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Nicaragua eNewsletter December 2014
 
     
 
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CNN Español’s 10 Reasons to Visit Nicaragua Now

Ten Reasons to Visit Nicaragua

Nicaragua continues to shine as a hot travel destination, with frequent glowing mentions in the media. It’s no surprise then that CNN Español recently published a list of the top 10 reasons why travelers will enjoy discovering this beautiful Central American country:

  1. Surfing: Some of the world’s best surf breaks are located along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Paddle boarding is also popular. In fact, the ISA International Paddleboarding Championship was held in Nicaragua last summer.

  2. Volcano boarding: Also known as ash boarding, this unique activity consists of sliding down the volcanic-ash-covered slope of Cerro Negro volcano on a wooden board, at speeds up to 95 miles per hour. Great fun!

  3. Kayaking: Visitors can kayak off of Nicaragua’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts and in Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America. The Rio San Juan, with its many tributaries winding through virgin rainforest, also beckons kayakers.

  4. Fishing: Professional guides lead fishing expeditions off of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, for catch from Dorado and Tuna to Marlin. In the San Juan River, giant tarpon up to 100 pounds are catch-and-release only.

  5. Cathedral of León: The largest cathedral in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Léon Cathedral is a major tourist attraction for those interested in Nicaragua’s history.

  6. Telica Volcano: Of Nicaragua’s more than 20 volcanoes, Telica is among the most active and yet easily accessible and safe for tourists.

  7. Lava observation: At Telica Volcano, visitors can view the flow of molten lava, complete with occasional roars and bursting bubbles.

  8. Coco River: In Northern Nicaragua, this river winds through rainforest on its way to the Caribbean, and is home to an amazing variety of wildlife.

  9. Somoto Canyon: This rugged canyon wasn’t discovered by geologists until 2004, and it has been declared a national monument. Tourists who venture there can enjoy hiking, rappelling, horseback riding, canoeing and swimming.

  10. Nicaraguan food: Travelers can get a taste of true Nicaraguan culture in every bite they take of local specialties such as Gallo Pinto (rice and red beans), Nacatamales (the Nicaraguan version of tamale), and Vigorón (a popular street-food snack composed of boiled yucca, pork cracklings and spicy cabbage slaw).

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Tourism to Nicaragua Continues to Grow

Tourism Grows

 

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New statistics show that Nicaragua continues to emerge as a popular travel destination, with a record number of visitors arriving in 2014 to discover a country that is not only the safest in Central America, but also offers pristine nature, rich culture, and a wide variety of adventure activities. Mayra Salinas, Executive Director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, recently announced that more than one million tourists visited Nicaragua between January and November 2014, an increase of 8.5% over 2013. The media also continue to highlight Nicaragua as one of the hottest travel destinations in the Americas. Nicaragua has been featured on the covers of numerous international magazines and spotlighted in publications and websites including Condé Nast Traveler, Robb Report, Food & Wine, GQ Australia and Elle Magazine U.K.

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New Non-Stop Flights Between Houston and Nicaragua

Airlines

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Airlines are responding to the increased number of tourists traveling to Nicaragua, with new direct flights from the U.S. announced for the second month in a row. In October, Aeromexico announced the launch of a non-stop route six times a week from Mexico City to Managua. In November, Spirit Airlines announced they will begin non-stop flights from Houston to Nicaragua on May 28, 2015. The budget airline will offer three non-stop flights a week to Managua. Other existing non-stop flights to Nicaragua originate from:

Miami, Florida:  Miami offers the most non-stop flights to Nicaragua from the U.S., with up to five a day operated by American Airlines and Avianca Airlines. The flight lasts two and a half hours.

Atlanta, Georgia:  Delta Air Lines offers one daily non-stop flight to Managua, with a flight time of three hours and forty-five minutes.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida:  Spirit Airlines currently offers one daily non-stop flight from Florida to Managua, with a flight time of two hours and thirty-five minutes.

Houston, Texas:  United Airlines offers two daily non-stop flights to Managua, with a flight time of three hours and twenty minutes.

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Celebrate Nicaraguan Cigars at the Fourth Puro Sabor Festival

Cigars

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Cigar connoisseurs will find their slice of heaven in Nicaragua next month at the fourth annual Puro Sabor Festival, from January 14-17, 2015. Organized by the Nicaraguan Association of Tobacco Producers, this highly anticipated cigar festival attracts cigar enthusiasts, retailers and manufacturers from around the world. After a gala opening dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Managua, participants will gain insider access to cigar factories in Estelí, the hub of Nicaraguan cigar production, and will be guided as they navigate the region’s famous tobacco fields. A closing gala dinner will feature an auction, with benefits going to the preservation of the Estelí River Basin. All-inclusive tickets are priced at US$850 for single tickets; double ticket registrations are US$1,400. All tickets include airport transfers, festival transportation, hotel accommodations, meals and entertainment. For more information, visit nicaraguancigarfestival.com.

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How to Plan a Travel Budget

Surfing

Museum

Tour

Food

 

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In December, Nicaragua enjoys balmy, dry weather, providing perfect conditions for hiking, camping, surfing and outdoor activities. And even though December is high season in Nicaragua, the good news is that the cost of visiting Nicaragua is still well below that of neighboring Costa Rica. Typical expenses for visitors to consider when planning their travel budget:

  • Car rental: Private rental cars cost approximately US$80/day. The cost of gas is around US$4-5 per gallon.

  • Taxi rides: Taxis are an affordable and safe way to travel in Nicaragua. Licensed taxis have red plates with the driver’s ID above the dashboard, to help visitors distinguish them from pirate taxis, which can be more costly. Most taxi rides within city limits cost only US$1-4. A taxi ride from Managua to the international airport runs US$10-15.

    Taxi rides between cities are also available as an alternative to renting a car. For example, a taxi ride between Managua and León costs around US$40.

  • Activities: Popular activities such as hiking, surfing and volcano boarding cost from US$10-30. If visitors need to rent equipment, it is usually a few dollars more. A surf lesson costs around US$20, while a two-hour kayak rental is around US$35, leaving visitors with extra play money in their travel budgets.

  • Museum admission: Visitors can learn about the history and culture of Nicaragua at various museums for US$1-2.

  • Food: Dining is a great way to experience the culture of Nicaragua – and the price is right. At a Nicaraguan restaurant, a dish costs US$4 with an entire meal between US$10-15. Western meals usually cost more than Nicaraguan meals. Typical Nicaraguan street food, such as Nacatamales and Vigorón, are delicious snacks for under US$5.

  • Bus fare: Adventurous spirits can ride a Nicaraguan bus with locals. Bus rides run less than US$1 within cities and around US$3 between cities.

    In Managua, buses run every 10-15 minutes from 4:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the fare is only US$0.35. In San Juan del Sur, you can hop on a bus to Rivas for US$0.70, to southern beaches for US$1, and to northern beaches for US$2.50.

    Bus routes are also available between cities. The fastest express buses cost no more than US$3.30.

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Travel packages include:

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

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El Camino Travel Nicaragua with a Photographer” 9-day package – relax, discover, adventure

  • San Juan del Sur, Granada and Popoyo sightseeing
  • Surf and yoga classes
  • Catamaran tour
  • Beach time, fishing, cliff repelling, cigar-making tour and chocolate museum
  • Professional photographer to capture your vacation memories

Discover Latin America Nicaragua’s Natural Wonders” 9-day package – explore, culture, nature

  • San Juan del Sur, Matagalpa and Granada sightseeing
  • Ometepe Island
  • Mombacho Volcano
  • Northern Highlands: Selva Negra
  • Masaya artisan market
  • Hiking, horseback riding, surf lesson, sailing tour, beach time

International Expeditions The Natural Beauty of Nicaragua” 10-day package – history, nature, ecotourism

  • Granada, León, Managua and San Juan del Sur sightseeing
  • Boat ride at Lake Nicaragua
  • Masaya Volcano and artisan market
  • Montibelli Private Reserve, Juan Venado Island Reserve, La Flor Reserve and Selva Negra Private Reserve
  • Laguna de Apoyo
  • Nature exploration, boat ride, coffee plantation tour

Kensington Tours Nicaragua Discovery” 7-day package – culture, history, explore

  • Granada and León sightseeing
  • Leon Viejo ruins
  • Masaya Volcano and artisan market
  • Ometepe Island
  • Lake of Nicaragua

Sol International The Complete Nicaragua” 10-day package – nature, culture, history

  • Managua, Granada, León, Solentiname sightseeing
  • Biological Reserve Los Guatuzos, San Juan River and Indio Maiz Nature Reserve
  • Ometepe Island
  • Masaya Volcano
  • City tours, boat tour, hiking, museums

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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