This come to ITKT via the Experience Nicaragua! Newsletter. What I like about this is the no nonsense vacation planner effect. If you are planning, considering planning, or interested about Central America, read on!
-Editor ITKT-

Escape to Nicaragua this summer and have your choice of laidback beaches, towering volcanoes, lush jungles, adventure filled islands and steaming crater lakes. Nicaragua provides all of the great activities its neighboring countries offer, but often at a better value. Hotels, food and even nightlife can be a fraction of the price. New airline routes provide more travel options to Nicaragua from major cities across the U.S.

SAN JUAN DEL SUR
San Juan del Sur is still an undiscovered gem of Nicaragua. Known as a small fishing town, the crescent-shaped bay has begun attracting travelers in the know for the area’s beautiful eco-lodges and refreshing beach activities.

Visitors traveling to San Juan del Sur in June should not miss the Patron Saint Festival of St. John the Baptist on June 24. Traditional music, cultural food, games and parades are regular activities at the end of June. The celebration consists of many processions with statues of John the Baptist, fireworks, and most famous of all “chilillo” a dance/sport where two “chinegros” complete with leather handguards to whip their opponent.

OMETEPE
Summer is a great time to visit Ometepe, the volcano island formed by two twin volcanoes rising from the massive Lake Nicaragua. The hourglass shaped island has an interesting history and provides endless options for fun.

On July 26, visitors to Ometepe can enjoy an annual celebration honoring Santa Ana, grandmother of Jesus, featuring a noisy and chaotic pilgrimage to the small town of la Orilla. Male dancers in colorful costumes tow a large image of Santa Ana through the streets. In the main event, there is a bull fight that everyone gathers around to watch, which consists of one man riding the bull and other men in the ring carry red capes to tease the bull.

GRANADA
Assumption Patron Festival – August 15 (Granada and Juigalpa) Attracting visitors from around Nicaragua, the religious festival of Juigalpa features rowdy activities for Wild West enthusiasts; including bull riding, rodeo competitions and horseback games. Juigalpa is the prosperous capital city of the Chontales Department of Nicaragua. One of the larger events, the “carrera de cinta,” showcases a horseback rider galloping under a wire from which a ring is suspended. If the rider successfully puts a pencil through the ring, he gets to present it (with a kiss) to the woman of his choice from the contestants for queen of the festival. The woman who receives the most rings is crowned queen.

CORN ISLANDS
Festival del Cangrejo – August 25-26 (Corn Island, Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast) The Crab Soup Festival takes place on the Big and Little Corn Islands at the end of August. With their clear blue waters and white beaches, the Corn Islands are the perfect home for a celebration involving the sea. Beauty pageants, street parades and sporting contests add to the fun, as visitors enjoy traditional fresh Crab Soup and many other seafood dishes. Visit www.bigcornisland.com for more information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 1-888-SEE-NICA.