Why Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast Must Be In Your Travel Bucket List

Despite being Central America’s largest country, it’s said that Nicaragua remains to be the poorest in the region because of its long history of guerilla warfare and insurgency. 

Yet today, the so-called land of lakes and volcanoes is believed to be slowly recovering from poverty because of its robust tourism sector – thanks to the surge of tourists visiting Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast and other tourist spots all over the nation. Visitor arrivals from 2010 continued to climb and reached 1.7 million in 2017 from just a million per available data.

The Emerald Coast Nicaragua is among the most popular. Located in the province of Rivas, it’s a 30 km stretch of pristine coastline nestled between the towns of Tola and Astillero. It used to be a sleepy town, but the development of the highway and the opening of the Costa Esmeralda Airport made it more accessible to many tourists – both hailing from different parts of the country and overseas.

Coming from the capital city of Managua, guests can take a 15-20 minutes charter flight to Costa Esmeralda airport. A short but scenic journey to Emerald Coast Nicaragua allows tourists like you to view Nicaragua’s mesmerizing natural scenery.

Every avid traveler has a bucket list that they’d like to tick off and complete during their lifetime. Here are a few reasons why you should include Emerald Coast Nicaragua on your travel bucket list:

Related Read: Is Managua International Airport, Nicaragua Good?

Close up of children hands holding baby turtles hatchling ready for release into the open sea or ocean
  1. Get To Enjoy Luxury Beach Resorts

Luxury resorts started sprouting on the Emerald Coast, attracting many affluent travelers who marvel at the crystal-clear emerald waters. The best Nicaragua beach resort built on the Emerald Coast rivals that of five-star accommodations in other nearby areas. 

The world-class resorts located in this stretch of paradise have five unique beaches with carefully appointed villas and casitas with private infinity pools and direct access to the beach 

The resort prides itself on the stellar food offerings in its many restaurants that serve mouth-watering Nicaraguan food and a menu inspired by in-season harvest and locally caught seafood. 

  1. Get To Witness The Releasing And Repopulation Of Sea Turtles In The Area

The Olive Ridley and the Leatherback Sea turtles were over-exploited for their turtle meat and eggs and have now been declared endangered. 

Fortunately, many resorts and hospitality facilities on the Emerald Coast participate in the repopulation of these turtles through the Sea Turtle Conservation Program. The program’s aim is to preserve the turtles’ breeding colonies and observe a release ritual of the baby turtles on the coastline with the participation of guests.

The turtle release season happens between September to February, so if you want to witness this marvelous wonder of nature, book your trip on dates that fall between those months and find out if your chosen hotel offers turtle release participation in their list of tourist activities. 

  1. The Emerald Coast Area Is Said To Be Great For Surfing

The Emerald Coast has attracted many surfers from all over the world. The waters’ perfect condition is also best for those who want to travel and learn how to surf. The warm, clear waters, gentle surf, great weather, soft sand, and most importantly, the friendly local instructors make it look like surfing can be anybody’s game. 

One area of the coast is famous for SUP or standup paddleboarding, while some spots are famous for kites and windsurfing. You’ll enjoy various activities to your liking when you’re there.

  1. The Emerald Coast Is Home To Different Amazing Land Adventures

Love taking on a hike or a simple nature walk? Miles of trails with a scenic view of the coastline or the tropical dry forest can be arranged with a local hiking guide on the Emerald Coast. 

And if you prefer to hike at night, it can be done so that you can marvel at the beautiful tropical birds, spider monkeys, and exotic iguanas that’ll greet you as you walk along the trail with your flashlight. 

Experienced rangers can take you to the breathtaking views of the area’s highest point with the magnificent vista spanning as far as neighboring Costa Rica.

Another activity that’ll surely make your visit truly memorable is sandboarding. Imagine zooming down a steep 200-meter sand dune on a bodyboard with the majestic view of the ocean in sight. Supervised by trained professionals, the activity is a safe adventure for anyone. After your intense experience, you’ll have your adrenaline pumped and your appetite ready to chow down on the resorts’ world-class food. 

If you want a quiet adventure, you can try horseback riding with the resort’s trained horses and take a cultural tour of the town or a sunset ride on the coast. But suppose you’re a seasoned horseback rider. In that case, you may try advanced rides and the exciting and unique Stallion dancing, an activity typically performed by horses in Nicaragua’s largest festival called Hipica. 


Emerald Coast is a travel destination like no other. The place is a jewel that’ll offer you respite and relaxation. Visiting this place will also allow you to help the tourism industry of a state that needs a much-needed economic boost. 

Aside from the splendid sights, you can immerse yourself in the rich culture of Nicaragua, learn some great facts about the country and experience a variety of spectacular adventures that you can tick off your bucket list.

Last Updated on June 24, 2023

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