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Corinto Cruises

Corinto, Nicaragua

About Corinto, Nicaragua

Founded in 1522 as Puerto El Realejo, Corinto grew into the nation’s only deepwater port. Today, it sits on an island, linked to the mainland by bridges. The city still helps drive the economy of this Central American country. But it did not always benefit from its location on the sea. The British arrived here in 1895 with intent to occupy after Nicaragua refused to pay them for their acquisition of the Mosquito Reserve. However, they stayed for only three weeks. The port city also played a central role in the Contra war against the Sandinista government in the 1980s.

Today, Nicaragua is one of Central America’s most visually arresting countries, blanketed with vast expanses of tropical jungle and smoking volcanoes. Nearly 20 percent of this nature-loving nation is protected as parks and reserves. Its Pacific coast is home to the largest freshwater lakes in Central America: Lake Managua (named for the nearby capital) and Lake Nicaragua. The latter is famous for its rare resident freshwater sharks. Home to dozens of volcanoes, Nicaragua claims some of the most fertile soils on Earth and its farming culture has thrived for centuries. Many of the country’s fincas, or coffee plantations, open their doors so visitors can see how the beloved bean is grown, harvested and roasted.

Corinto Lifestyle and Culture

Today, Nicaragua is one of Central America’s most visually arresting countries, blanketed with vast expanses of tropical jungle and smoking volcanoes. Nearly 20 percent of this nature-loving nation is protected as parks and reserves. Its Pacific coast is home to the largest freshwater lakes in Central America: Lake Managua (named for the nearby capital) and Lake Nicaragua. The latter is famous for its rare resident freshwater sharks. Home to dozens of volcanoes, Nicaragua claims some of the most fertile soils on Earth and its farming culture has thrived for centuries. Many of the country’s fincas, or coffee plantations, open their doors so visitors can see how the beloved bean is grown, harvested and roasted.

Spanish is spoken by the vast majority of Nicaragüenses, or Nicaraguans. The nation is unique in that its western half was occupied by Spain during colonial days while the eastern half was a British protectorate. Still, English, Chinese, Arabic and Italian may also be heard in the streets of Corinto, as the nation has welcomed a diversity of immigrants.

All the lively elements of Corinto’s culture come to the fore during the annual seafood festival, Fiesta Gastronómica del Mar. Nicaraguans come from all over as fishermen haul in their catch for local chefs to turn into unique dishes. Parades, dancing and traditional dress add to the festive atmosphere.

Corinto Sights and Landmarks

Corinto is well known for its colorful 19th-century wooden row houses. Charming three-wheeled taxis navigate its narrow streets and broad beaches with fine white sand stretch along the coast. A quiet town, it grew from the wealth of coffee barons and today serves as a gateway to Nicaragua’s lush beauty, sugarcane plantations, cattle ranches and fincas, or coffee ranches.

Nearby, the city of León boasts a stunning cathedral and colonial buildings that harken back to Spanish rule. The ruins of Old León comprise one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Americas. The city of Granada on Lake Nicaragua is the oldest colonial city in the Americas and provides a glimpse of the deeply rooted Spanish influence here.

Nicaragua’s most prominent landmarks are its dramatic natural splendors. Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, its lowlands rise up to the soaring peaks of the Cordillera Los Maribios range.

Corinto Entertainment and Activities

The mainstay of Corinto’s economy has long been the cherished coffee bean. The best beans grow at or above 2,600 feet above sea level in a richly volcanic soil, making Nicaragua one of the most prolific producers. Visiting a finca, or coffee farm, not only takes the mystery out of the process that puts coffee in your cup; it also provides a rewarding exploration of the country’s pristine mountainsides and clean, fresh air.

The mainstay of Corinto’s economy has long been the cherished coffee bean. The best beans grow at or above 2,600 feet above sea level in a richly volcanic soil, making Nicaragua one of the most prolific producers. Visiting a finca, or coffee farm, not only takes the mystery out of the process that puts coffee in your cup; it also provides a rewarding exploration of the country’s pristine mountainsides and clean, fresh air.

Back in Corinto, visit the museum honoring the renowned Nicaraguan poet Alfonso Cortés, located in the town’s bright blue former train station. This small local institution also chronicles Corinto’s past and relationship to the railroad.

Corinto Restaurants and Shopping

With its seaside location, Corinto’s menus are full of seafood. The preparation of its cuisine blends Spanish and pre-Columbian influence, featuring fruit, corn and coconut. Gallo pinto, made with rice and beans, is the national dish and might be served in a variety of ways.

One of Corinto’s nicer eateries is Costa Azul, serving fresh seafood and ceviche in an outdoor setting. Restaurante El Espigón is as well known for its setting on the water as for its steaks and seafood.

Charming shops line the streets of Corinto, selling all manner of local goods and wares. Farmers bring their produce here from the surrounding countryside and artisans sell their handicrafts, from colorful pottery to woodcarvings and handmade dolls.