You’ll have to get to Bluefields and then find a boat to reach Pearl Lagoon, but you won’t regret it. Few tourists come down here which means you should escape the crowds, and you’ll have more space to relax on the pristine beaches.
Little Corn Island
Fly down to the Corn Islands from Managua and you’re in for a real treat on the Caribbean coast. Little Corn is favoured by keen divers and snorkelers, with amazing spots all around the coast.
This isolated canyon near the Nicaragua-Honduras border is a beautiful natural attraction that many travelers sadly miss out on. It takes a bit of effort to get here via the city of Esteli, but it’s worth the trip for the hiking, swimming and canyoning that awaits.
San Juan del Sur might be the best known surf town in Nicaragua, but it’s getting busy and expensive as a result. The relaxed fishing town is just 30 minutes by bus from Leon, surf lessons are cheap, and the vibe is a lot more laid back.
Laguna de Apoyo
Nicaragua is home to a huge number of volcanoes, and this one has a lake in its crater. Apoyo is an easy day trip from Managua, and you can hire kayaks or paddleboards if the feeling takes you.
Both the town of Masaya and the volcano that shares its name are worth a visit. Pick up some typical handicrafts as souvenirs at the Masaya artesan market, and then head off to the active volcano to peer down at the lava in its depths.
Miraflores National Park
Head to the town of Esteli in northern Nicaragua to reach this beautiful national park. You can plan one or multiple day hikes with local guides through amazing cloud forests, and you’ll see hardly any other tourists.