In many ways Nicaragua is a lot like it’s neighbor Costa Rica, both with the beaches, volcanoes and twin coasts on the Pacific and Carribean. In fact it’s more like Costa Rica 20 years ago, with more open spaces and less US-style commercialism. And so it’s easier to find the culture of the place, and take in the unique sights and flavors of the country. Some good ways to get to know the place include:

Coffee and cigar plantation tours
Rum tasting
Volunteering on vacation