There is no better way to understand a different culture than living it
Nicaragua is a go-to place for travellers who love surfing, diving and serene, natural destinations. It is an upcoming - and much more affordable - alternative to its neighbouring country, Costa Rica. Just in case it influences your choice of destination: Nicaragua proudly holds the title of the world’s best rum producer.
Our first Nicaraguan village is located on the volcano island of Ometepe. Moyogalpa is a stopover for many travellers, as it holds Ometepe’s main port. However, most other tourists pass through without getting to know what life is like for the local farmers, fishermen and shopkeepers in this 21st century Nicaraguan town.
Good to know about Nicaragua
festivals and celebrations
Nicaraguans are known to be a celebratory people. If you are lucky to be present during someone’s birthday or wedding, you will most likely find yourself in a lively fiesta!
Semana Santa (Easter) in March/April is one of the greatest events of the year. Rooted in Catholic traditions, the holiday commemorates biblical events related to this time. Beaches tend to be packed with festive locals.
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), celebrated in early November, is the Latin American equivalent of Halloween. While honouring deceased family members might sound like a sad occasion, Nicaraguans focus on remembering and rejoicing, making this a festive and happy holiday.
In Ometepe, town patron saints are celebrated July 15-30th and November 10-20th. These celebrations involve parades, dancing, bull riding and cock fighting.
May-October is the rainiest season and therefore a low season for most travellers.
November is a less rainy time, especially in the West. The Caribbean side of the country might still experience some rainfalls.
December-April is the hot and dry season. During the high season, prices for tourists rise and destinations are more packed.
A great majority of Nicaraguans are Catholic. Older generations might have conservative attitudes towards dressing and behaviour, while younger people are generally rather open-minded and easygoing.
Nicaraguans value and respect politeness. When speaking Spanish, it is common to address strangers as “Usted” - the polite version of “you” - instead of the casual “tú” or “vos”.
Female travellers may experience highlighted attention for men, such as yelling or whistling. The remains of the “machismo” culture are still present. Many experienced travellers find that the best way to react to unwanted attention is ignoring it.
What is it like?
This is what our travellers say
"I had a very nice stay with a friendly local family. It is always important to get to know real, authentic things and traditions while traveling. Only that way we can learn more about other cultures and other ways of life. For me, this was a great possibility to practice my Spanish skills."
Laura, Finland, visited Moyogalpa, Ometepe
"Thanks so much for the opportunity to stay in Ometepe, it was a great way to experience the island from a local's perspective. We really enjoyed spending time with Octavio as he was very knowledgable - he took us on walks and showed us around the village. The home owner, Lillian, was welcoming along with her family and the meals prepared were tasty and of good-sized portions. We have both stayed in homestays before, however we found this home to be quite primitive in regards to hygiene."
Carly and Tim, Australia, visited Moyogalpa, Ometepe
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