Must-see attractions in Nicaragua

  • Parque Palo Solo

    Caribbean Coast

    This rather lovely, beautifully tended and shady park is where couples come to whisper, cuddle and kiss beneath palm and ficus trees, and absorb a truly…

  • Catholic Church

    Caribbean Coast

    The renovated town church, about two blocks downriver from the dock, is not an architectural classic but has stained-glass windows and a neon cross. It…

  • Big Fowl House Beach

    Little Corn Island

    An easy but unmarked walk through the bush leads to this fine secluded cove. Pass the former Casa Iguana and turn left where you see a small blue hut,…

  • Ruinas San Sebastián


    Built on a spiritually significant site for indigenous people, this 1742 church was wrecked during the Somoza's bombardment of León in 1979. You can still…

  • Museo Arqueológico Julio César Salgado

    Northern Highlands

    Packed with ceramic bowls, studded incense burners, and stone tools dating back to AD 300. A map in the corner marks some 60 unexcavated or partially…

  • Biblioteca Augusto C Sandino

    Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

    This simple corner building was the childhood home of revolutionary leader Augusto C Sandino. Now it's a library and small museum devoted to Sandino…

  • Mausoleo de los Héroes y Mártires


    A monument to the local heroes, the eternal flame of the Mausoleum of Heroes & Martyrs rests within a small plaza just north of the Parque Central,…

  • Malecón de Santa Rosa

    Caribbean Coast

    This waterfront area on the way to the airport offers views across Bluefields Bay and is a popular gathering place for families. It also pulls a crowd for…

  • Tomb of Carlos Fonseca


    The tomb of Carlos Fonseca, founder of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). He was killed fighting Nicaraguan National Guard forces loyal to…

  • Casa de Cultura

    San Juan Del Sur

    Check this arts center for salsa, merengue and bacchata (romantic Dominican dance music) dance lessons, arts exhibits and more. It's also the home of APC…

  • La Loma

    Caribbean Coast

    It's possible to climb this hill on the edge of town for good views of the local rivers, but you'll need to navigate the poor neighborhoods that surround…

  • Finca Ecológica La Reforma

    Northern Highlands

    A remote farm set in the pines, laced with trails and split by a crystalline river flush with swimming holes. It offers accommodations in a pair of rustic…

  • Isla Sevilla

    The Río San Juan & Islas Solentiname

    Isla Sevilla, just west of Mancarroncito, is a haven for birdwatchers, with thousands of cormorants, tiger herons and pelicans here to enjoy some…

  • Parroquia de La Asunción

    Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

    At the center the town is the 1750 Parroquia de La Asunción, an attractive but scarred late-baroque beauty that the Spanish government has offered to help…

  • Iglesia Santiago

    Northern Highlands

    This wonderfully understated adobe church fronting the shady Parque Central was constructed in 1661, making it one of the oldest places of worship in…

  • Iglesia de San Felipe


    This 17th-century church occupies a whole block on the northern edge of downtown and was constructed to serve the spiritual needs of working-class…

  • Galería de Arte Casa de Artista

    Isla de Ometepe

    Near the beach, local artist Abel shows off his work – from nudes and still life to landscapes. Swing by and have a look; it's signposted from the main…

  • Museo Arqueológico

    The Río San Juan & Islas Solentiname

    This fine museum up the hill from the church houses a small but intriguing collection of pre-Columbian metates, pottery and idols unearthed in the…

  • Mirador

    The Río San Juan & Islas Solentiname

    A charming old Spanish observation post complete with cannons and panoramic views. To reach it, head up the staircase at the far end of the malecón.

  • Centro Turistico La Boquita

    Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

    This waterfront complex offers amenities for beachgoers, from bars and restaurants to public restrooms. Just follow the only road west to the end.

  • Casa Cultural de Subtiaba


    Look for the faded mural at the headquarters for area indigenous communities and home to Museo Adiáct.

  • Capilla San Juan de Dios


    A Victorian-style chapel around the corner from Rubén Darío's one-time home, with a modernist, neoclassical exterior and appealing interior.

  • Iglesia San Miguel de Masaya

    Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

    The modern Iglesia de San Miguel, whose resident San Miguel Arcángel makes the rounds during the procession of St Jerome, is worth a peek.

  • Iglesia María Magdalena

    Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

    Iglesia María Magdalena, sort of the sister church to San Sebastián, is where many of Monimbó's most important festivals begin or end.

  • Iglesia El Calvario

    León & Northwestern Nicaragua

    Features an art deco exterior, a nice bell tower, a simple interior hung with chandeliers and a beautiful blue-and-white tiled ceiling.

  • Monumento Emannuel Mongalo y Rubio

    Southwestern Nicaragua

    This monument honors the local schoolteacher who was instrumental in the capture of William Walker during the Battle of Rivas in 1856.

  • Catholic Church & Clock Tower

    Caribbean Coast

    A modern white-and-green Catholic church that is more or less open to the elements. It also has an impressive matching clock tower.

  • Iglesia San Antonio

    León & Northwestern Nicaragua

    This dramatic facade is painted pastel-yellow; inside, find delightful Easter egg–blue and yellow columns and arches.

  • Centro Turistico Pochomil


    This is where you find ample visitor parking and access to Pochomil's dense cluster of beach restaurants and bars.

  • Iglesia de Guadelupe


    The imposing, twin towered Iglesia de Guadalupe was originally built as a fort in 1626 and refurbished in 1945.

  • Estatua de Montoya


    A statue dedicated to national hero Ramón Montoya, a Nicaraguan soldier who died (at the age of 14) in 1907.

  • Goat Beach

    Little Corn Island

    A gorgeous, secluded bay surrounded by jungle on the north side of the island that gets very few visitors.

  • Iglesia San Juan Bautista


    This 17th-century neoclassical church was rebuilt more than once and boasts an impressive bell tower.

  • Parque El Cerrito del Faro

    Caribbean Coast

    A small park on the upper level of town offering fantastic views over the surrounding mountains.

  • Galería Solentiname


    Appealing art gallery specializing in paintings and carvings from the Solentiname Islands.

  • Hacienda San Jacinto

    Northern Highlands

    It will take a history buff to appreciate this national monument, which is a shadeless 3km walk from the closest bus stop. The early-1800s Spanish…

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