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Nicaragua eNewsletter July 2014
 
     
 
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Tourism Growth in 2014 and Beyond

More and more people are taking note of Nicaragua as a travel hot spot and the numbers are in to prove it. From January through May of this year, Nicaragua saw an 8.3 percent increase in foreign visitors over the same time period in 2013. North American tourists represented 25 percent of incoming tourists, and the country welcomed 37,000 visitors via cruise ships. With ongoing development by the government and private investors, touristic offerings will only continue to improve. This year saw new airports, port improvements and new properties open, all adding to the increase in visitation. Tourism overall this year is expected to surpass last year, with 1.31 million tourists expected by the end of 2014, a six percent increase over 2013.

Nicaragua eNewsletter July 2014

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Nicaragua Canal Project Approved

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Another development that is sure to increase interest is the recent announcement that the Nicaraguan Canal has been approved to move forward with development and set to be completed in five years. The Nicaraguan Canal will be larger than Panama Canal, allowing ships that can’t fit through the Panama Canal currently to pass. The 173-mile route will begin at Brito Port on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast and stretch to Punta Aguila Port on the Caribbean Coast. Larger developmental projects tied to the canal in the region include two ports linked by a railway, a free-trade area, tourism projects in San Lorenzo, and an airport in the city of Rivas. This new and exciting development will bring with it a plethora of opportunities and interest for tourism in the future.

Canal

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New Flight from Miami to Managua

Avianca

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Avianca has added a new daily direct flight from Miami to Managua, making getting to Nicaragua even more convenient. As of this month, the airline will provide a second daily direct flight from Miami to Nicaragua’s capital city; the new flight will run on an alternative schedule to provide more travel options between the two destinations. The existing flight departs Miami at 4:07pm and arrives in Managua at 4:45pm; the return is from 10:22am in Managua, landing at 2:51pm in Miami. The new flight will depart Managua at 10:20pm and arrive in Miami at 2:49am. The return flight will depart Miami at 5:15am and arrive in Managua at 5:53am. The new flight will be served by an Airbus A320 with capacity for 150 passengers, 12 in business class and 138 in economy.

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Wellness and Wonder in Nicaragua

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With its volcanoes, lakes and incredible varied landscapes, Nicaragua has long been a destination for adventure travelers. But its nature and tranquil surroundings are also ideal for wellness-seeking travelers. Recently, new hotels and resorts focusing on spa, yoga and healthy living experiences have shined a spotlight on Nicaragua as a wellness destination. Travelers are taking advantage of the beaches, lakes, abundant fresh produce, and lush surroundings in Nicaragua for retreats that focus on well-being while on vacation. Following are key destinations in Nicaragua that wellness aficionados – or those clients for whom you’re planning a corporate retreat – will not want to miss:

The Corn Islands and Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa 
Travelers looking to get away and unplug must not miss a trip to the remote Corn Islands. Once a refuge for pirates, Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island are now a secret hideaway for many Nicaraguans – and now, North American tourists. White-sand beaches, swaying coconut palms and the clear turquoise waters of the Corn Islands are no longer a secret. Little Corn, which can only be reached by small boat, maintains its charm by not allowing motorized vehicles on the island.

Yemaya

In November 2013, Little Corn Island welcomed the new wellness resort, Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa. The beachside resort caters to wellness enthusiasts who seek out tranquility and natural surroundings. With a focus on yoga and wellness, the property hosts retreats and offers a range of activities including meditation, yoga, pilates and fitness classes. A large yoga deck facing the peaceful blue waters of the Caribbean is a highlight for guests. The spa, located in a lush jungle setting, and the organic garden that supplies the resort’s kitchen, round out the hotel’s offerings.

Yemaya

Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Relaxation and wellness are easily within reach within Nicaragua’s west coast “Tourism Triangle” at Jicaro Island Ecolodge. Located on a private island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and just a short boat ride from the colonial town of Granada, Jicaro is a serene alternative to the bustle of the nearby historic city. The ecolodge is comprised of nine private two-story casitas, many with a glorious view of the lake and nearby Mombacho Volcano. Jicaro offers year-round yoga and wellness retreats that combine exceptional yoga experiences with opportunities to learn about the destination and its culture. The wellness center at Jicaro, overlooking the lake, features two open-air rooms and private showers for spa treatments. A highlight at Jicaro is the floating yoga deck, reached by boat, a serene location where guests can enjoy sunrise yoga, afternoon meditation and sunset dinners. 

Jicaro

El Coco Loco Resort
El Coco Loco Resort, a community focused eco-resort in northern Nicaragua, offers guests a very special travel experience. El Coco Loco Resort works to improve the quality of life of the local community through education programs, development and volunteer efforts. After giving back, guests can nurture themselves with yoga retreats, private classes and a teacher-in-training program. Guests can also take up surfing at all levels as the resort is home to Surf with Amigas retreats, run by American pro surfer Holly Beck. Accommodations include five palm-thatch cabanas on the main property and three boutique rooms in the new beach house.

Coco

Aqua Wellness Resort
Nestled among the treetops and overlooking a private white-sand beach along Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast is Aqua Wellness Resort. The Rainforest Alliance-verified resort maximizes its natural surroundings with tree-top villas, where guests encounter a variety of flora and fauna, monkeys, birds and butterflies. Additionally, Aqua is on a turtle-nesting beach that affords frequent sightings. Aqua also offers daily yoga on the elevated, open-air platform overlooking the stunning private beach and The Aqua Spa, with treatments that draw inspiration from Nicaragua’s natural resources, including local fruit and cacao.

Aqua

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Travel Packages for a Relaxed Nicaraguan Retreat:



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Albee Adventures “Nicaragua...The Hidden Gem” 8-day Package – Relaxation and romance

  • Granada, Cocibolca Lake, and Masaya Volcano and Pueblos Blancos
  • Fishing, boat rides, biking, sunset dinners, surf lessons, beach picnics, spa treatments
  • Jicaro Ecolodge and Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa accommodations

Holidays for Humanity “Barefoot Luxury in Nicaragua” Package – Relaxation and light-adventures

  • Morgan’s Rock accommodations
  • Local trips to Managua and San Juan del Sur
  • Fishing, zip-lining, horseback riding, jungle hikes

Yampu Tours “Jicaro Ecolodge” 4-day Package

  • Jicaro Ecolodge accommodations
  • Local trips to Granada and Mombacho Volcano
  • Yoga, spa, hot springs, spa, zip-lining, horseback riding

Jaguar Journeys “Aqua or Pelican Eyes” 6-day Packages

  • Aqua Wellness Resort or Pelican Eyes Resort & Spa accommodations
  • Customizable itineraries
  • Spa, yoga, wellness, relaxation

Nicaragua Vacations “Simple Pleasures” 8-day Package

  • Pelican Eyes accommodations
  • San Juan del Sur
  • Beach or poolside relaxing, surfing, fishing

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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