Nicaraguan Tourist Agency selects Damen CSD350 dredger for 200 km internal waterway project

2016 February 19 14:14

Nicaraguan Tourist Agency selects Damen CSD350 dredger for 200 km internal waterway project

A contract has been signed by EPN, the Nicaraguan Port Authority, and INTUR, the Nicaraguan Tourist Agency, with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of a CSD350 Cutter Suction Dredger. The dredger is to be operated by EPN on a project to create and maintain a 200 km inland channel running along a section of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, the company said in its press release.

Damen CSD 350

Heavy duty design!

This is the first Damen CSD to be purchased by INTUR, and is designed for heavy-duty operations with a production capacity of 2000 mᶟ/h to a depth of nine metres. It will be operated by Empresa Portuaria Nacional (EPN), the national port authority, which already manages a number of Damen vessels and has a close relationship with INTUR. The CSD350 will be the fourth vessel delivered to EPN over the past year; with a Stan Tug 2608, another CSD350 and a CSD250 all recently beginning operations in Nicaragua.

The CSD350 will be deployed on an ambitious project to create a continuous 200 km channel running parallel to the sea between Bluefields and Bilwi, connecting the north and the south of the country. The existing waterway is a mix of rivers, lakes and some manmade channels running through lagoons and mangrove swamps. However, the rivers and lakes require dredging and the channels need to be completed. In addition, midway along the channel near Karawala, a completely new waterway of around 22 km will be created to link the northern and southern sections. Once completed, the new channel will enable larger and more comfortable boats to use the route and so encourage the local tourism industry.

The coast is renowned for its beauty and biodiversity, and a series of environmental studies have been undertaken to ensure minimal impact on the local plants and wildlife. An environmental management plan has been created for the project and it will be overseen by a government management team to ensure full compliance.  As an example of the care being taken over conservation of the environment, the dredging spoil will be used to construct a series of islands which will then be planted with trees to provide additional natural habitats. Once the channel has been dredged along its full length by the new CSD350, the dredger will be used to maintain it.

The vessel is scheduled to arrive in Nicaragua at the beginning of April, equipped with all the necessary equipment, including a 1000 metre pipeline, to operate in this very remote area.

“We’re very pleased to be supplying another Cutter Suction Dredger to Nicaragua,” said Pieter Becker, Damen Sales Manager for Central America. “The close cooperation between INTUR and EPN has been a major factor in this success. Built to the same specification as the other CSDs in the EPN fleet, the dredger will provide a proven and cost-effective solution to INTUR’s dredging requirements.”

Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 5,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damenis able to guarantee consistent quality.

Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.

Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.

For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.

In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has a worldwide network of 15 repair and conversion yards with dry docks ranging up to 420 x 80 metres. Conversion projects range from adapting vessels to today’s requirements and regulations to the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,500 repair and maintenance jobs annually.


Upon re-reading the piece, this dredger is to make a 200 mile canal running on the inland side of the sea between Bluefields and Puerto Cabezas along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. This is sure to be a boon to local transport as there is now only a series of creaks and rivers and rivermouths to get from point A to point B. This will create a safe channel to navigate. At first I thought it was the first real news I’ve heard in a while concerning the plans for Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal but that’s not the case. Still, a purchase agreement to buy a huge dredging ship that can be used to do some of the dredging that is required channel is something as this is a big purchase and anything that helps integrate transportation along the Caribbean coast is a big plus in my book.

Managua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Re: Managua

There are several private shuttle services serving Nicaragua.

There are several private shuttle services serving Nicaragua.

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews 2.

Feb 08, 2016, 2:13 PM

Greetings winger88: Coming in at night there would be no public bus available. If you are up for another 2 1/2 hours in a vehicle after flying all day and are okay with arriving late at night, then you can use a private shuttle service like iSKRA Travel, NicaRoads, etc.

The last scheduled (shared) shuttle is cheaper but leaves the airport at 5:30pm so you might not be able to make it. The private shutlle is $80 for one or two passengers.

Taking the bus the next morning would be a lot cheaper if that is important to you, If you go that route, I would suggest staying at a place off of Carretera a Masaya so you could catch the bus as it heads out of town. Otherwise, go to the Mercado Huembes and get the bus to SJdS or to Rivas, then switch to a bus to SJdS from there.

Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Managua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Private Shuttle or drivers, – Managua Forum – TripAdvisor

Re: Private Shuttle or drivers, Feb 14, 2016, 4:41 PM

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews 2.

Greetings WM: Try NicaRoads for shuttle service to Leon. You’ll probably get to Leon at about 11:30 pm and will pay around $80 for the service. Alternatively, you can stay somewhere nearer to Managua (and yes there are nice places to stay around Managua!) get to sleep earlier, and after breakfast the next morning arrange to take the microbus from La UCA to Leon in the morning for $2 per person. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Private Shuttle or drivers, – Managua Forum – TripAdvisor

Renting a car near TicaBus station – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Renting a car near TicaBus station

treysl3 Houston, Texas 1 post

Feb 09, 2016, 11:27 AM My wife and I are planning on flying into Managua in March and driving around and backpacking for a couple of days. We have friends in Tegucicalpa, so we will have to return our car and get on the TicaBus. I have looked extensively online and can’t find any info if there are any car rental places near the TicaBus station (ie, non-airport car rental stations). Ideally, I’d like to fly in, take a taxi into town where I can rent a car, travel around for several days, then return the car and walk or take a short taxi ride to the TicaBus station to Tegucigalpa. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with this? Is there any way to get around the rule regarding no rental cars crossing borders?

1 reply elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews

1. Re: Renting a car near TicaBus station

Feb 14, 2016, 4:56 PM Greetings treysl3: National Car Rental’s main office in Managua is near Laguna de Tiscapa, a three-minute taxi ride from the TicaBus station. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Renting a car near TicaBus station – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Easter Week Trip – Insight Please – Granada Forum – TripAdvisor

Easter Week Trip – Insight Please

Our family Spring Break falls the week leading up to Easter, which I learned is a big holiday in Nicaragua. We are staying in SJDS part of the time and I’m looking at staying in Granada. I understand large crowds fill the area, which is nice, but will we still gain the relaxing experience of Nic that we were hoping for? My boys are 9 & 11, will the crowds be “appropriate” for them? Should we reserve all our activities now so they don’t fill up? Is Granada as busy as SJDS? Should we stay close to the town or up near the volcanos? Any insight is GREATLY appreciated!!! A goal of this trip is for my boys to learn to be more humbled and increase their appreciation for what they have, by experience another culture as well as building great family memories. THANKS in advance for your insight!
Sunday Funday, Easter Week,

Family-friendly during Easter Week? Not at Sunday Funday!

7. Re: Easter Week Trip- Insight Please Feb 14, 2016, 4:29 PM

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews

Greetings TCUangelBuckeyeMom: If one of the goals for your family is to see what Nicaragua is about and how Nicaraguans live and work, then going to SJdS and Granada would be the places where IMO you are least likely to have that sort of experience as they are the most touristy destinations in Nicaragua. So if it’s not too late, I’d look to stay elsewhere frankly.

Normally both Granada and San Juand del Sur are perfectly fine places to visit, especially for first time visitors, but during this time of year it’s a different scene entirely. Especially SJdS is absolutely nuts during Easter week. Last year a pedestrian bridge fell with hundreds of people on it for example, plus yes your boys will get a real eyeful of mostly young adults doing things they probably wouldn’t do in their hometowns…think of a much younger Key West scene on a Pacific beach and you pretty much have the idea as to what SJdS is about.

Another place to look into if you decide to stay out of Granada, in Laguna de Apoyo instead, is San Simian; they have a great host and fantastic location/infrastructure. And as far as a beach place goes, your best bet to stay away from the crowds is a place not served by public bus. So for example, Punta Teonoste, Rancho Santana or Playa Iguana beaches near Tola instead of SJdS. They are private beaches that will not be terribly crowded.

Usually I would recommend Playa Gigante but that is served by public bus from Rivas so will get super crowded during Semana Santa. Some people go up to the mountains in the Matagalpa/Jinotega area to get away from both the heat and the crowds. That might be another option for your family as you are much more likely to have some real interaction with Nicaraguans. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Easter Week Trip- Insight Please – Granada Forum – TripAdvisor

Visiting Nicaragua during Easter Week can be really fun, but some spots will be very crowded with locals who go to the beaches and lakes and camp out for as many days during the week that they possibly can. In places like San Juan del Sur, this means the town is jammed with both national and international tourists partying their brains out basically.

The original poster of this question was planning a trip with her family during Easter Week with stops in San Juan del Sur and Granada, both of which will be full of people. My suggestion is to go to a beach that isn’t publically accessible and to stay outside of Granada in Laguna de Apoyo if they want to be in that area.

Transportation to Granada: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 739 posts 22 reviews

4. Re: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? Feb 03, 2016, 1:09 PM

Greetings Amen9: You are saying things that aren’t so, it would be nice for the readers of this forum to know why…of course I already know why! Anyway…


Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify for you and the readers El Porton Verde’s location and ambiance.


We are at 1,000 feet elevation so the nights are always cool. Views of two volcanoes, forested hills and plains. On a working eight acre farm full of fruit trees, plantains, bananas, pineapples, etc. Location is 10 minutes to a fancy Managua shopping mall, five minutes to the best hospital, 15 minutes to Masaya Volcano, 20 minutes to the town of Masaya, 25 minutes to MGA.


We are less than an hour from 4 of the top 10 things to do in Nicaragua. And none of those places are in the city of Managua!


Plus, Managua has improved considerably and there are world-class things to do and see in the city now. So thanks for asking! Take a look at my website and you’ll see I’m not stuck anywhere. We already know you have a hidden vested interest in promoting Granada. (Speaking of stuck!)


Just because you don’t like to hear that there are really nice options besides just going straightaway to Granada doen’t mean that they don’t exist. At least I am transparent with the readers of this forum. It’d be nice if you did the same…have a great day!


Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Late flight to MGA, best way to get to Granada at midnight? – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Either way is cool, but ask yourself, do you want to wake up to this:

Transportation to Granada

Panoramic view from the porch of El Portón Verde

Or this for your first morning in Nicaragua, your choice!

Late flight to MGA

Expat central, La Calzada, Granada at night

Avid Birdwatchers See 45 Species in and around El Portón Verde!

Birdwatchers Rule! Big-Time Birdwatching at El Portón Verde and El Chocoyero

Hi dear reader(s) and birdwatchers:

EPV recently hosted a very lovely couple, John and Bonnie, who came to us from Minnesota and are active & avid birdwatchers! They stayed with us, as do many of our visitors, on their first and last nights (2 nights at first, fthen three nights at the end) in Nicaragua. I wanted to share some photos and videos of them enjoying their fantastic hobby of birdwatching.

Usually when we go to Chocoyero/El Brujo Natural Reserve, the hike to the falls is only 15 or 20 minutes but not so in this case; it took the better part of an hour! And why? Because we were seeing so many bird and butterfly species that it took longer to walk the kilometer or so from the Visitor Center to the El Chocoyero Waterfall.

We also had an excellent guide, which of course helps as he knows the local birds and has a keen eye for seeing them!

birdwatching El Porton Verde

Waterfall and cliff face with hundreds of Pacific Parrots nesting.

birdwatching El Porton Verde

El Chocoyero Nature Reserve

birdwatching El Porton Verde

Partial List of Birds found at El Portón Verde

birdwatching El Portón Verde

More birds, including those found at El Chocoyero and Masaya Volcano National Park

birdwatching El Portón Verde

Our visitors, avid birdwatchers, enjoyed their visit to see El Chocoyero



El Chocoyero Nature Reserve, Ticuantepe

More on Avid Birdwatchers

I hope you enjoyed this post about Avid Birdwatchers and if you are an avid birdwatcher, please consider coming to stay with us so you can add to our list!

From Wikipedia:

Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve (Spanish: Reserva Natural El Chocoyero-El Brujo) is located in the municipality of Ticuantepe in the Managua department of Nicaragua. Chocoyero-El Brujo is one of 78 protected areas in Nicaragua, and at just 455 acres (1.8 km2) this tropical forest is one of the smallest in size. Chocoyero-El Brujo was declared a natural reserve in 1993 is managed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA).[1]

More at the link!