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Nicaragua eNewsletter January 2013
 
     
spacer "Today Show" and The New York Times Name Nicaragua as Top Destination for 2013

Nicaragua is beginning the New Year in the spotlight, thanks to major television shows and newspapers. On New Year’s Day, the “Today Show,” the popular NBC morning show, announced Nicaragua as one of the top destinations to visit in 2013. The New York Times, the U.S.’ leading newspaper, also listed Nicaragua as a hot destination, placing it at #3 in its list of “The 46 Places to Go in 2013.”

Top Destination

Here’s what The New York Times had to say about Nicaragua:

“It’s eco! And the food is good! Enough said.

.... At first, only travel writers took note; over the past several years, various publications have declared the country the next great destination. However, if the booming eco-lodge business is any indication, Nicaragua’s moment might finally have arrived. In and around the coastal towns of San Juan del Sur and Maderas, new lodges like the Aqua Wellness Resort, the high-end (and soon-to-open) Mukul Resort and Jicaro Island Eco-Lodge are cropping up near old-time eco-lodges, like Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Eco-Lodge. The food scene is getting a high-end makeover as well, with top chefs opening restaurants. The most exciting ones — El Segundo, La Casserole, Ciudad Lounge and La Finca y El Mar — are proof that Nicaragua is becoming an impressive food destination in its own right. DANIELLE PERGAMENT”

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Nicaragua – Best Place to Retire on a Budget

Retire spacer Nicaragua was touted as the number one retirement destination for 2013, where a couple can live comfortably on $995 a month, according to International Living, a magazine and website featuring information on where Americans can retire abroad on a budget.

Retire

More than 200 editors and contributors to the magazine, all of whom have retired abroad, were surveyed to establish which country offered the best quality of life at a lower price and the choice was the land of lakes and volcanoes – Nicaragua! Other countries who made the list were Malaysia, Ecuador and Panama, but Nicaragua topped the chart with its comfortable living at a lower cost, without sacrificing the quality of life that U.S. and Canadian citizens are used to.

Some of the incentives for retiring to Nicaraguan (according to Decree Number 628, the “Law of Resident Pensioners and Retirees”) include:

  • No taxes on any out-of-country earnings.
  • The ability to bring up to $10,000 worth of household goods for a retiree's own home, duty-free;
  • The import of one car for personal or general use without import tax or protective tariff; After five years, the car can be sold again exempt from consumer sales tax;
  • The import of an additional vehicle every five years under the same tax exemptions; and
  • Foreigners are eligible for benefits if he/she is over 45 years of age and has a monthly income of at least $400 (an additional $100 for each dependent family member in Nicaragua).

Beyond tax breaks for retirees, good health care, a low cost of living, and fresh, organic food widely available, some of the draws to Nicaragua include its breathtakingly beautiful pristine beaches, abundant lakes, mesmerizing volcanoes, tropical jungles and wildlife. The more popular retirement destinations in the country include:

San Juan del Sur: A popular beach town and fishing village where many expats reside. A variety of activities are offered in the town of San Juan del Sur and its surrounding areas. In addition to a crescent bay lined with laidback restaurants and beachside bars, San Juan del Sur offers a slow-paced, tranquil setting; fresh seafood; and charming residential communities.

Granada: Considered to be one of the loveliest colonial cities in Latin America, Granada is known for its charm, Spanish colonial architecture, red-tiled roofs and grand cathedrals. Located along the shore of Lake Nicaragua, this city – the oldest city in Central America to remain at its original site – was founded in 1524 and is considered a popular travel destination for both expats and locals alike. Foreigners enjoy great housing bargains, a city steeped in history and things to see and do, and the easygoing lifestyle.

For more information on retiring to Nicaragua, go to www.VisitNicaragua.us/retirement.

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Nicaragua is Preparing for a Great Year in Tourism

Great Year in Tourism   Central America’s safest country and next “hot spot” destination anticipates another exciting year for tourism. As one of the country’s largest industries, Nicaragua’s tourism segment is gearing up for even more continued growth. A few ways Nicaragua is preparing:
  • Cruise lines: Nicaragua will be investing $3.5 million in improvements to the beach town of San Juan del Sur’s port to encourage additional cruise lines to dock there;
  • First luxury resort: High-end Mukul Resort & Spa will open February 1, 2013, bringing to Nicaragua a new wave of luxury vacationers;
  • Growth in business: Adrenaline-driven touristic businesses that offer rappelling, surfing and ashboarding are growing. More trips to cultural and ecological sites such as old León – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, and the Ometepe Islands are being offered. Leisure activates including horseback riding, snorkeling and fishing are also increasing in abundance.

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Things to Know Before a Visit to Nicaragua:

Things to Know   When sending clients to Nicaragua (or traveling there yourself!), there are some key pieces of information that you’ll want to know and convey to your travelers. Here are a few tips for travel to Nicaragua:

Things to Know

  • Visa requirements: All visitors need a passport valid for at least six months from the departure date to enter Nicaragua. U.S. citizens do not need a visa, but must pay a $10 entrance fee.
  • Airports: Nicaragua is home to Managua International Airport (MGA) and five domestic airports: Bluefields, Greytown, La Paloma, Puerto Cabezas and Corn Island. Granada also has a small regional airport that services flights from Costa Rica.
  • Getting around: Getting around can be easy, enjoyable and safe. According to statistics by Interpol and the United Nations, Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America. Colonial cities such as León and Granada are walkable. Major rental car companies are located at the airport and other popular destinations. Visitors may use a driver’s license for 30 days after entering the country. Inter-city busses and taxis are also plentiful.
  • Language: Spanish is the official language, but many Nicaraguans speak English.
  • Currency: Córdoba (C). Most establishments will accept U.S. dollars. Major credit cards are typically accepted in hotels, restaurants and stores.
  • Water: Tap water in Managua is considered safe to drink. Outside of the capital, bottled water is advised
  • Tipping: Airport/hotel baggage handlers: US $1.00 per bag is acceptable. For restaurants and other services, 10-15% of value of service is customary but not obligatory.

With this information in hand, you and your clients can enjoy a wonderful trip to Nicaragua. Happy travels!

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The 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