When we first arrived to Nicaragua, even though we have been to almost every country in Central America, we have found quite a few things here that were interesting for us. Let’s see these:
1. Extremely nice people
When you leave the US or Europe, everybody will tell you and scare you, that Nicaragua is very dangerous, be careful, etc… In fact it is just on the contrary. Nicaraguan people are extremely nice and kind. Wherever you go, they will help you and not because they expect money or any other offset. They are happy if you contact them, even if you don’t speak Spanish, it can be a good conversation. Even vendors and tourist “guides” are not pushy, if you say no to something they won’t follow you or harass you. If you buy something on the market you don’t have to be afraid, that you will pay double or even more as you would do in many countries. You may pay a “fair tourist price” but that’s maximum a bit more than local price.
Nicaragua is considered the safest Central American country to travel to. Unlike in its neighbours, the crime rates are really low in the country, and people feel very comfortable while traveling here.
2. Very loud music
Something that we don’t understand in the Nicaraguan soul, is why they like to listen to music so loud. If you go to a local bar, the music is often so loud that it’s impossible to talk to anybody even people next to you. The best example for this is the Calzada, the main pedestrian street of Granada. It is loaded with bars next to each other, and each puts out a huge loudspeaker to the street and tries to be louder than his neighbours. As a result of this, anywhere you sit, you will hear very loud, unbearable music, from at least two directions. I don’t have to tell you that we don’t go to La Calzada when we want to go out… (If you want to know where to go, stay at our hotel, and check out the best places we reccomend in our guestbook or you can either check it in our Airbnb online guestbook: https://www.airbnb.hu/manage-guidebook/3248140.
3. Garbage truck
In Europe we get used to put the garbage into the big garbage bin, that we put out in the evening and the garbage truck takes the trash technically without any people touching it.
Well, it isn’t exactly like this here (at least in Granada). You put out simply the garbage bags to the street, if you do it in the evening, the dogs and scavengers will open the bags and the whole street will be loaded with garbage, so most people get up at 4-5 am to put out the trash. But as they don’t have automatized garbage trucks, there is a simple truck coming with young guys on the top and others running next to it. They grab the bags and throw it up, where they start to select it immediately. It’s an incredible job they do without any healthy and safety tool (for example a rubber glove).
4. No house numbers
Since Google map and other navigation apps, we thought that it can not be a difficulty to find a place in a city anymore. If you thought so as well, we were both wrong😊 In Nicaragua, there are no house numbers! As a result of this, there are no exact addresses. So how do they describe an address? For example, our hotel’s address is: Street Santa Lucia, 20mts west from Flor Panamena. So first of all, you always have to know to which direction is north, east, etc… Usually they write a cross street as a reference point but not always. For example, Flor Panamena is the name of the house on the corner. But the best I’ve seen so far is: 50 mts east from the former Pepsi factory! The FORMER PEPSI FACTORY! LOL. So, if you don’t find an address you can’t do anything else but ask a local where was the Pepsi factory in the past…
5. Biggest rainforest in Central America
Eastern part of Nicaragua has a very small population, and is mostly covered by rainforest. Thanks to this, Nicaragua has the highest amount of forests in Central America. Monkeys, toucans, sloths and other animals are commonly seen. Until 2020 there was no road access to the Caribbean coast of the country, which has got a really wicked name – Mosquito Coast. This part is not very developed and even the name suggests that it might be hard to live there. On the other hand, islands off the coast called Corn Islands are developing, and are common tourist destinations with turquoise sea, and a great place to chill. All of these regions speak English.
After reading the list you might have a feeling, that I pointed rather negative things, but these are the strange things here... I could tell long stories about volcanos, crystal clear lakes and vivd culture. If you want to check it out by yourself, come and stay at us in Hotel Secret Garden in Granada, which is a good starting point to explore many sights of the country.