Welcome to El Salvador and Nicaragua!


Andrew Payti

The pristine Laguna de Apoyo in Nicaragua was created when a volcano erupted thousands of years ago.

Imagine verdant jungles and tropical forests, lakes bordered by volcanoes, ocean waves crashing onto pristine black sand beaches, lovely colonial cities, and ancient villages. Where might you see all this? In Nicaragua and El Salvador, two Central American countries where there is much to discover and appreciate.

The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is known for its magnificent landscapes that include dazzling lakes and splendid volcanoes. Managua, its capital city, is a lively urban center inhabited by more than one-fourth of the population of the country. Have you ever visited a capital city that has lagoons within its city limits? Managua is home to four lagoons! From the heart of the city, visitors with a zest for adventure can even glide down ziplines to Laguna Tiscapa, a lagoon of volcanic origin that was formed some 10,000 years ago. Colonial cities like León and Granada, both founded in 1524, boast majestic cathedrals and stunning colonial architecture and are important cultural centers.

El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America and the smallest Spanish-speaking country on the American continent. With its stunning coastlines, El Salvador is a favorite destination for surfers looking for the perfect wave, or sunbathers hoping to relax on a sun-drenched black sand beach. Nature lovers can visit Lake Ilopango, the Montecristo Cloud Forest in the Trifinio International Park, El Imposible National Park, or Cerro Verde National Park, with its view of the smoking cone of Izalco, one of El Salvador’s numerous volcanoes. The capital of El Salvador, San Salvador, is filled with pupuserías selling the national snack, pupusas. It is a city of spacious parks as well as wide avenues and boulevards, and offers visitors numerous museums, theaters, and outdoor markets. Follow the link below for a slideshow about El Salvador and Nicaragua.


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Explore More:

1. Managua, Nicaragua, is home to a museum called the Acahualinca Footprints Museum, or Museo de Sitio Huellas de Acahualinca. If you are interested in archaeology, do an Internet search to find out more about about this fascinating museum.

2. See what you can learn about the pupuserías of El Salvador. Are pupusas also served in the United States? If so, compare them to the pupusas of El Salvador. How are they the same? How are they different? There are plenty of recipes online for Perhaps you could try making this dish with some of your classmates.

3. Nicaragua has produced numerous great poets. Have you heard of Rubén Darío, Gioconda Belli, or Ernesto Cardenal? Do some research to find out more about these talented writers. You may wish to recite one of their poems for your class.

4. If you are interested in ecotourism, you might want to do research to learn about the parks and protected areas in El Salvador.