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Nicaragua eNewsletter December 2013
 
     
 
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Nicaragua Continues its Popularity as Central America's Hot New Travel Destination

In 2013, The New York Times named Nicaragua one of the hottest new tourism destinations. That was just the beginning! The number of tourists visiting Nicaragua between January and August 2013 grew 4.1% over the same period last year, with travelers from the U.S. constituting the second largest group from one country to visit Nicaragua this year. The fall and winter months’ arrivals for 2013 will likely contribute to an increase in numbers, as high season has just begun, offering warm-weather vacation options for North American snow birds.

Popular destinations

But it’s not just snow birds who will enjoy Nicaragua. The destination offers activities for all types of visitors, from adventurous sandboarding down a volcano, scuba diving in pristine waters and rappelling off cliffs into the crystal blue ocean, to relaxing at a yoga retreat overlooking the beach, kayaking through archipelagos and golfing on pristine courses set in the jungle. It’s no wonder the level of interest in tourism to Nicaraguan increases year after year.

Yahoo! Travel recently named Nicaragua as one of the top places to visit in 2014 for budget friendly travelers. Yahoo also included Nicaragua in its list of the eight hottest destinations for 2014. The popular travel guide, Lonely Planet, recently released its “Best in Travel 2014” list, highlighting the world’s top travel destinations and experiences, and Nicaragua came in at #3 for the “Best Value Travel Destination."

With a new year approaching and travel planning for 2014 in full swing, it’s a perfect time to introduce your clients to sunny Nicaragua.

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High Season in Nicaragua

High Season

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Nicaragua’s most popular season for tourist visits runs from late November to early May, when cold-weather dwellers are most looking for a warm-weather escape. High season, also known as dry season in Nicaragua, yields warm temperatures and little rainfall, and tourism industry operations are in full gear. In addition to the volcano, lake, colonial city and beach tours that occur throughout the country year-round, snorkeling and scuba diving on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua are popular activities during this time of year as the waters are much calmer.

Caribbean Coast

The lowlands of Nicaragua (on its Pacific and Atlantic coasts) maintain a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 72-86° F. The central region of Nicaragua is about 9° F cooler and the mountains in the north are approximately 18° F cooler. Much of the temperature variation is due to the diverse elevations within Nicaragua (it is the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes, after all).

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Key Nicaraguan Travel Stops

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Nicaragua’s diverse geography delivers an abundance of activity options to travelers of varying interests. As a result, the scope and theme of a visit is largely determined by the amount of time travelers have to spend in the country. Some of Nicaragua’s most popular towns and cities include the following:

GranadaGranada: This Spanish colonial town is the oldest city in Central America to remain on its original site. Charming visitors with its red-tiled roofs, grand cathedrals and well-preserved historical buildings, Granada is a favorite among travelers who seek culture, history and an exotic escape. Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest freshwater lake, is only a few minutes outside of Granada by car, as are hiking in both jungle and volcanoes.

LeonLeón: A colonial town at base of the Momotombo Volcano that offers impressive views of nearby volcanoes, León is characterized by its cobblestone streets, throngs of university students, more than 18 churches, plus cafes and small shops. León is also home to the house of Rubén Darío, one of Latin America’s leading literary figures; the Cathedral of León, the largest cathedral in Central America; and various other historic churches. Its museums are considered some of the most eclectic in the region, showcasing the many political, natural and cultural aspects of Nicaraguan history.

Corn IslandsCorn Islands: Located in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, the Corn Islands (Little and Big Corn Island) have roots as a past British protectorate, a refuge for pirates and now as a relaxing beach retreat. Travelers can reach these islands by small aircraft from Managua or via boat from Bluefields. The total area of the Corn Islands is just under 5 square miles.

OmetepeOmetepe Island: Formed of two majestic volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, Ometepe Island rises out of Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America. Ometepe is home to nearly 40,000 residents who live an agrarian life, harvesting plantains, rice, tobacco, sugar cane and coffee. Ometepe Island was named a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve in 2011 and can be reached by ferry boats from Granada, San Carlos and a port near Rivas, which is close to the popular Pacific beach town of San Juan del Sur.

San Juan del SurSan Juan del Sur: This beach town and fishing village along the Pacific Coast is a popular stop for surfers and those looking to soak up the sun and relax in the beach life in Nicaragua. In addition to a crescent bay lined with barefoot restaurants and sand bars, San Juan del Sur offers a tranquil setting, fresh seafood and charming accommodations.

Selva NegraSelva Negra & Matagalpa: The cloud forest of Selva Negra is located 87 miles from Managua, near the city of Matagalpa, at more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Originally a coffee farm called Hammonia by its German settlers, the farm evolved into a protected nature reserve, where today more than 200 species of birds dwell, including the Resplendent Quetzal and other brilliantly plumed Trogons. Forest trails allow visitors to observe birds, wildlife and a variety of orchids in their spectacular natural habitat and the nearby Ruta de Café (coffee route) makes for fascinating touring and exploration.

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Travel Packages that offer a variety of attractions for your clients’ interests include:

Lake Nicaragua

Mukul

Granada tour

 

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Eco-Adventure International “Experience Nicaragua!” 8-day package: Colonial cities, adventure, nature

  • Colonial cities of León and Granada
  • Ashboarding down Cerro Negro Volcano
  • San Jacinto Hot Springs
  • Ometepe Island
  • Volcano hiking and nature reserves
  • Horseback riding

Journese “Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa Bed & Breakfast” 5-night package: Beach, luxury, golf, spa

  • Private beach
  • Oceanfront 18-hole golf course
  • Award-winning spa
  • Nature trails & bicycling
  • Sea turtle conservation program

Latin America Collection “All Around Nicaragua” 10-day package: Nature, peace, adventure

  • Colonial cities of León and Granada
  • Tour of Matagalpa
  • Selva Negra Ecolodge and Coffee Estate
  • Masaya National Park
  • Ometepe Island
  • San Juan del Sur
  • Corn Islands
  • Biking, snorkeling, hiking

Travel Impressions multiple packages to Nicaragua with a variety of accommodations:

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Nicaraguan Tourism Board
Hotel Crowne Plaza, 1c Sur, 1c. Oeste. Managua, Nicaragua. Aptdo. Postal No. 5088
Pbx: (505) 2254-5191 / Fax: (505) 2222-6610
www.visitnicaragua.us