Moon Nicaragua, Third Edition, by Joshua Berman and Randall Wood
Paperback, 476 pages, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Living Abroad Contributing Editor Volker Poelzl
I used a Moon Handbook on my trip to Central America last year, and I find this guidebook series to be among the most user-friendly and comprehensive on the market. The clear layout and structure makes it very easy to quickly find the region you would like to read about in order to find information you desire. A color map at the beginning of the book illustrates the different regions covered, which are marked with tabs and are easy to find. The full-color introduction includes a Planning Guide outlining the country’s most interesting destinations and contains several suggested itineraries based upon travelers’ available time.
What I like about Moon Handbooks and about the Nicaragua book in particular is the fact that it provides information and listings for all types of budgets and for a large variety of activities and destinations. You will find listings for great budget hotels as well as luxury resorts, cheap eateries as well as elegant dining options. The book also provides important in-depth information about nature reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as activities such as diving, snorkeling, surfing, hiking, nightlife, and entertainment. In line with the latest travel trends, and in keeping with the authors' long-time interests and expertise, Moon Handbooks Nicaragua also includes information about volunteer opportunities, ecotourism, and community tourism.
Each chapter opens with a shortlist of the highlights of each region, making it easy for visitors to plan their trip around the most important sites and attractions. The information and listings are as extensive as they are diverse, allowing travelers to choose from a large variety of lodgings, restaurants, attractions, and activities. Numerous black and white photographs throughout the book in addition to the color photo section at the beginning of the book offer readers a great sense of place, which helps to plan your trip and select your preferred destinations.
As with all Moon Handbooks, the Nicaragua guide also has a useful section full of practical information—located at the end of the book. The Background section provides information about the history, government, economy, and culture of Nicaragua, and also covers local customs, the arts, handicrafts, and more. The Essentials section offers useful information about practical travel matters, such as health and safety, Spanish courses, volunteer work, transportation, embassies, a listing of festivals, suggested reading, and Internet resources.
The authors, Joshua Berman and Randall Wood, are both experts on Nicaragua, having lived and traveled extensively in this small but fascinating country. The fruit of their knowledge and affection for Nicaragua is a guidebook that functions as both a great travel guide and a compelling invitation to visit this diverse and beautiful country.
For more information, and to read the introduction of this indispensable book, visit the publisher’s Moon Nicaragua web page. See also the excellent website hosted by Joshua Berman for still more timely information and posts.