Join a Nicaragua adventure tour and visit the lovely town of León with its colonial charm and shady gardens and plazas. Buy renowned leather work souvenirs or visit the museums, churches, cathedral and the Plaza de la Constitution. The Templo Expiatorio also has a collection of catacombs which are worth seeing. The scenery is lush on our Nicaragua adventure tours as we pass through the tobacco growing regions to Granada, on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
Granada is one of the most characteristic and colourful colonial towns in Central America which was founded in 1524. It sits at the base of Mombacho Volcano and will remind many of Granada in Spain due to its Moorish feel. There are many optional excursions on a Nicaragua adventure tour to do in the surrounding countryside, including the Masaya National Park, with its double-crested and still active volcano, and the Masaya handicraft markets nearby where you can purchase great hammocks, but remember to bargain hard for the best price! Why not choose to go for a boat tour of the islands on the nearby lake, or a trekking and zip lining tour through the Mombacho Volcano Cloud Forest.
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Nicaragua Travel Articles, Inspiration & Information
Tour Leader Insights: An Interview on Central America
We have managed to pin down two of our amazing Central America tour leaders for a short interview on a lowdown of their favourite continent, before they go whizzing off taking more excited passengers on an adventure of a lifetime! This article is perfect for anyone planning their next adventure to Central America.. Read more
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Nicaragua Travel Guide
Nicaragua Travel Guide
Memories of revolution and war are present even though the country is now a peaceful and safe place to visit. Nicaragua’s history and culture has indigenous, Spanish and African Caribbean influences. Nicaraguan land was inhabited during Pre-Colombian times by many indigenous peoples such as the Nicaraos, Chorotegas, Chontales and Miskitos. Christopher Columbus was the first European to step on Nicaraguan land during his fourth and last journey to the Americas. Afterwards many Spanish conquistadors settled here. Hernández de Córdoba from whom the currency is named, 'discovered' Lake Nicaragua and founded the cities of Granada and León. During the next 300 years Nicaragua belonged to the Spanish kingdom under the governance of the colonial capital Granada. It gained independence from Spain in 1821 and belonged to the “Central America United Provinces Federation" a couple of years before full independence was achieved in 1938.
Geography and weather
Nicaragua is mountainous in the west, with fertile valleys and a plateau slopes eastward towards the Caribbean. Lake Nicaragua, about 161 kilometres long, and Lake Managua, about 61 kilometres long, are connected by the Tipitapa River and dominate the south-western part of the country. The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. The Caribbean coast, swampy and indented, is aptly called the "Mosquito Coast." Nicaragua can be extremely hot and humid, particularly in the months of March-May (before most the rains come). The Pacific zone (where our tours visit), is tropical, with relatively little precipitation. It is characterized by its high temperatures between 27ºC and 32ºC in the rainy season (May-October) and between 30ºC and 35ºC in the dry season (November-April).
Visit www.worldclimate.com to get an idea of what the weather will be like on your tour.
Most nationals do not need a visa to enter Nicaragua, but it is important to check the rules for your nationality with your nearest embassy or consulate. Entry is granted on production of a passport valid for more than 6 months and proof of funds to support yourself (although proof not usually requested). As a tourist you are entitled to 90 days, however depending on the immigration official you may be allocated less days (30 days is most common). You will probably be asked to fill out an immigration card. A copy of this card should stay in your passport until you exit the country.
All Tucan Travel tours enter and depart Nicaragua by land.
US dollars (cash) are accepted for some purchases in Nicaragua, however you will need cordobas for most purchases. Even if you have the choice of paying for things in US dollars it will be in your interest to use local currency.
Therefore we advise you to obtain a considerable amount of local currency as soon as you enter the country. You can change dollars into cordobas at the border, and your tour leader will point out ATM machines and banks where you can change travellers cheques in Managua (this is the first destination we visit in Nicaragua).
Often the easiest way to obtain local currency is to use the ATMs (‘cajeros automaticos’) located in every city throughout the country. Some ATMs will issue US doillars but this should not be relied on.
Do not rely on your card as your only source of money. Always have a few back-ups with you.
In most restaurants a 10% service charge is included on the bill. If not, you are expected to leave a tip of roughly 10%.You do not need to tip taxi drivers, etc but you should tip people who assist you with your luggage at hotels (don’t over-tip – 50 cents or so is fine). Tipping guides at the end of excursions is always appreciated and your tour leader will advise you on the amount for this.
Crime in Latin America is not as bad as its reputation as long as you are sensible and alert. Like anywhere in the world, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Care should be taken, especially whilst walking around the larger cities. Try to keep away from dark quiet areas if on your own, particularly late at night and try to always take a taxi.
We suggest that whenever possible you leave all of your important documents in the safe (“caja fuertes”). However you should always carry some form of ID or a photocopy of your passport.
It is advisable not to wear expensive looking watches or jewellery. Keep your camera concealed when not in use. Remember that most thieves don't use violence but rely mostly on diversionary tactics which can take place at anytime of the day or night. Do not be paranoid, but just be aware that it could happen at anytime. Always be vigilant and the chances are nothing will ever happen to you. The safety of our passengers is our tour leaders’ number one concern and they will provide all necessary local information during the pre-departure meeting.
Local food and drink
As a guideline a simple snack (e.g. a sandwich or pastry) can cost as little as US$0.40, and a cheap local meal will cost between US$1.50-$3. Even a meal in one of the best restaurants in Granada costs very little in comparison to what you would expect to pay at home (usually around US$10-15). Obviously this depends on what you order and if you have wine or other drinks which will certainly increase the bill. In cheaper local restaurants you can get meals for as little as US$1. Virtually none of the hotels in Nicaragua include breakfast, but some of them have restaurants where you can expect to pay US$2-5.
Your tour leader will be able to recommend restaurants.
The Nicaraguan food as in all Mesoamerican countries is based on corn and is not too hot and spicy. Corn is the main ingredient used in cakes, spirits, confectionery, drinks, desserts, etc. Cassava, beans and chili pepper are also widely used as ingredient in different Nicaraguan dishes. The most popular food in Nicaragua is "gallo pinto", which consists of rice and beans and is sometimes combined with chicken, pork or beef and also plantains (sweet cooked bananas), potatoes and salad. Seafood is popular along the coasts.
Pastries are common snacks, as are: "nacatamales" - made of maize pasta, filled with meat and vegetables and wrapped in banana leaves, "quesillos" - a tortilla served with cheese and sour cream and "vigorón" - a boiled cassava topped with cabbage salad, chicharron (fried pork skin), cabbage and yucca.
"Tortilla" is a thin corn bread involved in almost every Nicaraguan dish.
If you are a strict vegetarian be sure to stress 'no carne, cerdo, pollo, pescado. You may experience a distinct lack of variety in the food available, especially in small towns. You might find that you are eating a lot of omelettes and other egg dishes. Our tour leaders will do their best to provide interesting vegetarian alternatives when arranging group meals in the campsite, but your patience and understanding is requested.
All drinks such as water, soft or alcoholic drinks are at your own expense at all times.
Nicaraguan fruit is fresh and cheap. Go to one of the many juice stands and ask for a “liquado de fruta” (fruit smoothie) or “jugo de naranja y zanahoria” (orange & carrot). Papaya, melon, watermelon, mango, and pineapple are very popula. Always specify if you don’t want sugar (“sin azucar”). Latin Americans have a very sweet tooth and will usually automatically add the sugar.
Generally speaking it’s best not to expect good coffee/tea in this part of the world. Be warned that Americano (weak black coffee) is the most common, followed by “café con leche” (more like milk with a bit of coffee), and cappuccino (sometimes good). If you ask for tea (“té negro”) you will get teabags. Always ask for “leche fria a parte” (cold milk on the side) as the alternative is likely to be a hot cup of milk with a tea bag inside.
If you only learn one word in Spanish it’s bound to be Cerveza. There are countless lagers, and a few dark beers. The most popular local Nicaraguan beers are Toña or Victoria. White rum (ron) is definitely the most commonly drunk spirit in Honduras. The country is not known for its wine and it is best to order Chilean wine.
The time difference in Bulgaria is GMT/UTC + 2. For other time differences please visit www.timeanddate.com
220-240V. Sockets are of European two pronged round pin variety.