Nicaragua’s dark past has not deterred travelers from making tourism one of this impoverished nation’s largest sources of income. Years of war, and the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, left Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure in ruins. It is just now beginning to rebuild – a 1999 tourist incentive law has spurred investment in Nicaragua as a burgeoning destination for tourism.
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central American and its natural landscape offers endless rainforests, beaches and the largest fresh water lake in Central America, Lake Nicaragua. Volcanoes jut from Nicaragua’s narrow Pacific coastal plain. The dual volcanoes of Isla de Ometepe are blanketed with lush, monkey filled forests that draw ecotourists to the island, whose only human residents inhabit a smattering of farms and fishing villages. The city of Leon is home to colonial architecture and contemporary intellectuals. Here the Sandinista movement possessed of the hearts and minds of citizens, and murals celebrating it are splashed across walls over the city. Along the Pacific coast, surfers ride the waves at Montelimar, and accommodations there range from casino resort hotels to beachfront bungalows.