Beaches, Colonial Towns, Volcanoes, Cigars: Nicaragua Is Smokin’
By Lea Lane Contributor
I travel the world: smart, luxe, connected — and often.
Nicaragua, Costa Rica’s edgy northern neighbor straddling the Caribbean and the Pacific, may not be the first place you’d consider for a fun-and-sun vacation. But if you’re ahead of the crowd and crave a bargain, this largest country in Central America, a short flight away from where you may be sitting in the icy cold, is a new travel hot spot.Nicaragua remains economically weak, a residual of the last century’s civil strife, but there’s plenty to see and do, and an emphasis on a fast-growing tourism industry focused on unspoiled scenery, fresh foods, good music, friendly locals and excellent shopping for handicrafts.Managua, Nicaragua’s busy capital city, is where you’ll probably land. It offers sprawling markets, street art and monuments, but remains rough around more than its edges. It’s a destination offering great deals, but I’d spend more time instead at nearby colonial cities, and pretty areas such as Pochomil beach, El Trapiche hot springs, and Montebelli and Chocoyero-El Brujo nature reserves.friendly people…