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World Travel Guide > Country Guides > Central America Country Guides > Nicaragua - Overview
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Volcanoes to climb, waves to surf, tropical rainforest to trek and colourful, colonial cities to explore. Nicaragua has no shortage of attractions. Yet the country remains undiscovered by the tourist hordes, with misconceptions still lingering in the popular consciousness.

Nicaragua has suffered its fair share of human and natural disasters in the past century: a brutal military dictatorship, civil war, earthquakes and the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. But after decades of turmoil, this former no-go area is at peace and is emerging as a potential regional travel hotspot.

While the tourist infrastructure is by no means completely developed, for some travellers this adds to Nicaragua's ‘off the beaten track' appeal. Add to this the country's friendly, welcoming people, outstanding scenery and beautiful colonial architecture, and the attraction is evident. 

From the 1930s to the 1970s, Nicaraguans lived under a harsh dictatorship, first with General Anastasio Somoza Garcia as president, followed by his son, Luis Somoza Delbaye. A rebel movement, the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), overthrew the Somozas in 1979, but faced opposition throughout the 1980s in the form of American-backed ‘Contra' guerrillas.

With the days of the Contra war now over, Nicaragua is slowly getting back on its feet and the burgeoning tourist industry is offering a much needed boost to the country's economy.
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