Tourists spend more time in the capital I El Nuevo Diario

Of the 1,480,000 tourists who entered Nicaragua last year , 40% stayed at least a week in Managua, according to data from the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism ( Intur ).

The delegate of Managua by Intur, Martha Baltodano, pointed out that after the colonial cities and the beaches of the Pacific coast, Managua is preferred.

“Last year we closed with the number of 1,480,000 tourists at the national level and of these 40% spent in the capital. It is the city with the largest offer of tourist services in the country, speaking of hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, “said the delegate of Intur.

He pointed out that there are around 2,700 tourist companies registered at the national level in the Intur . Of these, 11,500 are in the Pacific zone and only in Managua there are 8,000.

Of interest: Why does it attract Nicaraguan tourism?

“Four or five years ago, the capital looked only as a distribution center where tourism was overnight for one day or night, then to go to other destinations. Now the convention tourism is less. Now they come to do cultural tourism, social, rural community, adventure and religious. Here in Managua you can do all kinds of tourism, according to a diagnosis of the resources in existence, “said Baltodano.

He indicated that Managua has cultural, natural and patrimonial resources. He added that in the municipality there are three crater lagoons, which is why it is unique in the world, however he considered that there is a little more tourist infrastructure, whether public or private. Tiscapa has hiking and there is a historical park, on the other hand is Asososca and Nejapa, for which an improvement plan is being developed in order to enable them for tourism.

“The mayor of Managua, in the theme of parks, has provided very well and in this case compared to Asososca, which supplies water to part of the capital, is the park Las Piedrecitas whose infrastructure will be rehabilitated by the municipality and Wait for a lookout to observe the landscape of the lagoon. But there are attractive places all over the department. There are private wild reserves in Ticuantepe and Villa El Carmen, in San Rafael del Sur we have protected areas, bird watching in the Montibelli reserve, the Chocoyero – El Brujo, in addition to an endangered turtle hatchery in Villa El Carmen, which On Salamina beach are released. Nicaragua has the tortoises, tortoises and hawksbill, are three of the seven species that are in danger of extinction, “said Baltodano.

Veronica Wayman, representative of Wayman Tours, commented that by experience the most attractive point for foreign tourism in Managua is the Puerto Salvador Allende, the museums, the replicas of the cathedrals of Paseo Xolotlán, the historical park Tiscapa and also hope to promote as Tourist destination the viewpoint of El Crucero.

“In the week we have groups of up to 30 people and in weekend at least 25 as part of Managua City Tour,” said Wayman, arguing that more needs to be invested in infrastructure, since the foreign tourist is very demanding, especially with Cleaning in restaurants, dining rooms and bathrooms, in addition to the accommodation conditions.

He commented that places like Xiloá or the thermal springs of Tipitapa have a lot of potential, but it is not attractive to the tourist for lacking conditions of comfort and cleanliness.

“A couple came excited to go to the hot springs, but when they saw the place, they wanted to return immediately. The national tourist coming from other departments does not have much problem, but in the treatment to the foreigner one must be very careful, so that leaves satisfied of the experience “, claimed Wayman.

Suggestions for weeklong vacation with three teenagers

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Hello! I’m exploring options for me to take my three nieces/nephew on vacation for about a week. Nicaragua is at the top of my list, having previously been to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Central America is so much fun. For the teenagers it will be their first trip out of the country (outside of the midwest USA, really). I’m looking for a fun, standard itinerary that perhaps will stoke a love of travel in them. All three kids are 14/15 years old, and I’m looking to travel in the dry season – maybe as early as this April. What are your thoughts on an itinerary? Some notes:

  • No party destinations
  • I’d like for them to see and learn about cultural differences and humanitarian issues
  • We’re from a flat area, so we definitely need to hike mountains. I’d categorize the three of them as all having a “medium” fitness level. Cerro Negro, Telica? Quetzeltrekkers?
  • Can we see lava anywhere in Nicaragua?
  • Waterfalls would be great
  • We’ll need some beach time. Preferably somewhere quiet where I’d rent a house and we can explore nearby on foot.
  • We should visit one of the colonial cities. Leon or Granada?
  • Ometepe looks really cool. The volcanoes there sound too difficult to hike for their skill level.

Thanks for your help. The Thorn Tree is a great community.

 

Response from elportonverde

mike_elportonverde ONLINE 23 days ago Greetings Doug: Yes you can see hot lava in Nicaragua at the Masaya Volcano during the night tour. What I would suggest is similar to likeeveryoneelse’s recommendations. I’d suggest the loop from Managua-Leon-Esteli (Somoto Canyon)-Matagalpa-Granada as a rough itinerary. In Leon you can get your beach day in at Las Peñitas, do the volcano boarding, see the town itself (go up to the top of the cathedral for photos), then get to Esteli (there’s a nice waterfall just before you get to the town), overnight in Esteli or Somoto, then the next morning do Somoto Canyon (your teens will love it!), there are other hikes in the area too. Next day go to Matagalpa (more nice hikes, coffee country), then get back to Granada for the last couple of days. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Suggestions for weeklong vacation with three teenagers

The Somoto Canyon in Northern Nicaragua Hobbitschuster

Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

 

Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas

I’m taking a taxi from the Managua airport to Playa Maderas and am feeling apprehensive about safety all of a sudden.

I am a solo female traveler and it is my first time visiting Nicaragua.

Does anyone have any tips?

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 894 posts 25 reviews

7. Re: Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas Feb 09, 2017, 10:06 PM

Greetings Larissa: We receive a lot of single female travelers and they really appreciate having a trusted person come and pick you up at the airport. Your driver will be just fine, knows the route, etc. To get to your question/concern, you don’t say if you are traveling during the daytime or at night time. During the daytime or even the early evening I wouldn’t worry too much about the trip. But if it’s full nighttime, as lots of flight come in at 8, 9 and even like tonight, I’m going for a pick up from the Copa flight from Panama that gets in at about 10:20 pm. I wouldn’t want to drive another 2 1/2 hours to SJdS (and about 20 more for Maderas…)! The driver you would be using certainly does it all the time, but of course it’s really your decision. Another point is that during the night time you won’t see any of the scenery, which includes viewing at least four volcanoes! Traveling that late could feel a little bit daunting, especially for first-time visitors, so some visitors will book something a bit closer and someone who offers good services in addition to quality lodgings. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Safety Traveling from Managua to Playa Maderas – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Hey Larissa (and any other readers or robots!) Yes it can feel a bit odd coming to Nicaragua the first time. I certainly remember the semi-terror feeling of not so much landing in Managua but more when first stepping through those automatic sliding glass doors that lead you either to the curb and the street or staying inside the terminal heading towards the rental car companies.

Lots of taxi drivers ask you if you want or need a ride. Sometimes it might take a little while before you find the person that’s supposed to be picking you up. Not so often anymore, but occasionally in the daytime you might get a couple of kids that want to give you something made out of a sort of straw and using that to extract a dollar out of you.

It can be a lot to take in for some people not accustomed to international airports, especially in Latin America.

Also, when you get here, in addition to a warm welcome from an old Nicaragua hand, you may want to:

  • exchange money
  • buy groceries
  • buy a SIM card and setup a pre-paid starter data and/or phone call plan

Contact us for further information or book your room!

by over_kind_man Karen Leavitt surfing at Playa Maderas, Nicaragua, December 23 2009. | by over_kind_man

Government to build coastal road • El Nuevo Diario

The government plans to build a coastal road in the Pacific , as announced yesterday by Vice President Rosario Murillo, who also said that it will be President Daniel Ortega who will give details of the project in the coming days.

The project aims to unite the beaches of the Nicaraguan Pacific coast, from the department of Rivas to Managua.

Map of proposed Coastal Road

– END –

In the coming weeks will work on a first stretch of the road that is expected to bring greater investment to the country, added Murillo in her daily speech.

The route of the road, according to Murillo, will start on the southern border in El Naranjo, and will tour the beaches of El Ostional, Playa Coco, La Flor, Marseille, Majagual, Las Maderas, El Gigante, Guacalito, Las Salinas, Tipilapa, Huehuete, Casares, La Boquita and Masachapa.

The coastal road has been raised in different administrations.At first it was designed under the administration of former president Enrique Bolaños. The project was to be built by the company called Inocsa-Edicro.

In 2010, during the first administration of Ortega, it was announced the construction of at least 2 kilometers of road from San Juan del Sur. It was also said at that time that there was funding to cobble another 5 kilometers of road.

At that time the cost of the project was $ 600,000 per kilometer paved, not including bridge construction and drainage system.

A year later, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure announced the award of a concession to an Italian consortium for a period of more than 20 years and estimated that the investment cost of the project was 200 million dollars.

In its original design , proposed during the administration of ex-President Bolaños, the coastal road covered 131 kilometers paved and covered eight beaches in the country.

Source: Gobierno construirá carretera costanera • El Nuevo Diario

This news from El Nuevo Diario newspaper certainly comes under the heading of interesting and potentially transformative Nicaraguan news! Thing is though, there was a big push in 2010 (and many years before, in the mid-2000’s, during the Bolaños administration) for a coastal road and at one point they had even awarded a contract to an Italian firm and it was going to be a toll road.

Then a few years later it was sort of quietly announced that the project was dead. Well, like many a monster movie, It Lives! If this project is actually completed end-to-end that would be fantastic for vacationers and anyone who is a beach lover because you could actually visit several beaches in one day.

Of course, the people who would be the most “stoked” would definitely be the surfers! As it is now, for example, if you are staying in San Juan del Sur and after surfing a few days at the beaches near there, as a wandering visiting surfer, you’ll naturally want to try some other beaches. Well, on the map, the beaches of the Tola, Rivas area don’t look too far away, but if you actually were staying in SJdS and wanted to surf, say Popoyo beach, it would be a good hour and maybe twenty minutes to get there. When (and if!) this coastal road is completed, you’d be able to zip up there in maybe 20 minutes, 30 minutes top.

Thoughts and/or comments? What do you think? Please let us know below.

2017 Best Honeymoon Destinations – Top 17 Places to Go for Your Honeymoon

Nicaragua

One of you dreams of lying on the beach, and the other wants to soak up local culture and have once-in-a-lifetime adventures? If that’s the case, where to honeymoon may just be the easiest compromise you’ll make in your entire marriage. Nicaragua is the tropical destination guaranteed to please both adrenaline junkies and relaxation seekers. An ideal mix of exotic and easy, it’s a short, direct flight from Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere (along with the local currency, cordobas). It’s also a place where you can surf in the Pacific Ocean or down mountains of volcanic ash, zip line along cloud forests, tour Spanish colonial cities and sunbathe along the Caribbean coast—all in the same week if that’s how you roll. (Before your parents start having flashbacks to news anchors discussing the post-revolutionary conflict of the 1980s, reassure them that Nicaragua is the safest country in Latin America according to the Gallup Law and Order Index.) And while it’s more undiscovered and less developed than neighboring Costa Rica, Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure is growing quickly and thoughtfully—meaning you’ll have your pick of luxury eco-resorts to serve as home base. Where to Stay: The closest thing to having your own private island is a room at Jicaro Island Ecolodge on one of the 365 islets that dot vast Lake Cocibolca. It’s just off the waterfront of the lovely colonial town of Granada, where the Tribal Hotel is the most Insta-ready option among a plethora of inns in converted mansions whose central courtyards now hold small swimming pools. Mukul is the swankiest spot on the Pacific coast, set between an incredible surfing beach and a top of the line golf course; or Maderas Village is the perfect option for modern, free-spirited couples who enjoy waking up in the jungle before taking a morning swim at Playa Maderas, a five-minute walk down the hill. Inland, brand-new Nekupe is an intimate sporting lodge on a 1,300-acre nature reserve where rangers guide you through horseback riding, skeet shooting, and cultural excursions (an on-site spa is set to open this spring). To see a completely different part of Nicaragua (and one most tourists miss) fly to the Caribbean side of the country for a stay at Yemaya on Little Corn Island. If all of the brand-new rooms with private plunge pools are booked, fear not—the turquoise waters of the Caribbean are just a few steps away. When to Go: It’s beach-weather warm year-round, but May-November is the rainy season, with short tropical showers and more cloud cover, especially in September and October. December-April is drier and (even) hotter. – Eleni N. Gage, Author of The Ladies of Managua.

Source: 2017 Best Honeymoon Destinations – Top 17 Places to Go for Your Honeymoon

The author makes a strong point that Nicaragua is an especially good honeymoon destination for couples who have a bit of a difference of opinion in what they want for their experience. In Nicaragua you can have the awesome tropical beaches and a real cultural experience in the same package. In fact, it might be the easiest compromise of your marriage! If you are looking to plan your honeymoon in Nicaragua, get in contact with us and we can help you plan your once-in-a-lifetime new beginning together! A splurge on luxury travel at Mukul, Nekupe, Rancho Santana or Yemaya might be the call!

14 stunning photos of exploration in the Masaya volcano • El Nuevo Diario

The images shared by Sam Cossman after the first week of work in the active volcano

Source: 14 stunning photos of exploration in the Masaya volcano • El Nuevo Diario

Photo: Alejandro Sánchez
The Team of Sam Cossman installs 80 sensors in the interior of the Masaya Volcano.

Travelers have a new attitude about traveling – Business Insider

Wealthy Americans have a new attitude about traveling — and it should terrify hotel chains

When busy people go on vacation, they’re often looking to put their feet up, catch up on sleep, and just generally enjoy being somewhere else for a spell.

But in addition to the mental break, it seems more and more likely that what well-heeled travelers value is the chance to have a truly authentic experience, wherever they’re headed on vacation.

When the rewards-focused travel portal American Express Travelsurveyed 1,540 affluent American adults — defined as having an annual household income of at least $100,000 — it found that 81% valued having a personalized experience over anything else in their travel itineraries. 73% of those surveyed said they would be willing to exceed their budget to have a unique local experience when they travel, and more than half said they would splurge to enjoy the cuisine of a particular destination.

And when it comes to where affluent travelers want to stay when they vacation, it seems that cookie-cutter hotel rooms are out, and authentic flavors are in.

“We see lifestyle-inspired, design-focused hotels increasing on the consumer wish list and in fact, are seeing a more than 30% spike in bookings for these type of hotels in the US for 2017,” said Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel.

Travelers want to sample a destination’s food, take in its art scene, and go out where the locals do. And with the rise of Airbnb — which launched its travel agent-like Trips feature in November — travelers in the know can do this with ease. Trips offers two services for now: Experiences, like going truffle hunting or driving classic cars, which are led by locals, and Places, which are recommendations from local residents. Airbnb plans to add Flights and Services in the near future.

cooking class baliA cooking class in the home of a local woman in Bali. richardha101 / Flickr

Many traditional hotels see this as a challenge to how they conduct their business.

“Experiential vacations — this is the big trend, and that has a major impact on the industry. I think you can say that has been one of the things that contributed to the creation of things like Airbnb, because [travelers] want to experience how someone in Prague, in Paris, in Rome, or in New York lives in his own flat,” Henri Giscard D’Estaing, global CEO of Club Med, recently told Business Insider.

Of course, what exactly constitutes an authentic experience is difficult to pin down, and people who come from the same place might disagree on what cuisine or landmark most authentically represents a destination. As Adam Dennett and Hanqun Song recently wrote for The Conversation, “One can argue that an ‘authentic tourism experience’ is a contradiction in terms. When places or experiences are discovered and populated by tourists, they ultimately change by the demands of tourists themselves and the economic opportunity this presents to providers.”

The hospitality industry has responded to this shift in perspective in varied ways. Over the last decade, many hospitality companies have eitherlaunched or acquired boutique-style brands that are great at capturing local flavors (InterContinental Hotels Group acquired Kimpton Hotels in 2014, for example, and Marriott launched the Autograph Collection in 2010).

Other hotels are focusing on redefining themselves as lifestyle brands that prioritize culture and design, and as places where travelers can completely customize their own experience.

To do this, hotels might pay an Instagram “influencer” to visit and post filtered photos of a property so that their large audiences can see what kinds of experiences they can have there. They might hire food trucks to serve local fare certain days of the week, or incorporate craft beers into the beverage program.

A screenshot from Standard International’s One Night app. One Night

In September, Standard International — the company behind the trendy Standard hotels in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York — launched a new spontaneous-booking app called One Night, where users can book rooms at a curated selection of hotels. The goal is to target the next generation of travelers — people who are on the go, accustomed to the convenience of on-demand apps, and who still want the very best experience possible.

The Standard International team created a local guide for each of the hotels, providing hour-by-hour suggestions of the best things to do in that neighborhood throughout the day.

Club Med, the all-inclusive chain founded in 1950, continues to invest in resorts in emerging markets, like ski mountains in China and Japan, that are not yet popular with mainstream travelers. The brand has also introduced the ability to have a 360-degree virtual tour of each property so travelers can experience it before they book.

In April, Hilton’s Conrad Hotels hired former Conde Nast Traveler Executive Editor Peter Jon Lindberg as the brand’s director of inspiration. Lindberg works with concierges across Conrad’s 28 properties to build out itineraries lasting one, three, or five hours.

The goal is to get Conrad guests to see the destination as the locals do. Lindberg says that food experiences — whether that’s an outing to a local market or a beachside grill — are always extremely popular with guests.

“Travelers want to find things that exist only here, that remind them why they came, and that they’ll remember for years later. We think of it as collecting stories, not just souvenirs,” Lindberg told Business Insider. “What will they tell their friends back home about their trip? How can we give them something they can’t find anywhere but here?”

“Give us a compelling reason to choose this path over that one, and lead with how it will feel. That’s the primary task of the travel industry now: finding the emotion and inspiration behind every journey.”

Source: Travelers have a new attitude about traveling – Business Insider

You say Cuba. I say Nicaragua. Let’s call the whole thing off | IOL

With the demand for Cuba extremely high at present, there are other alternatives to consider, writes Simon Calder.

 / 28 October 2016, 8:00pm
SIMON CALDER
Jesus del gran poder

Penitents carry a statue of Jesus Christ during the ‘Jesus del gran poder’ procession in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua.

Question: We tried to book for Cuba for a week’s holiday post-Christmas, but the travel agent said it was full to bursting and suggested Nicaragua instead, flying in and out via Miami. Would you agree it’s a good alternative?

Name withheld

 

Answer: Demand for Cuba is extremely high at present, with such limited tourism infrastructure relative to demand, it’s not unreasonable to describe it as full – especially in the capital, Havana.

Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, doesn’t do 1950s American cars and music in quite the same way as Cuba, but it is a superb destination in its own right. The scenery is dramatically volcanic; there are a couple of beautiful Spanish colonial cities in the shapes of Leon and Granada; and an indulgent Pacific beach resort, San Juan del Sur.

You might notice I have not mentioned the capital, Managua; that’s because it was flattened by an earthquake and resembles a scattering of scruffy suburbs rather than a proper city. There are, though, some colourful markets.

My one concern is the length of the journey. In the absence of direct flights from the UK to Nicaragua, the connections are gruelling – and involve the daunting prospect of US immigration.

With only a week, you might consider flying non-stop on to San Jose and driving up the Pan-American Highway from the Costa Rican capital.

Source: You say Cuba. I say Nicaragua. Let’s call the whole thing off | IOL

We get a lot of Canadian visitors to El Porton Verde, and when I mentioned something about how “Americans” from the USA can finally begin to travel to Cuba, I wondered out loud if that will affect the number of visitors from the USA. She said to me “Don’t worry, because more Americans in Cuba means more Canadians in Nicaragua!” 🙂

So yes, folks, if everything is booked in Cuba, take a look at coming to Nicaragua instead. You can always go to Cuba after the rush is over!

Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas

Greetings Kelly:

You’ve already got some very good advice here, so I’ll just add my dos centavos. For your surfing, I would recommend Popoyo more than Maderas. There is a beginner’s break right in front of Magnific Rock and just to the north is Popoyo reef, but it’s not super sharp or anything. If you go out on the higher tides you’ll be fine. Plus if you are coming in January, the surf won’t be real big anyway… Now if you do want the option to go to San Juan del Sur, then Maderas is the call. I’ve dropped folks off at Hulakai and when they came back to stay with us again they said it was really nice. There is a little bit of a dining scene at Maderas whereas while Popoyo/Playa Guasacate has fewer restaurants albeit some much better and more international flavors then in past years.
For your transportation budget, you might save a bit if you stay at Maderas as you can bus to SJdS then take a taxi which won’t cost too much, max $20 as it’s only fifteen minutes away.
That’s it from me, have a great vacay!
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

Source: Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas