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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Now, you can have an adventure in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has opened its doors to tourism. Beautiful old colonial architecture is one of the appealing features of this Central American country. Its elegant understated neo-colonial hotels, historic cities and dense, unspoiled rain forests will attract the adventure traveler ... looking for a unique experience.

Nicaragua is a poor country that is rich in tradition, culture and the generosity of its people. After the rigours of civil war, this beautiful Central American country has regained its footing and is now happily open for tourism. The infrastructure is developing and a recent UN report called it the safest country in the region and one of the safest in the Americas. It also may be one of the most authentic and least spoiled.

Flights to and from Managua are available from a number of Latin American, European and North American airlines.

Nicaragua’s east or Atlantic-Caribbean coast is virtually uninhabited, the emphasis here more British than Spanish. Scattered outposts like Bluefields and Monkey Point across the vast untouched interior lead to the outer Little Corn and Big Corn Islands, paradises for naturalists, especially divers and snorkelers.

Some special adventures or sights in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is prime for eco-tourism with an astonishing variety of birds and preserved rainforests. Especially the Montibelli Reserve

The 21-room La Francia Hotel in Granada is an elegant, understated neo-Colonial hotel with an Arabesque open-air courtyard, punctuated by a small cobalt blue dipping pool. The surrounding wicker rockers, vines, plants and a sweeping staircase create an authentic refinement most hotels can only dream of achieving.

In the pineapple plantation area of St. Juan de la Conception, stop at any of the roadside vendors selling delicious pineapples and ask to have one sliced on the spot. Sprinkle a touch of salt, and for 60 cents you’ll taste the one of the sweetest, most memorable pineapples ever.

Lake Nicaragua is dotted with hundreds of isletas, many with private homes whose owners have covered the shores and ledges with bright flowers and gardens.

Try a Nacatamal -- this corn tamale packed with rice, meat, corn, pork and potato is the foodstuff of the indigenous people and a favorite of Nicaraguans.

Other adventure travel in Nicaragua includes zipping above the jungle, kayaking and coffee-plantation tours. Coffee plantation haciendas serve good, local brew with views of lakes and mountains.

Visit Nicaragua soon

While Nicaragua is still unspoiled, take an adventure travel vacation in this lovely country. Good package tours are becoming available.

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