Nicaragua is Costa Rica Twenty Years Ago

I spent last weekend in Nicaragua.  I think it’s unfortunate that many people reading this will be gasping in awe and thinking…”You went to Nicaragua?  Aren’t there guerrillas and other bad elements there?”  It will come as even more of a shock to many of you that I went there alone.  I can hear it now, “You went to Nicaragua alone?  Weren’t you scared?  Isn’t there a war being fought there?”

I really like Nicaragua.  From what my Tico friends tell me, Nicaragua is what Costa Rica used to be like, twenty years ago.  There’s a simplicity there that doesn’t exist in too many places these days.  Horse drawn carriages are still a common sight to be seen in the roads, even in Granada, one of its larger towns.  And actually, in my opinion, the main highways are better maintained there than in Costa Rica.

No, there are not guerrillas there, nor is there a war being fought.  I’m pretty sure it’s been at least a decade, if not two, since there was a war in Nicaragua and if I remember correctly, the US played a big part in it.  What else is new?

Nowadays, people just go about their daily life.  They live their life, they go to the market, hang out in the town square and go to church (there are A LOT of churches in Nicaragua).  They spend time with their families.  They LOVE baseball, even more so than soccer/futbol.

There is also a beauty there that you just have to experience for yourself.  Unlike many areas of Costa Rica, there aren’t many condo highrises and big city buildings there.  There are very few tourists.  There is culture and color and community.  There are volcanos (lots of them), jungles, plantations and beautiful beaches (the beaches I have yet to see but I hear they are beautiful).  There’s a real sense of place.  It reminds me a lot of Cuba…but if Nicaragua is twenty years behind Costa Rica, then Cuba has to be at least thirty, probably more.

I spent a blissful three days on a private island paradise, relaxing in view of the majestic Mombacho Volcano, eating delicious meals, lounging in my casita’s hammock and enjoying the sunsets.

To read more about traveling to Nicaragua and to learn about Jicaro Island Ecolodge, where I stayed, click here.

Enjoy the slideshow…

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Pura vida…Chrissy

Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers.  Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.