Have you heard about Nicragua yet? Central America’s largest country is also one of its cheapest and safest. And visitors expecting revolution rubble from the 1980s are consistently shocked to find friendly colonial charm, Caribbean beaches, and lava-spewing volcanoes to climb. Skip the capital Managua and start with a few days in Granada or León – rivals since the 16th century, both are choice spots for cobbled-lane wanderings past galleries and cafés. Save energy for the volcanoes though. On Isla de Ometepe, you can hike above the clouds on a towering double-volcano island set in a massive lake with fresh-water sharks. An even more exhilarating journey is a ride down the Río San Juan past Spanish forts and river towns. Save a little time for the beach, though. Back on the Pacific, it’s gringo central at the carefree town San Juan del Sur, where surfboards and hammocks set the tone. Or you can catch a bus east from Managua to El Rama, then hop on a boat at Bluefields to laid-back, English-speaking Little Corn Island in the Caribbean, a great spot for cheap kayaking and snorkeling.