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Nicaragua eNewsletter February 2015
 
     
 
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New Flight Options from LAX and DFW to Managua


Airlines

Responding to increased demand from travelers throughout the U.S., Delta and American Airlines have announced new direct routes to Nicaragua. These new flights join Spirit Airlines' new service from Houston, which begins on May 28, 2015, to make travel to Nicaragua more accessible than ever.

  • Delta Airlines will offer travelers the West Coast’s first non-stop service starting June 5. Travelers will be able to fly direct from Los Angeles on this seasonal flight that departs LAX Thursday night on a red-eye and returns Saturday morning. The non-stop LAX-MGA flight will take 5 hours and 30 minutes.

  • American Airlines’ new direct flight from Dallas/Fort Worth will begin June 6. A first for Dallas, these new weekly flights will depart from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Saturdays and from Managua on Sundays. The non-stop DFW-MGA flight will take approximately 4 hours.

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Nicaragua’s National Parks, Nature Reserves and Eco-Tourism Hot-Spots

Nicaragua

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

 

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With nearly 4.9 million acres of the country’s natural environment designated as protected areas in the forms of national parks, nature reserves and wildlife refuges, Nicaragua is a favorite destination for eco- and nature-lovers. Below are some of Nicaragua’s national parks and nature reserves of note. While there are many more for your clients to discover, here are a just a few of these easily accessible and eco-centric sites in Nicaragua that are not to be missed:

National Parks and Nature Reserves

  • Indio Maiz Biological Reserve – Located in the southeast region of Nicaragua near the mighty San Juan River, the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve is one of the best preserved and unexplored reserves in the country. The 640,000-acre gem is the biggest lowland tropical rainforest in Nicaragua. It consists of mangrove estuaries, lagoons and winding waterways. The reserve is home to a large variety of rainforest fauna including howler monkeys, pumas, jaguars, poison dart frogs, royal tarpons, bull sharks and hundreds of varieties of beautifully colored birds including the rare “Royal Fly Catcher.” Two areas of the reserve are open to the public for day trips, and can be accessed from El Castillo and San Juan del Norte.

  • Masaya National Park – One of the most visited national parks in Central America, Masaya National Park offers a rare chance for visitors to peer directly into the edge of a steaming volcanic crater. Masaya is especially convenient for your clients who may want to experience a live volcano without too much effort, as the crater is accessible by car or bus.

  • Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve – Perched above Mombacho Volcano, the Mombacho Cloud Forest Reserve is a 2,500-acre protected area with stunning flora and fauna that flourish in the high-elevation and misty surroundings. Visitors will find amazing colored orchids and bromeliads, and more than 800 species of plants and hundreds of wildlife species, including the crimson-breasted, emerald-plumed quetzal, Mombacho butterfly and Mombacho salamander. Well-maintained hiking trails offer great views of Granada and the archipelago of Las Isletas down below on cloudless days.

  • Zapatera National Park – Located in Lake Nicaragua and accessible from Granada by boat, Zapatera National Park offers a pristine archaeological sanctuary with alternating humid to dry eco-systems. Culture enthusiasts will enjoy the numerous petroglyphs and ceremonial sites carved in pre-Colombian times by the ancient Chorotega and Niquirano cultures, while nature-lovers will relish the pristine hiking trails, crater lakes and fishing.

Additional Eco-Tourism Hot Spots

With more than 70 different eco-systems, 26 volcanoes and seven percent of the world’s bio-diversity, Nicaragua is one of the best places to explore Mother Nature’s bounty. Many visitors incorporate stops with eco-touristic and nature focuses on their itineraries between their beach time and cultural exploration. Here are a few of Nicaragua’s eco hot spots:

  • Chacocente and La Flor Sanctuaries – Famous for their massive turtle spawning grounds, these two sanctuaries offer visitors the opportunity to take in the majestic sight of thousands of turtles nesting. Most commonly seen is the Paslama turtle, while the gigantic Tora turtle also occasionally nests here.

  • El Chocoyero – El Brujo – A short 36-minute drive from Managua is the Chocoyero – El Brujo Protected Area where nature lovers will find the notable chocoyo, also known as the Pacific parakeet or Nicaraguan green conure. Endemic to the protected area, more than 800 chocoyos nest along the cliffs next to a cascade, alongside toucans, deer, agouti, hummingbirds and howler monkeys.

  • Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve – This important wetland reserve features a nesting site for sea turtles as well as an estuary and mangroves for water fowl, iguanas, crocodiles and caimans. The coastal reserve is located near León and can be explored by motorboat or kayak.

  • Cosigüina Volcano – Known for sightings of the rare and colorful Lapa Roja macaw, this natural reserve is located in the upper northwestern corner of Nicaragua and attracts hikers and wildlife observers to its steep vertical cliffs above the Gulf of Fonseca. Visitors have access to 172 species of wildlife and views of an impressive crater lake via a three-hour long hiking trail and a longer eight-hour hiking route.

  • Padre Ramos Estuary Natural Reserve – One of the best-conserved mangrove swamps on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, visitors can meander via kayak through this large mangrove estuary with numerous inlets and lagoons. Compared with other reserves, Padre Ramos has relatively fewer visitors making it a true nature-lover’s paradise. The area is home to extraordinary natural beauty, as well as numerous species of migratory and resident birds, fishes, crustaceans, sea turtles and other wildlife.

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Birdwatching in Nicaragua

Birds

Birds

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Nicaragua is a bird-watcher’s haven, with more than 700 species throughout the country; some of these species live in Nicaragua year-round while others visit seasonally, escaping the winter blast from North America. Nicarargua’s nature reserves, including the swamps at Cosigüina Volcano as well as the Rio Istián Estuary on Ometepe Island, offer incredible birding opportunities for novices to expert bird-watchers alike.

Birds

One of the best spots for bird watching in Nicaragua is the Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge, located on the western shores of the San Juan River and the southern side of Lake Nicaragua. The pristine area is home to a wide range of aquatic birds, including the beautiful roseate spoonbill and several kingfisher species. The refuge also offers fantastic wildlife viewing of monkeys, sloths, caiman, iguanas and agouti via boat.

For a forest setting, the Montibelli Nature Reserve in Managua is a favorite spot among bird lovers, with turquoise-browed motmots, long-tailed manikins, hummingbirds and trogons. A wide variety of butterflies are also present during certain times of the year.

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Here are some well-rounded travel packages to Nicaragua:

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Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

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Discover Latin America Nicaragua's Natural Wonders” 9-day package – nature, beaches, adrenaline
  • La Flor Wildlife Refuge
  • San Juan del Sur
  • Ometepe Island and Maderas Volcano
  • Colonial city Granada sightseeing
  • Mombacho Volcano
  • Masaya market
  • Selva Negra and coffee farm
  • Surf lesson, beach, horseback riding, kayak tour, mountain biking, hiking
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Nicaragua Vacations Nature's Bounty 8-day package – nature, peace, eco-travel
  • Morgan’s Rock beachfront eco-lodge
  • Optional sightseeing
  • Beach, surf lessons, kayak, hiking, yoga
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Tico Travel Rio San Juan” 4-day package – explore, nature, relax
  • Coastal San Fernando Island and Rio San Juan
  • Indio-Maiz Reserve and El Castillo
  • Los Guatuzos Reserve
  • Boating, hiking
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TripMasters.com Colonial Granada and Ometepe Island” 6-day package – nature, culture, adventure
  • Colonial city of Granada
  • Mombacho Volcano and Masaya Volcano
  • Ometepe Island
  • Lake Nicaragua
  • Boat ride, museums, hiking
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Wildland Adventures Nicaragua Adventure Tour” 9-day package – explore, culture, nature
  • Colonial cities of Leon and Granada sightseeing
  • Coastal rainforest
  • Lake Nicaragua
  • Cerro Negro

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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