Volcan Masaya is one of the few places in the world where you can actually gaze down into a bubbling pit of lava…Journey to the Center of the Earth. The view is pretty spectacular in day or night, but a night time tour is recommended.
Less than an hour south of Managua Granada boasts a lively local market, town square and many great restaurants all worth visiting. You can walk down to the water front park and hop a boat for a tour of Las Isletas (all 385 of them if you like…but I would bring lunch). Or grab a horse drawn carriage for a local tour.
Ometepe, an Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua near Rivas. Ometepe is the largest volcano lake island in the world with 276 square km. The Island population is approximately 35,000 residents. There are 2 huge volcanoes to hike(Maderas & Concepcion), great pizza, several other great restaurants, relaxing beaches and a beautiful waterfall. Best way to see the island is to rent a scooter.
Leon has a growing tourism business with a great local market, and all the fabric stores you could ever want to get lost in. We call it the city of churches as there are several beautiful old ones in the city. If you are looking for a little more adventure then grab a tour and of some sand boarding on Cierro Negro volcano.
Night clubs, ocean front restaurants, coffee shops and hotels crammed into a 6 square block area makes for a lively place especially for the younger crowd. Most of the upper end resort development in Nicaragua is also centered around San Juan del Sur and many places are available for purchase or vacation rentals. You can surf, take in yoga, relax on an afternoon sail tour or get lost in one of several local eco hotels in the area.
Take a drive up to Catarina and see the stunning view over the lake. Local artisans peddle their wares in the area and you are a 5 minute drive to “plant alley”, “furniture alley”, and “Lawn ornament alley” that are set up on the highways on the west side of Catarina. There are also several farms, B&B’s and hotels on the side slopes of the crater that you can visit for a stay.
Or maybe you prefer to run with him. But either way, if you want a quieter beach experience than San Juan del Sur, then this is the place for you. The beach is uninterrupted for miles and you rarely encounter anyone other than a local fisherman standing in the tide casting their nets. There are several small hotels and many beach house vacation rentals (ours included) in the area. Pochomil and Masachapa are twin fishing villages separated only by a river and the Barcelo Montelimar Beach Resort is 1km north of the main town square
A beautiful little small town of about 120,000 people about 150km north of Managua. It is in the heart of tobacco country with award winning cigars that rival the best cubans. There are several great little hotels and you can watch the ladies make Rosquillos in their large clay ovens that are little hard corn cookies that are sold around the world. And from Esteli it is just a short hop to Somoto Canyon for a leisurely inner tube float down the stream. The higher elevation here can actually make for a chilly evening so maybe bring a sweater for an evening stroll.
A short distance from Esteli this canyon and stream provide the perfect opportunity to spend an afternoon floating down the little stream. You get a short boat ride heading upstream, do a little hike up the stream bed, have some lunch and then hop in your inner tube and float all the way back. Watch the local kids do some high diving off the rocks into the deeper pools. Somoto Canyon tours offers several different packages tailored to how much time you have and what you would like to do in the canyon.