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Nicaragua or Costa Rica: Which Is More Adventurous?

Article Summary:

Nicaragua has been called the “new Costa Rica,” but the country’s diverse natural riches are like nothing else in the world. Now, Nicaragua Vacations reveals five quintessential Nicaraguan experiences – including August’s upcoming Hipica in Granada.

Photo Credit: Grand Pacifica

Original Article Text From PR Web:

Not Just a Poor Man’s Costa Rica: Nicaragua Wows with Charms All its Own

Nicaragua may be called the “poor man’s Costa Rica” or the “new Costa Rica,” but these labels don’t do justice to the nation’s unique appeal, cultural heritage and spectacular beauty. While it’s true that Nicaragua is about 40% less expensive than Costa Rica – you can book a weeklong Nicaraguan vacation for under $1,000 per person – and has many things in common with its southern neighbor, Nicaragua is a travel destination unto itself. Recently upgraded from blip to beacon on the travel radar, the country lures globetrotters with its colonial charms, unbelievable beaches, world-class snorkeling, and boutique eco-wellness retreats.

Nicaraguan travel has slowly crescendoed, finally reaching a fever pitch in 2012, when the Nicaraguan Tourism Board (INTUR) reported an 11.4% growth in tourism (January-October) – an impressive increase over the expected 6.5%. And in 2012, the media caught on to what many tourists had already discovered: Nicaragua is no longer Central America’s up-and-coming destination – it has already arrived. The New York Times began by naming Nicaragua as the #3 place to go in 2013, citing the country’s excellent eco-lodges and high-end restaurant scene. Then, CNN applauded Little Corn Beach as one of the world’s top 100 beaches. And at the end of 2012, the ultra-luxe Mukul Resort opened on the Emerald Coast, quickly garnering a flurry of international attention – and paving the way for the future of five-star, luxury Nicaraguan travel.

Last year, more than 1.1 million tourists flocked to Nicaragua’s cobblestoned avenues, incredible surf beaches, thriving barrier reef, and active lava flows for a slice of culture, nature and wellness that they could only find in Nicaragua. James Dyde, local expert and founder of Nicaragua Vacations, explains that, “A great deal is not the main draw; it’s just the cherry on top of an already delicious cake. Nicaragua is a boutique traveler’s dream – an exploration of Latin American culture, natural beauty, and colonial history. It’s like nowhere else in the world.”
Indeed, Nicaragua is not a cheaper version of Costa Rica; the two countries offer two very different travel experiences. In lieu of super adventures and rainforest explorations, the “land of lakes and volcanoes” welcomes visitors with active lava flows, impossibly beautiful beaches, and some of the world’s best Caribbean snorkeling. When asked to name five of the most unforgettable, most unusual experiences exclusive to Nicaragua, Dyde doesn’t hesitate:

1. Wellness Retreats: Remote and secluded wellness vacations, spas and yoga retreats have emerged as a Nicaraguan specialty.

2. Colonial Wanderings: The colonial towns of Granada and Leon promise historic charm (think cobblestoned streets and central courtyards) and plenty of culture, including the upcoming Granada Hipica, a huge horse parade and festival in mid-August.

3. Surfing: Nicaragua offers some of the best, most consistent surf in Central America. Bonus: Crowds are few, so surfers rarely have to fight for the best waves.

4. Snorkeling & Scuba Diving: The Corn Islands barrier reef promises an underwater world of tropical fish, colorful coral and endless adventures. Says Dyde, “It’s some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving anywhere in the Caribbean.”

5. Volcano Boarding: Go ash boarding (think sledding, but on volcanic ash) down Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America. All that’s necessary, says Dyde, is a jumpsuit, a board and “a dose of courage.”

Truly, Nicaragua is a unique country of unique offerings – and a tourism destination that has finally come into its own.

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