Travel Central America: Nicaragua vs Costa Rica

A number of folks claim that Nicaragua now is what Costa Rica looked like 30 years ago. Underdeveloped infrastructure and a small number of traveler services, but without the large masses either. Likewise, Nicaraguans are not tired of hosting foreigners so far, and even receive them openly.

Comparatively, townships such as Ometepe, Nicaragua are more like what Costa Rica resembled seven decades ago. There are not many modern features like cars or devices, pant and shirts are still washed in the river, and horses and buggies are the common manner of transportation. Then again, Ometepe also has the atmosphere of a imaginary world — a fantasy land — where soaring mountains and lush vegetation still rule the surroundings.

The northern mountains, consisting of three separate mountain chains, hide some remarkable temptations and backdrop, like concealed waterfalls and churches. Rio Coco starts from this region and streams down to the Caribbean. Communities and villages in the Nicaraguan mountains are ancient, constructed far before the Spanish raid into the country. Many of the old settlements still hold their initial names, and stand side-by-side with the adobe forts the Spanish erected at the time they landed. These mountains produce a number of the best coffee beans and tobacco in the world.

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