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Special articles about Nicaragua "Land of Oportunity"

Nicaragua & Costa Rica - Promoting Tourism for One Helps Both

Mauricio Alfaro, co-owner of the 5 leaves for sustainable tourism website, Costa Rican Trails, announces the launch of his new brand website, Nicaraguan Trails, which will feature packages for both Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  Mauricio, a visionary tourism entrepreneur states, “we have found an intense interest in people planning to visit Costa Rica for an extended period of time, most notably the Europeans whose vacations are for one month, they want to experience other countries.”

“When they travel all the way to get to this side of the world, Europeans want to see as much as possible. Offering Nicaragua as an extension, gives added value to the Costa Rica experience, and overall, Nicaragua is not a competitor of Costa Rica as they offer different experiences and sites that we don’t have, like Granada and Leon.   We have found that by assuring the European traveler that they won’t run out of things to do and places to see actually brings Costa Rica more business, as they choose to stay here most of the time anyway.  We’re glad we decided to move into this sector.”

According to statistics, Nicaragua attracted more than 1 million tourists in 2011, about 2.8% more compared to 2010.  With extensive campaigns by the governmental tourism board, known as INTUR, included running ads on TripAdvisor and The New York Times, this has lead Nicaragua to experience an increasing arrival of US travelers and international travelers.

Years ago, the Costa Rican travel agencies started taking small vans with travelers back and forth across the border. Many were surprised and wanted to stay for more than a day.  Added Mauricio, “Curious travelers and wholesalers from Europe were gradually starting to ask for more authentic and different experiences beyond our borders, and that is how we began our sister company Panama Trails 5 years ago with a great response and constant growth, extending a travelers vacation time in Costa Rica, too. Now the picturesque landscape of Nicaragua with its white sandy beaches, cultural diversity and colonial cities are the perfect next step to keep offering new ‘trails’ to our guests”!

INTUR, and the first-hand knowledge and experiences of the staff at Nicaraguan Trails is changing the unsound perception of security problems within Nicaragua and spreading the word that it’s now a very different Central American destination. Professionals in the travel business claim tourism in Nicaragua is growing at about 15 percent every year.

Part of the reason might be the fact that visionaries like Nicaraguan Trails offer good value priced packages, lodging, transportation, and daily tours from Managua, Granada, Leon, Ometepe, and the San Juan River.  “The confidence of planning the holidays with an ICT approved agency lends credibility also to the European traveler and their travel agencies, who are responsible to their governments for assuring that their clients are safe and receive the accommodations promised.  Costa Rican Trails, Nicaraguan Trails and Panama Trails has the confidence of those agencies,” states Mauricio.

Hotels, barefoot luxury retreats, restaurants with all local corn-based flavors and bars are opening up mainly on the Southern Pacific coasts and around the colonial cities, like Granada. Older Spanish style buildings border the city’s center square and decorated horse drawn buggies can be hired for travel around downtown Granada. “The friendly posture of the Nicaraguan people toward tourists and the great weather from December to April are some of the comments often made to us,” says Mauricio.  “Outdoors lovers and naturalists can enjoy the off-the-beaten path villages with the inexpensive, safe and clean lodging options, all the way up to luxurious boutique hotels in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.  There is something for everyone!”
Note: Recently opened is Costa Rican Trails new luxury vacation packages and hotels in Nicaragua webiste. Check it out for the ultimate in deluxe Nicaraguan vacations!

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