Give something back and volunteer on social projects such as building new homes for the locals. In Granada, there are several charitable organisations who will arrange this for tourists. See Building New Hope for ideas (www.buildingnewhope.org).
Visit the low-key holiday islands of Big and Little Corn and explore the best the Caribbean has to offer - turquoise waters, palm-fringed beaches, stunning coral reefs and a relaxed vibe.
Be amazed by Nicaragua's stunning (and mostly deserted) beaches. The Pacific coast has a number of fine sandy stretches, including El Coco, Marsella, Ocotal and many others located in the south of Nicaragua in the department of Rivas.
Tour the beautiful colonial buildings of the city of Granada, located at the foot of the Mombacho volcano. The cathedral has been rebuilt in neo-classical style. Also of interest are the Church of La Merced, the Church of Jalteva and the fortress-church of San Francisco.
Hike and climb
Hike in the Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve. You can see a wide variety of orchids in the cloud forest. Climbing the volcano itself leads to spectacular panoramic views.
Hot air balloon ride
Take to the skies onboard a hot air balloon for the best aerial view of Nicaragua's volcanic craters.
Head north of León to the Hervideros de San Jacinto, natural sulphuric hot springs fed by an underground river which is heated by the Telica volcano.
Explore the well-preserved architecture and high-altitude forests of 'The City of Mists'. The peaceful city gives way to staggering valleys and peaks beyond.
Hire a boat on the shores of Lake Managua to visit the still-active Momotombo volcano and the shore villages.
Visit León, the intellectual capital of Nicaragua. It contains a university, religious colleges, the largest cathedral in Central America and several colonial churches. Colourful, provocative and revolutionary graffiti graces the city walls, and the whole of the city is charged with an artistic buzz.
Spend a couple of days in Managua. Visit the National Museum, listen to a concert in the Rubén Darío National Theatre (www.tnrubendario.gob.ni) or catch a baseball match at the national stadium.
Kayak around Ometepe Island on Lake Nicaragua. You have a good chance of spotting monkeys hanging from the trees.
Paslama sea turtles
From July to January, watch Paslama turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs in the Rio Escalante-Chacocente Wildlife Refuge. This is one of only six beaches in the Americas where you can encounter this species.
Take a walk through the highly kitsch central park in this well-preserved Spanish colonial town. Rivas also boasts a fine collection of churches and some quirky horse-drwan carriages.
The Río San Juan was an historic trade route during colonial times. The winding river passes remote towns, thick jungle and rainforest. Book a river expedition and pretend to be Indiana Jones for the day.
Scramble along the rocks and swim in the clear waters of Somoto Canyon. This remarkable geological wonder only became known to the outside world in December 2004 so is still relatively untouched.
Go surfing on the Pacific coast. Base yourself in the resort town of San Juan Del Sur for access to some of Nicaragua's finest waves.
Water based activities
Make the most of several volcanic crater lagoons in the environs of Managua - centres of watersports with boating, fishing and picnicking facilities. Laguna de Xiloa is the most popular.
Look out for exotic wildlife in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. Among the animals inhabiting the reserve are jaguars, eagles, macaws and manatees.
Zip line tours
Soar through the air on a canopy tour above Tiscapa Lagoon, where you can fly across the volcanic crater from platforms connected by zip lines.