From white-sand beaches on Caribbean islands to bustling cities on the Pacific side of Nicaragua, here are the up-and-coming destinations travelers are putting on their radar for New Year’s Eve.
Where are travelers to Nicaragua going to ring in the New Year?
10. JIQUILILLO, CHINANDEGA – Northwest of Chinandega, in the most northerly village on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, visitors will find a delightful community of fisherman, expats, and travelers that are incredibly friendly and giving (with wonderful volunteer projects you can join in on). With glistening beaches, surfing and diverse mangrove forest ecosystems, there’s plenty for travelers to explore.
9. SAN JUAN DEL SUR, RIVAS — The beach resort of San Juan del Sur is located near Rivas and Ometepe Island and is known for its stunning beaches that are ideal for surfers of all types. With a variety of bars and clubs that line its beaches, party lovers will enjoy the atmosphere here.
8. SELVA NEGRA, CHINANDEGA — Chinandega’s Selva Negra (or Black Forest) is a mountainous area in north central Nicaragua near Matagalpa that is filled with dense forests, coffee plantaions and picturesque towns and villages. Named by German immigrants, Selva Negra is an environmentally sound and sustainable coffee farm with delightful cabins set in the woods with an amazing virgin mountain where one can hike and see amazing birds, monkeys and other forest animals.
7. EMERALD COAST, TOLA, RIVAS — Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast (Costa Esmeralda) has miles and miles of sandy beaches, cliffs, and wild coasts. Visitors will feel like they’re in a seaside paradise as they explore new surf spots and the quaint towns along the way. Places like Playa Gigante, Iguana and Rancho Santana are rapidly becoming “don’t miss” spots along the Nicaraguan coastline.
6. GRANADA, GRANADA — Granada is a destination in Nicaragua that is popular for the New Year. The colonial town is filled with churches and classic Colonial sites, with brightly colored homes throughout its streets. As the number one visited town in Nicaragua, you are sure to encounter lots of other folks looking to have a good time. The Calzada should be a real street party!
5. LEON, LEON — Voted the best city in Nicaragua two years in a row by SurfingthePlanet.com, Leon is home to an incredible cathedral, charming markets, world-class museums, and plenty of history to boot. Besides its gorgeous scenery being nearly surrounded by smoking volcanos, yet near to beautiful beaches, Leon also has a booming university and food scene, where you can sample everything from traditional Nicaraguan cuisine to French, Italian, and Chinese restaurants, all with a Nicaraguan twist.
4. MUKUL RESORT, TOLA, RIVAS – Mukul has been a favorite travel destination for celebrities like Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta Jones. Situated in a natural bay within the private develoment Guacalito de la Isla, Mukul’s stunning setting of soaring cliffs and coves makes it an ideal place to enjoy water sports, play golf, or embark on a relaxing day at the spa.
3. MANAGUA, MANAGUA – Yes Nicaragua’s capital city gets a bad rap, but it is a much-improved destination. As far as holiday celebrations and decorations go, nothing beats the scene on Avenida Bolivar, the main street of downtown Managua. It is lined with Nativity scenes, lights, vendors selling snacks, and lots of people watching. The midnight fireworks will convince you that the next revolution has begun!
2. OMETEPE ISLAND, RIVAS – Ometepe is a true adventure paradise and is just becoming known to travelers. With its hidden petroglyphs, deserted beaches and eco-lodges, this is a place where the visitor can kayak, hike and swim, all located in the shadow of two volcanos.
1. CORN ISLAND, RAAS – Both Little and Big Corn Islands are hard to beat during the end of year holidays. Not so much for any particular traditions but because these islands are a little paradise! Try the Yemaya Resort for an upscale experience.