Still reeling from a devastating civil war in the 1980's, Nicaragua has been slower to be embraced by large scale tourism. One of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, the economy of this central American country was completely destroyed by the war. Nicaragua is beginning to discover and develop one of its most important and abundant resources, tourism. This country has everything it takes to become the next hot spot, from amazing Pacific beaches with great surf to 22 volcanoes, all of them climbable; from clear lakes, to a long and mysterious river leading to the Caribbean; from a steamy, undeveloped jungle on the Caribbean, to expanses of pristine tropical beach and secluded Caribbean island paradises.

Nicaragua's most developed tourism infrastructure is largely located in the southwestern corner of the country, a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua, an enormous lake which feeds the Rio San Juan, and is the world's only freshwater lake containing sharks. Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua is Granada, the oldest colonial city in America, and an excellent base for exploring the area.

More adventurous travelers, especially nature lovers, will want to venture into the steamy, undeveloped jungles of eastern Nicaragua. Like stepping into another country, you will notice a distinct separation from the Latin culture the rest of central America shares. Populating this remote part of the country are several indigenous groups, including the Miskitos, Ramas, and Sumos along the Caribbean coast. Also populating the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala are the Garifunas, a fishing culture from Amerindian and African descent. Off the coast in the town of Bluefields are the Corn Islands, a popular destination for diving and snorkeling.

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