Managua is Nicaragua’s capital, located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua. This cosmopolitan center has more than 2 million inhabitants which makes it Central America’s third most populated city. Lying in between Granada and Leon, eternal rivals, this city has an excellent location for being the conciliation capital. Its splendid boulevards are lined with trees and nearby you can find ancient footprints conserved in volcanic mud. You can study Nicaragua’s history by visiting the museums that exhibit an impressive collection of pre-Columbus artifacts or see how people are rebuilding their nation, working for a better future, just as their poets and revolutionaries imagined.
Granada is an archipelago, located on the coast near Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua) and one of the most important and most visited destinations in Nicaragua. Granada is Nicaragua’s oldest city and a must-see due to the colonial architecture of its old center, and its cosmopolitan ambiance too. The city offers a variety of museums, galleries, hotels, restaurants and bars. Close to the city the Mombacho Volcano can be found, where you can walk around the craters in an exotic forest, learn how coffee is made, or enjoy adventurous activities such as zip line.
San Juan del Sur is a tourist town, but offers you a complete and diverse experience. Surrounded by two mountains, the bay of San Juan del Sur is one of the most visited areas by surfers. In the surrounding area you can practice various sports, such as surfing, fishing, canopy, yoga and horseback riding, or you can just lay back and relax on one of the many unspoiled beaches; and if you are lucky, you can spot some whales as well.
La Flor is a stunning secluded white beach of approximately 2 km long, bordered by rocky formations. In front of the beach there is a small island in which a great number of seabirds have their nests. There is a large presence of wildlife in the woods and nearby a small estuary. La Flor has the privilege of being one of the few spots in Central America where Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs. These sea turtles can weigh 45kg and their eggs hatch after 45 days. Since they are an endangered species, La Flor has been classified as a Wildlife Refuge, which covers over 3,000 hectares, in order to protect the turtles. The only infrastructure in the park belongs to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. This institution has established park rangers living there in order to protect the arrival and birth of these turtles.
León is a student town with a lot of life. It has an attractive historical center with colorful colonial buildings, museums, art galleries, an imposing cathedral and the facades of its churches. The ruins of the first Spanish colonial cities that were built on the continent can be found close by. They are preserved thanks to the volcanic sand that buried them during an eruption in 1610. There are eight volcanoes close to Leon, making up the ‘Cordillera de Los Maribios’. The most interesting volcano might be Cerro Negro, which is a young, small volcano that offers incredible views and slopes to practice snowboarding.
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