Why Nicaragua is the New Costa Rica

Posted by Adam McGeehan on Jan 28, 2016 5:48:44 PM

Costa Rica has achieved great success in recent decades as a top-of-the-list destination for Americans looking to vacation or retire abroad. With its beautiful, forgiving climate and healthy lifestyle, it is not hard to see why Costa Rica tops the list for American vacationers and expatriates a like.

There is another country in the region that is poised to achieve the same level of success that Costa Rica is enjoying now. That country is Nicaragua. Nicaragua offers all of the same benefits that Costa Rica does, more so in some cases, however Nicaragua has not gone through the economic shift that Costa Rica has, meaning that investing in Nicaragua now can allow for far greater returns on that investment than an equal investment in Costa Rica would. Find out why Nicaragua is poised to be the next Costa Rica.

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It’s Beautiful

Nicaragua and Costa Rica share a common border, and as such, are extremely similar in their tropical climates. Average temperatures in both countries are right around mid-70’s pretty much year round. In Nicaragua, temperatures typically range from 72-86°F, whereas in Costa Rica they typically range from 70-81°F.

Nicaragua, much like Costa Rica, is incredibly diverse geographically. Both countries feature lowlands, hills, forests, jungles beaches and mountains. Basically, whatever geographical location a vacationer or expatriate is looking for, they will be able to find in both countries.

It’s Cheap
Probably the biggest appeal of vacationing or retiring in Nicaragua is the incredible affordability of living there. While consumer prices in Costa Rica are still below those of the United, they are actually getting closer every day. Due to the fact that so many Americans are vacationing and living in Costa Rica, prices on almost everything are increasing.

Prices in Nicaragua, however, are still incredibly low. In fact, the cost of living in Nicaragua is one of the lowest in the entire region. On average, rent prices are 76% lower in Nicaragua than they are in the United States, and grocery prices are 42% lower than they would be in the United States. When comparing Nicaragua to Costa Rica, rent prices would still be 45% lower in Nicaragua than in Costa Rica, and grocery prices would be 22% lower. Many American retirees retire abroad so as to maintain their current lifestyle while spending less, and this can be done in Nicaragua probably better than any other region of the world. Certainly, for those Americans looking to live abroad to reduce their cost of living, Nicaragua is a more attractive option than Costa Rica.

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The Tourists Are Coming

Tourism is the industry that defines Costa Rica so well. Tourism is an incredibly thriving industry in Costa Rica, and it is as well in Nicaragua. In 2015, Costa Rica received 2.6 million visitors from foreign countries, while Nicaragua received 1.4 million.

Although Nicaragua is behind Costa Rica in sheer numbers of tourists, the tourism industry in Nicaragua is a growing one. In 2009, the country received approximately 900,000 tourists. This number increased by around 100,000 every year, and eventually reached 1.2 million in 2013. And now in 2015 that number has reached 1.4 million. This is great news for interested in investing in Nicaragua, as there is much room for growth, while still being towards the beginning of the growth curve.

Nicaragua is an incredibly profitable position right now. It offers essentially all of the benefits that Costa Rica does, whether it be attractive climate or lower consumer prices than in the United States. However, Nicaragua has not gone through the demographic shift that occurs when a large number of foreigners visit and invest in it, as Costa Rica already has. Investing in Nicaragua now can be an incredibly lucrative and smart move for the advantageous investor.

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Adam McGeehan

Written by Adam McGeehan

Adam is a recent graduate of Allegheny College. There he majored in Economics with a minor in Spanish. He has always been interested in traveling abroad and is thrilled to have recently taken up residence in Managua, Nicaragua to work as an intern for ECI Development. He is excited to take in all of the culture of this wondrous nation.

Topics: Investing in Nicaragua