Tourism in Nicaragua
has grown considerably recently, and it is now the second largest industry in the nation. Nicaraguan
President Daniel Ortega
has stated his intention to use tourism to combat poverty throughout the country.
The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry. The results for Nicaragua's tourism-driven economy have been significant, with the nation welcoming one million tourists in a calendar year for the first time in its history in 2010.
During the Nicaraguan Revolution
in the 1980s, Nicaragua was not regarded as a place to travel, which caused a decrease in tourism. However, rapid expansion of the tourist industry over the last decade has made it the nation's second largest industry.
Over the last 7 years tourism
has grown about 70% nationwide with rates of 10%-16% annually.
Nicaragua is mostly famous for its landscapes
, beaches, lakes, and volcanoes
. By 2010, the nation welcomed one million visitors—the most in its entire history for a calendar year. Nicaragua's tourism industry in 2010 raked in approximately 360 million dollars for the nation's economy.
According to the Nicaraguan news program Canal 2 TV Noticias
, the country's main tourist attractions are beaches, scenic routes, the architecture of cities such as León and Granada, and most recently ecotourism
, particularly in Northern Nicaragua.
In 2013, more than 1.2 million tourists visited Nicaragua, representing an increase of nearly a third from 2009.
Two-thirds of these tourists were from other Central American countries, 290,000 were from North America and 80,000 from Europe.
Of those that come for recreation, their principal activities include surfing, hiking volcanoes and getting to know the country's nature trails.
According to the Ministry of Tourism of Nicaragua (INTUR) the colonial city of Granada
is the preferred spot for tourists. The city's central park, Parqué Colón, hosts many vendors of traditional foods and arts and crafts, and there are always several horse-drawn carriages ready to give thorough and affordable tours of the city.
Venturing outside of the city limits, one can explore the verdant islets of Granada by a relaxing guided boat ride or by kayak.
The islets also have hotels for those that wish to take in the sunrise from the Mombacho Volcano, a common day destination for those interested in climbing into a cloud forest.
The Apoyo Lagoon
is also a popular destination for those visiting Granada. Also, the cities of León
and the likes of San Juan del Sur
, San Juan River
Volcano, and others are the main tourist attractions.Ecotourism
also attract many tourists.
Nicaragua was ranked with the lowest crime rate
in Latin America
and many other sources,
with only 12 crimes for every 100,000 citizens.
Nicaragua also holds the largest lake in Central America, about 700 species of birds
, and unspoiled natural beauty. Despite all this, it is still the least visited country in the region.
However, the lower number of tourists help Nicaragua keep low prices, and an "off-the-beaten-track" feel.
Rural and community-based tourism
CECOCAFEN is an organization of coffee cooperatives in Northern Nicaragua that manage a rural and community-based tourism project, which has been developed with support from Lutheran World Relief
. Tourism allows farmers to receive new opportunities in alternative markets, harvest coffee and diversify their income.
CECOCAFEN offers visitors the opportunity to visit a coffee farm, learn about coffee craftsmanship, and even to stay overnight on a coffee farm and explore with a community guide.
aims to be ecologically and socially conscious; it focuses on local culture, wilderness, and adventure. Nicaragua's eco-tourism grows every year,
as the country boasts a number of eco-tourist tours and perfect places for adventurers. Nicaragua has three eco-regions, the Pacific, Central and Atlantic, which contain volcanoes, tropical rainforest and agricultural land. The majority of ecolodges and other environmentally-focused touristic destinations are found on Ometepe Island, found in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, an hour's boat ride from Granada. While some are foreign-owned, such as the tropical permaculture lodge at Finca El Zopilote,
others are owned by local families, like the small but acclaimed Finca Samaria.
Nicaragua is home to 78 protected areas
covering over 20% of its landmass, and is home to 7% of the world's biodiversity
. This is more than Costa Rica, which is thought to hold more natural areas than Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is also home to Bosawas
, located in Northern Nicaragua, which is the largest rainforest north of the Amazon
. It also holds the largest lake in Central America
, Lake Cocibolca, also known as Lake Nicaragua. Lake Cocibolca
attracts a fair number of tourists yearly, most of whom visit Ometepe
, a large volcanic island formed by two volcanoes in the lake. Tourists may explore the flora and fauna found in the Charco Verde Nature Reserve.
International tourist arrivals
After its renovation, Nicaragua's Augusto C. Sandino International Airport stands as the most modern airport in Central America.
Tourists from Afghanistan
, Bosnia and Herzegovina
, North Korea
, the Palestinian National Authority
, Sierra Leone
, Sri Lanka
require a visa
to enter Nicaragua.
Other tourists can obtain a Tourist Card for US$10 valid for 1 month upon arrival, provided with a valid passport with at least six months to run. There is also a US$32 departure tax (the tax is usually already included in a round-trip ticket).
Nicaragua is referred to as "the land of lakes and volcanoes" due to the number of its lagoons and lakes, and the chain of volcanoes that runs from the north to the south along the country's Pacific side. Today, only 7 of the 50 volcanoes in Nicaragua are considered active. Many of these volcanoes offer some great possibilities for tourists with activities such as hiking
, and swimming
in crater lakes.
The Apoyo Lagoon was created by the eruption of the Apoyo Volcano about 23,000 years ago, which left a huge 7 km-wide crater that gradually filled with water. It is surrounded by the old crater wall.
The rim of the lagoon is lined with restaurants, many of which have kayaks
available. Besides exploring the forest around it, many water sports are practiced in the lagoon, most notably kayaking
Another popular attraction is the archipelago of 365 islands known as the Islets of Granada(Isletas de Granada)
. The islets were formed when the Mombacho
volcano blew most of its cone into the lake, thereby creating the archipelago
. The islets are popular with both locals and tourists. The islets
differ in size and have a community of about 1200 people, most of whom make their living as fishermen
. Many visitors take boat rides along the islets, which are abundant with many different species of birds and fish 
such as cormorants, herons, kingfisher, oropendola, hawks and many more.
Bahia Majagual Rivas
, Rum flor de Caña tour, Marina puesta del sol yacht club
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Last edited on 25 April 2021, at 04:57
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