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Nicaragua eNewsletter July 2012
 
     
spacer Featured Destination: Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast &
Corn Islands

When adventurous travelers consider a visit to Nicaragua, they picture themselves surfing pristine Pacific coast beaches, ash-boarding down the black-sand slopes of Cerro Negro Volcano and strolling past the colorful Spanish Colonial buildings in Granada. But those attractions are all in western Nicaragua. For true adventure, they might consider hopping a flight from the capital city of Managua to Nicaragua’s eastern coast, which has all the natural beauty, food and music of a Caribbean island. That is, of a Caribbean island 50 years ago, before high-rise hotels and cruise ships brought in hordes of tourists.

Corn Island

Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast is wild, untouched and pulsing to a reggae beat. Tourists may find themselves stumbling into colorful parades in the town of Bluefields, joining reggae and calypso jam sessions in remote villages or diving for their lobster dinner in the clear blue water off of the Corn Islands.

While Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua, on the Caribbean coast and in the Corn Islands, many people speak English, a remnant from when the British had outposts here. Costeño food is different from the corn-tortilla-based food on Nicaragua’s west coast. One of the area’s most popular dishes is rondon, a savory coconut-based soup that can feature beef, pork, or chicken, alongside a variety of starchy foods such as cassava and green plantains. When they serve rondon with seafood, they call the dish “Drop Drawers.” Coconut bread is used for everything, from morning toast to hamburger buns, and street vendors hawk the delicious likes of pati (a spicy beef pastie), and cinnamon and pineapple rolls.

For a budget-friendly, laid-back beach holiday, the Corn Islands are hard to beat. Fifty miles northeast of Bluefields, the two Corn Islands – Big Corn and Little Corn – boast exotic fruit and palm trees, white-sugar sand beaches and rustic-to-three-star lodgings right on the beach. Since the Corn Islands were a haven for pirates and buccaneers in the 17th century, divers and snorkelers can explore shipwrecks that lay scattered along the offshore reefs. Even further off the beaten track for the adventurous are the Pearl Keys, a chain of largely uninhabited islands just off the coast, whose waters are terrific for fishing. To sample the sounds of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, try Googling Bluefields’ “maypole music,” a tropical calypso groove with spicy lyrics and dance moves.

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  Featured Specials  
 

Coast to Coast

Travel Specials

Experience two different coasts, and two completely different vibes, of the same country. You will see the Corn Islands in the Caribbean and then you will head to the pristine beaches of Punta Teonoste on the Pacific side to surf, swim and relax.
Nicaragua Vacations

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Nicaragua's "Green Season" brings savings

Green Season   Enjoy Nicaragua’s tropical landscape and cooler climate during the country’s “Green Season” (June-October), by taking advantage of travel specials offered on www.visitnicaragua.us/travel-specials, including:

Solar Tours’ “Colonial Nicaragua”: Tour the country’s most culturally rich cities.
Seven-day package from $1,278/person

  • Spanish Colonial-influenced city of Granada
  • Popular beach and surfing town of San Juan Del Sur
  • Capital city of Managua

General Tours’ “Freestyle Travel”: For the traveler looking for a quick getaway – a stay in Granada, Nicaragua’s most popular tourist destination and the gateway to adventure tourism, ecotourism, birdwatching and more.
Three-day package from $759/person

  • Three nights in Granada
  • Privately guided city tour
  • Cruise on Lake Nicaragua
  • Excursion to Masaya Volcano National Park where visitors may hike (day or night) to the top of this active volcano

LaTour’s “Best of Nicaragua” by Private Car: A more personalized travel package.
Nine-day package from $3,176/person

  • Private car chauffeurs travelers for entire stay
  • Sightseeing in Managua and Granada
  • Ash-boarding on the Cerro Negro – “Black Hill”
  • Visiting the ruins of Old León (Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO)
  • Masaya and Mombacho volcano tours
  • Cruise on Lake Nicaragua

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Packing tips for Nicaragua during "Green Season"

Packing spacer The knack to pack efficiently for multiple climates and activities is a feat unto itself. Nicaragua’s “Green Season” can bring the same necessity for apt packing, with weather variations ranging from 80 degree Fahrenheit sunshine to cooling tropical afternoon showers. Activities range from surfing in some of the world’s best surf spots to strolling through a rain forest to zip-lining and hiking the country’s famed cloud forests. With all of these varieties in mind, the following packing tips should aid a traveler bound for Nicaragua from now through October:
  • Err on the side of “light” – regarding clothes (think 100% cotton) and luggage. 
  • Be sure to bring:
    • Day pack / backpack with waterproof cover
    • Light poncho / raincoat
    • Hiking boots
    • Sandals
    • Moist towelettes
    • Bug spray
    • Fold-up umbrella
    • Hat and sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Swim suit
    • Ziplock bags in various sizes
    • Compass – or smart phone with GPS

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Surfing in Nicaragua

Surf spacer With the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship on now through July 22, 2012, the world will be introduced to Central America’s hottest surfing spot. Although Nicaragua’s popular Colorado Beach will be the competition’s home for a week, surfers have long been privy to some of the most exciting surf Nicaragua has to offer along its Pacific Coast. www.Nicaraguasurfreport.com considers the following beaches among the stop surfing locations in Nicaragua:
  • Playa Hermosa: One of the best-kept secrets south of San Juan Del Sur, this beach is more than 1 mile long and accessible only by boat.
  • Playa Colorado: Home to the ISA Masters Championship, accessed either by staying at Hacienda Iguana (a private beach and golf resort) or by boat.
  • Aschunchillo: Located in Central Nicaragua, just outside of the offshore wind corridor and 1 hour from the international airport in Managua. 
  • Astillero Beach Break: Known for its hollow waves and lack of crowds; located in front of a river mouth.
  • Playgrounds: Fun for long board and short board surfers alike. Only accessible by boat.

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Learn how to surf along Nicaragua's pristine Pacific Coast

Surf spacer For those travelers who have always wanted to “hit the waves,” but have never had a proper lesson, Nicaragua offers a bevy of surfing school options for both females and males of all ages. The options below offer the ultimate surfing experience for all learning styles and preferences:
  • Chicabrava Surf Camp: All-female surf camp created by the 6-time National Nicaraguan Surf Champ Ashley Blaylock in 2003. Chicabrava is designed to accommodate varying experience levels, tailoring lessons to each person’s level.

  • Nicaragua Surf Report Surf School: Nicaragua’s first surf school, located in the country’s premiere coastal resort town, San Juan Del Sur. The school caters to beginner and intermediate surfers, and promises an unforgettable surfing adventure.

  • Dale Dagger Surf Tours Nicaragua: An all-inclusive surf lodge catering to intermediate and advanced surfers who want the optimal surf experience. Open to catering to the beginner surfer, but requires advance notice. Offers unlimited boat trips for students and seasoned knowledge on the tides, swell directions, breaks and what works best and when.  

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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