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Nicaragua eNewsletter July 2013
 
     
spacer Emergency Line for Tourists

Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in Central America, but in the case that something happens while a tourist is visiting the destination, there is immediate help available. The Nicaraguan Tourism Board has launched a free emergency number to provide assistance to all tourists visiting Nicaragua. Tourists can dial “101” if they need immediate attention because of an accident, loss of travel documents, or any other situation that requires immediate response.

The 101 number is available 24 hours a day and will be answered by a bilingual touristic police officer who will assess the situation. The traveler’s details will then be forwarded to the Nicaraguan Tourism Board and local police department.

Safe

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Nicaragua – An Adventurer's Paradise

Adventure spacer Nicaragua offers adventure-seeking travelers the best of sea and land excursions. From crystal-blue oceans full of marine life and top-tier waves for surfing to tropical rainforests and volcanoes for sandboarding, Central America’s newest “hot spot” travel destination is quickly becoming the go-to destination for thrilling travel of all levels.

To know where to go for exciting journeys in Nicaragua, one must first have an idea of the country’s geography. Below is a quick snapshot of what to expect:

Surf

The Pacific Coast: Surfing, beaches, hiking, snorkeling, kayaking
Known for its A-grade surf, Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast is also popular for hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling, fishing and other sea adventures. The lush forests and beautiful beaches in beach towns like San Juan Del Sur entice travelers to enjoy nature treks, zip-lining, rappelling and horseback riding.

Caribbean

The Caribbean Coast: Tropical paradise, scuba diving, trekking, snorkeling
Nicaragua’s east coast delivers a Caribbean flare that invites travelers to enjoy a unique mixture of cultures, cuisine and adventure. Creole-English is the predominant language thanks to English settlers centuries ago. The food on this side of Nicaragua differs from that of the Pacific coast. While the cuisine on Nicaragua’s west coast is based on corn, the Caribbean region’s Costeña cuisine emphasizes coconut. The Corn Islands were once a haven for pirates and buccaneers in the 17th century, leaving behind shipwrecked boats along the coastal reefs for scuba divers and snorkelers to explore today. For travelers seeking off-the-beaten path activity, the Pearl Keys – a chain of largely uninhabited islands off the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua – present a fun and enticing excursion.

Volcano

The Volcanoes: Hiking, sandboarding, swimming in crater lakes
There is a reason why Nicaragua is referred to as “the land of lakes and volcanoes.” The country’s 25 volcanoes, eight of which are active, are as diverse in environment as they are in size. Travelers seeking “something new” will get their fill with the following options:

  • Maderas Volcano: This inactive volcano is located on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake. A hike to the summit of Maderas takes three to four hours, taking travelers through a cloud forest on the way to the top. Once at the summit, hikers may swim in a misty and cold crater lake.

  • Concepcion Volcano: A hike up the forested mountainside of the volcano, the second highest in the country, is difficult but exciting. This volcano is also on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, but is active.

  • Cerro Negro: Hike up the volcano’s gravel-like ash and ashboard down. This is one of the newest volcanoes in Nicaragua and is located in the Cordillera de los Maribios mountain range in Nicaragua. Cerro Negro has a dark and gravelly cinder cone that is often referred to as the Black Hill.

  • Masaya Volcano: Close to the cities of Managua and Granada, Masaya is located at the Masaya Volcano National Park. It is still active, so you can’t hike it, but you can tour its lava tubes and bat caves.

  • Apoyo Volcano: This volcano contains the Apoyo Crater Lake, the largest of Nicaragua’s crater lakes. The crater’s interior is a nature reserve. Here, travelers may climb down from the summit to the lake for a refreshing swim.

  • Momotombo Volcano: Visitors can enjoy picturesque hikes on one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful volcanoes. It is still active and is located on the southern tip of the Maribios Range. San Cristobal Volcano: A very strenuous hike – only for very active hikers – this volcano is active and located just outside the city of Chinandega.

  • Coslguina Volcano: Hike through the forest reserve and view the crater lake at the bottom of the volcano. Located in Chinandega.

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Adventure Sports

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In addition to the natural experiences offered by Nicaragua’s geography, the country’s growing tourism industry has increased its adventure offerings:

Aracne Rappelling Tours: This company offers excursions that include air, land and water, all in one outing. After a short hike, travelers are geared up and given instruction for their vertical descent down a 300-foot oceanfront cliff. From there, they exchange their helmet for a life vest, take a short swim to the boat that takes them on a cruise along the Pacific Coast before returning back to town. http://www.aracnerappel.com

Although not as unique as ashboarding down a volcano, riding a horse on the beach is certainly an exhilarating experience. Rancho Chilamate Horseback Adventures, just south of San Juan del Sur, offers intimate excursions for small groups of riders. Tours begin at the ranch house, where visitors are geared up with cowboy hats and boots; they ride through the rural community, over hills and down river beds, to the secluded beach, where “Survivor-Nicaragua” was filmed. www.ranchochilamate.com

The Surf Ranch, Nicaragua’s first and only extreme-sports resort, located just outside San Juan del Sur, offers adrenaline-pumping activity. In addition to kite surfing, rock climbing, wakeboarding, mountain biking, scuba diving and surfing, guests can enjoy Jungle Paintball, a 6,000 square foot skateboard park, and an Airbag Drop from a 20-foot tower. The Surf Ranch is open to day guests, and offers casitas and rooms for overnight guests. www.surfranchnicaragua.com

A few travel packages that offer adventure-centric excursions include:

Global Adrenaline “Nicaragua Adventure” 8-day package: Extreme sports meet relaxing afternoons

  • Colonial cities of Granada and Leon
  • Montibelli Private Nature Reserve
  • Sandboarding down Cerro Negro Volcano
  • Mombacho Volcano
  • Tour coffee plantation
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Masaya Market

Latin America Collection “A Taste of Adventure in Nicaragua” 7-day package: Sports, adrenaline, culture

  • Colonial cities of Leon and Granada
  • Night hikes
  • Sandboarding down Cerro Negro
  • Masaya Volcano National Park
  • 4x4 riding to Mombacho Volcano
  • Canopy tour
  • Biking, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing

Austin-Lehman Adventures “Nicaragua / Granada to San Juan del Sur” 8-day package: Exploring, adventure, relaxing

  • Colonial city of Granada
  • Swim in “Ojo de Agua” natural springs on Ometepe Island
  • Masaya Volcano National Park
  • Kayaking, ziplining
  • Lake Nicaragua
  • San Juan del Sur

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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