Can Nicaragua Offer Tourism Like This?

I am not sure why I received a link to this Ecuador travel information but I did. I get a lot of SPAM and was about to trash this until I saw the prices. The idea of multiple days (two for one tour, three for the other), transportation, food, a guide and lodging included with prices under $125 total got my attention.

I know nothing about this company not their tours but every time I see some sort of Nicaragua tour having prices with another digit is the norm. Based on the destinations listed it doesn't sound like what a backpacker would be interested in. More like someone who wants to see some stuff but is not paid a US executive salary.

I'm not planning on starting a Nicaragua travel company but it seems there is a business opportunity here plus a chance to get a whole new set of tourists. It could just mean that someone who was going to spend a week in Costa Rica because that was all they could afford to add in a few days in Nicaragua for close to nothing.

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if you keep an eye out in

if you keep an eye out in nicaragua, you can find cheap "tour packages". you just gotta look beyond the big ones aimed for americans. For instance, my wife and i took a tour to cerro negro and went volcano boarding. this was through our hostel. we had paid 7 dollars a night for the bed, and 25 dollars a piece for the all day "tour". less than 70 bucks for 2 nights, refreshments, all equipment included, transportation, the guide etc.

we also found people offering to take us down the rio san juan and into the biological reserve. 3 nights, 4 days, food included for just about 100 dollars a person.

there was a cool 3 night / 4 day hiking/camping package the hostel in leon offered that took you up north along a river. it was only 60 dollars a person (provided they could get 8 people to sign up for the trip)

im not sure what kind of tours you are looking at that have 4 digits in the price. whatever those are must be a complete rip off, or better include something like a cruise along with it! i think the last time we were there, we didnt even spend close to 1000 bucks total in the 2 weeks there, and that was going from city to city and doing stuff every day!

yes, but

tours take volume to run. that is the killer from what I have seen in the north , in particular.

When you do have the volume, you can provide VALUE if you want to. Case in point was my trip to El Castillo a few years ago. The hotel owners got on the phone and put together a group of 8 to go on the Night Caiman Tour in a panga that seats 8 with an experienced guide for 7 bucks each. Worked out great.

Contrasting bad example is Las Peñitas Reserve tours: each hotel has its own pet guide. If you don`t just get lucky and have a group to get the price down, you either pay more or don`t go. Each hotel is playing the same game, so on any given day there are a lot of individuals missing tours or paying more than necessary to send 2 people in an 8 person boat. Let`s all go to Las Peñitas to miss the tour!!! Somoto Canyon is another one like this.

The tours in CR aren`t too much pricier than the Ecuador ones, but they roll in a bus of 20 people which makes them competitive. Find out how to get the right number of customers in the same place at the same time and find a management philosophy of good service and you can put together good tours.

Incidently, there are 1 and 2 day tours to Nic. from San Jose for those who want to bag an extra country but don`t want to do the leg work.

From my budget travel in CA, Nicaragua is occassionally the CHEAP leader, but it is rarely the VALUE leader. and many times it is not even the CHEAP leader.

PS: the workaround for Las Peñitas` tours, if you speak Spanish and if you figure it out and if you feel like reinventing the wheel is to find out what size boat each player (I think the ranger station has a 4 seater) has, and then go put together your own tour! The miracle of Nicaraguan budget tourism seems to be to let the customers do all the work.

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." Ayn Rand