland Nicaragua.  The locals are African Descendants and speak English and Creole.  A great place to get away and relax, or experience the many snorkeling and scuba diving sites. 

10.  Horseback Riding
horseback riding in nicaragua

The most recommended horseback riding destination would be Rancho Chilamate just south of San Juan Del Sur.   They are building a new resort on a ranch with houses, stables, horseback riding, polo, and everything to do with horses.   They are from Canada and take great care of the horses.  
You can view their website here or their new ranch here

11. Sailing Cruise
sailing in nicaragua

The most popular sail tour in Nicaragua would be located in San Juan Del Sur through a company called "Salt"   They have a 47 foot catamaran with different tour options, but the main tour will take you to explore the beautiful waters of Nicaragua, where you will have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, hang out, and partake in other activities. 

As you sail back to San Juan Del Sur with the sun setting in the background you will have a really good chance to see dolphins, turtles, and whales, as well as lots of other wildlife. They promise that your Salt experience will be one of the highlights of your time in Nicaragua, and we second that for sure.

You can book with them here

12.  Beach Exploring
beaches of nicaragua

It is very hard to count the amount of beaches in Nicaragua, so we will just say that there are ALOT of beaches for you to explore.   The whole Pacific coast of Nicaragua is scattered with beaches, with the most popular beaches located on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua, which most are untouched.

There are beaches for swimming, camping, surfing, relaxing, and dining.   The one thing that Nicaragua does not lack, are beaches.

13. Try Traditional Nicaraguan food
local nicaraguan food
Nicaragua has all of the fast food chains that you will find in the 1st world, but while in traveling in Nicaragua, the best option is to try the local food.   Some of the most popular dishes include Nacatamales, Fritanga, Vigoron, Baho, Sopa de Queso, Quesillo, among many other dishes.

Don't forget to load up on hot sauce and of course the local beer - Toña or Victoria.

14. Local Fiestas
fiestas in nicaragua

Nicaragua has many festivals, that the chances are there will be one on your vacation.  Some of the main festivals include:

- International Poetry Festival which is Hosted in Granada since 2005 
- Semana Santa. Semana Santa, or Holy Week, marks the week leading up to Easter.    
- Día de los muertos. (Day of the Dead)
- Nicaragua's Independence Day.
- La Purísima & La Gritería.

15. Day Trip to Managua
managua nicaragua

Managua is the hub and capital city of Nicaragua, where you will find everything in a capital city.   Home of around 2 million people, Managua has a few 1st world malls with all the main brands, hotels, movie theaters, clubs, stadiums, business centers, and anything you need.

It is a 1 hour - 2 hour drive from all the main towns that you will find yourself in on your vacation, and is a popular day trip or even for the night as you find the Hyatt Hotel or Intercontinental Hotel right across from the 2 large malls (Galerias Santo Domingo & Metrocentro)

16. SUP Paddbleboard
sup paddleboard nicaragua

Stand up Paddleboarding is a great thing to do with your friends.  The company that stands out the most is Livit Water based in Granada.  They offer SUP lessons, day tours, mulit-day trips and SUP yoga. 

They will take you on a tour through Granada's Las Isletas, Laguna de Apoyo and Rio San Juan on a SUP board. Whether its your first time on a paddle board or you are an avid paddle boarder, they will show you the beauty of Nicaragua’s pristine bodies of water in a unique way.

You can book through their site here

17.  Explore the 365 Islands of Granada
granada islands nicaragua

When the Mombacho Volcano erupted thousands of years ago, it threw huge rocks into Lake Nicaragua. As a result of this violent eruption 365 islets were formed in front of Granada. The islets differ in size between a hundred square meters and over one hundred hectares. The wild nature, resident birds and visitors and the day-a-day routine of the local families make it an ideal place for a bote ride or kayaking around the lake.

The small islands, in Nicaragua called Las Isletas, serve different purposes. There is a community of about 1200 people living on the islets. Most of the people living here are fishermen. Other islands accommodate hotels or luxurious houses (some of them can be rented). There are also uninhabited islets with only some palm trees growing on it.

View more information here

18.  Visit the Zoo in Managua
managua zoo nicaragua

Although we don't recommend the caging of animals, the National Zoo in Managua is an interesting place for many reasons. It has an educational function, as scientific data is collected here; and it is the only place in the country where veterinarian attention and rehabilitation is facilitated for wild animals brought by the public or after seizures.

Its installations are simple and quite rustic due to the little governmental aid that the zoo receives, and there are only few private companies that support the zoo as a form of charity. However, the zoo has remained functioning due to the great enthusiasm of its workers and the National Zoo Friends Foundation (Fundación Amigos del Zoológico Nacional), which is a non-profit organization that manages the zoo and that, for quite a while now, invests time and effort in the search for cooperation to always keep the zoo functioning and open to the public.

This zoo, the largest of the country, houses more than six hundred animal species, with the majority of them being wild animals and some of them pets, in addition to some exotic species from remote locations like Africa and Asia. Some of the animals that can be observed here are species that are threatened with extinction and that are very hard to find in the forests throughout the country.  

19.  Sea Turtles in Ostional
sea turtles ostional nicaragua

La Flor beach is a sanctuary of nature. Nicaragua is blessed with several beaches where the Olive Ridley turtles come to lay there eggs. These sea turtles weigh about 45 kg and are spread throughout the world. There are nesting sites in Asia and Africa as well, but despite this dispersion the Olive Ridley population is threatened and in some places endangered with extinction. In Nicaragua there is a fairly big population, but egg harvesting and destruction of nesting sites is having an impact on this population.

The Olive Ridley turtles come to the beach en masse, during so called arribadas in which thousands of turtles arrive at the same time to lay their eggs. This way, the hatchlings will swarm the beach in huge numbers and in doing so they increase their chance of survival.

20.  Mountain Biking
mountain biking in nicaragua

As with many activities in Nicaragua, the most popular place to enjoy mountain biking is on Ometepe Island. This is the biggest island in Lake Nicaragua and, with its varied landscape, beautiful forests and extraordinary volcanoes, mountain biking enthusiasts flock here to enjoy the island and wildlife. It is the perfect place for them to challenge their abilities while enjoying a tropical adventure.

Riding down the slopes of the Cerro Negro Volcano is an exhilarating experience that even Eric Barone could not resist. Trying to break his previous mountain biking world speed record, Barone took on Cerro Negro on 4 November 2001. In doing so he made the place somewhat famous, so it is not unusual for many mountain bikers to want to experience the sights, sounds and terrain of Ometepe Island.

Inexperienced riders can also enjoy exploring Nicaragua and the islands at their leisure as not all routes are challenging. Many destinations in Nicaragua offer mountain biking as a way to get about and explore the countryside. They may also have tour guides who will assist you along the way. Whether you just want to enjoy a short trip to the beach to find the perfect picnic spot or you are looking forward to a tranquil ride through the forest where you can enjoy nature, mountain biking is a very popular way to get around in Nicaragua. It is also an activity that the entire family can participate in and enjoy!

21.  Join a Yoga or Health Retreat

Nicaragua has a variety of yoga and health retreats.   A quick google search will find many different options for beginner to instructor courses.   They range from days to months, depending on what you are looking for.  You can book a yoga retreat right on the beach or in the jungles.   A great way to escape your busy life.

22.  Skateboarding
skateboarding in nicaragua

Nicaragua is now home of many skateparks.  You can see the article here about the top 10 skateparks in Nicaragua.   The largest skatepark is located in the capital city of Managua, and the 2nd largest would be the Surf Ranch skatepark in San Juan Del Sur (photo above).

Most of the skateparks have a nice balance of street and bowl, and to our knowledge, it is free to skate every park in Nicaragua, and you do not need to wear helmets. 

23.  Fishing Tours
fishing tours in nicaragua

There is no lack of fishing options in Nicaragua.   The main destination for fishing tourism would be in San Juan Del Sur or the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua.   However San Juan Del Sur has a port with fishing options ranging from small panga boats to deep sea fishing charters.

After catching your fish, you can bring it to any restaurant on the beachfront and they can cook it up for you and serve it with rice, vegetables, etc... A great option to get out on the water for the day.  

24.  Masaya Volcano
masaya volcano nicaragua
The Masaya Volcano National Park is one of the most popular tourism attractions in Nicaragua. The main reason is that you can see the lava.  The volcano park is also open at night, which creates a unique scene of the so called “lava lake” which can be seen from the crater border.

You can visit in the day or the night.  The park is open to the public for the daily visit everyday at 9 AM, and until 4:45 PM and for the night visitors, from 5 PM - 8 PM.  Visitors can go to the main gate located in Masaya-Managua road, from where they will be registered and will get the intruction to buy their tickets. It is not necessary to make a reservation in advance. This visit has an entrance fee of C$100 for foreigners visitors and C$30 for Nicaraguans.  Prices can vary depending when you read this.

25.  Volcano Boarding
volcano boarding nicaragua

Volcano boarding is a must try in Nicaragua.  Located on the Cerro Negro volcano near Leon. It is the youngest volcano in Central America, and it is also one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua, erupting approximately every twenty years. Cerro Negro last time erupted in 1999, and since it is now 2019 maybe we should wait a little just incase the 20-years calculation is accurate :) 

CNN has put volcano boarding on Cerro Negro on their list of 50 Crazy things you must do before you die, and not only is this volcano boarding on the list, but it is even number 2 in that selection!  Go try it!

26. Visit the Black Forest (Selva Negra)
selva negra nicaragua
Founded by German immigrants in 1891, Selva Negra is a historical coffee farm located in Matagalpa.  The trees and fauna are different than what you would usually find in the rest of Nicaragua, and gets quite chilly at night.

They also have a hotel onsite, which you can book here

27. Coffee Tour
coffee tour nicaragua
There are many coffee tours in Nicaragua, but since we just mentioned Selva Negra above, they have a great coffee tour.
In this mostly walking seed to cup tour you will learn much more than just the process of coffee. History, location, climate, topography, sustainable use of byproducts and the social programs are among the many other things you will learn.

You will get a chance to visit their nurseries, coffee plantillos where you will learn about shade coffee, and  their organic laboratory where you will learn about organic farming methods.

The tour will continue to the picking and weighing of the coffee beans, then you will follow the truck back to the wet mill where you will witness the process and end the tour in their museum with a cup of coffee to answer any questions remaining.

You can see more info here

28.  Flor De Caña (Rum) Tour
flor de cana nicaragua

Flor de Caña is the leading super premium rum in Central America and has been awarded as the best rum in the world in recognized international competitions in London, San Francisco and Chicago. Flor de Caña Rum is today the # 1 exported brand from Nicaragua, with presence in more than 40 countries in the world, and one of the fastest growing premium rums in the United States.

The Flor de Caña Tour has received nearly 100,000 visitors since its inauguration, being one of the main attractions in Nicaragua and receiving a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. It is located in a characteristic place of Nicaragua's volcanic climate, with a unique view of the San Cristóbal Volcano, one of the iconic elements of Ron Flor de Caña. It is a fascinating journey through the history of this brand that has become over time the Nicaraguan brand ambassador to the world.

During the tour, which has six stations and can be traveled in an hour and a half from beginning to end, tourists can taste the rum in its different stages, from its raw material to the final product.

Check it out when in Nicaragua - more info here

29.  Chocolate Tour
chocolate tour nicaragua

There are a variety of Chocolate tours in Nicaragua.  There is a great tour in Matagalpa where you will learn about the culture, economy, history, and way of life of the “Matagalpinos”.

You will then visit the chocolate factory El Castillo del Cacao, where some of the best chocolates in Nicaragua are made using organic cocoa from small Matagalpan growers. On this small factory you will learn about the most important events in the history of cocoa and be able to observe a semi - artesanal production process. Finally you will have the opportunity to taste this delicious chocolate and enjoy a nice view of the north of the city and surrounding mountains.

30.  Hot Springs in Las Salinas de Nahualapa
Hot Springs in Las Salinas de Nahualapa
There are swimming pools supplied with the medicinal thermal water.  Located in Salinas de Nahualapa, a rural area of the municipality of Tola in the department of Rivas, just before Popoyo.

The Salinas de Nahualapa Hot Spring Center is open to all, so go check it out and relax in the medicinal waters of Las Salinas de Nahualapa.

They charge foreign tourists $3 dollars, Nationals only 20 cordobas ($0.60) and local natives pay only 10 córdobas ($0.30) as it's located on the local Indian reserve.


31. Whale Watching
Whale Watching in nicaragua
Whales pass by the Pacific shores of Nicaragua, which most times you can see from land.  But if you want to get a closer look, you can hire a boat, which most boats or tour companies offer this expedition.    On this trip you will almost likely see turtles and dolphins.

You also can just jump on a fishing tour or catamaran sailing tour and get the off chance of seeing the whales.  If the captain of any boat you are on spots them, you will most likely go in for a closer look.

32.  Bird Watching
Bird Watching in nicaragua
Bird watching in Nicaragua is very rewarding for those birding enthusiasts who love tropical birds and want to visit someplace authentic. Birding Nicaragua is a program that features the superb tropical dry forest private nature reserve of Montibelli and the northern cloud forest private reserve of El Jaguar. Both reserves afford easy access to numerous species unique to the region. 
They also visit the El Chocoyero wildlife refuge, Lake Apanás and Selva Negra private reserve on this trip. Nicaragua is at the crossroads of bird species in the Americas with more species unique to Central America than any other country. Nicaragua birdwatching is a genuine experience where you bird watch in family owned nature reserves and then sit down to a dinner with the owners of the reserve at night. 
At El Jaguar some of the beautiful resident species include the Blue Bunting, Crimson-collared Tanager, Resplendent Quetzal and Three-wattled Bellbird. Montibelli species include Nicaragua’s national bird, the Turquoise-browed Motmot as well as the Elegant Trogon, Barred Antshrike and Long-tailed Manakin. 
Book your birdwatching tour here

33. Watch a Baseball Game
Watch a Baseball Game nicaragua

There are baseball games all around the country every Sunday, but the main stadium is located in Managua.  The Dennis Martínez National Stadium (Spanish: Estadio Nacional Dennis Martínez) is located in Managua, Nicaragua. It has a capacity of 15,000 and it was named after former MLB player Dennis Martínez.

The original stadium was built in 1948 and is Nicaragua's national stadium. It is used mainly for baseball but also serves as a venue for concerts, boxing, football, religious events and had a capacity of 30,100 people.  It is the home stadium of Indios del Bóer baseball team and Deportivo Walter Ferretti football team. Inside the stadium is a hall of fame near the entrance showing medals, cups, photos and memories of Nicaraguan players. 

It has now been remodeled in 2017 to become a state of the art stadium.  If you are in Managua, this is a great choice, there are VIP booths, restaurants, etc within the stadium.  It is safe and fun for everyone.

34.  Watch a Soccer Game
soccer game nicaragua

The Nicaragua National Football Stadium (Estadio Nacional de fútbol) in Managua, Nicaragua, is home to the Nicaragua national football team. 

If in Managua, you can look online to see if there are any upcoming games.  Also almost every Sunday in every town in Nicaragua, there is a soccer match in any towns soccer field, the same as Baseball.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, occurred on April 14, 2011. The first official game was a men's national team match featuring Nicaragua and Panama in a FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying match, on September 6, 2011.

35. Try local Nicaraguan Craft Beer
craft beer nicaragua

There are a few craft beer options now in Nicaragua, with the main ones being the San Juan del Sur Cervecería, located in San Juan Del Sur, or Panga Drops located on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua.   The Cervecería in San Juan Del Sur, you can sit at their bar and try their craft beers made on site.  Highly recommended when in San Juan Del Sur.

36. Rock Climbing
rock climbing in nicaragua

There are not to many options for rock climbing in Nicaragua, but the Surf Ranch Resort in San Juan Del Sur has a 30 ft rock climbing wall with 3 different sections.  Free to use for all guests, and $10 for drop ins.   

For more advanced rock climbers, there are some spots in Northern Nicaragua in Somoto Canyon and the area.  

More info on the rock climbing wall here

37.  Hike the Miraflor Nature Reserve
Hike the Miraflor Nature Reserve nicaragua

Miraflor is a unique natural reserve located about 30 kilometers away from the city of Estelí. The park measures 254 km² and there are three different climates on the zone: dry at the lower area, intermediate and humid, as well as a predominant cold forest. 

One of the main attraction of this reserve is its biodiversity. The zone is one of the richest in orchids; there are more than 200 species of them and the most common is the national flower of Costa Rica, which is the Catteleya Skinniri. The orchids of Miraflor grow in different spots, such as threes (the most known) and the ones that grow on rocks and on the ground, which are the most colorful and rare.

The park houses nine communities, all making a living from agriculture. The UCA foundation (unrelated to Universidad Centro Americana, also known as UCA) works on improving ecological farming in the area and has several programs to help the communities produce ecological products, coffee being the most important one.

They also have set up accommodation at the farms. The housing offered is very simple and basic services but provides a great way to see how the farmers in Miraflor live. In addition, they have trained local tourist guides that will teach visitors about the flora and fauna of the region. All the farms are located inside the park, so it also means you will be in touch with nature. When visitors slowly wake up as the sun rises and the birds start to sing, they will experience the difference between urban areas and the rustic countryside of Miraflor. The climate is also a bit different in Miraflor. Because of the altitude, it can get kind of chilly at night. but the temperature quickly rises during daytime. Miraflor also has private lodging options located at the cold forest.

38. Visit the largest Cathedral in Nicaragua
Visit the largest Cathedral in Nicaragua
The cathedral (Basilica Catedral de la Asuncion) is the most prominent building of León. It is situated at the central plaza, and the first construction of this huge building started over two centuries ago. You can enter the building, get a tour, and set your eyes on some great architecture or enjoy superb views from the rooftop of the building.

When the cathedral was being built, rich people from the area bought a tomb below the floor of the cathedral. The money was used to construct and later maintain the building, and it offered a very special final resting place for the wealthiest people from León. The most spectacular grave is the one of Rubén Darío, the most famous Nicaraguan poet, whose tomb is covered by a stone lion in the center of the church.The other bodies are buried below the cathedral and the graves are inaccessible, but there are other subterranean areas that are still accessible.

Seven small cellars have been constructed below the building, to give the cathedral more flexibility during earthquakes. These chambers have also been used to store and hide treasures. Furthermore, one of the cellars provided access to a system of tunnels that connected several churches. In case of an attack, this provided a way of fleeing from one place to the other, underground. The treasures have also been rescued from pirates once, when they were brought to another church through the tunnel.

Out of the seven cellars of the church, three are open to the public. All three have a different story. A guide will accompany you and tell about the history of the cellars. Inside the cathedral, there is a desk where you can hire a guide for $ 2. Another option is to ascent to the rooftop of the building. You will also need a guide for this, which you can get at the same place for $ 2 as well.

From the rooftop, you will have a superb view of the city of León. You can see several other churches and other prominent buildings. You can also see the area around León, including many volcanoes if the sky is clear. The roof itself is impressive, and when ascending you will understand why it took over 30 years to complete the building. The cathedral has 34 domes, many church bells (the heaviest is believed to weigh over three tonnes) and four huge statues (copied from a cathedral in Mexico) on its roof.

39.  Visit one of the oldest cities in the New World
granada nicaragua
Granada, is one of the oldest cities in the New World. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua's most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure.

Granada had a thriving Indigenous population. In 1524, the city was renamed Granada, by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, ostensibly the first European city in mainland America. Unlike other cities that claim the same distinction, the city of Granada was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon, and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain.

Located on Lake Nicaragua, Granada is a popular destination for tourists.  You can also access the 365 Islands of Granada from here.

40.  Cigar Tour

cigar tour nicaraguaEstelí is the place to go if you’re looking to learn more about cigars. There are plenty of cigar plantations and factories in this area. Nicaraguan cigars from Estelí are regarded as being of a very high standard and the local people are rightfully proud of this export. In fact, the country frequently exports their best quality cigars to the U.S. and Europe. 

Nicaragua is one of the world’s significant cigar and cigar tobacco suppliers.

Touring a cigar factory (or two) can be a rather enlightening experience. Estelí Cigarros, one of the more noteworthy cigar factories, is a great place to start. The factory is situated just a short, ten-minute drive away from Estelí and features not only the factory building where the cigars are made, but the fields where the tobacco is harvested for them. 

Upon arriving, you will be able to ask for a free tour from any of the locals and they will show you around. You will discover how the tobacco plants are grown and harvested, and then see how everything is put together. Harvesting is best explored during the harvest season. 

Both men and woman are involved in the selecting, cutting, rolling, ordering and packing process involved in making cigars and Estelí Cigarros makes thin, thick, mild, strong, dark and light Cuban-quality cigars.

41.  Masaya Market
masaya market nicaragua

Many tourists come to shop up a storm at the Mercado de Artesanias which sells just about every type of typical Nicaraguan souvenir you could think of. Hand-made hammocks, colourful woven blankets and small purses and sandals with ‘Nicaragua’ etched into the leather.

Unlike Granada’s market which can feel a little cramped and claustrophobic, Masaya’s is far more spread out and you can pass the time wandering between rows of young men sewing shoes by hand with thick leather thread, or sampling your way down the line up of fresh passionfruit and pineapple and take in the scents of freshly picked mint.

42.  Kayaking
kayaking in nicaragua

The most popular kayak destinations are in Laguna de Apoyo, Lake Nicaragua or down the Rio San Juan River.  There are many companies in each of those locations mentioned above that have established kayak tours, each offering a different experience.

We would recommend the Kayaking tour on Lake Nicaragua through the 365 islands or down the Rio San Juan to view old forts and a land lost in time. 

43.  Visit the Stone Man
stone man of nicaragua

A self-proclaimed hermit, Alberto was inspired by God to move up into the hills of Esteli in 1977. He has spent the past 39 years proudly carving images into the rock face and, as he says, ‘leaving an artistic legacy’. Wizened and white haired, he is an eccentric character, greeting visitors with a warm smile and always happy to give them a guided tour. He may pluck a sweet lemon from one of the trees and insist that his visitors tuck in. Hospitality is a natural trait. As, it seems, is humility. He is visibly amazed at his growing popularity, proudly showing all the signatures in his guest book. His friendly demeanour is infectious.

While Alberto is an entertaining attraction, people also come to see his art. The smaller pieces are plentiful, but slightly underwhelming. However, the main mural is a colossal piece of work, stretching along about 40 metres of stone. Alberto explains that his work tells a story, each little section a particular episode. Animals are prominent, with elephants, jaguars and snakes his particular favourites. Unsurprisingly, religious imagery is everywhere.

44. Hike a Volcano
hike a volcano in nicaragua
There are various volcanoes that you can hike in Nicaragua.  Our favorite which is a difficult hike is the Concepción volcano, which is one of two volcanoes on the island of Ometepe, the other being Maderas.

These two volcanoes conjoin to actually create the entire island of Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, which is the 19th largest lake in the world!

Concepción is the taller and steeper of the two volcanoes on Ometepe island, towering at 1600m (5,249 feet). Maderas is known to be quite muddy, it also offers a lake at the top of the volcano.

Here is more info on the Best Volcano hikes in Nicaragua 

45.  Eat Gallo Pinto
gallo pinto nicaragua
Gallo Pinto is a main staple in Nicaraguan dishes.  Consisting of rice and beans, locals enjoy it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   After awhile in Nicaragua, it will most likely become your favorite too.    Every restaurant serves it for breakfast, so get your hands on some gallo pinto, great with hot sauce!

46.  Take some Spanish Lessons
spanish lessons in nicaraguaTaking spanish lessons is a great idea as you can meet locals and brush up on your spanish skills.  You will find spanish lessons in every tourist town.   Practicing spanish on your vacation will make your trip more enjoyable.

47.  Laguna de Apoyo
laguna de apoyo nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo is the only crater in the world with a lake.  A must visit while in Nicaragua, located close to Granada, the laguna has a variety of hotels to stay at.    The water is pretty clear and they have floating volcanic rocks which is pretty cool. 

48. Emerald Coast of Nicaragua

emerald coast of nicaragua

The Emerald Coast of Nicaragua expands from the Tola area up past Astillero.   As far as the eye can see, there are beaches, lush green jungles and endless surf waves.   A new airport opened up a few years ago called the Costa Esmeralda airport with flights to Managua, and Liberia and San Jose in Costa Rica.   This is the main destination for surfers and is the fastest growing area in Nicaragua.

49.   Golfing
golfing in nicaragua

There are 4 golf courses in Nicaragua.  There is one course in Gran Pacific to the north, one in Managua at the Nejapa Golf & Country Club, one at Hacienda Iguana by the Costa Esmeralda airport and the best course in Nicaragua is an 18 hole course designed by David Kidd at Guacalito, also located on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua, and owned by Nicaragua's only billionaire, Carlos Pellas.

50. Invest in Real Estate
real estate in nicaragua

Many people are making Nicaragua their new home.  Mostly Canadians & Americans, and are scooping up all the great deals that Nicaragua has to offer.   The main investment area seems to be in San Juan del Sur or the Emerald Coast in Southern Nicaragua, on the Pacific Ocean.

With prices as cheap as they have ever been, investing in Nicaragua is a great option if you have or havent yet experienced everything that Nicaragua has to offer.   The prices are low, endles surf waves, great schooling options available, growing infrastructure, endless business opportunities and a great return on investment.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 50 things to do while in Nicaragua.

50 Incredible Things to Do in Nicaragua (with Photos) Reviewed by Surf Ranch on October 16, 2019 Rating: 5

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