Before 18th April 2018, Nicaragua’s tourist industry was booming. Visitors flocked to the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, lured by colonial cities, hospitable locals, world-class waves, exotic wildlife and boundless natural beauty.
The introduction of policy, by President Daniel Ortega, to lower pensions and increase taxes, however, was met with fury. In some urban areas, protestors clashed with government troops.
This period of disquiet lasted only a couple of months, but global media portrayed a nation in turmoil. Knee-jerk travel advisories were introduced, and tourists rearranged holiday plans in favour of neighbouring Costa Rica and Panama.
But in February, after months of calm, the UK finally lifted its travel warnings. Our favourite Nicaraguan hideaways are open for business once more. The rum flows. The food is as fresh and bountiful as ever and the Bachata rhythms endure. I went in June and found a welcoming, peaceful country. I zip lined through cloud forest, swam with turtles, ate more seafood than should perhaps be legal; I white-water rafted, galloped on the beach, hiked up volcanos and spotted impossible numbers of birds and monkeys. Those savvy enough to travel soon will have the place to themselves.
by Alexandra Heriot Maitland, Senior Travel Designer