Government to build coastal road • El Nuevo Diario

The government plans to build a coastal road in the Pacific , as announced yesterday by Vice President Rosario Murillo, who also said that it will be President Daniel Ortega who will give details of the project in the coming days.

The project aims to unite the beaches of the Nicaraguan Pacific coast, from the department of Rivas to Managua.

Map of proposed Coastal Road

– END –

In the coming weeks will work on a first stretch of the road that is expected to bring greater investment to the country, added Murillo in her daily speech.

The route of the road, according to Murillo, will start on the southern border in El Naranjo, and will tour the beaches of El Ostional, Playa Coco, La Flor, Marseille, Majagual, Las Maderas, El Gigante, Guacalito, Las Salinas, Tipilapa, Huehuete, Casares, La Boquita and Masachapa.

The coastal road has been raised in different administrations.At first it was designed under the administration of former president Enrique Bolaños. The project was to be built by the company called Inocsa-Edicro.

In 2010, during the first administration of Ortega, it was announced the construction of at least 2 kilometers of road from San Juan del Sur. It was also said at that time that there was funding to cobble another 5 kilometers of road.

At that time the cost of the project was $ 600,000 per kilometer paved, not including bridge construction and drainage system.

A year later, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure announced the award of a concession to an Italian consortium for a period of more than 20 years and estimated that the investment cost of the project was 200 million dollars.

In its original design , proposed during the administration of ex-President Bolaños, the coastal road covered 131 kilometers paved and covered eight beaches in the country.

Source: Gobierno construirá carretera costanera • El Nuevo Diario

This news from El Nuevo Diario newspaper certainly comes under the heading of interesting and potentially transformative Nicaraguan news! Thing is though, there was a big push in 2010 (and many years before, in the mid-2000’s, during the Bolaños administration) for a coastal road and at one point they had even awarded a contract to an Italian firm and it was going to be a toll road.

Then a few years later it was sort of quietly announced that the project was dead. Well, like many a monster movie, It Lives! If this project is actually completed end-to-end that would be fantastic for vacationers and anyone who is a beach lover because you could actually visit several beaches in one day.

Of course, the people who would be the most “stoked” would definitely be the surfers! As it is now, for example, if you are staying in San Juan del Sur and after surfing a few days at the beaches near there, as a wandering visiting surfer, you’ll naturally want to try some other beaches. Well, on the map, the beaches of the Tola, Rivas area don’t look too far away, but if you actually were staying in SJdS and wanted to surf, say Popoyo beach, it would be a good hour and maybe twenty minutes to get there. When (and if!) this coastal road is completed, you’d be able to zip up there in maybe 20 minutes, 30 minutes top.

Thoughts and/or comments? What do you think? Please let us know below.

Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas

Greetings Kelly:

You’ve already got some very good advice here, so I’ll just add my dos centavos. For your surfing, I would recommend Popoyo more than Maderas. There is a beginner’s break right in front of Magnific Rock and just to the north is Popoyo reef, but it’s not super sharp or anything. If you go out on the higher tides you’ll be fine. Plus if you are coming in January, the surf won’t be real big anyway… Now if you do want the option to go to San Juan del Sur, then Maderas is the call. I’ve dropped folks off at Hulakai and when they came back to stay with us again they said it was really nice. There is a little bit of a dining scene at Maderas whereas while Popoyo/Playa Guasacate has fewer restaurants albeit some much better and more international flavors then in past years.
For your transportation budget, you might save a bit if you stay at Maderas as you can bus to SJdS then take a taxi which won’t cost too much, max $20 as it’s only fifteen minutes away.
That’s it from me, have a great vacay!
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

Source: Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas

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

Wilmer Valderrama In Nicaragua? Actor Spotted Vacationing In San Juan Del Sur [PHOTOS]

Wilmer Valderrama
Actor Wilmer Valderrama attends the Photo Femmes Exhibition Opening at De Re Gallery, featuring the work of Ashley Noelle, Bojana Novakovic and Monroe, at De Re Gallery on April 13, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for De Re Gallery

It seems as if Wilmer Valderrama could not handle losing to Gina Rodriguez in the recent episode of “Lip Sync Battle” that he had to leave the country to cope with the heartbreaking news! Alright, maybe we are exaggerating a tad, but Valderrama did leave the country on a secret getaway.

“I’m on a secret adventure,” expressed the Venezuelan actor to his over 568K followers on Facebook. “Stay tune.. I’m gonna post hints.. Here on ‪#‎Facebook‬,” he added.

Valderrama shared the news on Saturday afternoon and 24 hours later he continued to tease fans of his whereabouts. “This weekend I did something I can’t wait to share with you all,” noted the actor on Sunday night. “And you will be able to actually feel like you came with me.. Stay tune! I will be posting it HERE on Facebook!.”

His fans on Facebook quickly became curious, making comments such as: “Waiting for you [to] give us a hint since yesterday. But I’ll be patient.” Other fans took the opportunity to express how sad they were that his character on “Grey’s Anatomy” was short-lived. “I am so mad you weren’t kept on Grey’s for a longer stint. Bums me out. Loved your character. You did a great job!,” said one fan. Meanwhile, other fans believe his big secret has to do with a marriage proposal for Demi Lovato. “Did you ask Demi to marry you? Please say yes y’all are too perfect!,” asked another fan.

Although Valderrama is keeping his aventure a “secret,” we already know where he’s been hanging out… in Nicaragua! Yes, the last post from Wilmer on Instagram is his attempt to take a selfie with a Velociraptor at Jurassic World in Universal Orlando, and yes, there’s no proof of Nicaragua in sight on his social media accounts.

However, the friend he’s with “Tadao310” on Instagram, spilled the beans on the social media platform. “About to get on this boat with my brother @WilmerValderrama. #galaxylife we got these new phones and new toys from @samsungmobileusa. Thank you bery much. Yes I spelled it with a B,” he expressed on a photo with the “That 70’s Show” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” actor, with location check-in at Nicaragua.

And like that, Valderrama’s big secret was revealed! Check out the photos of the actor and his friends hanging out at San Juan del Sur and Playa Maderas.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Wilmer está em uma pool party em “Playa Madera, Nicarágua”

Wilmer e Tadao Salima hoje depois de um passeio de tirolesa no “Canopy Tour San Juan del Sur, Da’Flying Frog”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Wilmer em um passeio de barco em San Jaun Del Sur, Nicarágua (14/05)

Wilmer no barco em San Jaun Del Sur, Nicarágua (14/05)

Source: Wilmer Valderrama In Nicaragua? Actor Spotted Vacationing In San Juan Del Sur [PHOTOS]

Looks like actor Wilmer Valerrama has been hitting Sunday Funday in SJdS…seems like the perfect spot and activity for him! We haven’t had any celebrity sightings lately (put a comment in below if you know of some celebs down here recently…) so a big welcome to Wilmer. It looks like he has been having a very good time!

Easter Week Trip – Insight Please – Granada Forum – TripAdvisor

Easter Week Trip – Insight Please

Our family Spring Break falls the week leading up to Easter, which I learned is a big holiday in Nicaragua. We are staying in SJDS part of the time and I’m looking at staying in Granada. I understand large crowds fill the area, which is nice, but will we still gain the relaxing experience of Nic that we were hoping for? My boys are 9 & 11, will the crowds be “appropriate” for them? Should we reserve all our activities now so they don’t fill up? Is Granada as busy as SJDS? Should we stay close to the town or up near the volcanos? Any insight is GREATLY appreciated!!! A goal of this trip is for my boys to learn to be more humbled and increase their appreciation for what they have, by experience another culture as well as building great family memories. THANKS in advance for your insight!
Sunday Funday, Easter Week,

Family-friendly during Easter Week? Not at Sunday Funday!

7. Re: Easter Week Trip- Insight Please Feb 14, 2016, 4:29 PM

elportonverde Managua, Nicaragua Level Contributor 754 posts 22 reviews

Greetings TCUangelBuckeyeMom: If one of the goals for your family is to see what Nicaragua is about and how Nicaraguans live and work, then going to SJdS and Granada would be the places where IMO you are least likely to have that sort of experience as they are the most touristy destinations in Nicaragua. So if it’s not too late, I’d look to stay elsewhere frankly.

Normally both Granada and San Juand del Sur are perfectly fine places to visit, especially for first time visitors, but during this time of year it’s a different scene entirely. Especially SJdS is absolutely nuts during Easter week. Last year a pedestrian bridge fell with hundreds of people on it for example, plus yes your boys will get a real eyeful of mostly young adults doing things they probably wouldn’t do in their hometowns…think of a much younger Key West scene on a Pacific beach and you pretty much have the idea as to what SJdS is about.

Another place to look into if you decide to stay out of Granada, in Laguna de Apoyo instead, is San Simian; they have a great host and fantastic location/infrastructure. And as far as a beach place goes, your best bet to stay away from the crowds is a place not served by public bus. So for example, Punta Teonoste, Rancho Santana or Playa Iguana beaches near Tola instead of SJdS. They are private beaches that will not be terribly crowded.

Usually I would recommend Playa Gigante but that is served by public bus from Rivas so will get super crowded during Semana Santa. Some people go up to the mountains in the Matagalpa/Jinotega area to get away from both the heat and the crowds. That might be another option for your family as you are much more likely to have some real interaction with Nicaraguans. Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

Source: Easter Week Trip- Insight Please – Granada Forum – TripAdvisor

Visiting Nicaragua during Easter Week can be really fun, but some spots will be very crowded with locals who go to the beaches and lakes and camp out for as many days during the week that they possibly can. In places like San Juan del Sur, this means the town is jammed with both national and international tourists partying their brains out basically.

The original poster of this question was planning a trip with her family during Easter Week with stops in San Juan del Sur and Granada, both of which will be full of people. My suggestion is to go to a beach that isn’t publically accessible and to stay outside of Granada in Laguna de Apoyo if they want to be in that area.

5 Budget-Friendly Vacations to Take During Winter – US News

Budget-Friendly Vacations in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

A cruise ship in the resort town of San Juan del Sur

A cruise ship in the resort town of San Juan del Sur

Though neighboring country Costa Rica has long been a beloved tourist destination, Nicaragua has only recently began to catch vacationers’ eyes. But if you are willing to travel off the beaten path, you can discover Nicaragua’s pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and rustic colonial towns. Fly into Managua and take a shuttle or official taxi directly to San Juan del Sur, a sleepy surfer town rimmed by brown-sugar beaches and shaded by mango trees. Spend your days taking surfing lessons or sunning in a hammock at a beachside bar and spend your nights partying among international travelers at the town’s many vibrant nightclubs. The best part? Because the colorful country is still coming into its own, accommodation, dining, entertainment, and tours in Nicaragua remain wonderfully affordable, even for the most budget-conscious traveler.

Budget Breakdown

Flight: $208+ from Miami, FL

Accommodation: $9+/night for mid-range digs

Meals: $9+ per day

Source: 5 Budget-Friendly Vacations to Take During Winter – US News

Is Nicaragua a good place for a Budget-Friendly Vacation? Travelers say “Yes!”

Just another pro-Nicaragua vacation article, this one is featured in US News. While short and featuring other locations like Orlando, Fl., it’s worth noting that San Juan del Sur is featured in the article and that it comes first in the list of five vacations to take during winter.

We’ve featured San Juan del Sur in several blog posts, here and here for example. To tell folks to jump in a taxi and come straight to SJdS is not really good advice though in my opinion. That’s great for a certain segment of the travelers coming to Nicaragua but by far not all! In fact, the argument can be made that going to SJdS is to really not see much of what Nicaragua has to offer. While it offers beautiful beaches and cheap lodging and food choices, you won’t be getting too much of a feel for Nicaragua’s culture and landscapes.

Check out Ometepe Island for example if you want to feel like you’re in another (Jurassic) world entirely. Or, experience a “fiesta patronal” in a local “white village” to see how Nicaraguan’s make art and celebrate their cultural and religious heritage.Get a feel for Nicaragua’s unique history in Managua, Leon or Granada. For something completely different, visit Rio San Juan for an absolutely unique natural environment where you’ll see wildlife and jungle similar to the Amazon biosphere.

 

33 Photos That Will Make You Want To Fly To Nicaragua Right Now

This Central American paradise is a land of natural beauty, friendly locals and a unique culture. Be sure to visit before it’s overrun by tourists.

Nicaragua is one of those destinations that steals your heart from the moment you arrive. And with expansive lakes, majestic volcanoes, verdant jungle and pristine beaches, it’s not difficult to figure out why. Not only is Nicaragua blessed with natural abundance and countless picture-perfect snapshots, the local Nicaraguans are some of the friendliest in all of Central America. Add to that world-renowned cigars, coffee and chocolate, and you have the makings of a truly fantastic vacation.
Nicaragua is only continuing to grow in popularity, with many travelers dubbing it “the new Costa Rica.” We’re hesitant to call it the new anything — Nicaragua is uniquely wonderful and boasts a culture that is quite different from what you’ll find south of the border.

Source: 33 Photos That Will Make You Want To Fly To Nicaragua Right Now

Nice post from Dan and Casey, aka A Cruising Couple, who look like they know how to have a good time! And thank you for pointing out the fallacy of the whole “new Costa Rica” meme–the culture in Nicaragua is much more vibrant than in Costa Rica–so good on ‘ya for acknowledging that fact.

 

 

45 Cruise Ships Arriving in Nicaragua

45 Cruise Ships Arriving in Nicaragua

International tourism revenues left Nicaragua about 445.4 million dollars in 2014, 6.8% more than the $ 417 million raised during 2013, according to official data.
Last year Nicaragua entered a total of 1.32 million foreign tourists, 7.3% more than the 1.23 million who came to the Central American country in 2013.
Nicaragua expects to bill this year about 450 million dollars in foreign exchange from tourism and receive 1.35 million tourists.

Source: 45 cruceros arribarán a Nicaragua

Number of cruise ships went from 37 to 45, which is something around an 18% increase and foreign tourists 7% so that’s all good. It’s almost expected now that these numbers go up about 4% a year, so if that’s accurate, that is a really good number!

I also really like this article because it tells how making Managua part of the tour is the real deal.

 

Five Top Retirement Havens with the Lowest Cost of Living –

Nicaragua: Save on Property Costs

For house buyers or investors, Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living and business opportunities. You could live here in a $2-million mansion with everything you would ever want in a home if you are willing to pay for it. But the great thing about this tropical paradise is that you don’t have to. You can still feel like you’re living the life of Reilly—on a very low budget.Granada-Nicaragua-578x298

The items you save on add up. Real estate taxes are low—you’ll pay around $150 a year for a $130,000 house. The cost of rentals are low, too. Friends of mine live in a modest three-bedroom home overlooking the bay of San Juan del Sur for just $200 a month. Electricity, water and WiFi are extra and cost an additional $100. Many one or two-bedroom rentals in town go for $250 to $400 a month, depending on amenities.

I spend about $25 a week for food. If I must have peanut butter, almond milk, gouda cheese, teriyaki sauce and cuts like filet mignon, my food budget goes way up. You can also save quite a bit of money enjoying your dinner at one of the many happy hours with $1 or $2 appetizers. And you can hire someone to clean your house for about $10.

Some things are more expensive in Nicaragua. Electronic items are double the price, for example. Gas hovers around $5.50 a gallon. New cars and trucks in Nicaragua have sticker prices of about a third to a half higher than the U.S. A large jar of Jiffy peanut butter can set you back $12. A small piece of cheddar cheese might cost over $5. You get the idea. If you are willing to live the good Nicaraguan life and forego some of those old necessities that aren’t really necessary, a single person can easily live on $1,000 or less a month and a couple can maintain a comfortable lifestyle for $1,200 and $1,400.—Bonnie Hayman

via Five Top Retirement Havens with the Lowest Cost of Living –.

This is International Living, a somewhat infamous “rose-colored glasses” type of media company, so take this report with the biggest grain of salt you can find…

However, that’s not to say that they are incorrect in what they tell you here, rather that an outfit like IL really does not address much of what really faces an expat. IL focuses on cost of living and lifestyle mostly, with not too much on such things as integrating into your new culture and country, how to be a productive member of your new community, or how to make local friends and become fluent in the native language.

IL really caters to the person who fits in quite well in the expat enclaves of Granada and San Juan del Sur; not so much Managua or Matagalpa and much less so Puerto Cabezas, Siuna or Bluefields. What I mean is that in most other areas of Nicaragua, the locals really don’t cater to you very much.

Sure, they might be neighborly and are certainly curious about expats, but mostly that is just a general human response to a new person moving into a neighborhood. Especially if they are different from the norm for that area, folks will take notice and most will wait to see what type of a person you are before taking the time to get to know you.

How that might express itself could vary of course, but as an example, in tourist and expat areas, learning English is clearly a good move for a Nicaraguan to want to make their living from tourism and providing services to expats. In other places, not so much. While most urban areas have some bilingual non-native English speakers, especially in the countryside you can basically forget about finding someone who speaks English.

So, as a potential expat, you need to ask yourself (among a multitude of questions), “do I want to learn Spanish or live where the locals will be learning English?” That will influence not only where you may choose to live, but how you will live too. Will you be living in an English-language bubble or not? As always, comments welcome!

Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing: San Juan del Sur Edition

Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing: San Juan del Sur Edition

Intro and General tips

Introduction

In this first-ever edition of the Insider’s Guide to Nicaraguan Surfing, we’ll focus like the veritable laser beam on the surfing scene around San Juan del Sur (SJdS). SJdS is the number one Pacific coast location for visitors to Nicaragua. It is a fun little town set in a beautiful bay. If you are interested in going surfing when in SJdS, here are some tips for you:

 

The bay at San Juan del Sur

The bay at San Juan del Sur

 

  • There is usually no surf whatsoever in the bay of San Juan. Sometimes during the rainy season it is so stormy elsewhere that there are some surfable waves in the bay.
  • However (and especially so in the rainy season from May-October), as a Nicaraguan Insider, I can recommend that you DON’T GO IN THE WATER if surfing with high levels of fecal coliform bothers you (or your health) at all. The sewage system in the town is imperfect at best, and as we all know **it flows downhill, right to the drains and outflow pipes leading to the bay.

    Muddy beach near San Juan del Sur

    Muddy beach near San Juan del Sur

  • So, you need to go out of town to the beaches that are located ten to fifteen minutes away from the center of the little town. Unless you rented a car, you will most likely take beach shuttles.
  • The surf shops in town run most of these beach shuttles. You will see them around town and it is easy enough to get your transport arranged through them. Of course, they also have surfboards and other equipment to rent as well as gear to purchase.

    Arena Caliente aka Good Times Surfshop in SJdS

    Arena Caliente aka Good Times Surfshop in SJdS

  • The beaches most frequented are Playa Maderas to the north of SJdS and Playa Yankee and other beaches to the south of SJdS. There are further away beaches you can get to via land.
  • If you are really keen to discover new beaches, panga boat rides to the further out breaks can be arranged.

    Panga boats can take you to otherwise empty lineups!

    Panga boats can take you to otherwise empty lineups!

  • Don’t go to Playa Maderas near San Juan del Sur and have the expectation that the lineup will be mostly empty peaks waiting for you and your friends. Not gonna happen…

    Somewhat crowded lineups at Playa Maderas

    Somewhat crowded lineups at Playa Maderas

  • Also, know that there are some beaches that frequently host surf instruction. Obviously, these will be mostly beginning surfers so understand that it is best to give them a wide berth.
  • If you are a beginner yourself, try to stay away from the big boys. Normally that means staying inside on the whitewater until you get a better handle on standing up on the face of the wave.
  • If someone at the the beach is being super friendly with you, they probably want something from you. Sorry, but just sayin’

    Cool dudes on the beach, maybe thieves later...?

    Cool dudes on the beach, maybe thieves later…?

  • Practice standard surf etiquette as much as possible. Respect the locals and be humble.
  • Don’t buy drugs or tell your new friend which hotel you are staying at. If you feel you must say something, lie about it and tell him you are staying at a different place altogether. Giving away where you are staying is usually an “in” for a thief who wants your iPhone really badly.

Useful links:

San Juan Surf

San Juan del Sur Guide: Surfing

Map to Maderas Beach

Map to Yankee Beach and other southern beaches

Nicawaves

Nicaragua Surf Report