The pre-columbian civilization of Nicaragua sat between the meso-american and Andean cultures, and there remain fascinating ceramics, statues made of volcanic rock and preserved footprints from over 2, 000 years ago.
The arrival of the Spanish colonialists led to many of the native peoples being wiped out or absorbed into a common mestizo culture. The tribes on the Caribbean coast survived due primarily to their geography.
The Nicaraguan Colonial Legacy
The colonialists were primarily Spanish in the west, though there was a British interest in the eastern half of the country for many years, which explains the English speaking communities on the Atlantic coast. Nicaragua is now predominantly a Roman Catholic country with a strong protestant minority.
The cities of Granada and León, both build in 1524, are two of the oldest colonial cities in the region and their architecture is the inspiration for design elements at Gran Pacifica.
An Artisan Paradise
The workmanship in Nicaragua is excellent and still very competitively priced compared to other countries in Latin America. Masaya, an artisan and folklore paradise, is just half an hour from Managua where tourists can find all kinds of leather, wood, cloth, stone, clay, metal, glass, and natural fabric products, ranging from hammocks to crocodile bags to boa leather belts.
The music, poetry, religious excitement, and dance from Nicaragua are very rich, as is the national cuisine. The many layered cultural life of Nicaragua, makes it a fascinating tourist destination.