In recent years, whenever I would hear about Nicaragua, the Central American Country seemed wrought with political strife. It never occurred to me that Nicaragua would be a great vacation destination; fun, safe, and relatively tourist-free. Yet, after reading the article Nicaragua: Many Attractions, Few Tourists, by Janine S. Pouliot, writer for GoNOMAD.com, I was convinced otherwise.
“But the reality is that Nicaragua has been a peaceful democracy for more than ten years and has the lowest crime rate of any Latin nation. And it has something else – a surprising absence of foreign vacationers. Unlike its neighbor Costa Rica, there’s little tourist infrastructure to interfere with unconditional immersion in the culture and environment.
I arrive in Managua with no clear expectations. Information for travelers is, at best, sparse. But I hook up with my guide Jorge Hernandez Iglesias, head out of the city and get my first clue about the country. Nicaragua is a land of lush tropical forests, volcanoes, lakes, a bio-diverse river and endless miles of pristine coastline.
Nearby is another attraction for weekenders from Managua. One of Nicaragua’s nineteen crater lakes, Apoyo, is surrounded by dense foliage. The lake’s bottom is the deepest geological point in Central America, at 900 feet. The warm clear water is perfect for swimming, sailing or kayaking. The lush fringe is fine for hiking or horseback riding.
At the top of the mountain is a jumble of little restaurants offering superb views, cooling breezes and so-fresh-it-just-stopped-flapping fish. Lakeside sits the Hotel Norome, an eco-lodge comprised of 133 rooms in 56 bungalows.”