Nicaragua, being the largest country in Central America is bordered by Honduras at the northern part and Costa Rica in the south. The country is rich in bodies of water where Pacific Ocean lies at the west part and Caribbean Sea at the east. Its population is more than five million in 2010 with an area of 50,193 square miles naming Managua as the capital and largest city. The country is composed of mountains in the western part, abundant valleys, and two big lakes named Nicaragua and Managua and a swampy Caribbean coast known as the “Mosquito Coast.” There are three unique regions namely Pacific Lowlands, North-Central Highlands and Atlantic Lowlands, each of which has its own distinct geography and climate. If you are exploring Nicaragua, the best time to visit is during January to April which is the dry season. However, if you want to do sport fishing, the months of April to July are generally the best time.
Masaya Volcano, which is entirely built with fluid lava flows, can be found 20 kilometers south of Managua. Its last eruption was recorded in the year 2008. In 1979, it was proclaimed as the Nicaragua’s first National Park and named as Masaya Volcano National Park. The park has an area of 54 square kilometers which is consists of five craters, two volcanoes and elevations between 100 and 630 meters above sea level. It is considered unique since it is the only volcano along the western border where you can drive along the rim. If you are fond of underground tunnels, you can also find one in this area which was built out of lava flows where bats can be found.
Nicaragua Lake which is also called Granada is a wide freshwater lake with an area of 3191 square miles makes it the biggest lake in Central America. Its depth is 85 feet with an elevation of 107 feet. Though it is known to be a freshwater lake, you will also find sharks, tarpon and sawfish which were believed to be trapped from the lava flow. This beautiful lake has hundreds of islands including more than 350 islets near Granada port. Its biggest islands are the Ometepe, Conception which remains active, Zapatera Island, Maderas which is passive and some islands completing the Solentiname archipelago. It was also given the name “The Sweet Sea” by the locals due to its fresh water and blue horizon features.
Ometepe Island is known to be the biggest island in the world for its area of 276 square kilometers. It has two volcanoes namely El Maderas which is the passive volcano and El Concepcion being the active one. Some of the recreational activities available are biking, trekking, climbing, walking, horse back riding and swimming. If you are a professional mountaineer, you can climb El Concepcion volcano where you can see the scenic view from the crater. On the other hand, you can try El Maderas if you are just an amateur climber since it is easier to climb and a thick tropical jungle covers the area. Animal species include boars, jaguars and monkeys.
Apoyo Lagoon is a natural reserve proclaimed in the year 1991 and situated between Masaya and Granada. The reserve contains more than 500 species of plants, dry trees, orchids, and mahogany. For its Fauna, it is composed of mammals like opossums, anteaters, squirrels and pacas. It also has a variety of fish and 65 species of migratory birds. For tourists, several recreational activities can be done which include bird watching, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, hiking, boating and paragliding.
Corn Island is consists of two islands namely Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island which is about 43 miles east of Caribbean coast. It is composed of 12 municipalities with an area of 3.9 square miles for Big Corn Island and 1.1 square miles for the Little Corn Island. The main source of income in this place is coconut production however; commercial fishing was introduced later on. Some of the marine lives which can be seen are sea turtles, eagle rays, nurse sharks, hammerheads and barracudas. For tourists, scuba diving and snorkeling are the famous recreational activities available.