Top Reasons to Choose Nicaragua for Your Next Vacation

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Nicaragua, with it’s charming colonial city of Granada, active volcanoes, and gorgeous Pacific waves is already popular among surfers.  This year, the government is aiming to spend $6.6 million on marketing for tourism.  Nicaragua is on the rise as an upscale hot-spot like Vietnam, Colombia, and Croatia that have also overcome turbulent histories.  Many people still associate the country with Ortega and the Sandinistas.  However, some 1.2 million tourists visited Nicaragua in 2012 (about a quarter of them from North America) up 51% since 2008.  The huge recent influx of tourists to Costa Rica has turned that hidden gem into a mainstream ecotourism hotspot, which has increased prices across the board.  Nicaragua is still a bargain hunter’s paradise, much like Costa Rica was a decade ago..  Today, in Costa Rica, visitors spend an average of $118 a day compared to an average of only $43 in Nicaragua.  It is a perfect destination for people who are looking for a sense of adventure and would make a nice add-on to a trip to Costa Rica.

Pool at Mukul Resort – photo courtesy at Mukul

In addition to government funded marketing efforts, private investment is prominent in developing the young tourism industry.  Nicaragua’s richest man, Don Carlos Pelas, is opening Nicaragua’s first luxury hotel next month on the Pacific coast.  Designer David Kidd and Kurtz-Ahlers Associates,  promoters of luxury properties worldwide, are working with Mr. Pelas to make Mukul a world-class resort.  Mukul will consist of  37 private rooms , each housed in it own private building with a deck or patio, many with nap-ready hammocks- and a private pool.  Each building has amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and has themes such as “healing hut” or “crystal temple energy”.  The resort cascades down a steep hillside to a long broad beach where sea turtles come from all over the Pacific to lay their eggs.

Mukul is part of a 1,670-acre project , called Guacalito de la Isla, that will eventually include 600 residences as well as a larger hotel.  To train employees, many who were unemployed or farmers in impoverished neighboring villages, Mukul built it’s own hotel school.  Guacalito de la Isla also built it’s own recycling center, partly to clean up the garbage strewn communities that previously lined the road leading to Mukul.

Nicaragua is blessed with extraordinary natural beauty such as it’s forested habitat that is home to over forty-two migratory songbird species which migrate there during our Winter.  Most coffee is still grown here in the same rustic way it has been since the Dutch introduced it to the New World in the late 1700s.  Shaded coffee farms such as Selva Negra coffee plantation, provide high quality habitats for our songbirds due to the absence of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.  Because there is more money in sun grown coffee farming, where forest is cut down and pesticides and fertilizers are used, these farmers feel pressure to follow their competition.  We can help motivate them to keep to their traditional environmentally friendly practices by paying them a premium for coffee that was shade grown in standing forest and bird habitat.  That is the idea behind Bird-Friendly coffee.  The problem is that Bird-Friendly coffee is hard to find in the stores, but is readily available from online coffee sellers like   Buying Bird-Friendly coffee is one of the best ways you can do your part to preserve wintering habitat for our migratory songbirds.

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