The Spanish colonial city of Grenada

I remember traveling to Costa Rica in the early 90s. This was when travelers were just starting to take notice of this lush land of jungle and beaches. As an owner of a travel agency, I heard stories of clients of mine buying pieces of beachfront property for $8,000 on Costa Rica’s endless Pacific beaches. When I finally visited, I recall driving from the Pacific side east to the Caribbean and seeing few tourists. I was in awe of the landscape and ecosystem. Like all undiscovered travel destinations, Costa Rica became very much on the radar of adventurers and backpackers alike. It became touted as the “Switzerland of Central America,” known for the fact that one is always safe, there was no noticeable crime, and no need for an army.

The Next Hot Destination

In the first century of the new millennium, Panama became the new “in” nation in Central America, also relatively safe with a thriving ecotourism sector. Panama City with its highrises, markets, and American lifestyle became a convenient destination for many American and Canadian retirees.

Fast forward to the present day, and there is a new Central American travel destination ready to take the crown of next “hot destination” to visit before it also gets discovered and makes the travelers’ circuit: Nicaragua. Many travelers have not yet heard much about this country, or if they have, one might associate the peaceful nation with a bygone era of civil war and strife. This is far from reality. Even in the hustle and bustle of fast-paced and often crowded capital, Managua, crime is almost non-existent.

Monkeys and Macaws

Everything that one can find in Costa Rica is abundant in Nicaragua. But unlike its neighbor to the south, Nicaragua is blessed with a rich, Spanish colonial culture dating back centuries and well preserved in Nicaragua’s colonial cities of Grenada and León.

For your next vacation, consider the less traveled version of Costa Rica. Visit Nicaragua before the word gets out that this exotic land is well worth a visit. Learn more about one of the world’s best kept secrets at

About the Author: Nicholas Kontis – Travel Expert and Founder of World Travel List

Born on the one of the most beautiful Islands in the world, Santorini, Greece and raised in America’s culture capital of San Francisco. Nick Kontis started out as a world traveler at an early age traveling back and forth between California and Greece every summer. But it was a backpacking trip around the world at age 24 that proved to be a life-changing experience. After traveling by car, train, plane, bike and, boat around the world, it would be this trip of a lifetime that would lead to a life as a travel entrepreneur and world traveler.

Nick has been on both radio and television, including Arthur Frommer’s television show, and referred by Lonely Planet writers as a leader in discount airfares. Frequently mentioned as the “father of around the world airfares.” he inspired Arthur Frommer to say, “If Jules Verne were alive today he would use Nick to go around the world in 80 days.” Nick and his various travel companies and agents have sent over 10,000 people around the world. Now, Nick promotes travel through his World Travel List and ‘Trip Rambler’ by World Travel List. Having traveled to over 80 countries, Nick hopes to inspire others to travel the world. Follow Nick’s “passion for travel” on the World Travel List.

Twitter: @nickworldtravel