Plan your trip to Nicaragua
Regional Population: 5,465,100
Local Currency: NIO
Nicaragua lies between Costa Rica and Honduras in Central America. The country derives its name from Nicarao, chief of the indigenous people that lived near what today is Lake Nicaragua during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Hernández de Córdoba established the first permanent Spanish settlements, including the towns of Granada and León. The country gained independence from Spain in 1821, briefly was part of the Mexican Empire, then a federation of Central American provinces, until becoming an independent republic in 1838.
Nicaragua’s economy and infrastructure were damaged by civil war in the 1970s and Hurricane Mitch in 1998. However, some accommodations are available to travelers who venture to the largest country in Central America. The country is divided into three distinct regions: Atlantic Lowlands, North-Central Highlands and the Pacific Lowlands, each with a unique climate and geography. The possibilities for visitors include canopy walks in the tropical forests, picnics near the waterfalls of La Maquina, and a variety of fortresses and buildings from the colonial period. The finest examples might be found in Granada, founded by the Spanish in 1523 and today a main destination for international travelers. Built around the main square of Parque Central, hundreds of small shops sell traditional food and hand-crafted goods amongst the old Spanish-style buildings.