The latest issue of the widely read International SPA Magazine “Örganic Spa” features a few of the high-end spas located in the south end of Nicaragua. It makes reference to Nicaragua as “The new Costa Rica“. Several other articles circulating on the web have made the same reference.
That seems a little surprising since even now there are potential visitors who are still concerned about personal safety and anti-American sentiment in a country that for years had been the subject of State Department travel warnings. The U.S. after all, was the country that had supported ruthless dictator Anastasio Somoza, then tried to undermine elected President Daniel Ortega by secretly funneling money to the Contras. So for years it was hard to convince even seasoned backpackers that Nicaragua’s infrastructure was ready for any other types of Tourists. Just the name Nicaragua often evokes grainy footage of camouflage-clad guerrillas, marked by gunfire and a 1980s soundtrack. But shockingly, after Having ended more than 25 years ago, Nicaragua has evolved into one of the safest countries in the Americas.
When many of us think of hunger or poverty, the first image that comes to mind is that of a young, usually dirty, child living in a shelter. Thanks to years of marketing by nonprofit organizations, this image is forever etched in our mind. For many people, poverty and economic deprivation are framed and imagined in terms of the imagery shown from places like, Nicaragua, or others.
But times have changed in the most central of Central American countries. Public political turmoil has subsided (Ortega was elected to another four-year term in November), the economy is back on its feet, and thanks to a well-funded and robust tourism development campaign, Nicaragua is poised to receive independent travelers looking to expand their global horizons. A recent news report claims that Airfares will remain high throughout the next few years. That means that travelers who are considering their vacation options will be more budget conscious than ever.
Nonetheless, misconceptions still persist, but in many ways that only increases the opportunity that Nicaragua offers. Modern infrastructure, hotels, beautiful touristic destinations, over 1,400 different species of animals and one of the safest countries to visit only adds to the Nicaraguan allure.
There is a real excitement in the air for this type of opportunity. Whether you are looking for a retirement or vacation destination, a place to start a business or a place to invest for the future, Nicaragua is definitely worth considering. The profile of visitors has shown a steep turn from budget tourists to more affluent and more valuable travellers and higher – end hotels in tourist areas boast consistently high occupancy rates.
And whether or not Nicaragua will one day become “The Next Costa Rica, remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, it will become the next favorite travel destination in all of Central America.