Nicaragua now

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The roosters wake you. You emerge from your room to find your host mother, who greets you with a smile, a plate of fruit, and a sing-songy Buen' dia, mi hija! Como almanece. ("Good morning, my child, how do you rise?"). The best way to learn to speak Spanish is to go abroad and study. And you'll find fantastic deals on language-immersion classes in Nicaragua.

Learn the details in this new story by Joshua Berman.

Real Deals: Volunteer in Nicaragua, $850

Or: Take an 7-night diving adventure in Nicaragua for $855 from G.A.P. Adventures. This package includes a stay at Little Corn Island, located about 45 miles off the eastern shore of Nicaragua. You'll stay at Casa Iguana, which offers 11 private cabins overlooking the water. You'll find other scuba-diving packages through divelittlecorn.com.

Elsewhere: The L.A. Times reports on the happening town of Granada, Nicaragua.

Related: Here's an interview with Joshua Berman -- coauthor of Moon Living Abroad in Nicaragua, GoToNicaragua, and the fantastic blog "The Tranquilo Traveler" -- on how he became an established travel writer.

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