The images shared by Sam Cossman after the first week of work in the active volcano
Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for De Re Gallery
It seems as if Wilmer Valderrama could not handle losing to Gina Rodriguez in the recent episode of “Lip Sync Battle” that he had to leave the country to cope with the heartbreaking news! Alright, maybe we are exaggerating a tad, but Valderrama did leave the country on a secret getaway.
“I’m on a secret adventure,” expressed the Venezuelan actor to his over 568K followers on Facebook. “Stay tune.. I’m gonna post hints.. Here on #Facebook,” he added.
Valderrama shared the news on Saturday afternoon and 24 hours later he continued to tease fans of his whereabouts. “This weekend I did something I can’t wait to share with you all,” noted the actor on Sunday night. “And you will be able to actually feel like you came with me.. Stay tune! I will be posting it HERE on Facebook!.”
His fans on Facebook quickly became curious, making comments such as: “Waiting for you [to] give us a hint since yesterday. But I’ll be patient.” Other fans took the opportunity to express how sad they were that his character on “Grey’s Anatomy” was short-lived. “I am so mad you weren’t kept on Grey’s for a longer stint. Bums me out. Loved your character. You did a great job!,” said one fan. Meanwhile, other fans believe his big secret has to do with a marriage proposal for Demi Lovato. “Did you ask Demi to marry you? Please say yes y’all are too perfect!,” asked another fan.
Although Valderrama is keeping his aventure a “secret,” we already know where he’s been hanging out… in Nicaragua! Yes, the last post from Wilmer on Instagram is his attempt to take a selfie with a Velociraptor at Jurassic World in Universal Orlando, and yes, there’s no proof of Nicaragua in sight on his social media accounts.
However, the friend he’s with “Tadao310” on Instagram, spilled the beans on the social media platform. “About to get on this boat with my brother @WilmerValderrama. #galaxylife we got these new phones and new toys from @samsungmobileusa. Thank you bery much. Yes I spelled it with a B,” he expressed on a photo with the “That 70’s Show” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” actor, with location check-in at Nicaragua.
And like that, Valderrama’s big secret was revealed! Check out the photos of the actor and his friends hanging out at San Juan del Sur and Playa Maderas.
Looks like actor Wilmer Valerrama has been hitting Sunday Funday in SJdS…seems like the perfect spot and activity for him! We haven’t had any celebrity sightings lately (put a comment in below if you know of some celebs down here recently…) so a big welcome to Wilmer. It looks like he has been having a very good time!
From white-sand beaches on Caribbean islands to bustling cities on the Pacific side of Nicaragua, here are the up-and-coming destinations travelers are putting on their radar for New Year’s Eve.
Where are travelers to Nicaragua going to ring in the New Year?
10. JIQUILILLO, CHINANDEGA – Northwest of Chinandega, in the most northerly village on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, visitors will find a delightful community of fisherman, expats, and travelers that are incredibly friendly and giving (with wonderful volunteer projects you can join in on). With glistening beaches, surfing and diverse mangrove forest ecosystems, there’s plenty for travelers to explore.
9. SAN JUAN DEL SUR, RIVAS — The beach resort of San Juan del Sur is located near Rivas and Ometepe Island and is known for its stunning beaches that are ideal for surfers of all types. With a variety of bars and clubs that line its beaches, party lovers will enjoy the atmosphere here.
8. SELVA NEGRA, CHINANDEGA — Chinandega’s Selva Negra (or Black Forest) is a mountainous area in north central Nicaragua near Matagalpa that is filled with dense forests, coffee plantaions and picturesque towns and villages. Named by German immigrants, Selva Negra is an environmentally sound and sustainable coffee farm with delightful cabins set in the woods with an amazing virgin mountain where one can hike and see amazing birds, monkeys and other forest animals.
7. EMERALD COAST, TOLA, RIVAS — Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast (Costa Esmeralda) has miles and miles of sandy beaches, cliffs, and wild coasts. Visitors will feel like they’re in a seaside paradise as they explore new surf spots and the quaint towns along the way. Places like Playa Gigante, Iguana and Rancho Santana are rapidly becoming “don’t miss” spots along the Nicaraguan coastline.
6. GRANADA, GRANADA — Granada is a destination in Nicaragua that is popular for the New Year. The colonial town is filled with churches and classic Colonial sites, with brightly colored homes throughout its streets. As the number one visited town in Nicaragua, you are sure to encounter lots of other folks looking to have a good time. The Calzada should be a real street party!
5. LEON, LEON — Voted the best city in Nicaragua two years in a row by SurfingthePlanet.com, Leon is home to an incredible cathedral, charming markets, world-class museums, and plenty of history to boot. Besides its gorgeous scenery being nearly surrounded by smoking volcanos, yet near to beautiful beaches, Leon also has a booming university and food scene, where you can sample everything from traditional Nicaraguan cuisine to French, Italian, and Chinese restaurants, all with a Nicaraguan twist.
4. MUKUL RESORT, TOLA, RIVAS – Mukul has been a favorite travel destination for celebrities like Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta Jones. Situated in a natural bay within the private develoment Guacalito de la Isla, Mukul’s stunning setting of soaring cliffs and coves makes it an ideal place to enjoy water sports, play golf, or embark on a relaxing day at the spa.
3. MANAGUA, MANAGUA – Yes Nicaragua’s capital city gets a bad rap, but it is a much-improved destination. As far as holiday celebrations and decorations go, nothing beats the scene on Avenida Bolivar, the main street of downtown Managua. It is lined with Nativity scenes, lights, vendors selling snacks, and lots of people watching. The midnight fireworks will convince you that the next revolution has begun!
2. OMETEPE ISLAND, RIVAS – Ometepe is a true adventure paradise and is just becoming known to travelers. With its hidden petroglyphs, deserted beaches and eco-lodges, this is a place where the visitor can kayak, hike and swim, all located in the shadow of two volcanos.
1. CORN ISLAND, RAAS – Both Little and Big Corn Islands are hard to beat during the end of year holidays. Not so much for any particular traditions but because these islands are a little paradise! Try the Yemaya Resort for an upscale experience.
Nicaragua, the Undiscovered Luxury Beach Destination for Billionaires and Celebrities
JIM DOBSON CONTRIBUTOR
As my helicopter descended upon the vibrant Emerald coastline of Nicaragua, I was filled with anticipation to discover this magical paradise, after hearing from high end travelers about its hidden, undiscovered location. Nicaragua is quickly becoming a first rate alternative to luxury resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica. It has quietly become a superstar getaway for Beyonce, Michael Douglas, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Michael Fassbender and many others thanks to the allure of the recently opened Mukul Resort, the country’s first five-star hotel.
Delta now offers direct flights from Los Angeles. Once in Managua, it’s a two hour drive (30-minute helicopter ride) to the majestic and tranquil Mukul Beach & Spa Resort located in a very exclusive and private stretch along the Pacific Ocean. The area is also blessed with the opening of the new Costa Esmeralda Airport—only five miles north of Mukul. The 492,000-square-foot airport features one terminal and a 5,000-foot runway that will be able to accommodate Gulfstream GV jets.
After years of political turbulence and war, Nicaragua is now safe and growing daily. It’s quiet unpopulated beaches, bohemian surf villages, and boutique hotels is trying to remain intimate and traditional, while still embracing the future. A huge $50 billion dollar Panama Canal style development which will attract international commerce and further growth connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic. A Chinese billionaire is funding the canal development and is stirring a lot of controversy in the area.
Excellent article Jim Dobson, I was tempted to hop on a helicopter and get over to the Mukul Resort just reading it! You did a great job and I’m sure that the Pellas’ are pleased with the results. I live and work here in Nicaragua and just want to say I appreciate Forbes giving the minuscule luxury spa segment of the Nicaraguan tourism offerings a boost. 500,000 more visitors came this year than last, an increase of 8.5%, but very few came for this segment of the market. I expect more will come now.
The new Costa Esmeralda airport will be a game-changer as not only private jets (with their celebrity passengers) can fly in, but direct flights from San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica in addition to short flights from Managua make access easier and quicker. Good on ‘ya too for getting out in the community a bit. I was afraid you weren’t going to see any of the real Nicaragua but looks like you at least got a glimpse.
Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua
Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast Lands a New Airport as Tourism Takes Off
August 12, 2015
Come November, Nicaragua’s enticing Emerald Coast will have even more appeal with the opening of the new Costa Esmeralda Airport—only five miles north of Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa resort. The 492,000-square-foot airport features one terminal and a 5,000-foot runway that will be able to accommodate Gulfstream GV jets and most smaller jets and turboprops. The creation of the airport was made possible through a partnership with the developer Carlos Pellas—who invested $13 million—and the Nicaraguan government. Pellas’s previous contribution to the community was the $250 million Guacalito de la Isla, a 1,670-acre private beach colony which includes the lavish 37-room destination resort.
Already a burgeoning base for tourism in Central America, Nicaragua’s west coast will now be more readily accessible, as the airport will be serviced by both the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in the capital city of Managua and Liberia International Airport in Costa Rica. Costa Esmeralda will be open for both private flights and commercial carriers in November. To celebrate the new synergy, the nearby Mukul resort is offering guests a new Emerald Coast Explorer package that includes four nights’ accommodation and customized combinations of golf at Guacalito Golf Course, spa treatments at Spa Mukul, daily breakfast, and two bottles of Flor de Caña rum—Nicaragua’s native nectar. Pricing for the package starts at $769 per night. (mukulresort.com)
This is from the Robb Report, which is the guide for the 1% on how to spend their money on luxury goods, yachts, fashion, jewelry, real estate, etc. They have written a few times about the Mukul Resort and now are reporting about the new airport that will soon be open in their “Emerald Coast” area which we know as beaches of Tola, Rivas.
Beaches such as Playa Gigante, Popoyo, Guasacate, Colorado, etc. are quite lovely indeed, but the wealthy and aspirants thereof of the world don’t necesarily know this area by those names. A select few (Robb Report readers?) might have heard of Guacalito de la Isla, Hacienda Iguana, Rancho Santana, etc. instead of the actual names of the villages and beaches that have been known for generations.
Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast is beginning to be a real thing, not just marketing hype. My last visit in the area really was an eye-opener. The infrastructure has gotten so much better, the beaches are still as beautiful as ever, and a certain feeling of “we’ve turned a corner” and are now a known place. One can feel that the area has it’s own energy, that a certain sort of sustainable impulse is finally in-place.
Certainly a little private airport to bring in your Gulfstream GV airplane is a good thing for those who own or lease such items. I’m fairly certain that if a celebrity A-lister or wealthy empresario came for a visit from outside of the country they would still need to land in Managua and go through customs, then take off for the short flight to the Costa Esmeralda Airport to enjoy their luxury vacation.
When this type of clientele comes to visit Nicaragua in more numbers, it will only help with the international image of the country and bring more tourists in general. One can only hope that the buzz around the celebs visiting will generate more travelers coming in looking for the higher-end travel. Visitors of that level of economic power have a much higher average daily spend, hundreds of dollars per day per visitor, which can actually help Nicaragua. The backpackers spending $10 a day don’t really do much for the local economy.
So we’ll keep our Celebrities in Nicaragua watch going and let you know when someone comes in that you might have heard of…btw I heard that Matt Damon apparently was here? I just did a web search and couldn’t find any confirmation of that all-important information haha.
Yum! Brands Adopts Nicaragua Community; Launches New Employee “Feed the World Ambassador Program” for World Hunger Relief
Creed and a team of Yum! employees were on a humanitarian trip in Nicaragua as part of the Company’s Feed the World Ambassador Program. The new employee leadership program is part of the Company’s global World Hunger Relief effort that raises awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme and others. Visit HungertoHope.com.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) announced it has adopted the community of Jinotega, Nicaragua, as part of the Company’s new Feed the World Ambassador Program. The new employee leadership program is part of the Company’s global World Hunger Relief effort that raises awareness, volunteerism and donations for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). “Witnessing WFP’s life-saving efforts in developing countries like Nicaragua is humbling. I’m hopeful our new employee campaign will give those less fortunate a hand up and create long-term change in communities around the world.”
The Feed the World Ambassador Program is a way for Yum! employees to fight global hunger and make a lasting impact in a community in need. Each year, a team of selected Yum! Ambassadors have the unique opportunity to travel to an adopted community and evaluate infrastructure improvements the Company can support. The Ambassadors work with WFP to determine improvement projects and costs and then launch fundraising efforts to support the specific community projects. “We’re a company with a Huge Heart and it’s our privilege and responsibility to Feed the World by making a difference in global hunger,” said Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands. “Witnessing WFP’s life-saving efforts in developing countries like Nicaragua is humbling. I’m hopeful our new employee campaign will give those less fortunate a hand up and create long-term change in communities around the world.”
I’d like to be all snarky about this, to register some level of skepticism that somehow Yum! Brands is going to help people with basic needs such as food in Jinotega. It is ripe for commentary, as the company that is best known for selling its cheap, semi-nutritious fast food in the USA and lots of foreign countries would somehow be best suited to provide nutrition and life-changing lessons and examples for folks up in Jinotega.
We do salute you Yum! Brands for trying and we hope you don’t get too much negative feedback as I’m sure the folks you helped (as seen in the photo) were grateful for your help. I would like to learn more of the details of the program and see what the long-term plans might be.
You have a project in Nicaragua. Tell us about that.
Interestingly, my Nicaragua projects are connected to The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach. When I purchased the Miami Heart Hospital for the Ritz-Carlton Residences, I received ownership of a large quantity of hospital beds and equipment. I decided to donate these to a worthy cause, the American Nicaraguan Foundation, a Miami-based nonprofit run by Alfredo Pellas, whose family is one of the most prominent in Nicaragua.
Mr. Pellas graciously invited me to visit his country, and I immediately fell in love with the landscape, the people and the culture. I quickly realized that Nicaragua is a rapidly growing destination for tourism and vacation-home real estate, and now is the time to invest.
Our first initiative was to purchase Aqua Wellness Resort, a barefoot luxury resort in Nicaragua’s Pacific Emerald Coast. We are currently enhancing and enlarging the resort, so that in November 2016, Aqua will be rebranded as Six Senses Nicaragua — the Asian luxury brand’s first outpost in the Americas. We are also developing a “luxury circuit” of Six Senses properties for guests, including a spa hotel in the Spanish Colonial city of Granada, which is Nicaragua’s No. 1 tourist destination.
We are also planning a boutique equestrian resort in partnership with Rancho Chilamate on over 300 acres.Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article32692734.html#storylink=cpy
This is a snippet from a longer article describing this developer who has gotten into the incipient Nicaraguan Resort market. Another data point for those following as this is someone who has made a fairly large investment in the future of Nicaragua for spas and luxury resorts, including vacation and second homes. El Porton Verde wishes Mr. Sternberg all the best in his plans and we’ll be following continued developments.
via Cyndi Lauper de visita en Nicaragua (in Spanish)
Nicaragua has had a few celebrities visit in the last couple-three years, and for me this is one of the coolest people yet to come and visit. Cyndi Lauper, since her days of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “True Colors” has been a secret favorite of mine for a long time now; since the 1980’s right? So good on ya Cyndi for visiting Nicaragua and extra kudos for doing some actual activities like going to visit Mombacho Volcano and hanging out at what I’m sure is a quite nice hotel called Hotel Bubu in Granada.
Most of the other celebrities that have visited, like Michael Douglas and Katherine Zeta Jones, Morgan Freeman, and Halle Berry have all been to Nicaragua. Most appear to have gone straight to the Mukul Resort, a several (around five!) hundred dollar a night fantasy land to which they are whisked via helicopter shortly after landing in their private jets at the Managua airport. They don’t get any sort of real Nicaraguan experience in that form of travel IMO.
I have a feeling Cyndi doesn’t exactly travel that way. I imagine her to be much more “regular folk.” And just to set the record straight, Halle Berry came to Nicaragua to do some work related to the U.N. or some such thing. Actually, visiting schools in the north of the country under the auspices of the U.N. World Food Program so again, kudos to Ms. Berry!