As both a visitor and as an investor the straight answer is that yes, Nicaragua is cheap, very much so if you look beyond the larger resorts and development projects. There are areas of the country that have developed faster than others and where prices have risen more quickly but even in established places like Granada and San Juan del Sur it is still possible to find good value. Emerging destinations such as Ometepe, Leon and some of the smaller pacific coast communities offer excellent investment opportunities.
When I first came to Nicaragua in 2006 to look for land to develop my project I focused my property search on the more established areas along the pacific coast but was eventually tempted to invest in land on Ometepe island precisely because of the cheaper prices coupled with the obvious growth potential.
While prices for many goods and materials may not necessarily be that much cheaper than in the US, labor costs are low and help make it cheaper to build or to run a business. Typically a day-laborer on a construction project will cost less than US $1 p/hr and you will struggle to pay more than $1.50 for a very decent local beer!
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