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

Ring road will relieve heavy traffic in the capital • El Nuevo Diario

Saving time, avoiding the need for vehicles to enter the city that are only passing through, and reducing the congestion of the capital’s roads are part of the objectives of the Ticuantepe-Nejapa ring road, whose execution funds have already been approved for their use by international financial institutions.

This is a step forward and is consistent with the study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Master Plan for Development of the City of Managua, which notes that 23 percent of trucks use the main roads Of Managua just to cross it.

The study mentions the need to divert these cargo vehicles through a by-pass, as do hundreds of private vehicles whose destination is not the capital.

This is seconded by the urbanist and engineer Gerald Pentzke, considering the need for a fast road in the limits of the capital, but also that it has connection with roads like the Suburbana and Avenida Bolivar in its southern end, to enhance its usefulness.

Through the presidential agreement 04-2017, the request for funds was approved to the financial institutions Export and Import Bank of Korea and the government agency for the management of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, which will allow the Ministry of Finance And Public Credit to make a loan of no more than US $ 70.5 million for the By Pass Managua project (Ticuantepe-Santo Domingo-San Judas-Nejapa), to be executed by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.

MTI’s owner, Pablo Fernando Martínez, announced the project from 2015. Work is scheduled to start in Nejapa, on the South Road, ending at Ticuantepe, on the road to Masaya, with a length of 16 kilometers.

The Master Plan of the National Road Network of Nicaragua was presented by the Korean cooperation, and its pre-feasibility study indicates that the volume of traffic envisaged is 8,500 vehicles per day.

The original project includes the construction of four lanes in the medium term, with a track width of 30.6 meters. However, in the long-term, this road is intended to be six lanes with an extension of 11.2 meters.

Source: Pista de circunvalación desahogará tráfico pesado capitalino • El Nuevo Diario

This is big news for the area. Folks traveling from Granada or Masaya to Leon will be able to avoid having to go through Managua, saving time and easing congestion on the Pista Suburbana and Carretera Masaya. This road is supposed to delimit the extension of the urban zone of Managua, but of course will bring development that will further cause deforestation and increase local temperatures. But it will be a big help traffic-wise, especially to truckers and buses from Granada/Masaya to Leon will take this road as it will be a lot quicker than going through the city.

This is also big news for us at El Portón Verde, both good and bad I suppose… This new road will pass by the south end of our property, maybe not right at the border, but no more than 40 meters further south, so pretty darn close by…

I come from Orange County, California and as a young boy ran around in orange groves quite a bit. The area changed over the years and know has grown so much that nary an orange tree still exists. Certainly the fragrance of the orange blossoms is not in the air during springtime in “the O.C.” anymore. But that’s “progress” right?

In other words, we’ve seen this story before and that’s one reason why I’m in Nicaragua. I enjoy the peace and quiet, views, and mellow vibe we have here on the farm and that might change a bit in the coming years. So here are a couple of ideas that I have at the moment.

Maybe a reader can give me some other perspectives? I’d certainly appreciate it!

Good news about the Ticuantepe-Nejapa Ring road:

  • We’ll have quick access to this new ring road as it will pass by at the south end of the farm.
  • More services will be nearby and hopefully our current access alley will be paved.
  • Traveling to places such as Pochomil, El Transito, Puerto Sandino, Salinas Grandes and especially Leon will be much faster. I estimate that taking this road will probably knock off a good 15 minutes of travel time. So the beach will be only 45 minutes away and Leon just one hour away!
  • This development will allow us to make some better use of the land and the property value will go up.

Bad news about the Ticuantepe-Nejapa Ring road:

  • Our completely quiet and tranquil ambiance might be a little less so as there will be lots of vehicles traveling about a half-kilometer away on this new highway scheduled to be completed in 2019.
  • The general area will be much more “city” or at least suburban whereas now it is more “country” which our visitors and I enjoy quite a bit.

All that said, if anyone reading this has ideas as to the highest and best use of our property along this new highway, we’re certainly open to entertaining ideas!

Airbnb sees opportunity to promote another type of tourism in Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

Approximately 50% of tourists coming to Nicaragua through the Airbnb application are looking to stay in shared spaces, said Carlos Muñoz, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Airbnb for Central America and the Caribbean.

That means, according to Muñoz, that this type of tourist shares the lodging with another person who lives in the house, which in his opinion “creates an immense possibility of a very strong and rich cultural exchange, which promotes the possibility of that person wanting to return to Nicaragua.”

According to the official of Airbnb, the tourist agencies could take advantage of that characteristic to attract more tourists to the country.

“Normally in the region where I work, the Caribbean and Central America, 70% of tourists rent a whole house, that is, do not cohabit with a family or another person. They rent the whole house to go and spend with the family, “he said.

“In Nicaragua I see it as a great opportunity to develop this type of tourism that I mentioned, which is a tourism with a very cultural experience, well personalized, that differentiates this country from others in the region. And it should be noted that many of the tourists who come to Nicaragua are looking for this type of experience and it is an experience that is not achieved in the traditional tourism market,” he said.

“Collaborative Economy”

Airbnb, the world’s premier hosting business that has no place physically speaking, emerged in 2008 in San Francisco, United States, as an idea of ​​two young college students.

According to Carlos Muñoz, the application has more than two million properties registered, in more than 34,000 cities in 191 countries. It is a company valued at US $ 30 billion.

In Nicaragua there are over 1,000 properties active on Airbnb.

Currently Nicaraguan lodgings registered in Airbnb are concentrated in the Pacific of the country. “There are a lot of holiday homes, beach houses, but at the same time there are houses in Managua, in the mountains and some other offer on the Caribbean coast,” said Carlos Muñoz.

For Muñoz, it is difficult to predict the growth that the use of the Airbnb system of business in Nicaragua could have during the next years.

“Airbnb is an open platform. It is not that we buy hotels or buy properties and that way we can predict what supply we can have in the country. It is an open platform and everything depends on the free market, and how many people want to enter,” said Muñoz.

Airbnb’s Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Central America and the Caribbean participated in the Nica Tech Summit 2017, held last Saturday in Managua, and said that they are starting to socialize a little about what is the “Collaborative economy” and publicize the Airbnb platform, so that more people can participate and enjoy the benefits of the tourism sector.

Democratize tourism

“We see this platform as a way to democratize what tourism is, because it allows people who have traditionally not been able to participate to participate and receive benefits from that sector,” said the manager of Public Policy and Government Relations of Airbnb for Central America and Caribbean.

Muñoz pointed out that one of the characteristics of the “collaborative economy” is that it does not require a big investment.

In the case of Airbnb the idea is that a person who has a property, whether a whole house or a single vacated room, can enable and offer it through that application to more than 100 million users worldwide, and so generate income for the family.

Source: Airbnb ve oportunidad para promover otro tipo de turismo en Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

As part of the recently held Nica Tech Summit 2017 (21 January in Managua), the person who heads up Airbnb’s efforts in Central America spoke and had some interesting things to say, namely that more people using Airbnb to book their lodging in Nicaragua look for shared spaces, i.e. not a whole house but a room or two in a house with other occupants, be they Nicaraguan or foreigners.

The point Mr. Muñoz is making is that this is a higher percentage than other countries in the region and that it is a good thing because this means that, especially for first-time visitors to Nicaragua, they can get a more locals perspective and experience than they would if they didn’t interact with actual Nicaraguans or expats at their rental properties.

Here at El Porton Verde, we certainly believe that, especially for your first and/or last night in Nicaragua, it’s good to get a very comfortable experience and one that is much more personalized than one that you might get just staying at a regular hotel or hostel.

When you are living with a family you get to eat the food they eat, listen and learn about what their lives are all about, and have a chance to ask questions as a visitor that just doesn’t happen in a more corporate or chain hotel type of situation.

As I’ve posted before, I think it’s completely legit to ask the first-time visitor, “why stay at a chain hotel when you can stay with us?” Not only does the visitor get more value for their dollar, yen, euro, pound, etc. you get the experience that totally supersedes having a room at a chain hotel that is pretty much like any other hotel room in that chain. I mean, a Holiday Inn is a Holiday Inn, amiright? 🙂

Another benefit of staying with a place like El Portón Verde is that you get to ask about things like relocation, medical tourism, local tours, beach house rentals, rental car tips, driving tips, and a bunch of other topics that you won’t get any exposure to in a more traditional lodging option like a big hotel chain.

If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will? If you have a question about the value proposition that places like El Portón Verde offers, please comment below!

Uber about to reach Nicaragua

Uber about to reach Nicaragua

EFE January 18, 2017 | 11:41 PM

Uber in Nicaragua? La Prensa Nicaragua

The Uber private transport network, of American origin, is interested in establishing itself in Nicaragua, reported the main business leadership of the Central American country today.

Although Uber has so far not taken concrete action, “it is important for companies like these take a look at Nicaragua again,” José Adán Aguerri, president of the Higher Council for Private Enterprise (Cosep), told reporters.

Regarding the possibility of Uber services being rejected by traditional taxi drivers, Aguerri mentioned that “it is an issue that must be analyzed in full” and that the objective of a possible opening in the country is not to affect the transport sector.

Nicaragua has a vehicle fleet of about 800,000 vehicles, of which about 25,000 are taxis, according to official figures.

Uber is present in 581 cities of more than 70 countries of the world, among them Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama, according to company data.

Taxi drivers from these neighboring countries and Colombia, among others, reject Uber because they consider that private drivers contacted through the mobile application make unfair competition because they are not supervised by local regulations.

Source: Uber a punto de llegar a Nicaragua

Surely the taxi drivers will try to prevent the arrival of Uber in Nicaragua, but it would seem that the idea of the service coming to the country is inevitable. It will be interesting to see what the pricing of the service is and if it will be a good option to traditional taxis and rental cars.

Also, the service might have higher initial usage rates from foreign tourists who come from place where Uber is already well-established and users already have the app is installed on their smartphones. Your thoughts and comments are welcome below.

Aeromexico Announces Second Daily Flight to Honduras and Nicaragua – MarketWatch

Jan 12, 2017 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Starting on January 10 and February 7, Aeromexico will add new flights to the San Pedro Sula and Managua markets, respectively. The airline serves six cities in Central America

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO–(Marketwired – January 12, 2017) – Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, announces a second direct daily flight from Mexico City to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and Managua, Nicaragua, starting on January 10 and February 7, respectively.

Aeromexico’s Chief Revenue Officer, Anko van der Werff said, “These new flights allow us to deliver a product offering better options for business and leisure travelers alike, and for those traveling to visit relatives. Both flights will undoubtedly provide enhanced connectivity options to our customers traveling from Honduras and Nicaragua, thus reinforcing the airline’s presence in Central America.”

The addition of these new flights increases Aeromexico’s offer on the routes to 4,100 seats per week with the following schedules:

Mexico City - Managua   Managua - Mexico City AM 650 09:01 a.m. 11:51 a.m. Daily   AM 654 12:55 p.m. 4:05 p.m. Daily **AM 620 03:20 p.m. 06:25 p.m. Daily   **AM 654 07:25 p.m. 10:30 p.m. Daily
Times published are local to each country and are subject to changes without notice **New weekly flight starting on February 7, 2017 Flights operated with Embraer 190 and Embraer 170 aircraft
Mexico City - San Pedro Sula   San Pedro Sula - Mexico City AM 674 09:15 a.m. 11:34 a.m. Daily   AM 675 12:34 p.m. 03:20 p.m. Daily **AM 638 03:30 p.m. 05:51 p.m. Daily   **AM 639 07:25 p.m. 09:50 p.m. Daily
Times published are local to each country and are subject to changes without notice **New weekly flight starting on January 10, 2017 Flights operated with Embraer 190 and Embraer 170 aircraft

Aeromexico thus renews its commitment to offer increased connectivity options for Central American, based on the airline’s presence in 45 cities in Mexico, 18 in the United States, 15 in Latin America, four in Canada, four in Europe, and two in Asia, offering quality service on each of its trips.

About Grupo Aeroméxico

Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V. is a holding company whose subsidiaries provide commercial aviation services, and promote passenger loyalty programs in Mexico. Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, operates more than 600 daily flights from its main hub in Terminal 2 at the Mexico City International Airport. Its route network spans more than 80 cities on three continents including 45 in Mexico, 18 in the United States, 15 in Latin America, four in Europe, four in Canada, and two in Asia.

Grupo Aeromexico’s fleet of close to 130 aircraft includes Boeing 787, 777, and 737 jet airliners and next generation Embraer 190, 175, 170, and 145 models. In 2012, the airline announced the most significant investment strategy in aviation history in Mexico, to purchase 100 Boeing aircraft including 90 MAX 737 airliners and ten 787-9 Dreamliners.

As a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Aeromexico offers customers more than 1,000 destinations in 177 countries served by its top 20 airline partners rewarding passengers with benefits including access to 672 premium airport lounges around the world. Aeromexico also offers travel options through its codeshare partners Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Avianca, Copa Airlines, and WestJet with extensive connectivity in countries like the United States, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. www.aeromexico.com and www.skyteam.com.

Alejandro Bosquez Gonzàlez Comunicación Externa & R.P. / Norteamérica External Communications & P.R / North America Tel. +52 (55) 9132 4604 Mail. abosquez@aeromexico.com Sita: MEXPR

© 2017 Nasdaq, Inc. All rights reserved.

Source: Aeromexico Announces Second Daily Flight to Honduras and Nicaragua – MarketWatch

Some more good economic, travel and business news! Aeromexico will now have two daily flights from Mexico City to Managua. It’s a great way to combine the two locales, the very international metropolitan city of Mexico and then you get a very much more relaxed setup here in Nicaragua! We’ve had a few guests do a couple of days in Mexico before coming to Managua and they really rave about the exciting big city feel of the Mexican capital.

Johnnysast at English Wikipedia

A week(ish) in Nicaragua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

Michele M San Mateo

Level Contributor 7 posts 28 reviews

A week(ish) in Nicaragua

Jun 11, 2016, 12:29 AM

Hi, My husband and I are thinking of a short trip to Nicaragua for about a week or so in early December. We’ll fly into the capitol and are interested in Granada, Ometempe Island and Little Corn Island. Need help planning tranfers from place to place. We prefer convenience over price; willing pay more to fly vs long bus or ferries. Anyone have ideas how best to get around these places efficiently? Thanks

 

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua

Level Contributor 808 posts 22 reviews 1.

Re: A week(ish) in Nicaragua

Jun 11, 2016, 4:21 PM Greetings Michelle: Okay, let’s see if there is anything help-wise I can offer you 🙂 Well, there might be some of the regulars here shortly to tell you to drop Corn Island but really if you want to go and do it, then why not? You can take flights from Managua to both Corn Island and Ometepe Island. So that’s the good news as this will save you time.

The not as good news is that the flights to Ometepe are not daily. You’d have to look on the lacostena.com.ni website to be sure, but I think there is only one or maybe two flights per week to Ometepe. So, ideally you get your international flight into Managua as early as you can, then book your (probably afternoon) flight to Corn Island. Then, on one of the days when the flight to Ometepe is scheduled, you fly back from CI to Managua. Go enjoy Ometepe, then from there take the ferry to San Jorge and then bus/taxi to San Juan del Sur.

There is a new airport north of SJdS near Playa Gigante called Costa Esmeralda which has flights to Managua. You might consider staying in the P.G., or Popoyo areas instead of SJdS if convenience is at a premium since that would be much closer to the little (but brand new) airport.

So that said, your final step is take your flight from C.E. to MGA, then your international flight back home. Now the challenge would be to actually be able to get all those connections to work: it would a near-miracle if there are no delays, that La Costeña airlines doesn’t reschedule or have equipment problems, that your international flights all work out, that the day the Ometepe flights happen coincides with being able to spend two or three nights on CI, and that the Costa Esmeralda flights leave at a time where you can make your international flight home.

It may well be impossible to do all that, so figure out a backup plan (staying in Managua might be necessary, for example) or downsize the number of spots you’d like to visit. I hope that helps! Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: A week(ish) in Nicaragua – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

So is this do-able? A week or a bit more and able to see three of the main places to go in Nicaragua? I say yes, especially if you are willing to fly between locations and willing to pay for that privilege. But of course, saying it is possible doesn’t mean that it is likely that all the comings and goings described above could actually come to fruition. For the above-itinerary it’s better to spend 10 or 11 days IMO.

The Concepción volcano, one of the two that are found on the island of Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, seen from the port of San Jorge in the western department or province of Rivas. Credit: Karin Paladino/IPS

The Concepción volcano, one of the two that are found on the island of Ometepe in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, seen from the port of San Jorge in the western department or province of Rivas. Credit: Karin Paladino/IPS

To My Friends and Family: Please come visit me in Nicaragua

Cordial Invite? Friends and Family, Please Visit El Porton Verde and Experience Nicaragua!

To my friends and family: I am officially inviting you to come and visit Nicaragua this year. Maybe Nicaragua isn’t for…

Posted by Mike Quinn on Saturday, March 26, 2016

What’s this all about anyway?

I want you to visit Nicaragua. It’s time, really, like this year, 2016 let’s make this happen! I can customize your travel itinerary for you based on what you want to do and with whom you would like to do it! Just contact me and even if I’ve never met you, you’ll still get the “friends and family” treatment!
Partial list of what’s on offer:

Give me an idea, what’s a “typical” Nicaraguan vacation include?

You will fly into Managua International Airport where as soon as you get out of customs, heading towards the area of the rental cars, you will see my smiling face! A lot of flight arrive sort of late at night, so you and your travel companions can stay with us at the farm that first night.

When you wake up, you’ll see a wonderful view, enjoy a tasty farm-fresh breakfast, with ingredients from the farm, and we’ll plan out that first day. There are lots of things to do in the local area, colonial towns, big lakes, crater lakes, volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, etc., so you can easily spend a couple of days partaking in that and getting your feet wet so to speak.

Then we can figure out what your particular interests are and make sure those fantastic travel experiences happen for you. Here are some possibilities:

And ideally you will plan to have the time to do a number of the above listed items or we can discover even more, this is only a partial listing!

visit Nicaragua

Swimming pool, tranquility and volcano views guaranteed!

Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange – La Prensa

Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange

Yohany Lopez 03/22/2016
Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange

The Central Bank of Nicaragua, through its official Twitter account, confirmed that the tourism sector in Nicaragua received $528.6 million dollars during 2015, According to the organization, growth was 18.7 percent as compared with $445.4 million dollars the country received during 2014. Indeed, Tourism in Nicaragua is growing quite a bit!

See:For Lucy Valenti, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), this data reflects the efforts of both the private and public sector, who have sought to stabilize and raise quality levels.

“That figure lets us know that tourism generated more revenue Nicaragua that the main export products in 2015,” said Valenti, who acknowledges that with a strategy better focused to attract tourists to spend more, the country will exceed $1 billion dollars in a short term.
“With just the average daily tourist spending increasing by $ 30, we can see how the sector will continue to contribute to economic development and job creation,” said the president of Canatur.

According to data from BCN last year the average tourist spending in Nicaragua was $ 41.5, down a bit from 41.8 dollars in 2014.While the average stay increased from 7.7 days to 8.7 days.Read: Tourists spent less in 2015 in Nicaragua

La Prensa / FILE

So far the data that the BCN has pending is the number of tourists who entered the country. However, the co-director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), Anasha Campbell, said that during 2015, 1.45 million visitors entered the country, of which 1.38 million were tourists, 23.473 cruise passengers and  46.235 tour participants.

According to Campbell, housing increased in 2015 compared to 2014 by 654 rooms, when Intur statistics reflected 13,242. You can also read: holiday accommodation in Nicaragua must grow

related notes

Source: Turismo en Nicaragua percibió 18.7% más en divisas – La Prensa

Hey hey! More good data points coming out of the tourism sector of the economy. It is interesting to read that tourism now accounts for more spending than the income from the country’s largest exports. While the article doesn’t say what those exports are, presumably they are cigars, cattle, and other agricultural products.

One other small note, the president of CANTUR, Ms. Valenti says that if the daily spend increases by $30 we can see the sector continuing to support economic development and generation of jobs. Well, I’d like to see the plan on how that is happening, because the daily spend by tourists is currently a little over $40, so how are you about to increase that by 75% with another $30?

There needs to be a study of perceived value for lodging, tours, and other services rendered to visitors, a comparison of prices for said items in Nicaragua, and how much the same types of services and products cost in neighboring countries.

Then, let’s see what the quality is compared to these other places and see if Nicaragua needs to increase the quality of the offerings, and in what respect? Better quality beds? Better trained tour guides? Transportation? Infrastructure? Exactly what needs to change to get that average spend up? I for one would be interested in participating in any studies done!

The obvious “wins” to increase the spending would be from an increase in:

  • cruise passengers
  • luxury spas and other five-star resorts
  • luxury tours

Arriving in Managua ~8pm-Feasibility of making a minibus from UCA at 9, or shuttle from airport to Granada available?

From http://dontstopliving.net/backpacking-in-nicaragua-how-to-get-from-leon-to-granada-for-2-80/p1010339/

From http://dontstopliving.net/backpacking-in-nicaragua-how-to-get-from-leon-to-granada-for-2-80/p1010339/

emgtravel
Hello,
I am arriving in Managua around 8pm and was wondering if I have time to get to UCA for a 9 pm shuttle to Masaya, and also if shuttle buses from the airport to Granada run that late. Any suggestions on the best way to get to UCA at that time? Would it be more advisable to stay in Managua and travel the next day?
Thank you!

Greetings emgtravel:

I’d say no chance to get to La UCA at that time and that there would be no bus leaving that late. Like others have written, it is basically either do the shuttle or private sedan, so max $40 but you can split that up to three ways with 3 pax. The other option would be to look for a nice place to stay that will come pick you up and be located near the route from UCA to Granada and then the next morning you would only pay about a buck to go to Granada instead of up to $40.

Cheers, Mike_elportonverde

via https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/permalink/post/21292255

Arriving in Managua at Night?

This question comes up fairly frequently in the travel forums about Nicaragua, as a lot if not a majority of flights come in at night, when arriving in Managua how would one get to Granada or is it better to wait until the next day?

I’ve answered this before in an original blog post: Head-to-Head Comparison: After Arriving at the Managua Airport, Going Directly to Granada vs. Staying near Carretera a Masaya

Bottom line is that, after arriving in Managua, you should be able to decide if it’s okay with you to get to Granada the next morning instead of at a late hour at night.

If you decide to go with the El Portón Verde solution, you can:

Now I’ve had expats of Granada give me a really hard time about this modest proposal I make, as if enough tourists don’t go directly to Granada as soon as they land! I don’t argue that what is right for an individual traveler is always the best thing for everybody, but I do contend that for someone who wants a softer landing to Nicaragua, have a chance to see a friendly face, be greeted by someone who speaks your language meets you at the Managua airport, gives you a nice comfortable ride and room at a farm where in the morning you’ll have an incredible view, eat a great filling breakfast, have a chance to do a quick farm tour or a dip in our swimming pool, then we get you on the bus for a short trip to Granada that only costs $1 USD, well, that is a good proposition for some people, am I right?

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