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

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

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

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

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

Name withheld

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managua hotel with airport transfer – Managua Forum – TripAdvisor

elportonverde

Managua hotel

Swimming pool at El Portón Verde

Managua, Nicaragua

posts: 445

reviews: 12

3. Re: Managua hotel with airport transfer

Aug 01, 2014, 8:00 AM

Greetings DD690:

I wrote a blog post awhile back on this very subject. “Where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua” which you can find here: elportonverde.com/2012/…

Hopefully that might help you understand your options.

Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

via Managua hotel with airport transfer – Managua Forum – TripAdvisor.

This subject comes up fairly frequently on the TripAdvisor Nicaragua forum where a first-time traveler to Nicaragua is trying to figure out how to get to a decent hotel for that first night, as most of the flights to MGA, Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport arrive later in the day, most after 8 pm, and you’re probably going to want to have a plan for that first night.

It’s best that you arrange a hotel that offers transport from the airport to the hotel, and I offer my post “Where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua?” as a sort of a guide to one’s options, including whether you need to stay in Managua that first night at all!

Of course, we think staying at El Porton Verde is your best bet, and that our soft landing service beats any other lodging option in terms of price and service to the traveler, but hey, that’s just our opinion, right dude?

And speaking of opinions, there’s a case to be made that even for folks who would rather start their Nicaraguan vacation in Granada might be better off staying with us at the farm rather than pay $40 or $50 for a shuttle ride to Granada. But again, we want you the prospective visitor to decide what is best for you as our ambiance of tranquility, peace and fresh climate isn’t for everybody! Cheers, Mike @ El Porton Verde, Managua

 

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.

You might want to stay in Managua when…

You might want to stay in Managua when:

  • Your incoming flight arrives late in the day and you might be feeling a bit tired and prefer to get a bite to eat and get to somewhere nice where you can take it easy and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Your next Nicaraguan destination can wait a day, you’ve done a lot of traveling and are on VACATION so give yourself a break and start to relax already!
  • Your departing flight is leaving really early in the morning.
  • You are traveling on to the Caribbean coast and need to wait until the next days flight to Bluefields, Corn Island, Puerto Cabezas, etc.
  • Your flight came in late and you are planning on going first to somewhere kind of far away, such as Chinandega, Matagalpa, Esteli, San Juan del Sur, Rio San Juan, Ometepe Island, etc. which you cannot or should not attempt to travel to at night.
  • You have some dental work or doctor’s visits to take care of by the best doctor’s and dentists in Nicaragua. You can save a lot of money with medical tourism in Nicaragua!
  • You have some NGO-church-mission-related, or other type of work to be done in the capital.
  • You are seriously thinking of relocating and understand that it is a good idea to get to know the biggest city in the country before moving on and deciding where you want to live in Nicaragua.
  • You understand that the best way to check out the different areas, especially along the Pacific Coast is to stay in the Managua area because transport to beach areas on the coastline is simpler since there isn’t any Pacific Coast Highway of Nicaragua!

if your situation does not fall into any of the above you probably don’t need to worry too much about where to stay in Managua.  So enjoy your stay elsewhere and thanks for reading!

Managua, Nicaragua

Managua, Nicaragua

via Where should I stay on my first night in Nicaragua? | Bed and Breakfast Farmstay El Portón Verde, Managua.

Visiting Managua? Try our “soft landing” service, MGA transport & room

Visiting Managua? Try our “soft landing” service, MGA transport & room.

 

elportonverde-1Looking 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.

Peaceful and relaxing end to our stay in Nica! – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor

Peaceful and relaxing end to our stay in Nica! – Review of Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua, Nicaragua – TripAdvisor.

View from the Farmstay

Thank you for the kind review!

Thank you for the kind review!

Thank you to Hayley for the super KIND review! Y’all come back again soon, y’hear?

Your best bet to be near Managua but not “in” Managua!

Your best bet to be near Managua but not “in” Managua!.

While the great majority of visitors to Nicaragua are intent on getting out to the Corn Islands, San Juan del Sur, Ometepe Island, Granada or Leon (among other great spots…) as soon as they land at Managua’s Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA), due to flight schedules, a good amount of tourists will need to look for lodging that first night in a place closer to the capital city of Managua.

But Managua has a bad reputation, and although it is much better then it used to be, visually as well as attractions-wise, it still isn’t the first place that people think of when they think of their Nicaragua vacation destination. So, for visitors who are getting in late (or visitors whose flights depart early), we at Farmstay El Porton Verde offer a good alternative. You do not have to stay in a chain hotel downtown or across from the airport!

You can stay at a very tranquil and peaceful location with fabulous views of volcanoes and forested hills, on a working farm at an elevation of 1,000 feet above sea level, where it is cooler and there is almost always a pleasant breeze.

That’s what is behind the concept of being near Managua, but not “in” Managua. I’d be interested to hear your comments or questions below.

Top Five Reasons to Stay at FEPV Instead of in Granada

I just want to preface this by saying that staying in Granada is great, actually.

For certain visitors, Granada is the best place to start your Nicaraguan adventure, that is for certain. If you want to be in a city where there is a thriving expat community, where not speaking Spanish at all or very well will not be too much of an impediment to your getting around and enjoying what the town has to offer, then Granada is a good starting place for your Nicaraguan vacation or volunteering then vacationing visit to this country.

So I am not bashing Granada, are we clear?

So now that is out of the way, here’s the deal…a list if you will:

  1. Cooler weather
  2. Privacy in your own Private Mini-Resort
  3. Best views
  4. Closer to the Managua Airport (MGA)
  5. Quiet and Tranquil Ambience

I have some more reasons to but that is enough for the moment. Let’s cover each of these in turn.

Weather: The farmstay is at 1,000 feet or 300 meters elevation. This may not sound like much, but the only real variant in the climate in a tropical country is the altitude. Managua, Granada, Leon, and of course San Juan del Sur are all just slightly over sea level. The farmstay is in a unique microclimate, a wooded valley exposed to the trade winds where there is a nearly constant breeze. Due to this privileged location, temperatures on the farm can be at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit less then in the hot and sometimes muggy cities.

Privacy in your own mini-resort: The farmstay only has four rooms and one apartment at present, so it is possible to have the whole place to yourself. This is especially true when one rents the deluxe apartment, and the two bunk bed rooms. A group of up to 10 or 12 will have the whole poolfront area to themselves.

Best views: Seeing at least one and sometimes two volcanoes; one of which is active and smokes constantly, plus a wooded valley and a forested hillside/mini-mountain within fifteen minutes of downtown Managua is a tremendous view that is unique to the farmstay

Closer to Managua Airport: The airport is 25 minutes away, about 20 minutes closer then Granada.

Quiet and tranquil ambience: The farm is a working farm in an area that is still mostly family-owned haciendas (both my next door neighbors have been in Comarca San Antonio Sur for 40 years or so). Yes, the first time you come, you will notice that we are off the highway quite a bit. There are no discos or bars nearby. The neighbors do not play loud music. There are more oxen carts rolling past the front of the farm then there are private cars. Several guests have remarked that the farmstay’s location is the quietest environment they have experienced in all of Nicaragua!

5J7U0334 (640x427) (640x427)

Medical Tourism in Nicaragua

Medical Tourism in Nicaragua.
Medical Tourism Packages to Nicaragua

NicaTour Group provides medical tourism packages for you and your travel companion.  We work together with our partners in Nicaragua with accredited hospitals, clinics, private doctors and dentists to facilitate travel to Nicaragua for medical surgeries, dental work, executive checkups, weight loss surgery, plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.

NicaTour Group creates custom-made medical tourism packages to facilitate your travel to Nicaragua. These packages combine flight, airport transfers, hotel booking, special dietary menu planning in coordination with the hotel.  We coordinate your meal plan, transportation and doctor’s visits to your hotel. We will also provide short tours and entertainment for your travel companion.  Post-operative accommodations in wheelchair-chair accessible hotels are available to suit your budget.

We have been working with Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas for a couple of years now, and we have sent them lots of new patients. We have hosted folks recuperating from hernia, knee and other surgeries. We’ve hosted folks looking to score some fantastic cosmetic/plastic surgery for a great price.

We are now 100% accessible for wheelchairs, crutches, and folks who just can’t handle stairs too well anymore. Contact me if you would like to get setup for a great service at approximately 1/3 of the price in the USA or Canada!