When it comes time to start planning your next epic vacation, typical hot spots likely come to mind. Maybe hanging out on a tropical beach in the Caribbean sounds just right. Perhaps a week at an all-inclusive Mexican resort is what gets you ready to pack. For many, thinking of heading even more south doesn't cross their minds. Traditionally Central and South America have been destination no-nos because of rampant poverty and widespread crime. Many countries are ones that people try to avoid at all costs, not pay money to hang out in.

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This is starting to change, though! Costa Rica has fast gained attention for its beautiful beaches, majestic rainforests, and Pura Vida lifestyle, and now the small country of Nicaragua is fast on its tail! Nicaragua has never been known for being much of a vacation destination, but the country has so much history and adventure to offer, people can not help but give it a whirl.

Check out all that Nicaragua is known for and why tourists are making it their 202o destination.

It's Full Of History And One Of The Oldest Cities In America

If you love to infuse a little historical education into your vacations, then Nicaragua is the perfect spot for you to do all that you love. Aside from amazing beaches, culinary delights, and jungle adventures, this small Central American country is steeped rich in culture and history. Nicaragua is home to one of the oldest countries in the Americans. Grenada, a majestic city at the foot of a volcano, was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. While much has changed over the last five hundred plus years, plenty of Grenada's charm and ambiance remains in tack and represents precisely what life here was like back when it was founded. Being here is like stepping back into time. Who wouldn't want this experience as part of their getaway?

Grenada isn't the only charming, historical Nicaraguan town drawing people in, Leon is fast gathering the attention of travelers as well. It's church and gallery lined streets leave people in wonder.

The Nature Is About As Undisturbed As It Gets

Nicaragua is one of those places in the Americas that nearly looks like it remains unmarred by humankind. While lots of other South American and Central American countries have spent hundreds of years building and industrializing, Nicaragua is still about as natural as it gets.

The reason behind the abundance of Nicaraguan nature is the country has one-fifth of its natural landmass protected in national parks or nature reserves. This means vacationers can travel through rainforests and jungles that have been left virtually touched by people. It doesn't get much more rustic than this place.

You Can Climb Volcanoes And Surf Down Them, No Joke!

Nicaragua is a place to experience some of the most extreme sports on the entire planet. Adrenaline junkies can zipline through the rainforest canopy, traverse real pirate islands, surf the ocean waters, hike the deepest jungles, and even partake in something called volcano boarding. Volcano boarding is pretty wild and certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but for some wanderlusters, racing down the side of a volcano at thirty miles per hour is the absolute ultimate vacation activity. Whichever ultimate sport strikes your fancy, Nicaragua probably has it covered.

Related: 10 Cities Guaranteed To Turn You Into An Adrenaline Junkie

The Cuisine Will Blow Your Mind

Can we talk about the culinary delights that Nicaragua has to offer people? Few places on earth offer such a treat for the tastebuds. Travelers can spend entire days wandering through the street markets, trying out foods of every color and flavor. Some favorite foods from this nation include nacatamal, a dough made from ground corn and butter, gallo pinto, a dish consisting of rice and beans, and of course, tres leches, a dairy-filled dessert that you won't soon forget.

Even with all of the extreme sports and activity that this country has to offer, you might end up coming home with a few extra lbs just from the abundance of foods that you HAVE to try.

If Adventure Is Your Jam, Then Nicaragua Is Your Mecca

Adventure is one of those things that some people can not go without in their lives, so for those people, vacations must include activities that really push the boundaries. Nicaragua is home to Somoto Canyon. Somoto Canyon, located just twelve miles from the border of Honduras, went undiscovered until 2oo4. Now it draws tourists every year with its massive canyon walls and waters below. This place isn't for the faint or weary, but for those up for a challenge, it is really something.

Next: 20 Incredible Mayan Ruins in Central America (That Aren't Chichen Itza)