Costa Rica – with its abundant rainforests, colourful wildlife and tourist-friendly surf-towns – has long been a hot destination. Meanwhile, neighbouring Nicaragua was only the domain of the adventurous – until now, that is. Recent investment in its infrastructure and services is making it easier for visitors to discover Nicaragua’s stunning volcanoes, jungles and unspoilt Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. We put together some of our favourite photos from both countries.

View from San Jorge of Conception Volcano, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, Central America

View from San Jorge of Conception Volcano, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua (Jane Sweeney/Robert Harding)

Little boy kneeling in the sand on the shore of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Little boy kneeling in the sand on the shore of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

Cathedral de Granada, Granada, Nicaragua, Central America

Cathedral de Granada, Granada, Nicaragua (Wendy Connett/Robert Harding)

Facade of yellow neoclassical style Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua

Details of the neoclassical style Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

Leon Cathedral, Basilica de la Asuncion, Leon, Nicaragua, Central America

Leon Cathedral, Basilica de la Asuncion, Leon, Nicaragua (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

Building, Puerto Corinto, Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua, Central America

Building, Puerto Corinto, Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua (Richard Cummins/Robert Harding)

Couple going for surf lesson at Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, Central America

Couple going for surf lesson at Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (Rob Francis/Robert Harding)

Sunset and surfer at Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, Central America

Sunset and surfer at Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (Rob Francis/Robert Harding)

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Food at Playa De Los Artistas restaurant, Montezuma, Nicoya peninsula, Costa Rica (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

Scarlet macaw (Ara macao) in flight, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, Central America

Scarlet macaw in flight, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica (Marco Simoni/Robert Harding)

Arenal volcano, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Central America

Arenal volcano, La Fortuna, Costa Rica (Marco Simoni/Robert Harding)

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Conchal beach, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

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Red-eyed tree frog on a torch ginger, Selva Verde, Costa Rica (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

Traditional sunset gathering on Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, Central America

Traditional sunset gathering on Playa Guiones beach, Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica (Rob Francis/Robert Harding)

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Green Iguana, Costa Rica (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

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In the rain forest Wild Horses on the foggy beach interacting or playing, Dark brown and white horses, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica (age fotostock/Robert Harding)

See more photos of Costa Rica and Nicaragua here

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