There was a time when war and extreme poverty defined Nicaragua, but this nation has actually been at peace for almost 30 years. Today, tourism is booming, the economy has improved, and Nicaragua is considered one of the safest countries in Latin America, according to both the United Nations and a recent Gallup poll.
While everyone is busy vacationing in nearby Costa Rica, visitors to Nicaragua can enjoy all that lush, tropical beauty without having to navigate hordes of tourists. Marvel at mountain ranges, go on rainforest treks, explore nature reserves, and hike any of the country’s six active volcanoes. If you’re not the backpacking type, park yourself on the white-sand beaches of San Juan del Sur instead, or gawk at the colorful architecture of Granada, the country’s most popular city.
Come for the beauty, stay for the friendly locals, vibrant food culture, and dirt-cheap prices. If you’re like a growing number expats and U.S. retirees, you may never leave.
If you’d rather stay domestic, check out these U.S. cities that are safer than you think.
Seasoned trekkers and nature enthusiasts consider Nepal one of the most coveted travel destinations on the planet. But if you only know of this Asian country from outdated news headlines, you might write it off as a hub for corruption and political uprisings. Despite seeing its share of both manmade and natural disasters, Nepal is considered safe for tourists.
It’s also deemed a Shangri-La of sorts—home to geographical wonders like the Himalayas, Mount Everest, and the Bhote Koshi River. It’s a haven for hiking, birding, kayaking, rafting, and ancient temple- and pagoda-peeping, especially in its popular capital, Kathmandu.
Like most nations with poor economies, though, Nepal may target tourists for petty crimes like pickpocketing. Visitors who keep a keen eye out fare just fine. In general, crime rates here are relatively low, and Nepal’s peace-loving locals (the population is primarily Buddhist) are famous for their welcoming vibes.
You won’t be able to pass up these 11 secret travel deals.