NICARAGUA

NICARAGUA

NICARAGUA

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Name: Masaya
Location: Masaya, Nicaragua
Masaya is a caldera located in Masaya, Nicaragua. It is Nicaragua's first and largest national park, and one of 78 protected areas of Nicaragua. The complex volcano is composed of a nested set of calderas and craters, the largest of which is Las Sierras shield volcano and caldera. Within this caldera lies a sub-vent, which is Masaya Volcano sensu stricto. The vent is a shield type composing of basaltic lavas and tephras and includes a summit crater. This hosts Masaya caldera, formed 2,500 years ago by an 8-km³ basaltic ignimbrite eruption. Inside this caldera a new basaltic complex has grown from eruptions mainly on a semi-circular set of vents that include the Masaya and Nindiri cones. The latter host the pit craters of Masaya, Santiago, Nindiri and San Pedro. Observations in the walls of the pit craters indicate that there have been several episodes of cone and pit crater formation.

Masaya continually emits large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas and volcanologists study this (amongst other signs) to better understand the behavior of the volcano and also evaluate the impact of acid rain and the potential for health problems.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaya_Volcano
Name: Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary
Location: León, Nicaragua
The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, is a significantly important and historic landmark in Nicaragua. The Cathedral was awarded World Heritage Site status with UNESCO. The site's nomination is Nicaragua's third cultural landmark, following the ruins of León Viejo and El Güegüense.

The Cathedral has the historical value of being the Episcopal first diocese of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, founded in 1531 and therefore one of the oldest dioceses in America. It is currently the headquarters of the Diócesis of León. Beneath the Cathedral, in crypts designed to survive earthquakes, the mortal remains of 27 people rest, among them 10 bishops, 5 priests, an eminent leader of the independence movement, three poets, a musician, six notables and a slave.

Here are buried prominent Nicaraguan people, such as Miguel Larreynaga, poets Rubén Darío, Salomón de la Selva and Alfonso Cortés, the musician José de la Cruz Mena, doctor Luis H. Debayle, professor Edgardo Buitrago, the first bishop of León and last bishop of all of Nicaragua, Monsignor Simeón Pereira, and Bishop Castellón and the priest Marcelino Areas.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/León_Cathedral,_Nicaragua
Name: Corn Islands
Location: Nicaragua
The Corn Islands are two islands about 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, constituting one of 12 municipalities of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. The official name of the municipality is Corn Island (the English name is officially used in Spanish-speaking Nicaragua).

The Corn Islands, along with the eastern half of present-day Nicaragua, were a British protectorate from 1655 until 1860, a period when the region was called the Mosquito Coast. At one time, the islands were frequented by Caribbean pirates. The Nicaraguan government annexed the region in 1894.

Under the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty of 1914, the islands were leased to the United States for a period of 99 years. The terms of the lease made the Corn Islands subject to the sovereignty of the United States. The lease notwithstanding, the United States never maintained a significant presence in the islands. The right of the United States to use of the islands remained until April 25, 1971, when the lease was officially terminated by the denunciation of the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty on July 14, 1970, under the presidency of Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Islands
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO NICARAGUA.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Spanish
Currency: Nicaragua Cordoba Oro (NIO)
Time zone: CST (UTC−6)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +505
Local / up-to-date weather in Managua (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Nicaragua travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Nicaragua, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO NICARAGUA.

The national currency is called the córdoba oro (ISO code NIO, locally abbreviated as C$), known locally as peso, simply “cordoba” or vara(s), among other designations. Peace corps volunteers and expats sometimes say “cords” but Nicaraguans don’t use that word.

Most places accept US dollars (albeit sometimes at less than face value) but you will often get change in córdoba oro. Córdobas are essential when paying bus fares taxis, small meals and other daily purchases, try and have somewhere around C$500 in small bills on you at all times. Nearly all banks exchange US dollars to córdobas but lines are often long, and you may have to use your credit card to get money rather than your bank card. Make sure you bring your passport when exchanging money. All ATMs give out local currency and most can dispense US dollars too. Make sure that the ATM you’re using is part of one of the networks listed on the back of your bank card. Though you may be able to find some ATMs that work on the MasterCard/Cirrus system, most will use only the Visa/Plus system. In many cases an ATM is in its own air conditioned (read: freezingly cold) mini-room with a door that you can close. You should opt for those over others, because the door is usually non-transparent thus protecting your data from prying eyes. It can sometimes be difficult to get change for a C$1000 or C$500 note as well as for a US$20 note. US$100 and US$50 notes are often not accepted at all except by banks; so if you are traveling from the USA (or another US$-using country), it is advisable to bring the bulk of your money in US$20 bills, with an ample supply of $5 and $1 bills as well (for places that quote the price in US$, but claim to have no small US bills to give change).

Cordobas come in bills from 1000 to 10 and in coins from 10 (rare) to 0.10 (10 centavos) but coins smaller than one cordoba are mostly just used to make change in supermarkets and can often be found lying around on the street. All coins except the 25 centavos and the C$10 piece are silvery in color and bills are either made from paper (C$500 and C$1000) or polymer (plastic; all other bills including the C$200) with both somewhat more likely to tear than US dollars or euros. Bills can be distinguished by their color and by their size, and higher value bills are larger than smaller value bills. It is not uncommon to find marks or damages on bills and this will usually not be a problem with córdobas, but dollars may be refused if they aren’t in pristine condition.

Euros (banknotes only) are exchanged only at banks and the exchange rate is much worse than what you would get exchanging US dollars. If you come from a European country it would be easiest to make sure to have a bank account that allows to withdraw money in Nicaragua cheaply or for free.

In case you need currency exchange when the banks are closed or you want to exchange currencies that the bank won’t exchange, there are private money changers known as “cambistas” or “coyotes”. While most of them are honest and belong to cooperatives that have an eye on their honesty, there are some dishonest money-changers that try to pass of 1980s córdobas as genuine currency or are otherwise out to trick you. Keep the exchange rate in mind, do your own calculations (manipulated calculators have happened) to double check theirs and don’t hand your money over before you had a good look at the currency you are about to receive. Money changers can be found at most border crossings and in Managua at the Huembes market and the La Colonia supermarket at Plaza España. During the opening hours of the banks they often offer better rates and shorter waiting times, but it is your judgment call whether you deem it worth the risk. To minimize risks, try getting your money in small bills, which also makes it easier to make change.

US and international credit cards are accepted in major store chains (Palí, La Colonia, La Unión). Many hotels accept credit cards as well; but, especially in remote areas, you’ll often be charged a 4-6% surcharge for paying your bills with a credit card.

BY BUS:

Bus is definitely the main mode of travel in Nicaragua, and a great way to get to know the country’s geography, people and even some culture (music, snack food, dress, manners). Most of the buses are old decommissioned yellow US school buses (though often fantastically repainted and redecorated). Expect these buses to be packed full, and your luggage (if large) may be stored at the back or on the top of the bus (along with bicycles and other large items). You’d better be quick or you may be standing most of the trip or sitting on a bag of beans. On most routes you can purchase your ticket a day or so in advance which will guarantee you a (numbered) seat (look for the number on your ticket and above the windows respectively). Some have not replaced the original seats meant to carry 7-year-olds, so you may have sore knees by the end of the trip. People often sell snacks and drinks on the buses (or through the windows) before they depart or at quick stops. A typical fare may vary between US$1 or less for short (~30min) trips to US$3–4 for longer trips.

Buses in Nicaragua are usually operated by a two-person crew. Besides the driver, on each bus there is usually a younger “assistant” manning the front door; he announces stops, collects fares, and helps passengers to board (often paying particular attention to pretty female passengers). There used to be prepaid cards for buses in Managua, but the equipment was retired in early October 2018.

Most cities in Nicaragua have one main bus terminal for long distance buses. Managua has numerous terminals, each serving a different region of the country depending upon its geographic placement in Managua. Mercado Israel Levites, in the western part of the city, serves cities on the Pacific Coast to the north, e.g. Leon, Chinandega and all points in between. Mercado Mayoreo on the eastern side of the city serves points east, north and southeast, like Matagalpa Rama or San Carlos, Rio San Juan. Mercado Huembes in the southern part of Managua serves points south, like Rivas/San Jorge and Peñas Blancas.

Another method of traveling cross country are minibuses (“microbuses” as they are called). These are essentially vans, holding up to 15 people (some may be larger, shuttle sized). Minibuses have regular routes between Managua and frequently travel to relatively nearby cities like Granada, Leon, Masaya, Jinotepe and Chinandega. Most of these leave from and return to the small roadside microbus terminal across the street from the Universidad Centoamericana (and thus the buses and terminal are known as “los microbuses de la UCA”). Microbuses run all day into the late afternoon/early evening depending on destination, with shorter hours on Sunday, and a definite rush hour during the week as they service nearby cities from which many people commute to Managua. The microbuses cost a little more than the school buses, but are faster, making fewer stops. As with the school buses, expect these to be packed, arguably with even less space as drivers often pack more people than the vehicle was designed to handle. On the other hand, most drivers (and driver’s helpers) are friendly and helpful, and will help you store your baggage. They run to the main bus terminals in Leon and Chinandega, to the Parque Central and Mercado de Artesanias (and then leave from another park a couple blocks from there) in Masaya, and to/from a park 1 block from the Parque Central in Granada. There is more limited microbus service to other cities out of their respective bus terminals in Managua.

BY PLANE:

At the international airport there are two offices right to the right of the main terminal, these offices house the domestic airlines. These are great if you want to get to the Atlantic Coast. Prices change but it takes 1.5 hours to get to the Corn Islands as opposed to a full day overland. If you are trying to save time, then this is the best way to get to the Corn Islands or anywhere on the Atlantic Coast. Destinations include San Carlos, Big Corn Island, Bluefields two of the three towns in the “mining triangle” and new services to Ometepe and San Juan del Norte (Greytown). Planes book out quickly and the allowed baggage is very limited so check whether the saved time is worth the cost and the hassle. For more see their website.

BY BOAT:

It is common for your bags to be searched prior to any boat trip. Rules on what can be in your luggage vary, but on the San Carlos – Ometepe – Granada boat alcoholic beverages are often confiscated upon boarding and handed back to you when you disembark.

Boat is the only way to get to the Solentinames and still the most popular way to get to Isla de Ometepe. High winds and bad weather can cancel ferry trips. That might not be such a bad thing, though, since windy/bad weather can make the ferry trip unpleasant for those prone to seasickness, and many of the boats used to access Ometepe are old, smaller ferries and launches. The fastest route to Ometepe leaves from San Jorge (10 minutes from Rivas and often connecting on the same Managua-Rivas bus) and goes to Moyogalpa. A much longer trip can be taken (and with only a couple of trips weekly) from Granada to Altagracia. There is a large modern ferry from San Jorge that makes daily trips to the new port of San Jose del Sur close to Moyogalpa.

Boat is also a practicable way to get to Big Corn Island. Take a bus to Rama, which is the end of the road. This road is in a good condition and the ride shouldn’t be too bumpy. There is a weekly ship with bunk beds to the Corn Islands, and small launches to Bluefields and El Bluff multiple times a day. Or you can get on a speedboat to Bluefields or El Bluff. Catch the boat to the Corn Islands from there, or take a flight out of Bluefields. The first boat from Rama to Bluefields usually leaves at the crack of dawn and makes for a life affirming wet ride. Also, a large cargo boat takes two days returning from the Corn Islands to Rama with an overnight in El Bluff to take on cargo. There is now also a road (but don’t expect much) from Rama to Pearl Lagoon, which can also be reached in a launch from Bluefields.

BY TAXI:

You should always clearly agree on a fare before entering the taxi. In most of the country there are flat rates within one city that double at night, but rates in Managua or beyond city limits depend mostly on your bargaining skills. That includes establishing whether you are talking about local currency or U.S. dollars and whether it is per person or for the whole party. Once you are in the taxi all your bargaining power is gone and there are no meters. The taxi drivers in Managua can be aggressive and there are loads so it is easy to find a fare that suits you. Taxis will take multiple fares if they are heading roughly in the same direction. Taxi drivers in all the cities are generally fair and well mannered and a nice way to see local scenery. For fares within smaller cities there is a set fare per person, so no negotiating is needed. In Managua the fare should be negotiated before getting into the taxi, and will increase depending on the number of passengers (in your party, not already in the taxi or getting in later) time of day (night is significantly more expensive) and location (going to or from a nice part of Managua may cost you a little more due to lowered bargaining power). The cheapest fare for one passenger is C$30 (2013), but the same route if you are a party of two may be C$40. A trip all the way across Managua during the day should not be more than about C$60–70 if not coming from or going to the airport. Tipping is not expected (though always welcomed). You can also split the cost of taxi to get to destinations that are close to Managua by like Masaya, if you should prefer to travel with modicum of comfort.

There have been increasing incidents of taxi crime in Managua. The most typical scenario is that an additional passenger enters the cab just a short distance from your pickup, they and the taxi driver take you in circles around town, take everything on you, and leave you in a random location typically far from where you were going. Check that the taxi has the license number painted on the side, that the taxi sign is on the roof, the light is on inside the taxi, and that the taxi operator license is clearly visible in the front seat. You may want to make a scene of having a friend seeing you off and writing down the license number. Care should be taken especially at night, when it may be best to have your hotel arrange a taxi.

You can book a taxi online through TaxiManagua. Fares within Managua start at US$20.

BY MOTORCYCLE:

Some of the residents are known to travel on motorcycles, with multiple children with a mom on a single motorcycle in some cases. If you see such a thing on the roads, don’t be surprised.

If you ride a motorcycle in Nicaragua, a helmet is required, and driving at night is very dangerous.

You can rent motorcycles at Nicaragua Motorcycles Adventures

BY BIKE:

Bikes are a great mode of transport in Nicaragua. They provide a free means of transport while allowing you to stop and see the country that normally would be driven right by. In more rural areas, Nicaraguans are very friendly and helpful, and the roadways, for the most part, allow for bicycles in the shoulders. As riders on horses are known to use the streets, most drivers will know how to deal with a bicycle, although the locals prefer motorcycles, if they can at all afford them. In big cities like Managua, the streets and side walks can be very unsafe for bicycles. Lanes are narrow and not meant for bicyclists. Roundabouts are also very difficult to navigate. Negotiating with traffic is almost impossible and typically best to wait for a clearing in traffic. Sidewalks are uneven and often have poles, potholes or other obstructions for effective riding.

As of 2016 bicycles (fairly similar to cheaper multi-speed US models sold in the US, such as Huffy) are widely used by both urban and rural Nicaraguans; spare parts (tires, inner tubes, pedals) and repair services are available in most towns, even small ones, although sometimes you need to ask around to find them. (e.g., the town’s only bike repairman may be working out of his backyard, with no sign on the street). At any rate, knowing how to repair basic defects comes highly recommended, especially if you intend to make overland trips. If you don’t already have a bike, cheap bicycles can be bought in most towns of any size, even more remote ones like San Carlos. In cities like Leon or Granada almost every hostel (and a few independent operators) has bike rental for ten dollars a day or less.

Managua now boasts a twice monthly critical mass ride (Facebook link in Spanish). Every first and third Sunday starting at 15:30 at Plaza Cuba in Managua. In other cities bike advocacy is still in its infancy but car traffic is not as heavy and you should have no major problems getting around on a bike.

BY CAR:

Roads on the Pacific Coast are generally speaking in an acceptable condition, though the rains at the beginning of the rainy season can hit roads in Managua paved with cobblestone particularly hard. Roads on the Atlantic side are an entirely different story. There are few paved roads and dirt roads can become impassable during the rainy season. Bring patience and spare tires and plan on taking longer than you would on the Pacific side. City driving is not a good idea in any of the cities, though you have few alternatives to driving in Managua, due to sprawling car-centric layout. If you can, hire a driver or take taxis. Buses are an option for getting around Managua, but only during the daytime and you need a rechargeable TUC card to pay the fare, which is reportedly only available to those holding Nicaraguan ID. Cities like Granada or León are much more walkable and you should ditch the car rather than trying to navigate the somewhat confusing network of one-way streets.

There are no tolls in Nicaragua and as of October 2016 diesel hovers above C$20 while gasoline (distinguished by octane count into regular and super) costs C$25-30. So compared to the US or Mexico gas at roughly US$4 a gallon can be considered expensive, but it is significantly cheaper than in most of Europe.

There is a general speed limit of 100 km/h on freeways that you really should not exceed, as cows and horses roam the streets as if they owned the place. Inside of cities there is a 45 km/h speed limit and on all other roads it’s 60 km/h. Police have a particular skill in filtering out rental cars to collect “fines” from tourists, so drive defensively and within speed limits. The normal procedure for traffic fines is for the cop to collect your licence handing you a ticket, which you take to a bank to pay the fine. The bank will give you a receipt with which you can pick up your license later. However, far from every police officer will follow this standard procedure every time and should you be in a hurry, they are likely able to accommodate you by allowing you to pay on the spot. Haggling about fines does happen, and if your licence has been taken by a police officer you may sometimes get around paying the fine by convincingly arguing your case at the police station.

A particular quirk of the Nicaraguan laws of the road is that you absolutely must not move your car a single inch after you were in an accident. If you do, you will be saddled with full legal liability for all damages. Wait until the police arrive and ask for permission to move your car if you have to. Should you be unfortunate enough to get into an accident resulting in major injury or death, you will be taken into custody until everything is cleared up. In most cases the easiest way out is to take a plea – deal, though you should talk to an attorney first if that happens to you.

Nicaragua has a lot of roundabouts (rotondas) and they serve as local landmarks in Managua. Changing the lane inside a roundabout or shortly before one is illegal and will be fined, especially if you’re driving a rental.

Most country’s drivers licenses are accepted for up to 30 days. If you intend to stay and drive longer, you would have to get a Nicaraguan driver’s license which is only available to citizens and legal residents.

EAT:

Nicaraguan food is very cheap for Western standards. A plate of food from the street will cost C$30-70. A typical dinner will consist of meat, rice, beans, salad (i.e. coleslaw) and some fried plantains, costing under US$3. Buffet-style restaurants/stalls called “fritanga” are very common, quality varies quite a bit. A lot of the food is fried in oil (vegetable or lard). It is possible to eat vegetarian: the most common dish is gallo pinto (beans and rice), and most places serve cheese (fried or fresh), fried plantains and cabbage salad. There are a ‘few’ vegetable dishes such as guiso de papas, pipián o ayote—a buttery creamy stew of potato, zucchini or squash; guacamole nica made with hard-boiled eggs, breaded pipian (zucchini), and various fried fritters of potatoes, cheese and other vegetables. However, the very concept of vegetarianism is unknown to the majority of Nicaraguans, especially in the countryside, and saying you “don’t eat meat” may get people to offer you chicken instead, which is considered distinct from “meat” (pork or beef).

If you like meat, grilled chicken and beef is delicious, the beef is usually good quality but often cooked tough. Also try the nacatamales, a traditional Sunday food, that is essentially a large tamal made with pork or beef and other seasonings, wrapped in a banana leaf and tied with a banana-leaf string (C$35-40). People who make them often sell them from their homes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; watch for signs that say, “Hay nacatamales” (“We’ve got nacatamales”).

Indio Viejo is a corn meal (masa) based dished made with either shredded chicken or beef and flavored with mint. The typical condiment is “chilero” a cured onion and chile mixture of varying spiciness depending on the cook. Nicaraguan food is not known for being spicy, though either chilero or hot sauce is almost always available (but be prepared for strange looks if you use them extensively).

While nowhere near as omnipresent as in neighboring Costa Rica, salsa Lizano (a kind of Worcestershire-like sauce) can usually be had with your meal and is sold in most supermarkets. Soy sauce (salsa china) and Worcestershire sauce (salsa inglesa) are commonly sold in supermarkets as well. If they don’t have it, just ask.

The typical Nicaraguan diet includes rice, small red beans, and either fish or meat. Nicaraguans pride themselves for their famous gallo pinto that is a well-balanced mix of rice and beans and is usually served during breakfast.

Nicaraguan tortillas are made from corn flour and are thick, almost resembling a pita. One common dish is quesillo: a string of mozzarella-type cheese with pickled onion, a watery sour cream, and a little salt all wrapped in a thick tortilla. It can be found on street corners or in the baskets of women who walk around shouting “Quesiiiiiillo”. The most famous quesillos come from the side of the highway between Managua and Leon in Nagarote (they also serve a local drink, tiste) and La Paz Centro. The best selection of cheeses, from quesillo to cuajada, is in Chontales.

A typical dish found for sale in the street and in restaurants is Vigoron, consisting of pork grind, yuca and cabbage salad, chilis can be added to taste.

Fritangas (mid to large street side food vendors and grills that usually have seats and are found in most residential neighborhoods) typically sell grilled chicken, beef and pork and fried foods. They also commonly sell “tacos” and “enchiladas” that can be delicious but have very little in common with their 2nd cousins-once-removed in Mexico. Tacos are made with either chicken or beef rolled up in a tortilla and deep fried, served with cabbage salad, cream, sometimes ketchup or a homemade tomato sauce, and chile on the side. “Enchiladas” don’t have anything enchiloso about them (not spicy). They are a tortilla filled with a beef and rice mixture, folded in half to enclose the mixture, covered in deep fry batter and then yes, deep fried. They are served similarly to tacos.

One alternative to the fried offering in the typical menu is carne en baho. This is a combination of beef, yucca, sweet potato, potato and other ingredients steamed in plantain leaves for several hours.

One typical dessert is Tres Leches which is a soft spongy cake that combines three varieties of milk (condensed, evaporated and fresh, hence the name) for a sweet concoction. Your diet expert and your dentist will hate it, but as it is typically only eaten at special occasions, it is okay to indulge once in a while.

On the Caribbean coast you can have pretty much anything “de coco” (with or made out of coconut) try pan de coco (coconut bread)or gallo pinto with coconut. A famous delicacy of the Caribbean coast is rundown (sometimes spelled and pronounced ron-don) which consists of fish and some other ingredients cooked until the fish “runs down” as it takes a lot of time to prepare it should be ordered up to a day in advance and preferably for more than one person.

Fruit:

Plantains are a big part of the Nicaraguan diet. You will find it prepared in a variety of forms: fried (subdivided into maduros/sweet, tajadas/long thin fried chips, and tostones/smashed and twice fried), baked, boiled, with cream or cheese, as chips for a dip. Green bananas and guineo bananas are also boiled and eaten as side dishes. Ripe (yellow plantains) (platanas maduros) can be eaten fresh as well, also people don’t seem to do it too often; they are less sweet, and have a more “substantial” taste than bananas.

Passion fruit (known in international Spanish as maracuya, and in Nicaragua more commonly as calala) is fairly common in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans seem to prefer to use them for making sweetened drinks (refrescos) etc, but they can be eaten fresh as well. They are especially good with ice cream or plain yogurt.

Most of oranges you’ll see grown in Nicaraguans’ yards are of a sour kind; almost as sour as a lemon, or sometimes even a bit bitter, they are not eaten, but are squeezed for juice. You can do it as well; squeeze the juice of 1-2 oranges (which will amount to a few tablespoons) into a cup, fill the rest of the cup with water, and some sugar to taste – and here’s your cup of lemonade!

Mangoes grow on huge trees, and are harvested by means of mesh bags attached to long poles; sometimes people just hurl a few rocks into a tree to pick a few fruit to eat. During some parts of the year, or in some towns with little trade, you may not see any mangoes available for sale, but you may find a lot of them on the ground under roadside mango trees. If you take the trouble to pick some of those least damaged by the fall and pests, and to wash them, you may find them actually tastier than those on sale!

If you travel to Chinandega, ask the locals who sells “Tonqua” It is a great fruit that is candied in sugar and is only available in Chinandega. Most Nicaraguans outside of Chinandega do not know what Tonqua is. Tonqua is a Chinese word for a fruit, because tonqua is a plant that Chinese immigrants introduced to the Chinandega area.

Shopping for groceries:

Nationwide supermarket chains include Palí (the cheapest and most crowded), La Union, and La Colonia (the most upscale one, with slightly higher prices and the widest selection of imported goods). A few Walmarts exist as well (mostly in Managua); in fact, Palí (and maybe some other chains too!) are owned by Walmart. Smaller towns, such as Ometepe’s Moyogalpa and Altagracia, may only have smaller independent supermarkets.

Nicaragua being a small country, it appears that for most products most stores carry the same small set of brands. For example, in the dairy aisle you’ll usually find Eskimo (a Nicaraguan national brand), and may also see some products by Parmalat (an international brand) and Dos Pinos (out of Costa Rica).

Local grocery stores (pulperias) are typically tiny; in smaller communities, they are no more than kiosks, or simply someone selling a few products from his living room. Often, no refrigerator or freezer is available in small stores; so milk is sold in UHT boxes, and cheese is very salty (to slow spoiling). Panaderias and pastelerias, where available, sell fresh bread and pastries.

Most cities have large markets, where all kind of produce, bread, cheese, and sweets can be found.

When buying packaged dairy products in supermarkets, pay attention to labels: some of them (sour cream, milk in plastic bags, sometimes ice cream) may be adulterated with vegetable fats.

DRINK:

Rum is the liquor of choice, though you will find some whiskey and vodka as well. The local brand of Rum is Flor de Caña and is available in several varieties: Light, Extra Dry, Black Label, Gran Reserva (aged 7 years), Centenario (aged 12 years) and a new top-of-the line 18 year old aged rum. There is also a cheaper rum called Ron Plata.

Local beers include Victoria, Toña, Premium, and Brahva. Victoria is the best quality of these, similar in flavor to mainstream European lagers, while the others have much lighter bodies with substantially less flavour, and are more like the palid mainstream US lagers. A new beer is “Victoria Frost” which is similarly light.

In the non-alcoholic arena you will find the usual soft drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola. Local drinks include pinolillo and cacao,which are delicious drinks from cocoa beans, corn and milk and usually some cinnamon, a thick cacao based drink; Milca, the first red soda in Nicaragua; and Rojita, a red soda that tastes similar to Inca Cola or “Red Pop” (if you’re from Texas or the southern United States).

Nicaraguans drink a huge variety of natural fruit juices and beverages (jugos naturales which are usually pure juices, and (re)frescos naturales which are fresh fruit juices mixed with water and sugar). Popular are tamarind, cantelope, watermelon, hibiscus flower (flor de Jamaica), limeade, orange, grapefruit, dragon fruit, star fruit (usually mixed with orange), mango, papaya, pineapple, and countless others. “Liquados” or shakes of fruit and milk or water are also popular, most common are banana, mango or papaya with milk. Also common and very traditional are corn and grain based drinks like tiste, chicha (both corn), cebada (barley) and linaza (flaxseed). Most fresh drinks are around C$10–20. As in other parts of Central America, avoid juices made with water if you are not conditioned to untreated water, unless at a restaurant that uses purified water (in Spanish: agua purificada).

If you don’t like ice (hielo) in your drink just say so otherwise you will be getting huge chunks of ice that may or may not be made from purified water and thus defeat the purpose of avoiding tap water by ordering coke.

A word on bottle deposits: while almost all plastic bottles and cans don’t have a deposit, glass bottles do. In some small pulperias (family-owned mini-stores for everything) you may not be allowed to take a glass bottle with you unless you bring them an empty bottle in exchange. So either you will have to drink your coke there or they give you a small plastic bag with a straw to take the drink (but not the bottle) with you. Street vendors of home-made soft drinks ((re)frescos) would often have them in plastic bags as well; spiced vinegars are sold in markets in such bags too.

Accommodation can generally be had quite cheaply throughout Nicaragua. Options range from simple hammocks (US$2–3), to dorm rooms in hostels (US$5–9), to private double-bed (“matrimonial”) rooms (US$10–35, depending on presence of TV, air-con and private shower room and WC). You will likely only find real luxury in major cities like Managua, León or Granada and in a very few resorts such as Montelimar (Somoza’s old holiday residence) and even then prices almost never reach four figures.

High and low season are not as pronounced as in e.g. Costa Rica, but there is a pronounced spike in rates during semana santa (Easter week) which is the time of year most Nicaraguans take their vacation. Doubling and tripling of prices is not unheard of in e.g. San Juan del Sur during that time. There is another minor spike around Christmas / New Year’s , but it isn’t as pronounced. You can sometimes negotiate better rates during the rainy season, but don’t count on it.

While Barrio Martha Quezada has typically been a budget destination for visitors to Managua due to its many inexpensive hotel options, it has become increasingly dangerous, especially for tourists, with robberies occurring in broad daylight. Unless you need to be in this area to catch an early morning bus from a nearby terminal, it is advisable to avoid Martha Quezada, particularly since it is far from what is termed the “new” centre of Managua. The area near the Tica Bus station has a reputation for being dangerous as well, and tourists may be well advised to take a cab directly to and from the station, even if the walk is short. Backpackers Inn near MetroCentro (5min by taxi from the UCA microbuses), Hotel San Luis in Colonia Centroamerica (5 min by taxi from Mercado Huembes bus terminal) are good budget options in safe neighbourhoods, as are numerous hotels of various prices in neighbourhoods around the new centre near Metrocentro and Caraterra Masaya (i.e. Altamira, Los Robles, Reparto San Juan).

Look for pensiones or huespedes or hospedajes as these are the cheapest sleeps costing under USD5. They are usually family owned and you’ll be hanging out with mostly locals. Make sure you know when they lock their doors if you are going out at night. Hotels have more amenities but are more expensive. There are some backpacker hostels in Granada, San Juan del Sur, Isla Ometepe, Masaya, Managua, and Leon; otherwise, it’s pensiones all the way.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Nicaragua
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Name: Masaya
Location: Masaya, Nicaragua
Masaya is a caldera located in Masaya, Nicaragua. It is Nicaragua's first and largest national park, and one of 78 protected areas of Nicaragua. The complex volcano is composed of a nested set of calderas and craters, the largest of which is Las Sierras shield volcano and caldera. Within this caldera lies a sub-vent, which is Masaya Volcano sensu stricto. The vent is a shield type composing of basaltic lavas and tephras and includes a summit crater. This hosts Masaya caldera, formed 2,500 years ago by an 8-km³ basaltic ignimbrite eruption. Inside this caldera a new basaltic complex has grown from eruptions mainly on a semi-circular set of vents that include the Masaya and Nindiri cones. The latter host the pit craters of Masaya, Santiago, Nindiri and San Pedro. Observations in the walls of the pit craters indicate that there have been several episodes of cone and pit crater formation.

Masaya continually emits large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas and volcanologists study this (amongst other signs) to better understand the behavior of the volcano and also evaluate the impact of acid rain and the potential for health problems.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaya_Volcano
Name: Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary
Location: León, Nicaragua
The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, is a significantly important and historic landmark in Nicaragua. The Cathedral was awarded World Heritage Site status with UNESCO. The site's nomination is Nicaragua's third cultural landmark, following the ruins of León Viejo and El Güegüense.

The Cathedral has the historical value of being the Episcopal first diocese of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, founded in 1531 and therefore one of the oldest dioceses in America. It is currently the headquarters of the Diócesis of León. Beneath the Cathedral, in crypts designed to survive earthquakes, the mortal remains of 27 people rest, among them 10 bishops, 5 priests, an eminent leader of the independence movement, three poets, a musician, six notables and a slave.

Here are buried prominent Nicaraguan people, such as Miguel Larreynaga, poets Rubén Darío, Salomón de la Selva and Alfonso Cortés, the musician José de la Cruz Mena, doctor Luis H. Debayle, professor Edgardo Buitrago, the first bishop of León and last bishop of all of Nicaragua, Monsignor Simeón Pereira, and Bishop Castellón and the priest Marcelino Areas.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/León_Cathedral,_Nicaragua
Name: Corn Islands
Location: Nicaragua
The Corn Islands are two islands about 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, constituting one of 12 municipalities of the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. The official name of the municipality is Corn Island (the English name is officially used in Spanish-speaking Nicaragua).

The Corn Islands, along with the eastern half of present-day Nicaragua, were a British protectorate from 1655 until 1860, a period when the region was called the Mosquito Coast. At one time, the islands were frequented by Caribbean pirates. The Nicaraguan government annexed the region in 1894.

Under the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty of 1914, the islands were leased to the United States for a period of 99 years. The terms of the lease made the Corn Islands subject to the sovereignty of the United States. The lease notwithstanding, the United States never maintained a significant presence in the islands. The right of the United States to use of the islands remained until April 25, 1971, when the lease was officially terminated by the denunciation of the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty on July 14, 1970, under the presidency of Anastasio Somoza Debayle.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Islands
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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