Camping in the Nicaraguan cloud forest

The bus from Matagalpa to Jinotega climbs higher and higher up in the mountains. The higher we climb, the chillier it gets. I am off to the “Datanli El Diablo” nature reserve where I will be staying at La Bastilla Ecolodge for a few days, taking in the coffee culture and the surrounding beauty of the cloud forest of Nicaragua. A pick-up truck brings me from the main road into the forest and on to the lodge. My adrenaline is reaching peak level as we drive at very high speed on the Continue Reading

León: the revolutionary side of Nicaragua

The intoxicating smell of grilled meat and the plumes of smoke indicate that I’m close. I’ve just arrived in León, the revolutionary capital of Nicaragua and my first mission after a long bus ride is to find food. Behind the cathedral I can spot the little chairs and tables of the fritangas. Fritangas are small, casual outdoor food stands that fill the main square just before sunset in most Nicaraguan towns. There’s no menu, it’s point and choose, and the main staple Continue Reading

Welcome to Granada, the colonial jewel of Nicaragua

The trees on the Parque Central provide a welcoming shade from the midday heat. Horses and carriages are waiting for tourists to take them around the town and the open-air terraces are heaving.  Above all that towers the prominent yellow and white Cathedral. I arrived in Granada, presumably Nicaragua’s most beautiful and most popular colonial town. And beautiful it is indeed! The nearby Plaza de la Independencia is an attractive ensemble of colonial architecture with patios hidden behind Continue Reading

Managua, the forgotten capital

I’m standing on one of Managua’s highest hils, next to the black silhouette of Nicaragua’s national hero, Sandino. From the Loma de Tiscapa, we overlook the Lago de Managua and the Tiscapa lagoon, one of the only green spaces in an otherwise chaotic and busy city. The park is steeped in history. It was once the site of the Casa Presidencial, where Sandino was executed in 1934. For decades, the park was home to one of Nicaragua’s most notorious prisons. Managua Continue Reading

Living the easy life on Little Corn Island

Whoever said “travelling is relaxing” never had to get up at 3.15 am to catch a flight!  After spending a few weeks on mainland Nicaragua, I am off to discover the Caribbean charm of the Corn Islands. They are situated 65km off the coast of Nicaragua and consist of two islands: Big Corn Island and, yes you guessed it, Little Corn Island. The airport is on Big Corn. It is one of the weirdest airports I’ve ever been to: an airport where the runway doubles up as a proper road! Continue Reading

Cycling around Isla de Ometepe

Everybody starts looking nervously for their camera and mobile phones to snap the first picture of Volcán Concepción, as the boat from Rivas approaches Isla de Ometepe. I am really excited about discovering the island, recognized as one of the most authentic and beautiful spots of Nicaragua! Our first port of call is Altagracia. The town consists of a church, a few side streets and the Parque Central, which is awfully quiet and a bit rundown. In front of the old parroquial church are some Continue Reading