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Nicaragua: Unveiling a Tapestry of Cultural Heritage in the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, is where your vacation dollars stretch farther than in any other countries. A striking colonial Spanish presence proved the strong similarities to its bordering countries. Nicaragua offers bucolic surroundings, sandy beaches, and active volcanoes.

While in Nicaragua, to some degree, I felt a bit disconnect with the place and could not understand the reason, until I realize that Nicaragua did not have a strong cultural heritage, compared to Guatemala. For me, a country with a rich culture allows others to better connect and understand its people, heritage, and traditions.

Therefore, I spent most of my time in Granada, which reminded me a lot of Antigua in Guatemala, because of its similar cobblestone streets and colorful houses. I took a boat tour on the majestic Granada Islets that had a vast tropical bird life; The Islets made up of 365 scattered small islands in the Asese peninsula, which were formed by the Mombacho volcanic activities, thousands of years ago. The tour went on one of the islands to see how a family lived and that was a major highlight. Besides sightseeing, going to the affordable spas became my other way of relaxation.

Managua, the capital city, did not have much to see and do not waste your time visiting. Instead, take a local bus directly to Granada, which is a safer area, with plenty of restaurants and activities.


Although I felt detached from Nicaragua, I have a much greater appreciation and respect for its people after my trip. I became more knowledgeable about the country and its struggles. While in college I studied about Iran-Contra affair and conflicts between the Sandinistas and the contras, which both were accused of inconceivable human rights abuses. After such violent political turbulence, the people demonstrated strengths and perseverance.

Post comments and tell us your opinions.

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This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. I think I would feel disconnected for the same reason. I don’t know anything about the culture of Nicaragua.

    I would have to study before traveling there. This site offers a bit of insite too:

    Nicaragua is a country keen on their music and dance, a product of the different heritage and cultures from before. It is as if each region gave birth to a different music and dance, yet still come together to mesh perfectly creating this one cultural identity. Following is a break down of the regions:

    Pacific – A mixture of the indigenous and Spanish culture resulting in a wide range of diverse music and dance with flutes and drums accompanied by dancers in Spanish garb demonstrating the duality of cultures.

    Masaya – Here the cultural feature is referred to in the Latin American term ‘mestizaje’, a mixture of culture. Dances are expressed with soft movements as guitars strum lightly in the background with the national folklore instrument, the wooden marimaba, painting the picture of a dance between man and woman.

    North/Central – The European heritage brought by the Spanish and German descendants is prominently displayed in this region. Dances known as the ‘polcas’ and ‘mazurcas’

    Caribbean – Though the African culture plays an integral role in this region, influencing both the music and dance, the contribution of the native indigenous tribes can not be forgotten. The dance of choice is the ‘palo de mayo’, crafted in Bluefields, an energetic dance which highlights the role of the body with sensual movements.

    1. Bekki – I appreciate the in-depth insights into Nicaragua cultures. When I visited most of the people thought I was from there – in one of the islands. It is a great place to visit and my disconnect was more of a comparison to my experience in Guatemala. I would love for you to guest post on my site, if you would like. I think your highlights of the cultures would provide my readers another side of the country.

      Thank-you so much! Hope others read your comments.

  2. You are so lucky to be able to travel around. I hope to do more when my kids are a little older, so they can experience all the other cultures. Great post!

  3. Greatly appreciate you giving travelers a head’s up about which cities are worth visiting and which aren’t. As much as I try to enjoy and be grateful for every moment while traveling, it’s always a bummer when you go out of your way to do something and it ends up just not being worth it at all.

  4. I have never traveled out of the US but have found a new hobby in following travel bloggers as I get to live through your amazing pictures. Such a great post, thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your photos. I also love to visit places with a rich cultural heritage. I love that you have shared both the pros and cons of your visit – it is definitely good to see both sides of the story.

  6. I am sorry that you felt diconnected while you were there. Nicaragua has always been on my list to go and see. Now I know where to go and where to avoid so thank you!

  7. This is on my ‘in the very near future’ travel list. The country is beautiful and your pictures highlighted that very well!
    You gave a lot of great travel tips. Saving this for my planning!

  8. I look at these photos and it looks scary. Like a ghost town almost. The buildings look very appealing to the eye but there is no people around or any signs of humanity other than the car parked in one of the pictures. Don’t get me wrong I like the photos but as a lover of thriller movies it has sparked up some paranormal interest!


  9. Your pictures are great! It sounds like an interesting place to visit even though you weren’t quite in love with it.

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