Tourism in Nicaragua has come to a virtual standstill due to the recent protests, pushing visitors to check out neighboring Costa Rica or one of the top five places to visit in Mexico.

Even though Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, years of political and civil unrest coupled with hugely destructive earthquakes have meant that it is one of the least visited countries in the region.

Before the protests harmed the country’s reputation this much, though, Nicaragua saw its tourism grow at a fast pace for years, making the name for itself as “the land of lakes and volcanoes”.

The official tourist guides and travel books tend to paint an idealized picture about a country – their job is to attract as many visitors as possible. But to get a truly honest picture of what the foreign visitors think about a country, the best way is to take a look at what the travel bloggers write about it. So, today, let’s do just that.

Matthew Kepnes

Matthew Kepnes, known online as “Nomadic Matt”, is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the most recognized voices in travel blogging. His writing has been featured by major publications like the CNN and National Geographic, and his book “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter”, released in 2013, made it on the New York Times bestseller list.

In his travel guide to Nicaragua, Matt describes the country as “the “it” spot for travelers”. Traveling a bit off the “official” tourist trail, Matt has found that the locals are warm and friendly. Also, he found that with a few tricks, a trip to Nicaragua can be quite affordable. including food, lodging, and activities.

Johnny Ward

Johnny Ward is best known for visiting pretty much every country in the world (the official 195 plus Taiwan and Kosovo). In his articles about Nicaragua, he had quite a few good things to say about the country. “Nicaragua is just a brilliant country to travel in, there’s no other way to put it. I loved my time traveling through it, even the pretty horrid sixteen-hour minibus from Roatan in Honduras all the way through to my arrival in Leon,” he wrote in a piece about one of the more interesting activities to be tried in the “land of lakes and volcanoes” – volcano boarding.

Kate McCulley

Finally, a woman’s perspective from Kate McCulley aka Adventurous Kate, one of the most highly appreciated solo female travelers online today. As a female solo traveler, her opinions on various areas are appreciated by many. About Central America, in general, she had some nice things to say. She visited San Juan del Sur, Ometepe, and León, and she described her experience here as beautiful, memorable, and exciting.