Nicaragua is a very, very special country, blessed with wonderful scenery, a rich colonial heritage, a taste for the arts, and a strong sense of community and humanity. The impressive scenery of Nicaragua's Pacific basin and the rich colonial architecture of its two historic cities, Granada and León, are a perfect complement to neighbouring Costa Rica. There are some excellent places for time at the beach too, great wildlife experiences, and plenty of off-the beaten track places to engage a traveller's curiosity.
Now ranked as one of the safest countries in Central and South America, Nicaragua is peaceful, democratic and welcoming. Although cursed by dictators until their overthrow in 1979 (only to be followed by the seven year struggle against the Contras) twenty-five years of peace have allowed its people to rebuild their lives and establish a peaceful, natural Nicaragua of their own choosing.
Although Nicaragua remains one of the poorest countries in the world with a GDP of just $1,200 per head, Nicaraguans are working hard to rebuild their economy and the positive warmth and genuineness of their welcome is remarkable.
A proportion of international aid has been directed to the restoration of Nicaragua's architectural heritage and to encourage tourism. A sprinkling of well-run characterful hotels is being added to each year, helping to make Nicaragua a very attractive, unusual and satisfying place to discover and explore.