I will be the first to admit that my pre conceived ideas of Central America were totally wrong, It's fantastic and we love it. 

Every country so far has been filled with culture, beauty and unbelievable hospitality. 

We entered Nicaragua without any drama at El Espino and Pat ( who plans everything ) had arranged to stay with a local family just a few kilometres after the frontier. 

The parking in their yard was tight but our host "Fausto and his very extended family welcomes us with open arms into their small community.

I soon came to the conclusion that a huge amount of Nicaraguan life is spent in a hammock, but I guess this also applies to most Latin American Countries. 

The nearby canyon of the Rio Coco offered a great opportunity to get our first taste of the Nicaraguan landscape.  Fausto was happy to show me the best of it.

Overlanding, as we call it, isn't always parking in beautiful locations. Sometimes we find ourselves stopping overnight in some strange or unusual  places. 
In the area of Santa Cruz in the Esteli region is a huge Tobacco and Cigar making industry. Tens of thousands of acres of the broad leafed tobacco plants cover every piece of surrounding land. We realised that the creation of the cigars was a big concern, but it didn't cross our minds that behind the scenes there was an equally big industry making wooded decorative boxes and display cases for the cigars.  
Although neither of us smoke, we felt it would be interesting to learn some more so Pat arranged for us to stay at the All Nica Cigar Store. The owners Julio and Brenda offer exceptional hospitality to Overlanders and allow them to park securely at the rear of their premises for free.

The boxes are all expertly hand crafted in Poplar, Okume and Cedar wood 

There are about 40 volcanoes in Nicaragua, of which there are usually about 6 that are considered active at any time. The landscape is covered with classic cone shaped mountains. 
One of the more famous and active ones is Masaya in the National Park of the same name. It last erupted in 2015 and still continually bubbles hot lava in its crater. The clouds of toxic Sulphur Dioxide is constantly being pushed into the atmosphere and  can be both seen and smelt from many kilometres away.
An interesting little known fact about Volcano Masaya is that in 2020 a crazy American daredevil called Nik Wallenda walked across the crater full of hot lava on a tightrope.   

Keeping with the  Volcanic theme, the nearby flooded crater of an extinct Volcano called Apoyo was a nice welcome break for a few days

Another great example of a classic Volcano is that of Concepcion on the Island of Ometepe in Nicarauguas largest lake called Lago Nicaragua 

Knowing that we had so much more to see in Nicaragua we made the decision to cross into Costa Rica as the rainy season is looming and we felt that we could revisit the upper Central American countries again on our return journey back towards Mexico in a few months.