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Nicaragua

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Nicaragua is the largest of the Central American countries, but it is also the most sparsely populated. While Costa Rica, its neighbor to the south, has long been a bustling tourist destination, Nicaragua has only recently come into its own. Travel to Nicaragua if you're looking for a rainforest adventure on the less traveled and less expensive road. Nicaragua has the largest area of ​​primary growing rainforest north of the Amazon, six active volcanoes and 550 miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches and sleepy surf towns. There are few ancient ruins left in Nicaragua, but picturesque colonial cities – such as Granada and Leon – make up for it with their pastel-colored churches and lively local festivals.

The Pacific side of the country is more popular with visitors, as the roads are more navigable and tourist sites such as Lake Nicaragua, Grenada, and San Juan del Sur are clustered along the shoreline. The Mosquito Coast is the nickname for the Caribbean side of the isthmus, so named for the native tribe living in the area and not for the pesky beetle – although there are plenty. Mosquito is remote and difficult to reach by car; however, planes can be easily chartered to the runway in Bluefields from Managua airport. The seaside town of Bluefields is the gateway to the charming Corn Islands and Pearl Keys, full of sumptuous Creole cuisine, crystal blue lagoons and beautiful white sand beaches. Check out the Travel + Leisure Nicaragua Travel Guide to find the best hotels, restaurants and destinations to explore in this beautiful country.

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