Ometepe empowers rural tourism • El Nuevo Diario

  • Ometepe |
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The calm waters of Lake Nicaragua represent a source of income for artisanal fishermen Ruth Martinez and 29 other members of the Israel Cooperative in the municipality of Moyogalpa on Ometepe.

But starting this weekend, the office that this group has developed throughout her life will experience a leap of quality.

“Another livelihood for fishermen who will offer kayak tours, boat, some crafts and the possibility that the visitor can learn how to fish with bait, cast net or seine” says Martinez, who from now on will be a small business owner at the Eco Efficiency Center in Punta Jesus Maria, which opened on Saturday by representatives of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), the European Union, the Cleaner Production Centre, the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation and the municipality of Moyogalpa.

Local development

Efficient Eco Center, together with the Floral Trail, located in the reserve of the Concepción volcano and ferry station infrastructure Puerto Las Brisas, in the town of Altagracia, part of the Project to Support Local Economic Development through Colonial and Volcano Routes since 2012 driving in six departments of the Pacific the above organizations and ending in December: Tourism sector.

Sendero Concepción volcano– Sendero Concepción volcano –

According to Marc Riehl, regional director of the Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation, the project has earmarked an amount of 8.2 million euros, 3 million of that total was spent for the benefit of 19 local tourism initiatives in the Pacific country.Intervention in these three initiatives approved in the case of the island of Ometepe to strengthen local capacities in services, infrastructure and development of tourist circuits.

“The most important aspect of the project is to work with communities, because subsidies have been given to NGOs, cooperatives and municipal governments, it is most important to us, that the money gets to the people and that can have an impact in the lives of people, “said Riehl.

Maria Miriam Potoy, representative of the Foundation among Volcanoes, shared that with the implementation of the project was able to form the Union of Tourist Guides of the island and Rural Network Ometepe Tourism.

“In the case of the Union of Guides became a formal cooperative composed of 17 members, while the network currently encompasses 11 initiatives,” said Potoy.
According to Potoy, members of both initiatives have been trained in areas such as tourism management, accounting, marketing and service improvement, especially with regard to advertising campaigns via the Internet.

Among the beneficiaries are members of the cooperative artisanal fishermen Israel in Punta Jesus Maria.

What will be offered?

According to Walter Ponce, coordinator of the Rural Tourism Network, living with families on the island, adventure and natural landscapes are part of the strengths that the beneficiaries may explode.

“The options are promoting include boating, riding, cycling, nature-friendly activities. Also living together in houses of native people, and elements related to the ancestral part of the island, shared Ponce.

Meanwhile, Roger Arcia, micro Punta de Jesus Maria said that apart from the option of learning to fish, tourists also have the chance to taste the local cuisine and entertainment in top condition.

The Island (Ometepe) is one of the main destinations for visitors, the vast majority are foreigners, but also domestic tourists, “says Anasha Campbell, co-director of Intur.

Punta Jesus Maria five modules have been built where visitors will be offered food, drink and crafts typical of the island. Meanwhile, Maria Leticia Salazar, project coordinator, said that the complex will allow the population of Moyogalpa have a tidy and suitable for space tourism potential of the municipality.

“Those who came visiting us for a while and then went to the other town, where infrastructure exists r Qu, with the first phase we hope to start to change that,” added Salazar.

While in the path La Flora in Concepcion volcano, which is under the responsibility of the Cooperative Union of Tourist Guides of Ometepe, we want to encourage this option as a major Moyogalpa.

“In the first 500 meters an agricultural intervention that keeps you in touch with nature, in the second part of the tour you can see a lot of species of trees, bird watching, herds of howler monkeys, white face is seen and variety of reptiles and amphibians, “said Jose Antonio Argeñal, coordinator of volunteer rangers on the island of Ometepe.

Important Enclave

Anasha Campbell, co-director of Intur, stressed the importance of Ometepe as a key tourism enclave both nationally and internationally, so that strengthening the capacity of local tourism businesses is an essential step.

“The island is one of the main destinations for visitors, the vast majority are foreigners, but also the national economy, in the case of those who visit believe that spending is higher than the average in the rest of the country (40-42 dollars), because it involves transported to the island, stay on the island, buy local crafts, “said Campbell.

According to the co-director of Intur, from January to July this year the flow of tourists has grown by 4.4 percent over the same period last year.

“In July last year we received nearly 700,000 visitors, this year the figure exceeds 800,000
tourists, “Campbell said.

  • The Eco Efficient Punta de Jesus Maria, the complex path Floral Volcano Conception and construction of infrastructure waiting room Puerto Las Brisas in Altagracia, the three projects are developed on the island of Ometepe; with a total investment of 567.445 euros.

Source: Ometepe potencia el turismo rural • El Nuevo Diario

This is a good story, another good data point for those following Nicaraguan tourism and it’s development. The story says 800,000 tourists are visiting in 2015 with 700,000 visiting the year before. That is a lot of visitors!

Teaching tourists the traditional fishing techniques, offering kayaks and such, is all good. Equally, I’m glad to hear that better infrastructure in general is in place and other projects soon to come. Congratulations Ometepe Island, you are definitely on the list of most-visited places for tourists in Nicaragua. I would guess Granada and San Juan del Sur would be the other in the top-three. Opinions?

Nicaragua: The country travellers haven’t yet discovered |

Nicaragua: The country travellers haven’t yet discovered


UTE JUNKER Last updated 05:00, September 29 2015 3 Roberto Zuniga

Lake Nicaragua with Ometepe in the background.

Lake Nicaragua with Ometepe in the background.

There is no sleeping in in the city of Leon. Even for those nestled, as I am, behind the sheltering walls of a converted convent – walls thicker than anything built in the intervening three centuries – 7am is wake-up time. That is when a loud siren sounds across the town, rousing any sleepyheads and reminding them that it is time to get up and go to work. A second siren sounds at midday, announcing f lunchtime.  It is an odd ritual, redolent of life on a plantation. A local tells me the practice used to be common across Nicaragua. Back when workers were too poor to afford clocks or watches, it ensured everyone got to work on time. Today, the only place it is still practised is in Leon, which seems slightly odd, given that this is Nicaragua’s foremost student city. Perhaps it is the only way they can get students to show up for their morning lectures. I have never come across a city-wide wake-up call anywhere else in the world, but then, Nicaragua is different. Central America’s poorest country has a lost-in-time feeling, with a laidback pace that has disappeared from most corners of the globe. The country does not feature on many must-visit lists, but it is hoping to change that, aiming to reinvent itself as tourist destination. Given its magnificent natural attractions, from soaring volcanoes and massive lakes to dense jungles and wonderfully preserved colonial cities, it should be an easy sell.

Traditional dancers in Diriamba, Nicaragua. Photo: Margie Politzer

Traditional dancers in Diriamba, Nicaragua. Photo: Margie Politzer

Source: Nicaragua: The country travellers haven’t yet discovered |

Thanks for this story Ute Junker…I think you just barely made it here before the hordes arrive haha. Actually, if you stay away from Granada, San Juan del Sur, and parts of Ometepe Island, you will not see too many tourists. You mentioned how in your visit to Leon you just saw a few international travelers here and there. That’s why personally I enjoy Leon much more than Granada. Going to Granada you are confronted with several Irish Pubs, Tex-Mex restaurants, falafel bars, etc. that is much like home. On the Calzada (the main tourist drag in Granada) where is to my knowledge only one restaurant that actually features Nicaraguan cuisine that is not an overpriced fake experience.

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

Nicaragua: It Just Feels Like Home

Living in Nicaragua is different than the USA

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

Street in Granada, Nicaragua Author Adalberto.H.Vega

By Suzanne Maxey — My son advised me that Granada, Nicaragua was nothing like the United States. And I thought that I completely understood – that is, until I had lived here for a few months.

It’s a lot like living in the good old days

If you are old enough, think back to the USA in the 50’s and early 60’s.  Then slow the pace down.  Horse drawn carts compete for space on the streets with all the taxis. A small herd of cows and the bull pass by my casa every morning and evening on their way to graze. Ladies older than I am walk the barrio with huge baskets of fruit, vegetables, bread, you name it, balanced on their heads, selling their wares, the bread still hot from the oven. Men walk by all day selling anything you can think of from their carts. Ceiling fans, sewing machines, pots and pans, window glass, you name it.

Living with minor inconveniences

At least once a week either the water or the power or both go out. Usually it is back on by 5 p.m., but now and then it is a 24 hour marathon of no water or no electricity. Not so much fun when it is 95 degrees outside and there is no breeze. Hardly anyone in Nicaragua has air conditioning but a fan usually keeps us cool enough…until the power goes out. Then we spend a fair amount of time standing under the shower.
Hardly anyone here has hot water, either.  But honestly, we don’t need it. The showers are lukewarm to slightly cool, and they sure do feel good.  If you insist on hot water for the dishes, just fill up a bowl with tap water and put it in the microwave. Works fine.

No deprivation required

Most anything you can get in the U.S., you can get here. Can’t say regarding Canadian foods or goods. The grocery stores here carry the more expensive U.S. brands of food as well as Latin American brands. The LA brands of food are just as good, and a lot cheaper. Once in a while I splurge and buy a can of Spam or jar of Jif, but stick with local brands for the most part. In the mercado, any and everything can be found. Be careful in the mercado though; pickpockets love the gringos.

A comfortable life

It’s a slower pace but it is a comfortable pace. I don’t miss the congested interstates or the crowded, overpriced convenience store on every corner. Here, there are pulperias on every block, small convenience stores being operated out of someone’s living room. You can get eggs, chips, milk, soft drinks and homemade frescos, even detergent just a few doors down from your casa. In the evening, ladies set up tables outside their homes with home cooked meals, ready to buy for your supper. Delicious!
Granada, Nicaragua feels like a soft, well worn old shirt and pair of jeans. If I want to go to the mall or a movie then Managua is close by, but the slow, easygoing pace of Granada fits me like a glove. It can be frustrating when the power goes out and then the water cuts off for a few hours, but in the evening when everyone comes outside to walk and visit and gossip, Nicaragua feels like home.
Suzanne Maxey lives not too far from her son (and grandkids) in Granada. Her son, Casey, wrote the NCX Guide to Residency in Nicaragua, a must-have for anyone considering moving down to this beautiful country. 

Farmstay Reviews – Airbnb



Had a great time staying with Mike at his Farmstay – we were picked up at the airport after a late flight by Mike which made our landing in Nicaragua so easy ! We then awoke the next morning to a beautiful view of banana and mango trees, and birds chirping in the background. We had a delicious breakfast both days, then headed off in a tuk-tuk to explore Granada, the nearby Masaya volcano and chocoyero reserve. Was a wonderful holiday !

Source: Profile – Airbnb

This is the review from the couple who came in on the Spirit Air flight and had a great getaway weekend for a very inexpensive price. We are always grateful for kind reviews and strive to bring a lot of value for your hard-earned travel dollar, so when we have folks come down for only a two night stay, and they report back that they had a lovely but short visit, we feel like we are performing a good service for our visitors.

In their short visit they had some excellent adventure travel (hiking and birdwatching), saw some colonial architecture, and got a good taste of Nicaragua for such a short visit.

Julia took advantage of our “soft landing service” and they did their own self-guided tours to Chocoyero/El Brujo nature preserve, Masaya Volcano, and Granada. They hit the ground running and got the most out of every moment!

Beach Front Eco-Casita, Ideal for Surfers

Front of the cute little house

Front of the cute little house


Beach right out in front of the casita. Good surf!

Eco-Casita Truda is a place to escape civilization and feel one with nature. It is 40 minutes to an hour from Leon depending on how you travel but it feels like a world away. You constantly hear the mesmerizing sound of the surf. In the evening, you add to that, the sounds of the crickets and the spectacular view of the stars and all cares are wiped away.
This lovely large beach front property with trees that are natural to the area is in a secluded section of Salinas Grandes beach which has a handful of private residents, mostly owned by expats. Both lots on either side of the property are currently vacant which gives Eco-Casita Truda an even more secluded feel while still being close to caring neighbors. The closes neighbor is an American couple who live on the beach full time.
The sand is volcanic so is a slightly darker color. The beach and entrance to the ocean is smooth sand. The warm waters in this area stay shallow for a good distance in the ocean and there are no known riptides. Residents swim and surf there without incident. Pelicans and other nautical birds accompany the high tide as they dive in to capture their dinner. Fishermen frequent these waters and it is possible to go out with them or purchase fish from them down the beach. The local surf camp came to visit Eco-Casita Truda and shared that this is an excellent area of the beach for surfing. The neighbors are friendly and helpful and keep an eye on the property when the tenants are not around.
Fully solar and fully screened for mosquitos
Naturally air-conditioned with open air flowing through in the upper areas of the ceiling, large windows and double doors that open to the front porch and view of the ocean
Very large living/dining/kitchen space is open air with barred windows and shades that roll down but no glass windows to separate from the outdoors, Living area has sofa that can convert into a trundle bed supplying two very comfortable twin beds. There is one more comfortable floor mattress that sleeps one.
Large light-filled bedroom with an enormous window with an amazing view of the ocean. The bedroom windows are screened and have wooden shutters. This room can be completely locked and shuttered separate from the house so that tenants can keep their valuables even more secure in this room. The room is furnished with a queen size bed, wardrobe, desk, office chair and a solar fan with radio.
Light-filled bathroom features high open air windows with bars and screens that allow for air flow and a sense of being outside. The shower is enormous. There is a utility sink for washing clothes with scrub board build into it. There is also space for storing surfboards in the bathroom. Additionally, there is an outdoor shower on the property.
A TV is available for tenants use. A signal booster is available for use so that cell phones will receive reception in the house. It also assists in strengthening the internet signal.
Internet hotspot comes with the house for which tenants may purchase time. (Instructions are given on the use of the equipment.)
Kitchen is equipped with a 24 hour solar combination fridge and freezer as well as a gas oven/stove and all needed kitchen supplies. There are no other kitchen appliances available for use that require electricity such as a microwave or blender.
Potable Water is supplied by a water tank that has to be refilled monthly. The cost is minimal and the responsibility of the tenant.
A local city bus runs from the village of Salinas Grandes 4 or 5 times a day and is about a 1.5 mile walk down the beach to catch it. The most recent tenant chose to purchase a motorcycle for his transportation purposes. About a mile from the house is a local drinking/eating spot that sells limited supplies including fresh fish, pork, ice, sodas and a few other items. For a nominal fee, they will do your grocery shopping in town on Mondays. If you choose to hire someone to wash clothes, clean, cook, clean the yards, run errands, there are local folks who charge reasonable fees that would benefit from the work and can be recommended.
Eco-Casita Truda will be available at the latest September 1st, possibly sooner. I am looking to rent it for four months, September to end of December or early or mid January but will consider a period as short as one month. For a one month rental, the cost is $700, two month rental, $675 monthly and $650 for a three month rental. The holiday month of December is priced at $750. There is a deposit of $250 that is required at the signing of the lease. The first month’s rent is due prior to receiving the keys to the property. The deposit will be returned within one month of departure minus any funds needed to cover damages incurred. details. The approximate measurements of the eco-casita are the following: Interior: 765.8 sq ft, 71.1 m2; Exterior: 855.0 sq ft, 79.4 m2; Interior Measurement Detail: Great Room: 24.0 ft x 18.5 = 444.0 sq ft; Bedroom: 16.5 ft x 11.5 = 189.8 sq ft ; Bathroom/Laundry: 16.5 ft x 8.0 = 132.0 sq ft; Total Interior: 765.8 sq ft; Patio: 24.0 x 9.5 = 228.0 sq ft; Total Interior with Patio: 993 sq ft. I am open to renting to a group of surfers and providing additional bedding and tent.

Source: Beach Front Eco-Casita, Ideal for Surfers

This is a really cute little beach front casita located on a good surfing beach not all that far from Leon. The current and soon-to-be former tenant, Paul, was looking for a place to live by the beach while he was staying at the Farmstay and he saw an ad on Craigslist Nicaragua for this place.

Long story short, he got a hold of the owner, whose name is Truda, and as they were discussing what was on offer over the phone, they discovered that Truda was going to be our guest in just a few days time. When she came for her stay, they met, became friends and did the deal to rent the place! So I feel like we sort of midwifed this initial deal and it certainly worked out good for both parties. Another cool Farmstay story ehh?

Well, you can be the next happy tenant! I suppose staying with us at the Farmstay is not mandatory, but it couldn’t hurt. :)

Great Deal on a New House in a Cool Part of Managua, Nicaragua

Source: About

Casa Batman strikes again! I’ve blogged about this house for sale before, as the owners are my friends and I’d like to help them sell it since they really need to leave to go back to the USA for health reasons. Full disclosure: I’m self-interested in having some nice neighbors as this property is just down the street from the Farmstay!

Now they have lowered the price to an incredible $75,000 USD! What a great deal as it’s been appraised at over twice that amount!

2015 ISA World Surfing Games Official Teaser – Popoyo Beach, Nicaragua

Video teaser for the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games to be held in Popoyo, Nicaragua 31 May to 7 June, 2015. This is some great news for surfing in Nicaragua, the International Surfing Association has decided to host a third world championship contest here in Nicaragua! I have been to both of the previous events and they are really fun with a great team spirit to be found amongst the competitors and some really good waves too!

This year the event will be held from May 31st to June 7th, giving a week during which we can only hope that a great big south swell shows up! Popoyo is a really fun wave and when it gets bigger it is a challenging spot, offering both a left and a right breaking off of a rock reef. The lefts are generally longer and better but the right can sometimes be great too, albeit a shorter ride. If it get really huge (like a 3 meter swell) they might be moving the contest to the big wave spot at the same location, Outer Reef.popoyoouterreefWhile the odds of that happening aren’t great (as a commenter pointed out, actually purt near impossible), it is a real possibility that the wave might be breaking and would be even more awesome than the regular break. So that first week of June is a great week to come down for a surf vacation and to see some of the best in the world have an exciting competition!

If you are coming down, consider using the Farmstay as your first night place to stay. While we’re not on the beach, flying in at night usually means an expensive night at a chain hotel that does not have the location and ambiance that FEPV does. So if that’s you, let us come and pick you up at the airport and take you to our comfortable bed and breakfast that first night. The next morning you can enjoy a fresh farm breakfast and head on down to Popoyo to start the competition. We can host groups of up to 16!


Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua

Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana, Rivas, Nicaragua

This breezy new retreat on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua is equal parts rustic and regal.

Seventeen years ago, Nicaragua was still more likely to turn up on the agenda of the State Department than the itineraries of American jetsetters. Matt Turner waved off the decades of civil unrest like an annoying mosquito. “Buy on the sound of the canons and sell on the sound of the trumpets,” says the CEO of Tola Development Corp., quoting financier Nathan Rothschild. “I always thought it was sound advice.”

Sound. Get it?

In 1998, Turner began carefully chiseling out sites for luxury sea castles on a ridge-backed viridian swath of Nicaragua wedged between the country’s eponymous lake and the cultish surf breaks of the Pacific Ocean. “I connected with this land. [It resembled] the California coast that I had been familiar with as a teenager, but without all the madness of late 20th-century development. No highways. No McDonald’s. Just gorgeous rolling hills and untouched beaches. It was too hard to resist.”

The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua.Courtesy: The Inn at Rancho Santana

via Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua.

This is by my count the third four or five star resort in Nicaragua to have opened. The first one was Mukul Resort at Guacalito de la Isla, owned by the Pellas family, the second was Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa. I’ve spent some time at Rancho Santana and definitely can say it is a lovely stretch of coast and it is great that there is a small boutique hotel offering at this location.

Before the inn was built, if you wanted to stay at Rancho Santana you had to rent a whole house or a small (albeit very nicely furnished) cabina, so having a small hotel with the spa services that clientele for these types of resorts demand definitely fulfills a need.

According to the Inn’s website, rates start at about $250 per night and go up to $350 depending on room type and amenities. So if you are coming to Nicaragua and want to stay in some luxurious hotels, spas, and resorts, all I can say is ENJOY!

BATMAN House: Brand New, Custom-Built 1/2 acre

84000 / 3br – BATMAN House: Brand New, Custom-Built 1/2 acre (San Antonio Sur, Managua)

image 1image 2image 3image 4image 5

3BR / 2Ba house available now
w/d in unit detached garage
wheelchair accessible

THE “BATMAN” HOUSE: AN ABSOLUTE STEAL AT THIS PRICEIf a newly-built, very nicely finished small quiet “quinta” type spread on approximately 1/2 acre of land with fruit trees and mountain views that is only ten minutes from the most upscale shopping mall in Nicaragua, Galerias de Santo Domingo, and about seven minutes from the best hospital in Nicaragua, the Hospital Metropolitano sounds like a property in which you might be interested, please contact me ASAP as this is a super bargain at this price.3 bedrooms, 2 baths, garage, washer/dryer room, pneumatic water pump system. Too many details to mention here.


As mentioned above, this area is near all the best of Managua, but with none of the drawbacks. Comarca San Antonio Sur is surrounded by Santo Domingo, Las Praderas, and Las Colinas, the “Beverly Hills” of Managua. Our little comarca (which means “shire” in Spanish, so if you’re a hobbit with furry feet…) is still mostly small family farms and has a very rural feel. It is also at a bit of elevation so is cool and fresh like Ticuantepe and Esquipulas is.


The house is all-new construction and totally custom made; all systems are “up and running in perfect order” so the MAJOR HASSLE of building and fine-tuning a new house has been handled already by somebody else. For example: High-speed Internet is in. Water systems (including hot water!) are installed and working. 220 Electricity is installed already in case you would like to build a swimming pool.


This is a farming area, so the soil is very fertile and ready for you to garden up a storm in your new digs. There are several fruit trees such as Mango, Avocado, Plantains, and Coconuts producing tasty foods year-round. The land is completely fenced in and dogproof.

via BATMAN House: Brand New, Custom-Built 1/2 acre.

Granada Colonial Homes Tour | See behind all of those mysterious doors!

Tours meet every Tuesday at 10 am in the art center behind the Ole Boutique (side entrance):
1 block east of the Central Park down Calzada Blvd.   

Or, call in Nicaragua: 8457-8423, to arrange special tours

Behind Closed Doors……


Take a great tour of the insides of some of the finest homes in Granada, while benefitting a wonderful education project!

Take a great tour of the insides of some of the finest homes in Granada, while benefitting a wonderful education project!

If you’ve been lucky enough to have participated in one of the colonial house tours in cities such as San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, you know how amazing old colonial houses can be. Finally, Granada has begun tours of its magnificent beauties and all the proceeds benefit educational projects.

via Granada Colonial Homes Tour | See behind all of those mysterious doors!.

Friend of the Farmstay and social media guru, Eden Rudin posted this on Facebook, so in a spirit of helping out for this project, I repost here for our readers who may not be aware of this tour. Other colonial architecture cities and towns around the world like Antigua, Guatemala, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and others offer similar tours, so why not Granada too?

If you’ve ever been to Granada and wondered what is behind those lovely, massive colonial doors, and yearned for a peek into the interior spaces, this is your chance! A great added benefit is that this isn’t for anyone’s profit. The proceeds go to two different educational projects:

  • Library “Puedo Leer”, the first lending library in Granada, putting books in the hands of children and promoting reading through its many urban and rural projects.
  • Scholarships for poor children at the new Sacuanjoche Elementary School, probably the best private school in the city. 

So if you book a tour, tell them that you found out about this via Mike at Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua.