Nicaragua Isn’t Scaring Me Away… It Never Has

At Least Not Everyone Was Scared Off From Nicaragua

I’ve been putting on conferences around the world for more than 25 years. This has never happened before.

Lief is in Managua this week for our Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference. More than half the folks who registered for the event aren’t in the room with him. They cancelled their attendance.

We always have some cancellations, because of medical or schedule emergencies. But more than half the group backing out before the start of a conference? As I said, this is a first.

What’s going on?

It seems people, even our dear readers, are afraid of Nicaragua.

These are the kinds of emails and messages we received from people who’d registered and paid for the event but then got in touch to say they weren’t going to be able to attend:

“Since registering for your conference, I have carried out further research, and I find Nicaragua too dangerous for travel. My wife has refused to make the trip, and I do not find it wise either. We are cancelling our attendance…”

I take it as a personal failure.

My job is to help you identify your best options for living, retiring, investing, and doing business around the world. My job is to show you these places as they really are, based on my own experience and that of my team. My job is to make it possible for you to see beyond commonly held image and impression, beyond bad press, and beyond government agency warnings whose only real purpose is to cover government agency backsides.

It seems that, in the case of Nicaragua, I’ve failed on all counts.

We’re not the only ones who think Nicaragua is worth your attention right now. A Forbes article published this week put it this way:

“Nicaragua is quickly becoming a first-rate alternative to Mexico and Costa Rica. It has quietly become a superstar getaway for Beyoncé, Michael Douglas, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Michael Fassbender, and many others…”

I’ve been spending time in Nicaragua since the mid-1980s. I’m not in Beyoncé or Michael Douglas’ class, but I know a good thing when I see it, and I connected with Nicaragua from my first visit.

I went, as many do initially, for the beachfront. A forward-thinking friend, to whom I am hugely grateful for the tip, told me Nicaragua’s Pacific coast was “just like southern California but maybe one-tenth the cost.”

I made the trip to see for myself, was won over immediately, and returned several times with other friends. A few years later, a group of us pooled our capital to buy a piece of ranchland that backed a stretch of this country’s southern Pacific coast. For what today seems like peanuts, we owned what we agreed was some of the most dramatically beautiful coastline any of us had ever seen anywhere, complete with pink sand in spots, small coves, craggy cliffs, and crashing surf. This former cattle ranch known as Rancho Santana has grown up today to become a high-end residential community and beach resort.

In the two-and-a-half decades since my friend persuaded me to make that first trip and give Nicaragua a look up close, I’ve returned to the country dozens of times, with friends, with family, and sometimes on my own. This is one of the first places my son Jackson traveled. He played on Nicaragua’s sandy beaches before he could walk. My daughter rode horseback along Nicaragua’s Pacific shoreline when she was 8-years-old.

I’ve never been concerned moving around this country by myself or with my young children. I’ve read the U.S. State Department’s warnings, and I’ve seen the way many react at the mention the country’s name. I ignore those things because I know something those folks don’t. I know Nicaragua. From long and firsthand experience. I’ve invested and done business in this country for more than 25 years. I’ve made friends. I’ve established connections. And I’m eager for every chance to return.

I’ve taken the time to look beyond the Nicaragua of the sound bite and to get to know Nicaragua on the ground. For me, it wasn’t hard. For me and Nicaragua, it was love at first sight. I was won over instantly by this country’s beauty and history but, even more, by its big heart and can-do attitude. Nicaraguans in my experience are committed to remaking their country that has been so troubled for so long.

Nicaragua is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines that, while not as cheap as it was 25 years ago when I discovered it, remains one of the world’s best buys.

Nicaragua is blessed with the most romantic and charming city in the Americas. Spanish-colonial Granada, with its blue, white, and yellow churches, red-clay-tiled roofs, and big shady central square, is a jewel of a town.

Nicaragua is blessed with lakes and rivers, highlands and rain forest. Its surf breaks are killer…

And its cost of living is a global bargain. You could embrace all that this country has to offer on a budget of as little as US$1,100 or US$1,200 per month. You could own one of Granada’s classic colonial homes for as little as US$50,000 or a place of your own on the Pacific for US$100,000 or less.

I’m not saying Nicaragua is the place where you should think about launching your new life overseas (only you can make that choice), and I’m certainly not suggesting that Nicaragua is perfect. No place is.

What I am saying is that Nicaragua offers something that is in big, growing, and undeniable demand these days: an outside-the-box option for retirement living that is both filled with adventure and discovery and also highly affordable.

If you are in the market for a place to retire on a budget, to reinvent your life, or maybe just to own a second home in the sun, you owe it to yourself to give Nicaragua a look firsthand. This country is one of your most affordable options for all those things and much more.

I was so glad I took my friend’s advice years ago and opened my eyes and my mind so I could see Nicaragua for what she really is. I have so many great memories of time spent in this country. And I’ve made money here, too.

Here’s my advice to you now: Ignore the naysayers and the fear-mongers. Take a look at Nicaragua yourself and make up your own mind.

I’m happy to be able to report that some of your fellow readers are doing that as I write. Not everyone was scared off. A good number mustered the courage to make the trip to Nicaragua to experience this country firsthand during this week’s Live and Invest in Nicaragua Conference in Managua.

I’ll share some of the discoveries they’re making from the scene, as well as their real-life, real-time impressions of Nicaragua, starting tomorrow.

Stay tuned. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Kathleen Peddicord

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