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Tourist Attractions in Nicaragua

The most interesting and beautiful tourist sites in Nicaragua

Photos, reviews, descriptions, and links to maps

About Nicaragua

Nicaragua is not a rich but very beautiful country. It has quite well developed tourist destinations, but the prices for tourists are acceptable. Apart from the usual beauties of nature and museums, Nicaragua offers unique entertainment.

In what place can you ride a wooden plank down the slope of a volcano? Nicaragua! And where can you peek into the crater of an active volcano? Nicaragua! And see an old town buried under a layer of lava? Also in Nicaragua. And this is not the whole list of unique sights of the country.

In addition to volcanoes and beautiful natural parks, the country has beautiful colourful cities, which should definitely be seen by tourists. Despite the poverty of the country, they are very neat and pretty. Among them are Granada, Estelí, Managua.

The coasts of Nicaragua are covered with fine snow-white sand. Therefore, beach holidays are well developed here, hotels, restaurants and cafes are built, and tourists are becoming more and more every year. In the country you can find quiet deserted beaches and places where you can dance on the sand all night.

Top-24 Tourist Attractions in Nicaragua


Nicaragua’s main tourist town. It has an independent life, separate from the rest of the country. The streets with well-preserved colonial architecture are graciously travelled by horses. They ride tourists and also serve as a means of transport among the locals. Granada is peaceful and quiet, and the poverty of the state has no impact on the charm of the ancient city, the beauty of the churches and nature.


720 reviews
In the middle of the beautiful Lake Nicaragua lies a beautiful island. It is famous for the volcanoes of Concepción and Maderas. In fact, Ometepem is the isthmus that connects these two giants. Concepcion is 1,610 metres high and Maderas Volcano is 1,394 metres high. Tourists are taken to the volcanoes by locals. In the crater of Maderas there is a lagoon, near which a forest has formed, coffee and banana plantations, and on the island itself there are many cafes and restaurants.


184 reviews
Not far from Granada is the Mombacho volcano, on which a national park has been created. It is called the “cloud forest” because of the constant humidity. This is the reason for the beautiful wildlife on the volcano. The park has several trails lined with wooden steps. During the walk you can see many species of animals and orchids. The views from the top of the volcano are excellent.

Corn Islands

In the Caribbean Sea, 70 kilometres off the coast of Nicaragua are the Corn Islands. Recently they have become increasingly popular. Snow-white beaches are surrounded by coral reefs and are perfect for diving. They are quiet and peaceful, the peace and tranquillity is only replaced by rousing festivals. These include the Crab Festival and the Palo de May Dance Festival.


This city in the north-west of Nicaragua can be called the capital of tobacco production in the country. It has an active trade, which is why Estelí is constantly growing. It has a well organised water supply network and waste water drainage. Therefore, the atmosphere in the city is very pleasant. In the neighbourhood of Esteli you can see uplands with rock paintings. The remains of huge animals have also been found there.

Salto de Estanzuela

237 reviews
The picturesque Salto de La Estanzuela waterfall is 6 kilometres from Estelí. You can book a tour to it in the town. On the way, the guide will tell you about the history and peculiarities of this place. You can swim in the lake near the waterfall, and walk around the neighbourhood and see the beautiful nature. The Salto de La Estanzuela waterfall is small, but during the rainy season it grows considerably in size.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM


The capital of Nicaragua, the largest city in the country. The city has suffered more than once from natural disasters, but has retained its pleasant appearance and neatness, and the people have not lost their optimism and love of life. The city centre is located near Lake Managua. There is also the central park and the main square of the city. The most unusual attraction of the city is the Acaulinka footprints. These are footprints of people and animals fleeing from the volcano.

Santiago of Managua Cathedral

593 reviews
The Old Cathedral or St James Cathedral was built in Belgium and then brought by ship to Nicaragua in 1920. It is in the neoclassical style, made of concrete and metal. The foundation for the cathedral is the base of the demolished Santiago Church. Its appearance attracts many tourists, but no one can get inside. Due to its poor condition after the earthquake, it was closed.
Open time
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Sunday: Open 24 hours

Playa San Juan del Sur

247 reviews
San Juan is an entertainment centre for dance lovers and beach lovers. It has beautiful beaches with cafes, clean sand and beautiful nature. Some of them are completely deserted and some have excellent surfing conditions. Beginners are offered surfing lessons. Dancing on the beach starts in the evening and ends around two in the morning.

Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve

144 reviews
Not far from the pretty and tidy town of Catarina is one of the most beautiful places in Nicaragua. It is Lake Apoyo. It has an area of 21 km² and a depth of 175 metres. Apoyo is circular in shape, its water is clear and has an incredible blue colour. Because the lake is heated by a volcano, it is a heavenly experience to swim in its warm water while admiring the magnificent scenery.


The former capital of Nicaragua lies north-west of Managua. The city of Leon was founded in 1524 at the foot of the Momotombo volcano. But after its eruption, the city was moved 30 kilometres further away. Now Leon is considered the intellectual centre of the country. The city is steeped in history and has preserved much beautiful architecture. Leon has the largest cathedral in Central America, many museums and churches.

Cerro Negro

260 reviews
The Cerro Negro volcano is a very unusual way to have fun, and you can’t do it anywhere else. The volcano is considered active, its last eruption was in 1999. Its height is 728 metres. The views from the top are incredible. Those who want to ride down its steep black slopes covered with ash and sand, get on a special wooden board and ride down with great speed.

León Viejo

The ancient colonial city of Leon, built in the 16th century, was destroyed by a volcano. Many buildings were buried under a layer of lava. And now, in 1967, the ruins of the city were discovered. It is a unique 16th century colonial town that has never been rebuilt. Leon Viejo is on the UNESCO heritage list.

Momotombo Volcano

112 reviews
The volcano is located on the north-western shore of Lake Managua. It is the volcano that buried the city of Leon with a lava flow, forcing the inhabitants to relocate. The volcano is cone-shaped and its height is 1297 metres. Momotombo is one of the symbols of Nicaragua and was even depicted on the country’s coat of arms. And on 1 December 2015, the volcano woke up for the first time in 110 years, putting on a fire show for tourists.

Alcaldía Municipal

22 reviews
First of all, the city is famous for Lake Apoyo and its gorgeous scenery. The Mombacho volcano rises very close to it, which is also visible from the viewpoints. In Catarina there are cafes, restaurants with delicious cuisine, shops with souvenirs and sweets, workshops. You can shop here for every taste and purse. Traditionally, picturesque paintings by local artists are brought from it.

Catedral De Leon Nicaragua

367 reviews
The city of Leon is home to the beautiful Cathedral of Leon. Its construction lasted more than half a century: it started in 1747 and finished in 1814. It was consecrated by Pope Pius IX in 1860. It is the largest cathedral in all of Central America. Its main attraction is the statue of the Virgin Mary, which was created for the cathedral in the 20th century. Many famous Nicaraguans are buried in the cathedral.

Reserva Natural Bosawás

276 reviews
The Bosawas Nature Reserve is just an hour’s drive from the capital. Its area is 730 thousand hectares. This is about 16% of the country’s territory. Bosawas is the green lungs of Nicaragua. Pine trees, oaks, rubber trees, mahogany grow in the reserve. The fauna includes alligators, pumas, ocelots, monkeys, deer and a bird that is the symbol of the country. It is called guardabarranco and is distinguished by the blue feathers on its tail.

Masaya Volcano

690 reviews
Masaya Volcano is part of Nicaragua’s largest national park. It is the first attraction that tourists rush to see. The volcano is over 2,500 years old and 635 metres high. It is unique in that it allows you to get up close and literally put your head into the crater. The views from the top of the volcano are unbelievable, and you can ride horses while admiring nature.

Lake Nicaragua

664 reviews
Lake Nicaragua is a freshwater lake with an area of 8,264 km². It is the largest freshwater lake in Latin America. It was once part of the ocean, but has since separated from it, retaining some of its inhabitants. Among them are sharks. It is the only freshwater lake on the planet where these animals live permanently. The waters of Nicaragua are not very calm, periodically there are waves on them.

Archipiélago de Solentiname

6 reviews
They are volcanic islands located in the south of Lake Nicaragua. The archipelago consists of four large islands and 32 small islands. People lived on the archipelago in ancient times. This is evidenced by ancient petroglyphs. On rocks and stones scientists have found drawings depicting people, parrots and monkeys. The Solentiname Islands have been given the status of a national natural monument.

Montelimar Beach

235 reviews
Montelimar Beach is located in the west of the country. It is covered with fine white sand, surrounded by beautiful nature and washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The length of the beach is 3 kilometres. On it are located fashionable and five-star hotels. Tourists are offered a quiet holiday on the beach, entertainment in hotels or excursions to the cities of Nicaragua.

Fortress of the Immaculate Conception

417 reviews
The fortress is located in the town of El Castillo. It was built in 1672 to protect it from invaders and wild tribes. It has survived more than one terrible battle, captured and besieged again. Now the fortress houses a two-storey museum, which includes the surviving rooms: barracks, armoury, prison cells and a chapel. The fortress offers beautiful views of the river and the picturesque jungle.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Traces Archaeological Museum Acahualinca

217 reviews
These are the oldest human footprints found on the American continent. They are more than 6,000 years old and were left on volcanic lava. During the volcanic eruption people and animals, trying to save themselves, ran away from their settlement, leaving footprints. In addition, the museum presents various household items of people who lived in that territory and even the remains of a mammoth.
Open time
Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Selva Negra

3466 reviews
Presents a hotel located on a historic estate, surrounded by coffee plantations. This coffee farm was founded by German immigrants in 1891. Since 1976, the place has been a popular tourist destination in Nicaragua. The resort is located 11 kilometres from the town of Matagalpa.
Open time
Monday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Thursday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM