Nicaragua has been mired in trouble since it opened its doors to travelers. Now, overcoming some of the crime and corruption that has plagued the country and recovering from a few natural disasters that brought disease down to the people of Nicaragua, the country is being discovered by the first wave of travelers.

What to do

Nicaragua is not for the idle. If you're in Nicaragua and you're not hiking the volcanoes of Isla Ometepe, you'd better be kayaking around Reservo Charco Verde or exploring the remote Solentiname islands.

If you're absolutely determined to sleep late, Little Corn and Big Corn islands are starting to draw interest from hotel and resort corporations and developments have gone in for the resort crowd along several of the beaches.

Getting there

Nicaragua does not use visas, instead issuing tourist cards that validate your stay in the country for a period of three months for the $5 entry fee. Flights to Nicaragua come in from Atlanta, Miami, or Houston if you're coming from the United States and most land in the Managua international airport.

Where to stay

The big cities have plenty of hotels, but it might be more difficult to find lodging in more rural areas. Hostels are cropping up in every city as Nicaragua's tourism industry takes hold and if you're looking for big resorts, there are several on the Corn islands.

Despite its increasing tourism, Nicaragua is still one of the more rugged travel destinations in Central America. Consult a few Nicaraguan travel stories if you need any proof of this, or check out the message boards.