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8 Best Places to visit in Nicaragua (and 24 Fun Things to do!)

8 Best Places to visit in Nicaragua (and 24 Fun Things to do!)

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Nicaragua is filled with amazing places to visit. In this blog, we share the 8 best places to visit in Nicaragua that should be on everyone’s itinerary as well as some things to do in each destination and where to stay.

Nicaragua is my favorite country in Central America.

For one, the country is super easy to travel to. With a clear and fun backpacking route of amazing places to visit, it’s an easy and stress-free place to explore. Chicken buses and cheap shuttles are available in every city, so, you’re never far from your next destination, which I loved.

Nicaragua’s also cheap, like really cheap. In fact, it’s one of Central America’s cheapest countries to travel to. Food is dirt cheap and beers, well, let’s just say you won’t need to worry about what’s on your tab! Hostels and hotels also come at decent rates and there are plenty of options for every budget.

But unlike other countries in Central America, Nicaragua is actually much safer. The locals are friendly and crime rates are lower, especially in tourist destinations.

These three major travel components make Nicaragua an attractive place to visit and after visiting myself, I totally understand why.

I traveled much of the country and loved it. I explored many of the top places to visit in Nicaragua and loved every one of them for their own reasons. And in this blog, I’ll share the best places I visited in Nicaragua that should be part of your Nicaragua itinerary.

1. Isla de Ometepe

A sunset on Isla de Ometepe, Nicargua
A sunset from our hotel, Totoco Lodge on Ometepe

Isla de Ometepe is easily one of the most unique places to visit in Nicaragua. This small island is made up of not one, but two volcanos, and sits within Lake Nicaragua (Nicaragua’s largest lake.)

Although only one of the volcanos that make up Isla de Ometepe is active, I was a little nervous about visiting. The largest and only active volcano, Concepcion, last erupted in 2010, however, recent eruptions have been small.

Ometepe is home to a small local population who have called the island home for thousands of years. The people of Ometepe live in small villages around the island with the largest being Moyogalpa.

All ferries to the island land in Moyogalpa and it’s a popular place to stay for its convenience. However, there are much better places to stay in Ometepe, including Balgue, which is ideally located in the middle of the island.

Renting a motorbike or scooter is the easiest way to see the island and with limited traffic, it’s also really safe. I myself explored much of the island in one day, however, I’d recommend coming for at least 3 to 4 days to truly appreciate its beauty!

Isla de Ometepe is safe, easy to explore, and filled with friendly faces.

Related Read: I have so many favorite places to visit in Central America. Many of these places are in Nicaragua, and well, many aren’t – find out what they all are!

Things to do on Ometepe

San Ramon Waterfall on Ometepe, Nicargua
San Ramon Waterfall is so beautiful

Visit San Ramon Waterfall: San Ramon Waterfall was the most spectacular waterfall I visited in Nicaragua. At 45 meters high (148 feet) and surrounded by tropical jungle, it’s the perfect place to cool off. Although not the easiest waterfall to get to, the journey is worth it!

Instead of trying to navigate the winding jungle yourself, you can instead book this Guided Waterfall Tour that comes with transport, a local guide, and a picnic lunch to enjoy at the falls. It costs $122 USD per person.

Ojo de Agua: Ojo de Agua is a small natural spring and the people of Ometepe believe it has healing powers. Although I am unsure if that’s true, it’s a beautiful place to relax and escape from the heat on Ometepe.

Hike Concepcion Volcano: The hardest, but also the best thing I did on Ometepe, was the hike to the summit of the Concepcion Volcano. This 8-hour hike takes everything you’ve got but the views from the top are out of this world! The hike must be done on a guided tour for safety reasons but if you love hiking, this is a must-do!

This exact Concepcion tour is very highly rated and the company Green Expeditions is both a reputable and knowledgeable company. It is a full-day tour and includes transport and lunch for just $49 USD.

Visit Punta Maria Jesus: Punta Maria Jesus is Ometepe’s most popular sunset spot. This small point gives you a great vantage point on the island where you can see both volcanoes. It’s also a great place to swim during the day and is easily visited from Moyogalpa.

Where to Stay on Ometepe

Hospedaje Siero:- $7 USD for a dorm bed in a simple-looking room. This hotel offers a garden and a terrace with a view of the Conception Volcano and is only around the corner from stores and shops. Breakfast can be added on for $3 USD and you can sit and enjoy it from the garden. The staff can also help you rent a scooter if you need one.

You can book Hospedaje Siero on either or Hostelworld.

Totoco Eco-lodge: $79 USD for a private cabin. The eco-friendly lodge is located in the middle of the jungle up on a hill giving it some of the best views on the entire island. There is an onsite restaurant serving local and international food and an infinity pool. This lodge uses renewable energy so some of the toilets are flush while others are dry compost toilets. The business makes a lot of effort towards helping the local village! The cons are that it’s on a long rough road and the wifi is spotty.

You can book Totoco Eco-lodge on

Selvista Guesthouse: Selvista Guesthouse is located in the jungle, and for a very reasonable price of around $57 USD, you can stay in a tranquil place with spectacular views. All rooms have balconies except for those on the ground floor. Breakfast is included in the cost and you will be offered fresh fruits, fresh Nicaragua coffee, and natural juice plus a cooked option. The hotel is located in Balgue which is the best area to stay in Ometepe in my opinion.

You can check availability on book Selvistia Guesthouse on

2. San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur Beach
San Juan del Sur Beach

San Juan del Sur needs no introduction. It’s Nicaragua’s most popular and well-known beach town and easily one of the best places to visit in Nicaragua.

What I love so much about San Juan del Sur is the laid-back lifestyle, small cafes, beautiful beaches, and fun atmosphere.

San Juan del Sur is a super popular surf location in Nicaragua with the most popular surf beaches being Playa Hermosa and Playa Maderas. At both beaches, you get consistent waves that every surfer loves.

The town is one of the most expensive in Nicaragua due to a large number of international visitors, however, it’s still cheap in my opinion. With plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops, San Juan del Sur is a great holiday destination in Nicaragua and you could easily spend weeks here. In fact, many travelers do get stuck here. Luckily it’s a great place to “get stuck”!

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Daniel surfing in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Learning to surf in San Juan del Sur

Learn to surf: For those who don’t already surf, San Juan del Sur provides a great opportunity to learn. Around town, there are plenty of surf schools that both rent surfboards and teach surfing. I personally did surf lessons like these 2-hour ones in San Juan del Sur and loved them. If you buy in advance each lesson costs around $40 USD and includes board rental and a shuttle to Playa Maderas, a great surf break for learning.

Sunday Funday Party: The Sunday Funday “pool crawl” is Central America’s biggest party. Over the day and night, you’ll visit five bars along with hundreds of other travelers. Of course, the party only happens on Sunday so make sure you’re there!

Watch the sunset (every night): The sunsets in San Juan del Sur are out of this world and there are plenty of great places around town to watch them from. For me though, simply heading to the beach in town, grabbing a few beers along the way and parking up on the sand was enough. From here, you can watch the sunset over the water!

Beach horseback riding: This particular horseback riding tour is very special as it isn’t just about riding a horse on a beach. This tour covers many different terrain types including hills, forests, rivers, and empty beaches. The beauty along this trail will be unforgettable!

It costs $100 USD per person but it also includes visits to Cristo de La Misericordia (the Jesus statue) and time to relax at one of the best beaches in the area. I think this activity is a super deal!

Inside our other blog called the best things to do in San Juan del Sur there are lots more ideas!

Where to stay in San Juan del Sur

the SPACE: This hostel is located on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur town. It is extremely modern and zen and offers strong wifi, free yoga classes, a restaurant, and a super long pool. It is relaxing all while having a social party vibe at night. A bunk in a dorm room costs $14 USD and you can get a private double room for $60 USD.

The SPACE. can be booked in advance on Hostelworld or

Selina Maderas: This place is perfect for those looking to relax or surf at Playa Maderas located right across from the beach. The Selina chain of hostels comes highly loved by many and they are very reputable. This location is a very nice place to spend a couple of nights. They offer private rooms starting at $55 USD and dorm rooms for $30 USD making them affordable for most travelers.

You can check prices and book Selina Maderas on Hostelworld or

TreeCasa Resort: TreeCasa Resort is conveniently located on the outskirts of San Juan del Sur, but still close enough! It is peaceful and every room has a balcony, many with amazing views! They have an onsite restaurant and bar, as well as a gorgeous pool. All rooms also have air conditioning and a king room begins at $250 USD!

You can check prices and availability and reviews for TreeCasa Resort on

Related Read: Thinking about visiting Costa Rica while you’re in Central America? Check out this list of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.

3. Apoyo Lake

Hanging out at Apoyo Lake, Nicaragua
Hanging out at Apoyo Lake, Nicaragua

If you’ve ever wanted to spend a few nights in the crater of a volcano then Apoyo Lake is likely going to be high on your list of places to check out in Nicaragua.

This unique crater lake is located only 20 minutes by taxi from Granada, which temps many people to simply visit for the day. But to me, the magic of Apoyo Lake happens after dark when the lake calms and the night sky above the crater lights up in an array of stars.

It’s also just a cool place to stay and one you can certainly brag to your friends about when you go home. During the day you can enjoy the lake’s warm water by renting a kayak, paddleboard, or simply go for a swim.

The Paradiso Hostel is a great place to go regardless if you’re coming for the day or night. The hostel offers a day pass for $7 USD that allows you to use their facilities from 9 am to 5 pm. Included in the price is the use of kayaks, ping pong, Wi-Fi, and more. During the day this hostel was really the place to be on the lake where lots of travelers were hanging out.

I’d recommend at least one night at Apoyo Lake. I personally stayed two and found it to be a great amount of time!

Things to do at Apoyo Lake

Mirador de Apoyo, nicaragua
Mirador de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Mirador de Apoyo: To get the best vantage point of Laguna de Apoyo head to the Mirador de Apoyo (aka Mirador de Catarina.) Catarina is the name of the town on the rim of the volcano and at the viewpoint, you’ll get the best views of the lake. You can get a cab to the viewpoint or walk if you’re up for it.

Relax, relax, relax: Visiting Apoyo Lake is more about doing nothing than anything. It’s a relaxing place that is quiet and far from the hustle and bustle. So, take this time to relax and unwind as I did!

Kayak or paddleboard on the lake: Of course, if you do get the itch to get moving then head to the water for some kayaking or paddleboarding. The lake is calm and protected from the wind so it’s a great place for water activities.

Where to stay in Apoyo Lake

Paradiso Hostel: As mentioned above, you can’t go wrong with Paradiso Hostel. The rooms are clean and prices are from $12 USD for a mixed-dorm room, $45 USD for a private double room, or $110 USD for a family room with a lake view. The food and drinks are good, and the place is super social. The property has a garden and games like pool, table tennis, and darts. You’re bound to have a fun time here! This hostel is 15 miles from Masaya Volcano.

You can check dates and book Paradiso Hostel on Hostelworld and

Casa Bella: For those wanting a quiet stay but don’t want to spend a ton, Casa Bella is a good choice and it looks like an art gallery. It’s located not far from Paradiso Hostel but the area offers a more tranquil experience including an outdoor garden space with lots of chairs and hammocks. Conveniently next door there is a restaurant so grab a coffee and head for a swim at the beach. An entire 1-bedroom house only costs $80 USD. The hotel’s reviews are also outstanding!

You can check dates and book Casa Bella on

Pacaya Lodge and Spa: There aren’t many luxury stays near Laguna de Apoyo, however, Pacaya Lodge and Spa is one of the few. Located in a quiet area on the lake, this lodge is pure luxury. All of the guest rooms have a balcony with a lake view and begin at $113 USD for a double room. Also, hot and cold breakfast options are included in the room rate. You can unwind with a massage at the spa or hang out at the pool or hot tub.

You can check dates and book Pacaya Lodge and Spa on

4. Leon

Bailey walks on the roof of the Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Leon, Nicaragua
Bailey walking on the Cathedral-Basilica in Leon.

Leon is one of Nicaragua’s larger cities. For that reason, it can often get a bad rep. However, Leon is actually a very interesting and fun place to visit in Nicaragua.

Often Leon is one of the first or last places people visit as it sits close to the border with Honduras. For me, it was just that and after visiting Leon I headed off to cross the border from Nicaragua and directly to EL Salvador and onto El Salvador.

But Leon wasn’t just a stop-off location and I actually fell in love with the city for a few reasons. Of course, the main one was the sheer amount of amazing things to do such as the super famous Cerro Negro Volcano boarding (that can’t be missed.) However, the other was the inner city’s beauty and charm.

Not only did Leon offer plenty of social bars to have a drink, but also lots of cafes and restaurants. I spent my days wandering the colonial architecture stopping for lunch and coffee along the way. Then, at night headed to the bars for free salsa lessons and cheap beers.

Overall, Leon is a cool city to visit and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy while visiting Nicaragua!

Things to do in Leon

Bailey about to go volcano boarding in Leon, Nicaragua
Bailey about to go volcano boarding!

Cerro Negro Volcano Boarding: The Cerro Negro volcano boarding is not only one of the best things to do in Leon but in all of Nicaragua! In fact, I’d say it was my overall favorite activity I did during my trip. After a 1-hour trek up to the top, you will slide down an active volcano on a makeshift board having the time of your life. It’s fun, dirty, and downright scary! This particular tour is the one that I recommend because it includes round-trip transport, a local guide, and is reasonably priced at $48 USD.

Visit the largest Cathedral in Central America: The Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the largest cathedral in Central America and it’s located in the heart of Leon. A visit is a must, but, be sure to climb onto the roof. From the top, you get amazing views of the town.

Party at ViaVia Leon Hostel: ViaVia Leon Hostel is the best place to enjoy a social drink with other travelers in Leon. The entire bottom floor of the hostel is actually a large bar and restaurant open to the public. Most nights they have live music as well as games and free salsa lessons. The beers are cheap, the food’s good, and the atmosphere is electric!

For more check out our guide to the best things to do in Leon, Nicaragua!

Where to Stay in Leon

ViaVia Leon: ViaVia Leon isn’t just a great place to party. The hostel itself is centrally located, the rooms are spacious and there is a great social atmosphere by the restaurant and bar which serves African, American, and Belgian cuisine. This is a great place to stay if you want to meet other travelers for a low price. A twin best only costs $10 USD. You can book ViaVia on and Hostelworld.

Hotel Flor De Sarta: a great hotel for those looking for a really comfortable stay in Leon. All rooms have air conditioning and there is even a beautiful outdoor pool onsite. The hotel is 500 meters from the main cathedral, so still within walking distance of the hustle and bustle while being in a slightly quieter area. The rooms are large and breakfast is included. A standard room begins at $70 USD.

You can check prices and book your room at Hotel Flor De Sarta on

Hotel el Convento is Leon’s most luxurious hotel. It’s only a few minutes walk from the cathedral, this hotel has immaculate gardens and grounds that make it look like something in a movie. They also have a large outdoor pool, an onsite restaurant and bar, and breakfast is included in the room rate. Expect to pay around $115 USD for a queen room. We never stayed here – but we wish we had!

You can secure your room at Hotel El Convento on

5. Popoyo

The view of Popoyo beach Nicaragua
The waves are pumping in Popoyo!

Move over San Juan del Sur there’s a new surf town in Nicaragua that’s gaining popularity. Popoyo is a (very) small beach town located on the west coast around 2 hours from San Juan del Sur. The town was made popular by surfers just like San Juan del Sur, however, it’s nowhere near as big and the surf is better! Imagine San Juan del Sur 20 years ago – that’s Popoyo now!

For those who like to avoid the tourist hubs or want a little more adventure then heading to Popoyo is a must-visit destination in Nicaragua. The small town is home to some pretty good waves perfect for all levels, however, its most famous waves are only for the pros with waves up to 3 times overhead!

The town itself of Popoyo is tiny and you’ll only find a few hostels/hotels as well as small shops. But if you ask me, that’s what gives Popoyo its attractive charm.

Many visitors come here for the day from San Juan del Sur. If you can, my recommendation is to come for a few nights, enjoy some beers and waves, and have some off-the-beaten-path fun!

Things to do in Popoyo

A lady surfs at Popoyo Beach
Yeww!! Look at Bailey go!

Learn to surf: Surfing the most popular thing to do in Popoyo. For beginners, head to one of the board rental shops to sign up for lessons. These range from 1 hour up to multi-day courses.

Salinas Hot Springs: Las Salinas is a natural hot spring located in Popoyo. Using naturally hot water there are three pools filled with spring water from beneath the ground. Although the smell is off-putting, the pools are great for your skin! The spring costs $3 USD to enter. Keep in mind the property isn’t in the best of shape.

Swim at the Tidal Pools, Guasacate Beach: If you head to Guasacate Beach around low tide you’ll be welcomed by beautiful tidal pools. These are perfect for swimming and viewing a range of marine life. This activity is completely free too!

Where to Stay in Popoyo

Popoyo Surf Camp: If you came to surf and socialize then the Popoyo Surf Camp is the place to stay right on the beach. I personally stayed here and loved it! They have a garden, terrace, bar, and pool for the hot days you’re feeling lazy and offer really high-quality surf lessons. A simple twin room costs $23 USD whereas a bungalow costs $58 USD for two people. This was one of my favorite hostels in Central America.

You can check dates and book Popoyo Surf Camp on or Hostelworld.

Casitas Pacific: Surprisingly, there are a lot of really good mid-range hotels in Popoyo. Out of them, Casitas Pacific stands out the most to me. Located right on the beach, the hotel offers a great bar, pizza restaurant, massages, and yoga. If you need to rent a car you can even do so from here! For the price of around $77 USD, it’s one of the best-value places in Popoyo.

You can check dates and book Casitas Pacific on

Punta Teonoste: Located a few kilometers from town, Punta Teonoste offers a more luxurious stay on a quiet beach. All rooms have a thatched roof, mosquito nets, and a terrace with a hammock and it’s close enough to the water to fall asleep to the sound of the waves. A bungalow costs around $150 USD a night. The hotel has a beautiful oceanfront pool, great service, and amazing food at the restaurant, although a little overpriced. For those after a romantic and quiet stay, this is the place!

You can check dates and book Punta Teonoste on

6. Corn Islands

A beautiful beach on Little Corn, Nicaragua
The Corn Islands are absolutely stunning!

The Corn Islands are a Caribbean paradise just waiting to be explored. The two islands, Big Corn and Little Corn, are famous for pristine beaches, turquoise water, and that Caribbean lifestyle that sees you sipping coconuts, eating seafood, and catching up on some much-needed rest.

Big Corn is the larger island of the two (well duh?!) and on the island, you’ll find shops, roads, ATMs, and lots of hostels and hotels. Big Corn is also where the airport is and where you’ll land on your way here. Most people simply leave Big Corn right away and head for the smaller, less populated Little Corn.

Although I can agree that Little Corn is the nicer Island, spending a day or two on Big Corn is a great way to see how the locals live, and by the way, the beaches are just as lovely!

Little Corn is still home to hotels and hostels, however, you won’t find any ATMs on Little Corn nor are there any roads or cars for that matter. The island is only 2.9 square kilometers so everything is within walking distance.

Getting to the islands is easiest by plane from Managua with two flights per day. You can get a ferry to the islands but that’s very time-consuming. To be honest, there’s so much I could tell you about the Corn Islands, however, this guide to the Corn Islands says it all!

Although a little out of the way, the trip to the islands is worth every minute and penny. In my opinion, the Corn Islands are easily one of the best places to visit in Nicaragua.

Things to do on the Corn Islands

A stingray swims through the water on the Corn Islands, Nicaragua during a scuba diving trip
So much wildlife and crystal-clear water! Photo credit – Kevin Wells Photography from Bigstock

Scuba diving: The Corn Islands offer great scuba diving opportunities. Not only is the visibility amazing, but you can encounter interesting marine life such as hammerhead sharks and huge stingrays. There are specific hammerhead shark tours that take you to places they are known to visit or you can just do a standard dive to a reef around the island.

Beach hopping: You can walk the entire Little Corn in a few hours, so why not do it? Explore, visit beaches, stop at cafes. Just go and see where your day takes you, that’s what traveling is about!

Pamper yourself: The Corn Islands are a great place to enjoy some morning yoga or a massage. Most hotels offer these or you can find small shops around the islands. I actually left the Corn Islands refreshed and found my time there a holiday from my holiday!

Where to Stay on the Corn Islands

Christina’s Guest House: On Little Corn, accommodation is limited especially in the budget category. However, a great place to stay is at Christina’s Guest House. You can grab a double room with a shared bathroom for as little past $10 USD or a private double deluxe room with a balcony and kitchen for only $35 USD. The place is simple, clean, and located right next to several beaches.

You can check dates and book Christina’s Guest House on

Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow: If you have a higher budget then you really will enjoy your stay at Island Beach and Bungalow. You can do lots of activities right from the property including snorkeling and canoeing! The hotel is one of the luxury hotels on the island and you can expect great service, a stunning location, and beautiful rooms starting at $132 USD a night.

You can check dates and book Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow on

7. Granada

View of the main square in Granada from the Cathedral of Granada
View of the main square in Granada from the Cathedral of Granada

Famous for its well-preserved colonial architecture and cute central plaza, Granada is my favorite city in Nicaragua. Wandering the main square, it’s easy to lose track of time between the small cafes and restaurants and beautiful palm trees. For just a second, you’d think you weren’t in a big city, but instead a small town.

Granada has become a huge part of the typical traveler route through Nicaragua, and for good reason! Not only is the center of the city stunningly beautiful, but, the city’s location can have you in almost all of the places on this list in just a few hours. For many, Granada is the perfect base to explore and enjoy all the best things to do in Nicaragua.

The center of the city is safe and home to lots of great bars, restaurants, museums, and historical monuments making the city the best place in Nicaragua to touch up on your history and learn more about Central America’s largest country.

However, Granada is also authentically Nicaraguan and a short stroll to the central market has you rubbing shoulders with locals in one of the country’s largest markets. For those mainly visiting towns like San Juan del Sur, this is a unique chance to see just how the majority of Nicaraguans live.   

Things to do in Granada

Colonial buildings in Granada
Colonial buildings in Granada

There are so many different things to do in Granada, Nicaragua! Below are just a few of my personal highlights.

Visit the Masaya Volcano: The most popular thing to do in Granada is visit the Masaya Volcano. The Masaya Volcano is an active volcano that glows red at night as hot lava swirls around its mouth. When you go there, you can actually see the lava in the crater with your own eyes – it’s so cool! 

The Masaya Volcano is located a short 40-minute drive from Granada. While you can take a taxi there, I definitely wouldn’t miss out on this exact tour! It’s great because you don’t have to worry about trying to find the right spot or waiting around for a taxi at night. On top of that, your guide will provide lots of interesting information and it only costs $80 USD per person. 

Climb the Cathedral of Granada: The Cathedral of Granada is a stunning cathedral in the main square of the city. Although you can simply take in its beauty from the outside, you simply must climb to the top to get breathtaking views of the city.

Explore the colonial architecture: While in Granada, be sure to take a walk around the city. Wander around and find small cute streets and explore the stunning colonial architecture. It’s amazing what you’ll find and just how beautiful the city is!

One of the best ways to go about seeing the best highlights and learning about the history here is on a city tour like this one. If you like getting to the point then you will enjoy it because it’s a short 2-hour tour where your guide will show you around on both foot and horse and carriage. The price is reasonable at $40 USD.

If you want an even better deal pay $45 USD more for this version that also includes a boat tour of the Islets at the end.

Where to Stay in Granada

Oasis Hostel: Having a pool in Granada is a huge bonus as the city can get very hot. For those on a budget, Oasis Hostel is the best hostel with a pool in the city. The hostel is affordable with a basic bunk costing just $11 USD, centrally located, and is a great place to meet other travelers. Plus, they have a range of rooms from dorms to privates. You can book Oasis Hostel on and Hostelworld.

Hotel con Corazón: In the medium budget range there are a lot of great choices in Granada, however, Hotel con Corazón is a stand-out favorite of mine. With a beautiful pool, an included breakfast, large rooms, and friendly staff, it’s hard to beat this hotel that’s centrally located in Granada. A standard suite starts at $49 USD. Drinking water is also provided and there is a reasonably priced on-site bar and restaurant.

You can book Hotel con Corazón on

Hotel Plaza Colon: If you’re a luxury traveler then Hotel Plaza Colon is the best choice in the city and is in a building that features traditional Granada architecture. The hotel is located in the main square but after passing through the front doors you wouldn’t know it. With a beautiful pool, including breakfast and all the extras you’d expect from a top-rated hotel, Hotel Plaza Colon is perfect! Plus, they are also sustainable and all provided toiletries are biodegradable. A night in a queen room runs around $100 USD.

You can book Hotel Plaza Colon on

8. Masaya

The Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua
So cool!

Masaya is a small city near Granada that offers a really unique experience in Nicaragua. Although most famous for the Masaya Volcano, the city’s handicraft markets are also a top attraction I wouldn’t miss in Nicaragua.

This craft market, Mercado de Artisanal, is one of the best places in the country to pick up a souvenir and many of the crafts are handmade goods. The city’s central market is also a really neat place to visit and like Granada’s, is really authentically Nicaraguan.

Unlike most of the places on this list, Masaya is best visited on a day trip or tour from Granada. Of course, you can stay in the city if you want, but, with a full day, you can really see the best things to do in the city and be satisfied you did it well.

Things to do in Masaya

A stall at Mercado de Artisanal, Masaya, Nicaragua
A stall at Mercado de Artisanal, Masaya, Nicaragua

Visit Mercado de Artisanal: As mentioned above, the artisanal market is one of the best places to pick up a souvenir in Nicaragua. The market is really colorful and the prices for goods are cheap.

Explore the Masaya Volcano: The main attraction in Masaya is the Masaya Volcano. You can tour the volcano during the day or night but for me, the night tour was a highlight. Staring into an active volcanic core with electric lava gushing was out of this world!

If you want to have the same experience I did then I would highly recommend booking this tour. For just $80 USD it provides a guide who will transport you right to the rim’s best viewpoint while teaching you about the volcano during the ride. Once there, they will also help you to take the best nighttime pictures. You can also ask to go to the visitor’s center to learn more history and hold heal volcanic rocks if that is interesting for you!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie after sliding down the Cerro Negro Volcano in Nicaragua
Thanks for reading!

Nicaragua really is an adventure-lovers paradise filled with amazing places to visit and incredible things to do. From the south to the north you’re in for a real treat and this list of the best places to visit is the perfect place to start!

Thanks so much for reading! If you found this blog, then be sure to check out all our other Nicaragua blogs, our complete Nicaragua Travel Guide, or these related articles below!

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How to survive traveling as a couple

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