Travel writers have been hyping Nicaragua as the next big tropical paradise for years. The New York Times listed it as one of 46 places to go in 2013. A host of travel magazines have promoted it as a cheaper Costa Rica without the crowds. And CBS brought some of Nicaragua’s natural beauty into American homes three years ago by filming a season of “Survivor” in the country.
But an article in the Wall Street Journal last week about the challenges of trying to pitch Nicaragua to high-end travelers highlighted the reality that the country is still more of a haven for backpackers than the well heeled. In 2011, visitors to Nicaragua spent an average of just $43 per day, compared to $118 in neighboring country. But is Nicaragua in danger of losing the cool, off-the-radar status it once enjoyed?
Fifteen years ago, Amber Dobrzensky boarded a Greyhound bus in New York City and eventually washed up in Matagalpa, Nicaragua’s Central Northern Highlands, where she helped build a medical clinic and taught English.
“The country had a profound impact on how I viewed the world,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave Nicaragua.”
The Vancouver native eventually did leave, but she returned in 2008 and has lived there ever since. She edits a cultural magazine called Hecho and is the author of the “Moon Guide to Nicaragua,” which just came out last week. We spoke to Amber to find out if Nicaragua’s still the next big thing or if it’s already arrived.
Interesting article by the author of the latest update to the Moon Handbook of Nicaragua, Amber Dobrzensky. The update just came out and I hope she has some great sales of this very good (IMO the best) travel handbook. She discusses how it appears that the mainstream media is finally recognizing Nicaragua as a great place to vacation, and whether or not that will have an impact on Nicaragua as a whole and whether that means that adventure and ecotourism travel will be going the way of the dodo anytime soon. (Answer, it ain’t going anywhere…)