While we certainly enjoyed our time in the backpacker hot spots of Nicaragua, we found more fulfillment in the off-the-beaten track destinations. Our trip started in the north. Esteli was a city of youthful pride and tumultuous history. Jinotega, set in a small but breath-taking mountainous valley, is everything we hoped it would be. We took Spanish lessons while living with a family in Leon then partied for days in San Juan del Sur. The tiny village of Merida (on Isla Ometepe) was our home for three weeks which was exactly what we needed after all the curve balls 2015 had thrown at us. Refreshed and revitalized we continued south.
Nicaragua is up and coming. It’s in the adolescent phase of finding it’s true identity in the travel world. If you want to see how this country thrives before tourism booms even further, now is the perfect time to explore it’s less beaten path.