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Nicaragua Travel News: March 2020

As we follow UK Government regulations and WHO advice, and fully support the UNWTO’s Stay Home Today, #TravelTomorrow campaign, we’re also working with our friends in the travel industry and media to get through these difficult times. In this spirit, we wish to invite all travel-lovers to immerse themselves in visual, audio, audiovisual and written experiences, through virtual and armchair travel, to discover our country, our unique nature, culture and gastronomy, to inspire all the senses and bring a little bit of Nicaragua to their home, to dream and plan today so they can visit when the time is right.

volcano-masaya

Nicaragua, known as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.

Nicaragua has 23 of these (19 of which are active, the second highest number in the world), and provides unparalleled opportunities for immersive virtual travel experiences, including a journey into Masaya, the world’s only digital volcano, created by General Electric with the Government of Nicaragua, which takes you into the depths of this spectacular crater and lava lake (one of the only  five in the world). There’s also breathtaking audiovisual content of Cerro Negro, Momotombo, Mombacho, and many more volcanoes, which we invite the trade and media to share with customers and readers.

#WorldEarthDay has a special meaning for Nicaragua.

#WorldEarthDay has a special meaning for Nicaragua, a land of incredible natural wonders  home to 7% of the world’s biodiversity, much of it endemic to our natural territory, including a plethora of beautiful species of birds, mammals, primates, fish, reptiles, insects and flora, which are fundamental to our way of life and the sustainable development of our tourism industry. It is also our joint responsibility to safeguard this natural patrimony of humanity, vital to all life on Earth, including humans, especially the indigenous communities whose land, language and autonomy rights are protected by law in Nicaragua, and who are socially engaged to welcoming responsible travellers whilst protecting their ways of life, in harmony with Nature.

“Green is the perfect adjective for Nicaragua. Not only does it apply to the country’s lush jungles but also to the raft of responsible measures Nicaragua has introduced to make sure that its areas of pristine and natural beauty stay protected for generations to come.”

Now is the perfect time to enjoy a virtual tour of Nicaragua's Masaya Volcano, the only digital volcano in the world!

A group of amazing scientists at General Electric have put together an immersive online volcanic expedition, in partnership with Qwake and the Nicaraguan Government, using ziplines, body cameras, drone and other footage, which allows amazing views deep into the volcano and fascinating insights into the nature of volcanoes and their vital importance in forming our planet – as well as the need to better understand and predict their activity to save lives and protect the world from the potential consequences of major eruptions – which this project is a milestone towards achieving.

Live look at volcano lava lake in Nicaragua l ABC News

If that whetted your appetite, this video from Good Morning America, in partnership with National Geographic, also provides a fantastic and bite-sized look at the awe-inspiring natural beauty and power of Masaya, as well as the precautions which should be taken, as part of its Extraordinary Earth series, leading up to World Earth Day on April 22nd, which featured extensive coverage of Nicaragua.

Cerro Negro is Central America’s youngest volcano, dating only to 1850.

Its last eruption in 1999 left its slopes covered in ash and therefore ideal for exciting volcano boarding – which you can experience virtually in this video filmed in first person via GoPro, which also includes great shots of the beautiful drive there and trek up. The lack of any trees  or vegetation due to the eruption also makes a for a stunning and stark sight, and allows for breathtaking views, including of the other volcanos in the same chain, including Telica and San Cristobal. There are also opportunities for Canopy, with the required equipment available to hire at the Cerro Negro Visitor Centre.

Momotombo Volcano

Another must watch for those fascinated with the primordial power of volcanoes is this video of the eruption in 2015 of Momotombo, a symmetrical stratovolcano overlooking Lake Managua. There are many other videos available of this spectacular event. Momotombo is an enduring cultural as well as natural icon, and was immortalised in the eponymous poem (in Spanish) by Rubén Darío, Nicaragua’s national poet and the Father of Modernism in the Spanish Language. Through its activity, the volcano has even “given birth” to an island at its base, officially called Isla de Momotombo but often known affectionately as “The Child”.

Mirador-volcan-Mombacho

No tour - real or virtual - of Nicaragua's volcanoes would be complete without Mombacho Volcano.

Overlooking Granada and located in the Mombacho Natural Reserve, in the words of Lonely Planet:

“This looming 1345m volcano is the defining feature of the Granada skyline. It has thriving rural communities, coffee farms and cooperatives along its foothills, and the volcano’s slopes, covered in ferns and cloud forest, are home to howler monkeys, dozens of bird species, and many of Nicaragua’s shy mammals, including the jaguarundi.” 

This video also gives a great feel of the joyful experience of visiting Nicaragua in general, and of a trip to Mombacho and its Nature Reserve, including the lush surrounding areas and incredible views.

Somoto Canyon

Somoto Canyon, in the far north of the country, rediscovered only in 2004, is a spectacular and ancient canyon carved into the rugged surrounding hill-country by the Coco River (the longest in Central America), is ideal for rafting, hiking, swimming, climbing, rappelling and horseback riding. This video gives an idea of the mix of beauty, tranquility and adventure which awaits visitors.  A designated national monument, the canyon, whose imposing walls range from 120-150 metres high, and its surrounding areas offer amazing opportunities to feel like you are discovering it for the first time, away from human contact and surrounded on all sides by unspoiled nature. Rock formations disturb the calm waters of the Coco, creating mini “oases” where small plants and fish flourish, and at its most narrow points, the walls of the canyon are only 5 metres apart.

The technology that helps keep sea turtles thriving in Nicaragua l GMA

video feature on the fascinating facts and unique beauty of sea turtles and their birthing areas along Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast, and the wonderful efforts, supported by Nicaraguan Government policy, by public and private scientists and individuals to preserve the habitats and survival rates of these incredible creatures in the face of global threats of climate change, pollution and poachers. was also included wonderful team at Good Morning America and National Geographic also included in their special series. Highly recommended to watch and share with people who may be using this time of reduced travel to reflect on what is important and plan their next big trip.

How climate change affects coffee bean production in Nicaragua l GMA

Sustainable Nicaragua-based coffee producers from the Gaia co-operative were featured in the final of the video trilogy on Nicaragua by Good Morning America and National Geographic about the effects of climate change on this beloved produce and the communities who depend on it in a thought-provoking reminder of the fragility of our beautiful planet, and the responsibility of all of us to protect it. Nicaragua is a great destination for sustainable travel, and many options are available for volunteering or ethical tours to help agricultural producers, wildlife or other valuable projects. For more information for yourself, media enquiries or for trade thinking of selling these holidays, please reply to this email and specify any particular areas of interest.

Cacao harvest in Nicaragua (Chocolate Momotombo)

While planning these trips and enjoying fantastic content about beautiful and unique Nicaragua, what better way to relax than tantalising the senses with chocolate from the finest Nicaraguan cocoa? This video from showing the cocoa harvest for Nicaraguan brand Momtombo, set to joyful folk music, is a great introduction to the topic, while Ingemann Fine Cocoa also have fantastic educational content taking you to the hear of the sustainable and ethical production of their world-leading Nicaraguan chocolate. Furthermore, the Lonely Planet Global Chocolate Tour features Nicaragua, renowned worlldwide for the purity and quality of its cocoa, and gives an insight into the people, passion and ancient Pre-Columbian history contained in each delicious bite.

Wanderlust

In continuation of the promotional campaign by the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR) with Wanderlust, the beginning of which mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the world renowned travel magazine now has a Nicaragua hub live and regularly updated, which is promoted on the homepage and social media, and includes three articles published in the past month, including Three great ways to connect with the local culture in NicaraguaWhy your next trip to the Caribbean should be to Nicaragua and Six great ways to get back to nature in Nicaragua. In this way, together with Wanderlust, INTUR seeks to inspire travellers from the UK and beyond to dream of our unique and beautiful and to use this time plan ahead for their next big trip.

Deputy Head of Mission Ricardo Carioni

Deputy Head of Mission Ricardo Carioni contributed to the Social With Media e-seminar organised by Travel Connect, where he gave an update on the COVID-19 situation in Nicaragua, the response of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism to maintain engagement with the UK media and trade, and our country’s internationally recognised actions to combat the global pandemic, with solidarity, multilateral and bilateral co-operation. The Seminar had 100 guests from the travel industry, with Food and Travel, The Times and others. The Embassy also attended E-Seminars with the Travel Editors of The Telegraph, Metro, The Sun, The Independent, Wanderlust, National Geographic, Travel Trade Gazette and many others, to learn about the requirements of the travel media in the current climate, including concepts such as Armchair Travel, Virtual Travel, long-term travel planning and more.

Nicaragua, through the Central American Tourism Agency (CATA) reaffirmed its commitment to the UK market, emphasising that it supports the “Stay At Home” campaign. The Agency is preparing a series of inspirational videos to be supported by press releases, newsletters and digital content focussing on gastronomy, culture, cinema, eco-tourism and more. It is also organising webinars with the Federation of Chambers of Tourism of Central America (FEDECATUR), and a Plan for the Mitigation and Recovery for the tourism sector. CATA, which is relaunching its brand, promoting new products and consolidating technological tools, is now represented by Taylor Made PR in the UK.

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