Nicaragua

Sandwiched between the Caribbean and the Pacific, Nicaragua is one of Central America’s most captivating destinations. The region’s largest country, it is home to pristine rainforests, towering volcanoes, beautiful colonial architecture and the largest body of freshwater in Central America. Still largely undeveloped, its combination of natural beauty, colonial charm and vibrant energy makes it one of the most affable and unspoiled countries in the Americas.

Conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, it is home to a fascinating and lively mix of cultural traditions; a mix that has generated a rich diversity of art, language and cuisine that is strongly influenced by European, Amerindian, creole and mestizo traditions. But it is its natural beauty that first captivates. Known as “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”, Nicaragua is home to a chain of towering peaks that provide some stunning opportunities for outdoor adventure, with climbing, hiking, swimming and camping all popular pursuits.

Nicaragua is also home to a staggering wealth of flora and fauna, with nearly 20% of the country making up national parks and protected reserves. Considered the lungs of Central America, its forests provide a haven for over 700 species of birds, more than180 species of mammals and nearly 12,000 different varieties of plants. Add to that the golden beaches of the Caribbean and the colonial elegance of cities like Granada and León, and you really do have a spectacular setting for an offbeat adventure.