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Saving On Sunny Destinations: Nicaragua versus Miami, Florida

In times past, when the ravages of winter have nipped at your heels a bit too severely, you’ve looked to the warmer latitudes within your own country for a break from the cold. Miami is in the most southerly reaches of the continental United States, and it has plenty of draws, with its lively beaches, Latin-inspired culture and nightlife, and its love for the finer things in life.

However, the last point has driven prices through the roof over the years, and the stagnant earning power of many young Americans have led them to look beyond their own country for a more affordable destination where they can luxuriate themselves underneath the life-giving sun without having to break the bank.

One of these destinations is none other than Nicaragua, a destination once feared by the American populace during its civil war in the 1980’s, but with those unpleasantries in the distant past, the country, located well within the tropical zone with frontages on the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, is seeing more tourist arrivals with each passing year.

What can you expect to spend on a trip through Nicaragua, compared to what you would pay if you gritted your teeth and paid the elevated prices that Miami offers these days? This article will compare and contrast costs in three essential areas: food, accommodations, and entertainment. If this type of thing intrigues you, the fine people at Budget Direct have created a comprehensive cost of living index worth taking a look at.

Let’s begin…!



While most food in Miami tends to be either greasy fast food on one end of the spectrum, and uber-expensive fine dining on the other, in Nicaragua, it is composed of wholesome fare consisting primarily of rice, beans, and variety of fresh meats and vegetables.  While hygiene is a big concern in a developing country such as Nicaragua, following common sense rules like dining where tonnes of locals eat and getting inoculations for food and water-borne illnesses like Hepatitis A/B should keep you safe and sound!

On average, expect to pay no more than $5 for a meal from a hole-in-the wall resto here … in Miami, a similar experience will easily cost you over $13, yielding impressive savings on the order of 60% for each and every meal out!



No matter your preference in accommodations when you travel, expect to save big time in your travels through Nicaragua. In Miami, while first-world panache and a fabulous location on South Beach are the draws of many of the hostels and budget hotels there, expect to pay $30 for a hostel bunk, and between $40-70 for a budget hotel room.

In Nicaragua however, hostels and budget private rooms come much cheaper.  While the quality of said accommodations may vary widely, you are looking at $10-15 in Managua, and as low as $7-13 in the islands, allowing for one to extend their journey much more easily than if you were back in the developed world.



South Beach is not a cheap place to go out on the town. While there is happy hour promotions like dollar beer power hours that may occur at select bars, you are looking at paying at least $4 for a beer, and $5 to $6 on average. In Nicaragua, it’s completely the opposite end of the scale, as beer will commonly cost you $1 a pop … unless you’re in a luxury hotel, where plucking a beer from the minibar will run you the princely sum of … $2. Yup, this country is quite affordable!

While the thought of taking a flight to somewhere that is unknown can be a little scary to some people, the reward for this “bravery” is a travel experience that will enrich your life, without raiding your wallet!