Nicaragua keeps charmin’ — another Sunday spread

Those Sunday Travel Sections just can’t get enough Lakes and Volcanoes. On the heels of last week’s New York Times spread (“The Rediscovery of Nicaragua” by Gregory Dicum), today’s Washington Post (Sunday, December 24, 2006) gives us “Fit for Man and Beast: Surfers and Turtles Ride the Waves on Nicaragua’s Coast,” by Jonathan Finer. The story has been done many, many times before by travel writers who feel like they’re on to something. I’m as guilty as the rest, several times over and I ain’t knockin’ it. There’s a reason the word is out — Nicaragua really is that intriguing to visit.You’ll know when you go.

In this article, Finer reports from San Juan del Sur (where else?) on sea turtles, surfing, tourism development, real estate, and Daniel Ortega, whose recent Presidential win provides an easy reference to the country’s “troubled past” (a requisite ingredient in any short article about Nicaragua).

Finer offers some fun turtle and surfing scenes, plus the famous view from Piedras y Olas Hotel. And of course, an acknowledgment of the “delicate balance” between tourism and tradition, in the form of a quote from the Rev. Roberto Alvarez, 32: “It means better jobs for many people, but a lot of people are selling their land and moving into the rural areas. We have to make sure we hold on to our culture.”

I’m also told that the upcoming January/February 2007 edition of Coastal Living is also running a major feature, this one called “Nicaraguan Surprise: San Juan del Sur offers great scenery and fabulous food.” Notice a trend? The Coastal Living piece covers all the bases — San Juan, Hotel Piedras y Olas, a day trip to Granada, short history lesson, and lots of big, bright, beautiful photos.

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