Nicaraguan Artisan Markets
Shop until you drop in Masaya, Catarina or San Juan del Oriente, where you’ll encounter various artisan markets and pottery shops. The infamous Masaya Market, encased by the town’s ancient castle walls, has every souvenir you could want – from wood carvings, fiber handicrafts, high-quality bags, hammocks, and the stunning etched pottery unique to Central America.
The oldest colonial town in Central America, Granada was constructed by the Spanish as a showcase city. In recent years, its glorious homes and structures have received numerous facelifts, and restaurants, cafes and shops have opened by the score. The result? An almost regal beauty. Granada is Nicaragua at it’s most photogenic – with graceful adobes and elegantly proportioned porticoes drenched in rich tropical colors.
Sea Turtles at Playa La Flor
Local wildlife refuge, Playa La Flor, is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the Olive Ridley sea turtle, and is located only a 40-minute drive to the south. From July to December, up to 8,000 female sea turtles crawl ashore at Playa La Flor and lay their eggs in the amazing phenomenon known as the arribada (“the arrival”). It is one of just a handful of beaches in the world that witness such a spectacle.
Volcano and Ometepe Island Expeditions
From petroglyphs, to volcano hikes to day-long horseback rides, excursions to Ometepe Island unlock the cultural and natural beauty of Nicaragua’s eastern shore. Revel in the views of Concepcion Volcano as butterflies dance around your knees. You’re almost guaranteed to see White-Faced Capuchin or Mantled Howler monkeys in the island treetops.