Nicaragua may be Central America’s largest country, but it remains one of the least visited. What it lacks in Maya ruins and infrastructure it makes up for in the elegant colonial cities of Granada and León, vast expanses of lush, tropical forest and a clutch of magnificent volcanoes. Prices are affordable, too, and the coastline is spectacular: sun-worshipers will love the Corn Islands’ palm-fringed Caribbean beaches while the laidback town of San Juan del Sur on the Pacific coast has become a magnet for backpackers and surfers alike. Civil war, natural disasters and inflation have taken their toll, but tourism has been steadily increasing in recent years. With temperatures heating up in January, the start of the dry season, it’s an excellent time to visit.