Tourism Must Diversify | La Prensa

Tourism must diversify

 By: Yohany Lopez

INTUR presents a proposal to the government

This morning, the president of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Medium and Small Enterprises Tourism (Cantur), Leonardo Torres, will present a strategic proposal that contributes to the diversification of tourist circuits and helps increase the average daily expenditure of foreign visitors.

The initiative aims to be harvest sustainably productive farms in the country and thus push community tourism and agro-tourism.

“This is to exploit all available resources in the country, which are not only the beach but also the mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, colonial history and styles of some of the cities,” said Torres.

Currently the Nicaraguan Tourism Board (Intur) together with employers promote the routes of Coffee, Water, Colonial and Volcanoes, Haciendas and the South Pacific. But according to Cantur, this new initiative is expected to further exploit the attractions.

At the close of 2014t Intur reported 8,693 companies in the country that provide different tourist services, of which 59.9 percent were for local food and beverages, 17.8 percent to lodging and 22.3 percent to other tourist activities such as: night clubs, discos, travel agencies, businesses, land and water transportation, among others.

They aspire to US $ 75 DAILY

One of the expectations that is not lost on Cantur is that the average foreign tourist spending will rise to between 70 and 75 dollars a day and it considered two aspects: “First diversify the options and (second) provide overall complete tourist packages. Do this without neglecting the Central American visitors. Then, look a little closer at the foreigners who come from North America and Europe, who are the biggest spenders during their stay in the country.”

Intur published data by the Central Bank of Nicaragua and updated until the fourth quarter of 2014 which placed the average daily spending at $ 43.40 for foreigners, and to reach the seventies, a further growth of fifty percent would be required.

Torres is aiming the proposal primarily at the executive president of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), Mayra Salinas, and presidential adviser for economic affairs, Bayardo Arce. The presentation will be heldduring the implementation of the National Tourism Forum 2015 for MSMEs, which is to be held  today at the Holiday Inn.


The department of Managua has the largest number of tourist establishments and contributes 30.7 per cent of total economic activity according to the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism. Secondly the Autonomous Regions of the North Caribbean and South Caribbean have a stake of 9.1 percent and Leon with 6.8 percent of the total.

Source: Turismo debe diversificarse | La Prensa

This is the latest scheme by CANTUR, which is basically the chamber of commerce for the tourism industry here in Nicaragua, to propose to INTUR, which is the Nicaraguan  Tourism Board. As one reads the story, it appears to be aimed at bringing in more eco-tourism and agro-tourism in Nicaragua, which of course from our perspective at the Farmstay, this is all good as that’s what we are!

This happened today  17 July, 2015, so the results are not exactly in yet, but I would be surprised if INTUR really supports something like this because they appear to myself and many other small lodging operations that they don’t particularly do much for the little guy who actually has or had some capital, developed or is developing a small hotel or b and b at present.

Of course that would be great if they could get it together a little bit more to somehow get farms in pretty locations of Nicaragua to start learning about customer service, maintenance and cleaning of facilities, marketing, sales, planning, etc. but I can say that it appears to me to be a huge challenge.

If CANTUR/INTUR can put together or partner with an existing simple reservation system with a website featuring a searchable database of properties, a way to rate the properties, view calendars, make reservations, and pay for your stay electronically, then we’d be talking. Lacking that, this proposal will go into the dustbin along with several other equally needed initiatives that never got off the ground.


MGA Airport pickup, drop off, concierge Farmstay service

5br – MGA Airport pickup, drop off, concierge Farmstay service (km 10.5, Comarca San Antonio Sur, MGA)

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5BR / 4Ba furnished houseavailable now
laundry on site off-street parking
wheelchair accessible
dogs are OK – wooof

You won’t believe you are actually in Managua! No va a creer que estás en Managua!

About the Farmstay

Located in Managua, but being here feels like a world away. . .visit us at:

Ubicados en Managua, pero se siente en otro mundo…visitenos, estamos a sus ordenes!


To bring a comfortable stay for guests who desire to be near the best of the Nicaraguan capital city of Managua but want to be in a pleasant environment with excellent views, amenities, and hospitality.

Para traer una estancia cómoda para los huéspedes que desean estar cerca de los mejores de la capital nicaragüense de Managua, pero quieren estar en un ambiente agradable, con excelentes vistas, comodidades y hospitalidad.


Farmstay El Porton Verde is a small guesthouse, your “first night and last night alternative” to chain hotels near the Managua Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Augusto C. Sandino) or in downtown Managua. If you like a cool & breezy location in a peaceful tropical farm environment, check us out!

Estamos su alternativo a los hoteles de cadena, y su posada del “primer y ultima noche” en Nicaragua. Si te gusta un lugar fresco y ventoso en un ambiente pacífico en finca tropical, visítenos!

General Information

We are a family-friendly farmstay guesthouse B&B offering accommodations for a maximum of 14 guests. We offer a fully-furnished one bedroom apartment, two rooms with bunk beds for backpackers that sleep up to four, and two en-suite rooms with queen-sized beds.

Somos una posada estilo B & B que ofrece alojamiento para un máximo de 14 invitados. Ofrecemos un apartamento totalmente amueblado, dos habitaciones con literas para los mochileros que pueden alojar hasta cuatro, y dos habitaciones con baño privado, camas de tamaño queen

via MGA Airport pickup, drop off, concierge Farmstay service.

Very helpful hosts – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor

Very helpful hosts

annab_tripadvisorAnna B

1 review

“Very helpful hosts”

Reviewed yesterday NEW

We stayed at El Porton Verde for more than a week. Mike and the rest of his family were the best hosts that anyone can imagine. They were very helpful in every way. For instance they went with us to the police station (we had been robbed before we went to El Porton Verde) and helped us with translation, they let us use their private computer for hours and hours, they made us delicious food, they gave us good tips on what to do in the Managua area, they drove us to the bus station, etc.. The place in itself is beautiful and peaceful, with fruit trees and pool. It is a perfect amount of guests there, so that you can have nice conversations with Mike and his family as well as the other guests, but it’s totally silent during the night. In addition to all this, the rooms are very nice and the wifi is stable and strong. Mike also gave us a better deal since we stayed there so long. This was the best place we’ve ever stayed!

Stayed January 2015, traveled with friends

via Very helpful hosts – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor.

We're Number One!

We’re Number One!

Well, another great review in the books! We had a long-term guest named Jeff who was doing some work in teaching here in Nicaragua during the weekdays. On the weekends he went to various locales to check out the sites. One weekend he went to Ometepe and met this couple from Norway who are students in the USA. Well, he passed them our information and recommended them to stay with us when in Managua.

Unfortunately for them, they booked a cheap hostel in the downtown Managua area instead of making a reservation with us at the Farmstay. When arriving on the last bus from Leon, they decided to walk the few blocks to their hostel instead of hiring a taxi for a couple of dollars to take them there safely.

Since it was nighttime and they were not paying very much attention to their surroundings, a motorcycle came up to them and grabbed her purse which unfortunately held their passports and student visas. No one was hurt, thank goodness, but I’m sure it was scary for these two young people.

We got the call then, since they literally had no one else on whom they could rely upon to help them in their situation. The couple ended up having to stay with us for about one week to get their emergency passports and visas arranged. We even went to the police station with them so that they could make a statement and report the crime, helping translate and to ensure that the police did their part of the job.

Now that’s what I call customer service! Here are some other great reviews if you would like to peruse them…TripAdvisor Review 1, TripAdvisor Review 2, TripAdvisor Review 3, etc. etc.

Poolfront Apt Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua

Poolfront Apt Tranquil Farmstay B&B

New advertisement for the Farmstay to be published in the upcoming issue of Right Side Guide! Thanks Casey!

New advertisement for the Farmstay to be published in the upcoming issue of Right Side Guide! Thanks Casey!

Your Farmstay Alternative to the Managua, Nicaragua chain hotels.

via Poolfront Apt Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua.

We’ve covered this elsewhere on this blog. A few times, actually. But yet again just a reminder that we are your Farmstay Alternative to the Managua Chain Hotels. But what does that mean, exactly?

There are three ways to explain the reason why we are your best bet to not have to stay in a Hilton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, or Intercontinental.

  • Location
    • If you like it tranquil, with a great view, a lovely pool, and some local farm walks quite nearby, you will like our location.
  • Quality
    • If you like to stay at a place a step above the typical hostel or hospedaje, but still want a great price/quality ratio, you will enjoy our comfortable beds, thick towels, soft sheets, and clean rooms.
  • Service
    • If personalized attention, real conversation with a seasoned expat, and always someone being there to tend to your needs, the Farmstay will be a good fit for you.

Along with the above is the general thought of your having come all the way to Nicaragua, why on earth would you stay in a generic chain hotel when you can have a real Nicaraguan ambience on your first or last night in-country?

Coming in late or leaving early but don’t want to be “in” Managua? BnB

Coming in late or leaving early but don’t want to be “in” Managua? BnB.

Poolside at the Farmstay

Looking for a friendly face and a tranquil and cool place to stay that first or last night in Nicaragua?

Due to airline schedules and travel times, many visitors to Nicaragua arrive late at night or depart very early in the morning. For some, that means staying overnight in the Managua area.

Assuming you did not come to Nicaragua to stay at a chain hotel similar to what you have in your hometown, consider staying in the best-rated lodging in Managua that has a Nicaraguan flavor with first-world comforts and customer service.

Farmstay El Porton Verde is a small bed and breakfast located on a farm in the breezy hills south of Managua approx. 2 km off of kilometer 10.5 of the Road to Masaya (Carretera a Masaya). With our outstanding views, four-star quality guest rooms, and gorgeous swimming pool, we offer a quiet and fresh alternative to the airport- and downtown-area chain hotels and small inns. Our motto is: “we are located in Managua, but being here feels like a world away…” but the only way to really appreciate it is to be here for yourself. We invite you to visit and stay with us at the farm.

Your host Mike welcomes you with personalized service and attention to detail that the most discerning travelers can appreciate. We hope to help you have a relaxing stay here in Nicaragua from the moment you leave the customs area at MGA airport to the moment you pass through security on your way back home. For those first-time visitors, here is a link to my blog about What’s the drill? What to expect when arriving at MGA Managua’s Augusto Sandino International Airport

We work and live on a small (eight acre) organic permaculture farm located in the breezy hills south of Managua, overlooking Ticuantepe and Masaya, Nicaragua. We enjoy the views, peace and tranquility here so much, we decided to share it with a select group of travelers…if are you one of those who want a unique Nicaraguan vibe from your first to your last night in-country, then we are the right place for you!

You will not be ‘roughing it’ at El Porton Verde, far from it, as the property has excellent amenities usually found in four star hotels such as custom-made furniture, quality beds, bedding and towels. We also have a swimming pool, free high speed WiFi, and delicious Nicaraguan breakfasts that typically include ingredients grown and raised here on the farm.

Airport pickup and drop off service is available. We give you the “soft landing” treatment from the moment you pass through Customs at the airport until you go home. We also provide local half-day and full-day tours of our local area such as Volcano Masaya, the Masaya Artisan’s Market, the Pueblos Blancos, Granada, etc.
If you would like a little slice of Paradise, Nicaragua-style, we welcome you to stay with your host Mike. Please note: Check in 2pm. Check out 12noon. Only cash on arrival. We accept PayPal and are listed on air bnb. Cancellation policy 48 hours. Breakfast is included.

We have lodging for groups of up to 14.

What is a Farmstay? | The Active Times

What is a Farmstay?

A quick guide to cheap and unique overnight accommodations


Phong Nha Farmstay, Vietnam

A farmstay is a form of agritourism in which a traveler visits a working farm and either helps with chores, pays or does both in exchange for an overnight stay.

The farmstay experience varies greatly and many travel guides warn that they aren’t for everyone, but a common theme is the genuine rural experience that travelers can’t find in a chain hotel. There are Farmstays all over the world; the arrangement has been prevalent in Europe and Australia for a while and is now beginning to see popularity in the U.S.

via What is a Farmstay? | The Active Times.

Great article Ms. Gertstacker! Thanks for the effort on educating travelers about farmstays. I agree that they aren’t for everyone, but they do offer some very much more in-depth and personalized experiences then more traditional chain hotels or even boutique lodging options.
Not sure if anyone is willing to comment, but I have always wondered why farmstays seem to be more popular in the old Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK?
Farmstays sure are not very well known in Nicaragua, where El Porton Verde is located, but it made so much sense to put the word in our name since it is a stay on a farm. It succinctly gives a pretty good idea to the traveler what they can expect.


Tasty fish dinner served at the Farmstay!

What is the Farmstay El Portón Verde’s soft landing service?

What is our “soft landing” service for your arrival in Managua?

When I first came to Nicaragua, back in 2003, I remember how it was all so different and sort of scary to get out of the controlled customs area of the airport and walk into this sea of people, all of whom seemed to either be waiting for someone else, or looking to whisk you off to parts unknown. In addition, there were some street urchins, some semi-sketchy looking yet “official” appearing people.

Unicorns not included in our soft landing service, sorry!

Unicorns not included in our soft landing service, sorry!

Bottom line is that there is a moment there when you walk through the sliding glass doors heading towards the rental cars where you would really like to see a friendly face, someone who speaks your language, and can answer any questions about your vacation or visit to Nicaragua while you get on your way to what is hopefully a good nights sleep.

Since I didn’t have that option as a first-time visitor, I had to learn the ropes the hard way, by trial and some not-inconsiderable error. As I began to come down to Nicaragua on a more regular basis, the airport slowly became not so difficult, I remembered to have
the money ready when passing through the immigration and passport check, where to find the baggage carts, to have my baggage claim tickets ready along with my customs form, and how to get my ground transportation done in a safe but inexpensive manner.

Once I moved here to live, and eventually to open Farmstay El Porton Verde as a bed and breakfast located on the southern outskirts of the capital city of Managua, I wanted to be able to provide the sort of service that I would have liked to have experienced that
first time I arrived in the capital of Nicaragua.

So, when the farmstay opened, I decided to offer that level of service; the goal is to satisfy your needs, to insure a “soft landing for both first-time visitors and travelers that have been here before. The service includes tips on how to negotiate the arrival, immigrations and customs. I personally will be at the airport to pick you up with an easily seen sign in a location that is simple to find. I will greet you, help you with your luggage, and get you to my vehicle for the 25 minute drive to the farmstay. If your plane is early or late, I will track its arrival to get there at the appropriate time. If you need help planning the rest of your vacation, or are looking for hotel or hostel recommendations in Granada, San Juan del Sur, Ometepe, Big or Little Corn Island, etc. I can help you there too, up to and including calling to make reservations for you. Also, I can arrange your transport to your next destination if you like. Whether it is via private shuttle, a rental car, or public buses, the soft landing service has you covered.

Once you are with me, we will start driving to the farmstay. If you need to change money, buy a cell phone or GSM chip, stop for a bite to eat, get some snacks and adult refreshments, do some grocery shopping, etc. we can do that for you on the way to the
farmstay. Best of all, you can start to relax right away. Believe me, it is very nice to know that you have a good idea on what is expected from you as you pass through the airport processes, and that on the other side of the sliding glass doors, you have someone
waiting for you who speaks English and can help you figure out how to get around, where some of the best places to stay are located, and give you some cultural pointers as well.

Let’s contrast the soft landing service with a typical overnight in Managua. Most visitors will stay either just across from the airport at the Mercedes Best Western or just down the highway at the Camino Real. Getting through the airport? Well, you are on your
own there. Pickup at the airport? Yes, a guy with limited English skills will be there to take you to the hotel. Will he be able or willing to help you to exchange money, buy a cell phone or chip? Nope. Will he stop to let you load up on food or drinks? Nope. Will he be helpful in planning the rest of your trip? Probably not. What he will do is take you to the $100 a night hotel, where you will check in with the uninterested hotel staff, you can eat at the overpriced restaurant and pay more for any drinks too. Some actually charge you for the use of the Internet! In short, your hotel experience will be pretty much the same as checking into any major hotel in the USA, Canada or Europe. You hand over your passport and credit card, you sign a chit, and you get your key. If you have luck, a
bellboy will help with your bags. Beyond that, you are completely and utterly on your own.

If you are a surfer, I have some very special tips for you. Not exactly “secret spots” but certainly locations that are not so crowded so you can definitely get a good wave to yourself in Nicaragua. Sure, if you go to Playa Maderas near San Juan del Sur, it
will be fairly crowded on a good day, but that is only one beach and there are hundreds of nice beaches with good waves in Nicaragua. I can direct you to beginner’s spots, intermediate, and some “experts only” spots that challenge the pros.

I hope this post helps you to understand with a bit more detail what the Farmstay El Porton Verde “soft landing” service consists of, and that it helps you decide that is something you would like to experience when you come to visit Nicaragua.

Ensuite Queen Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua

Fun couple!

Fun couple! Hayley & Anthony


My husband and I ended our 6 day adventure in Nica at Mike’s El Porton Verde and are so happy we did! It was a perfect ending, coming off an amazing stay in SJDS 4 nights prior to coming to Managua.

Upon arrival, we were promptly greeted by Samantha and offered water or fresh juice. Such a refreshing way to start our stay and we felt right at home. Our room wasn’t ready (only because we ended up getting there 1+ before we said we would) but changed into our bathing suits and spent the next few hours enjoying the view and the pool, surrounded by good company. We were again offered a bowl of fresh fruit which was a delicious snack to hold us over until dinner.

Our dinner was prepared from scratch by Samantha and we devoured the baked chicken, rice and salad. We enjoyed all of the guests that night and had great dinner conversation about our travels and life experiences.

The room was just what we needed. Average size room, nothing over the top and just perfect for our last night in Nica. The shower pressure was good, the bed was comfortable and we got a great night’s sleep. Just what we were looking for!

The farm provides some space to wander around and enjoy the city without feeling like you’re even in Managua. Fresh fruit all around, rustling banana leaves and plenty of chickens to keep you company as you wander thru the property.

By now, you can probably tell that we highly recommend staying at El Porton Verde with Mike as your host. Great guy, super friendly, clean rooms, awesome view of the volcano, nice and clean pool, and on and on. Mike even took us to the airport at 6am and that was a huge bonus in terms of having piece of mind that we were taken care of there. We will definitely be back, sooner than later, and can’t thank Mike enough for making our short but sweet stay at El Porton Verde such a memorable one!!

via Ensuite Queen Tranquil Farmstay B&B in Managua.

Thank you for the great review on Air BnB from Hayley and Anthony! I love love love getting good reviews from our guests so a big yaay to you guys for the kind words. I can’t wait until you come back again to Nicaragua. Lots more to see and do!