This Central American paradise is a land of natural beauty, friendly locals and a unique culture. Be sure to visit before it’s overrun by tourists.
Nicaragua is one of those destinations that steals your heart from the moment you arrive. And with expansive lakes, majestic volcanoes, verdant jungle and pristine beaches, it’s not difficult to figure out why. Not only is Nicaragua blessed with natural abundance and countless picture-perfect snapshots, the local Nicaraguans are some of the friendliest in all of Central America. Add to that world-renowned cigars, coffee and chocolate, and you have the makings of a truly fantastic vacation.
Nicaragua is only continuing to grow in popularity, with many travelers dubbing it “the new Costa Rica.” We’re hesitant to call it the new anything — Nicaragua is uniquely wonderful and boasts a culture that is quite different from what you’ll find south of the border.
Nice post from Dan and Casey, aka A Cruising Couple, who look like they know how to have a good time! And thank you for pointing out the fallacy of the whole “new Costa Rica” meme–the culture in Nicaragua is much more vibrant than in Costa Rica–so good on ‘ya for acknowledging that fact.
I don’t want to hear again the refrain on the tourism forums (yes, I’m looking at you TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet), mostly from folks promoting Granada, Leon and San Juan del Sur, how there is nothing to see or do as a tourist in Managua. Hogwash I say!
Here is just a partial listing of the types of activities and things you can see and do in Managua:
Do a zip line Canopy Tour across Laguna de Tiscapa
Learn about the “George Washington” of Nicaragua, Augusto C. Sandino, the guy with the famous hat 🙂
See the remains of the dictator Somoza’s mansion and the little teeny tank that Generalissimo Mussolini gave him in the 1930s
See the President’s House (even though he doesn’t actually live there…)
See the ruins of the old Cathedral Santiago of Managua
See the new Cathedral of Managua
See “old Managua” turn your view 180 degrees and see “new Managua”
Learn about the history of the Revolution and national poet Ruben Dario
Take a walk in a lovely shady Central Park that has great security
See the eternal flames of some of the heroes of the Sandinista Revolution
Visit a museum and cultural center, the National Palace, former site of the Nicaraguan parliament, where a daring raid and kidnapping happened during the Revolution
See a mockup of what pre-earthquake Managua looked like
Take a walk along the lakefront and enjoy nice restaurants and refreshing beverages
Take a boat cruise in Lake Managua
I count 14 different sights and activities. All of these are located within a few blocks of one another. So don’t tell me how there is nothing to do as a tourist in Managua. Please!
Women Revolutionise Waste Management on Nicaraguan Island
Women from the community of Balgüe working with waste materials donated to the Association of Women Recyclers of Altagracia on the island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. Credit: Karin Paladino/IPS
By José Adán Silva
ALTAGRACIA, Nicaragua, Sep 7 2015 (IPS) – A group of poor women from Ometepe, a beautiful tropical island in the centre of Lake Nicaragua, decided to dedicate themselves to recycling garbage as part of an initiative that did not bring the hoped-for economic results but inspired the entire community to keep this biosphere reserve clean.It all began in 2007. María del Rosario Gutiérrez remembers her initial interest was piqued when she saw people who scavenged for waste in Managua’s garbage dumps fighting over the contents of bags full of plastic bottles, glass and metal.How much could garbage be worth for people to actually hurt each other over it? she wondered. She was living in extreme poverty, raising her two children on her own with what she grew on a small piece of communal land in the municipality of Altagracia, and the little she earned doing casual work.Gutiérrez talked to a neighbour, who told her that in Moyogalpa, the other town on the island, there was an office that bought scrap metal, glass and plastic bottles.The two women checked around and found in their community a person who bought waste material from local hotels, washed it and sold it to Managua for recycling.
I enjoy posting positive stories, and this is definitely one of those. A win-win situation has developed as these women have organized themselves into a waste management collective to pickup recycling of trash (that comes mostly from tourists as they pickup from hotels on the Ometepe Island.
The emergence of a new music scene in Nicaragua has not gone unnoticed in the region. Earlier this year, the Argentinean Mute Magazine published their top 13 new Nicaraguan bands and last week Indie Hoy revealed 7 bands from Nicaragua you should know. Thesesites target mainly a (Spanish-speaking) Latin American indie audience and both their lists focus on the newest acts (of the last 5 years) like Digan Whisky and Garcín.
So I decided to explore even further and compiled this list of more than 50 Nicaraguan contemporary musicians from all genres and styles. It is definitely work in progress and your feedback is more than welcome to improve this post. [If you would like me to add a band, please write a comment or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to their material on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify or Youtube.]
Many websites, bloggers and TV shows in Nicaragua have done an outstanding job in promoting, showcasing and documenting the latest developments in the industry but it is generally a strictly genre-based effort (www.rocknica.com and this report by TV Channel 6) or lacks the functionality and user-friendliness (this blog) that would allow readers to have a glance of the big picture. Furthermore, there is very little information available in English or that aims at a broader international audience.
(If you search “Nicaragua” in Youtube, the first piece of music that comes up is Nicaragua from the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, among a parade of clips about tourism or the new canal. Searching “Nicaraguan music” will only get you slightly better results, which include some folkloric songs and this home video featuring a guitarist and a pig. This is most disappointing considering how vibrant music scene has become and the amount of original material that has come out in recent years, a large portion of which is available online.)
This is a unique article in two ways: First, that it discusses Nicaraguan music in a serious way and shows lots of different musical genres that are represented by some of these musicians and groups. Second, it links to lots of YouTube videos and SoundCloud feeds, so it takes a long time to load if your Internet speeds are less than optimal.
It doesn’t appear to me that this is any sort of ranking; it’s more of a listing of some of the better-known talents out here in Nicalandia. I’ve seen a few of these bands live and all I can say is that live music is awesome and I always encourage people to take in live music wherever they can.
Also, as in any review or overview of a whole country’s music scene, it is incomplete and subject to critiques as to the bands included, why the author included bands no longer in existence or playing together, etc. but for all that I commend Jaime Zuñiga on writing this article and I’ll try to do my part to make sure it is well-covered in the social media.
Nicaragua Canal Project Won “2015 Latin American Projects of the Year Award” 2015-6-13 21:36
Bill Wild, HKND’s Chief Project Advisor (second from right), received the “2015 Latin American Projects of the Year Award” on behalf of the Nicaragua Canal Project. Photograph: HKND Group
Bill Wild, HKND’s Chief Project Advisor (second from right), received the “2015 Latin American Projects of the Year Award” on behalf of the Nicaragua Canal Project.Photograph: HKND GroupOn June 11, 2015, the three-day 13th Latin American Infrastructure Leadership Forum concluded in Antigua, Guatemala. Among the five categories of the “2015 Latin American Projects of the Year Awards”, the Nicaragua Grand Interoceanic Canal is highly recognized by the judging panel and is granted “Strategic Project of the Year Award” and “Job Creation Project of the Year Award”, making it the most noticeable project on the forum.According to the judging panel, the “Strategic Project of the Year Award” is granted to the Nicaragua Canal Project on the ground that it has demonstrated leadership, tenacity and imagination required to develop mega projects. Projects of the Year awards recognize the projects – and the leaders behind the projects – that will serve as models for vastly increased infrastructure investment in the region.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at the Farmstay, and I’m VERY happy to report that now I can give one simple recommendation that I feel very confident can help ANYBODY seeking to move down to Nicaragua on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. GO BUY THE Nicaconexiones Nicaragua Residency Guide!
THE Nicaragua Residency Guide
Author Casey Callais has done a great job in explaining not only the general process, but also the specifics of how to gain residency here in Nicaragua. Every possible form that Immigration or INTUR requires is shown to you, it’s meaning explained to you, and the reason why the Nicaraguan government would even want to know some of the information is also provided. This gives you a specific path to gain residency, an understanding of the requirements, and a context for why, how, and when that I haven’t found in any other source.
The cost is nominal for the basic edition, $29.00 and even includes a personal consultation with the author! There are two other options besides the basic edition, the Plus Edition and the Personal Edition. See Casey’s website for further details.
Folks looking to relocate to Nicaragua enjoy a great start to their adventures with a Farmstay!
Yes, we give thanks for our fabulous visitors!
Man, it’s gonna be tough to not get a big head with our recent visitors providing us with such lovely reviews like this one from Jeff, a recent visitor from Arizona that came to us via Airbnb. He and his wife Karla and their cute puppy came in using the VIP Service at the airport, so a “soft landing” was almost guaranteed! Turns out they are relocating to Nicaragua and will likely be neighbors of mine at a beach property down in Playa Guasacate, Tola, Rivas so we expect to see much more of them in the near future! Thank you for the five-star review, we appreciate it.
Looks like we’ve been hitting the mark as far as our continued commitment to providing our “soft landing service” to our Farmstay visitors. Thank you for the five-star review! Isak and family flew in from New York to have a quick getaway and a bit of a relax. As a film maker, Isak has done some work recently in Guatemala filming a documentary, so he and his wife have some experience in Central America but had never visited Nicaragua before. We sure hope he visits again with his lovely bride and daughter!