MANAGUA, Nicaragua March 23, 2018. — From the robust capital city of Managua to the quaint colonial towns of Grenada and Leon, travel through time and history to enjoy Central America’s largest country. Especially a country unique its dual coasts on the Western Pacific and Eastern Caribbean seas.
In fact, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has recognized that Nicaragua’s growth in tourism is positively affecting the country. Tourism is bringing new money to areas of farming, commercial, finance and construction industries.
Because of this, since 2010 the tourism industry has seen rapid growth. Likewise, in 2013, the country welcomed 1.2 million tourists representing an influx of 360 million dollars. As a result numbers continue to grow to attract the development of new tourism infrastructure.
Business travelers today can easily find hotels featuring meeting spaces and support for business travelers making Managua a destination for international meetings and conferences.
Tourism and business tourism is growing
In the last 12 years, tourism has grown 394%. Moreover, t is now the second biggest source of foreign capital. Tourism dollars are responsible for about 5% of the country’s GDP. In 2015 1.4 million tourists visited Nicaragua, generating $450 million for that year.
As a result the governmental response has been to increase their tourism budget from $400,000 to $2,000,000 per year.
Looking at Nicaragua’s business ratings, all sectors are improving. It is pegged as one of the safest and fastest-growing economies in Latin America. All important to the traveler who seeks hotels and restaurants that quickly appear when the economy is good.
The Capitol of Managua, Nicaragua
Sitting along the southern shore of Lake Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. It is also the business and financial hub for the country. Managua was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1972.
The devastation is still visible on the street and in exhibits, art, and poetry.
The Rubén Darío National Theater was inaugurated in 1969. It is one of the few high construction building that survived the 1972 earthquake.
Today the theater is much as it was when first built. The theater is impressive and offers multiple event spaces and expanses of wall that feature local artwork, much of it reflecting Nicaragua’s history and culture.
In the lobby space, events from business conferences to fashion shows
The Crystal Room on the second floor is so named due to the massive crystal chandeliers donated by the Spanish. This area can seat 350-400 people, perfect for events, from meetings to weddings, in a unique, and historical environment.
For the theater, with its strong acoustics, its main purpose is the concerts and shows that take place there. The Main Hall features 1200 seats. There is a lower seating area plus three balconies. Planning a business meeting, or personal tourism? Check the theater’s schedule. Tickets are extremely reasonable, at least by New York standards.
International style hotels keep business travelers comfortable
There are accommodations for every budget, and for every experience. For those seeking an American style hotel search the International Hotels Group that provides familiarly named properties like Crown Plaza, Intercontinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall, and Holiday Inn.
Travelers will find luxury four-star properties like the Metrocentro Managua where Chef Alberto Agostini, from Venice, Italy creates plates that make dining in Managua a world-class event.
Chef Agostini is ready to create a unique meeting, luncheon or dinner event. A cavalcade of locally sourced foods, each created and presented as artfully as you would find in any Michelin restaurant, arrives at the table.
Here you can eat it all.
What makes this dining destination unique is that once you choose your pool deck table, you can then pick your dinner from among three quality restaurants each serving a different style of cuisine.
This allows diners to choose Sushi appetizers from restaurant Nau, your entree from Steak & Lobster, and after-dinner cocktails and desert from Voltes famous dessert and bakery bar, all served to your table. Particularly for larger and business groups, this eliminates the argument of what style of cuisine to choose.
Business properties with the amenities you want
The pyramid-shaped Crown Plaza offers across the street access to the Managua Convention Center where a variety of meeting and event spaces are available. The Crown Plaza features spacious rooms and suites perfect for business, couples or family travel. There is a robust breakfast buffet each morning.
These properties offer exceptional value and service to both leisure and business travelers. Staff is routinely friendly, bilingual and able to help you safely explore the country.
Hands down, the food is always excellent.
In Managua, you can also find American fast foods like KFC and Buffalo Wild Wings, though visitors should seek out the regional foods the locals eat. The freshest of seafood, like a flavorful ceviche and delicate whole deep-fried red snapper, are found at Restaurante Summer at the Puerto Salvador Allende Park found on the shores of Lake Managua.
Sandino and Nicaragua – Past and Present
At the Puerto Salvador Allende Park are replicas of the homes of Nicaraguan historical figures, the revolutionary Augusto C. Sandino and national poet and ambassador to Spain, Rubén Darío have been built.
Built along cobbled streets, there are four houses where the visitor can walk through as they were when Darío and Sandino lived. The smallest of the homes replicates where Dario was born in 1867. The house has copies of the actual furniture from Darío’s Leon home.
A portrait of the poet’s mother, Rosa Sarmiento hangs on the wall. Darío’s home also features a replica of the sofa bed given to the poet by General Manuel Estrada, President of Guatemala from 1898 to 1920.
The home of Gregorio Sandino, father of state hero Augusto Calderon Sandino features portraits of the Sandino family. Next door is the last home of Sandino and his wife Blanca Arauz, including portraits of the occupants.
The replica houses are a great way to introduce visitors to Sandino, whose 50’ silhouette statue looks out over the city and the lush forests that carpet Nicaragua. Visitors to the area will find themselves face to face with numerous life-sized statues and portraits of the revolutionary who led the rebellion against the U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua between 1927 and 1933.
The Nicaraguan Rebellion
The band of rebels led by Sandino was able to draw the United States Marine Corps into a six-year guerrilla war, waged primarily against the U.S. with the support of Adolfo Diaz as president of Nicaragua. Thereupon the U.S. entered into the regional war after Mexico backed Juan Bautista Sacasa as the country’s president.
The U.S. supported Adolfo Diaz helping to quelch the liberal revolt that supported Sacasa.
In return, in 1914, Diaz signed the Bryan–Chamorro Treaty, which granted the United States exclusive rights to build an inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua. The Panama Canal was built first and while plans for a canal across Nicaragua’s southern border still exist, environmental concerns make it unlikely.
The U.S. pulled out of Nicaragua after the inauguration of President Juan Bautista Sacasa (1932–36.) The Great Depression in the U.S. also contributed to the withdrawal of troops as we simply could not afford to support the efforts.
Sandino: Bandit or Hero?
While the U.S. named Sandino a “bandit“, throughout Latin America he was, and is still, a hero. Sandino is literally a larger than life symbol of the resistance and strength of the people. Sandino is largely responsible for shaping Nicaragua’s national identity, and he continues to influence the people.
At one time, U.S. President Roosevelt was once honored by the country with a blinding white monument located near the main military base. It is now dedicated to the martyrs of the revolution.
The Sandino assassination was in 1934 during a coup d’é·tat when the National Guard Gen. Anastasio Somoza Garcia came to power in Nicaragua. This led to a dictatorship over the country for more than 40 years. Garcia was eventually overthrown by the group that became the Sandanistas.
Nicaragua’s natural resources
Nicaragua is not a naturally poor country. The country rates as the safest Central American country for tourism. Gold and silver found in the mines, Siuna, Rosita, and Bonanza has been among the country’s dominant trade since 1880.
These mines pillar the Golden Triangle, an area equivalent to 8.4% of the land surface of the country. The export of gold is the third most important item for Nicaragua. According to a recent study the mining sector has been able to double gold production and increase silver output by up to seven times in the last 11 years.
Nicaragua is a socialist country following ten years of civil war from 1980-90 and the economic crisis of 1987. The GDP in Nicaraguan relies on agriculture, fishing and forestry, leisure and business tourism. Tourism has grown 394% over the last decade, making it the second biggest source of foreign capital.
This is leading to improvements and attractions in their capital city of Managua.
A large population of the country is still living in poverty, particularly in rural areas that are still feeling the effects of the 1998 hurricane. Wages for highly skilled jobs average under $500 U.S. per month, and low skilled jobs, $92 U.S. per month
According to the Rural Poverty Portal, most of the rural poor live in the vast, dry central regions. Because the land is over exploited, there is a high population density, and natural resources are minimal.
Additionally, water is scarce and some 68% of the rural population does not have access to electricity.
Rural people farm crops like sorghum and maize in the lower climates. Beans and vegetables in higher areas. Hence, like farmers everywhere, these people are vulnerable to market and climate conditions.
Gold mining in Nicaragua is experiencing a sharp growth as a result of the arrival of foreign companies with the money and knowledge to tap into the nation’s reserves. Unfortunately for the people of Nicaragua, the wealth that results from the country’s gold and silver mines belong to those foreign interests located in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
For this reason, Nicaraguan lawmakers are fine-tuning details of a bill creating a Nicaraguan Mining Company. For this reason Nicaragua to be able to participate in exploration and exploitation activities now being carried out by foreign companies who have been granted concessions.
In 2010, Sandino was named a ‘National Hero’ by Nicaraguan Congress.
When you go:
Money in Nicaragua is the Cordoba. If you are in hotels or restaurants in various towns, credit cards, and American dollars can be used. However, in rural areas, or when purchasing from vendors, you’ll want to have some Cordobas with you. The conversion is odd.
Today, March 23, 2018, C$100 is $3.34 American. There is a handy currency converter here.
Copa Airlines flies into Managua Airport, often going through Tocumen International Airport, Panama City
At this writing, rates via travel websites for these property runs from approximately $100 per night for the Intercontinental to $63 per night for the Holiday Inn Express.
Crown Plaza Managua
Octava Calle Sur Oeste
Frente A Centro Comercial
Carretera a Massaya
Managua 14005, Nicaragua
505 2276 8989
Holiday Inn Express
Blvd. Jean Paul Genie de la rotonda 800 mts al
Oeste Carretera a Masaya
Managua, Nicaragua 14159
505 2 2985800
Holiday Inn Nicaragua
Plaza Holiday Inn
Juan Pablo II Ave
595 2 2556010