There’s a slang word in Nicaragua that sadly lacks a proper equivalent in English: ‘diakachimba’. The term is used when something is awesome, incredible or highly impressive. And it’s very versatile.
For instance, you might say Nicaragua’s endless variety of landscapes is diakachimba. Golden beaches flanked by crystalline waters, verdant rainforest hiding Spanish ruins, and smoking volcanoes interspersed with shimmering lakes – very diakachimba indeed.
You can soak up the surf culture and a never-ending supply of rolling swells virtually anywhere along Nica’s Pacific coast. San Juan del Sur draws throngs of surfers looking to ride the waves and imbibe the renowned nightlife. Grab a board and take on the late-breaking waves of Playa Remanso, or the dramatic waters of Playa Maderas.
Further north, on the outskirts of León, there’s another kind of surfing on offer, only this time, you’ll need to sit down as you hurtle down the ash-covered slopes of Cerro Negro on a wooden sledge. This volcano is active, but safe to hike. For something truly intrepid, clamber up Volcan Masaya, near the capital Managua, to peer into its bubbling, lava-spitting crater.
Then there are the cities of Granada and León. Both strewn with age-old architecture, the former is best-known for its beautifully restored, bright yellow cathedral, while the latter contains crumbling 300-year-old churches. History buff or not, you’ll likely agree these timeworn towns are also utterly diakachimba.
You can find accommodation of all varieties in Nicaragua, from boutique hotels and beachfront holiday homes, to eco-lodges and budget-friendly hostels.
The 12 best places to stay in Nicaragua: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests