Nicaragua* embraces travelers with volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture, and sensational beaches. Although Costa Rica, its neighbor to the south, has long been a bustling tourist destination, Nicaragua has only recently come into its own. It's perfect if you’re looking for a rainforest adventure on the road less traveled—and less pricey. Try a visit to the Mombacho Volcano or the 300+ Granada Isletas in Lake Nicaragua. The San Juan del Sur area is a surfer’s paradise; the waves are famous here and surfing camps are everywhere. Stay at the stunning Mukul Luxury Resort & Spa, hidden away along a 4-mile stretch of beach, where you’ll find plenty of pampering and an 18-hole golf course. Most people choose to visit Nicaragua in the summer (December to April) to avoid the daily rainfall of the winter (May to November).

*Generally speaking, Nicaragua travel has been quite safe for tourists, however crime has been on the rise over the last few years. Tourists are often targeted for theft in cities, on the beaches, and at roadblocks. As with any foreign travel, be sure to check the U.S. State Department’s website here for updated information on how to travel safely in Nicaragua.