Nicaragua was a bit of a last-minute addition to AJ and I’s itinerary; we found ourselves with a week and a half to kill before we had to be in Costa Rica, and when we had a look at what there was to explore in Nicaragua we knew straight away that we had to go. Nicaragua is a really beautiful country, and I think is definitely a hidden gem of central America right now. “The Land of Volcanoes and Lakes,” it has all the beauty and charm of Costa Rica without being as tourist-centric. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its issues; there was a severe litter problem in the cities we visited, and the infrastructure for tourism isn’t very developed. I’ve heard that there’s a debate over whether or not to build a canal through the country, similar to the Panama Canal; while this would bring a lot of money into the country and provide a lot of jobs while the building is being done, it would ruin Nicaragua’s natural lakes and therefore deprive the country of some of its beauty. I hope that instead the government decide to take Nicaragua in the same direction as Costa Rica, focusing on eco-tourism and using the resources the country already has. I will definitely be visiting Nicaragua again in the future; what AJ and I experienced during our week and a half there was an amazing taster for what the country has to offer. In this article I will go through my favourite memories from my time in Nicaragua.
Ometepe is a volcanic island in Lake Nicaragua. It is home to two volcanos, one active and one dormant and they are a beautiful sight to behold as you approach the island on the ferry. Going to the island is a chance to retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities and immerse yourself in a relaxed and quiet way of life, while also having the chance to stay active through hiking and kayaking. In this article, I’ll go through the main things you need to know before you visit, from how to get there, to a mini budget-breakdown to activities available on the island.
León is a beautiful city north of the capital Managua. It is home to a whole host of gorgeous architecture, beautiful parks and plazas, and interesting museums. It’s also home to the only active volcano in the world that you can “surf” down. Its mixture of culture, architecture, and thrill-seeking offers travellers a variety of fun and enjoyable ways to spend their time during their visit. In this article I will talk through my top five fun ways to spend your time in León.
AJ and I had just over a week to see the best of Nicaragua, and Granada was top of our itinerary. We only had four days to spare for our visit, but they were four days well-spent, getting to know the town and its surrounding districts and environmental attractions. I’ve distilled what we saw and experienced into a three-day itinerary for any traveller wanting to experience the best of what Granada has to offer.
Because we were travelling from Colombia to Costa Rica, AJ and I decided that it would be a shame to miss out on visiting the Panama Canal while we had the chance, so added in a quick four-day stopover in Panama City. We didn’t really know what to expect from the city, and were pleasantly surprised by our time exploring the Casco Viejo, or old city. Panama City is in the middle of a revival; walking around the city you can see brand new restored buildings side-by-side with crumbling facades waiting to be restored. It has a quirky, bohemian feel to it thanks to the amount of American expats and tourists, and is a good place to wander around and relax in. In this article I’ll discuss the various things to do and see while staying in the old town of Panama City.
Colombia has been one of the most pleasant surprises of our travels so far; we hadn’t originally planned to visit, but were told such good things about it by travellers we met that we decided to set some time aside for it, and I’m really glad we did. I absolutely LOVED spending time in Colombia; the one and only thing I’m a bit miffed about is that we couldn’t spare more than three weeks, so I feel like we only managed to scrape the surface of this friendly and beautiful country. I’ve already planned to come back to explore it more extensively, but here are my favourite memories from our short time in Colombia.
You can read all about our Colombia adventures here.
Cartagena is a wonderfully vibrant city full of history and culture, from its colonial architecture and original city walls to its many and varied museums. There are also many parks and beaches providing opportunities to relax and unwind. A trip to Colombia would be incomplete without a visit to this city boasting Café Havana, Casa Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and its local mud bath volcano. Below I’ve put together a three-day itinerary for seeing the best of Cartagena, with ideas for what to do afterwards.
Wandering through the districts of Miraflores and Barranco it quickly becomes apparent that, when compared to the Historic Centre of Lima, they are much more affluent, tourist-centric, and set up as a hub for artists to show and sell their work. The streets in Miraflores are wider, cleaner and filled with large, modern buildings, while Barranco retains more of the colonial charm with its cobbled streets and impressive architecture.