Ecotourism International of Nicaragua, S.A. - EINSA
- Introduction to Nicaraguan
Nicaragua's geographic location
halfway down Central America makes it one of the most biologically diverse areas
of the world. It represents the southernmost limit of many northern species,
including the southernmost pine forests in the hemisphere. The country contains
the largest rain forests in Central America providing habitats suitable to many
South American species.
In addition to being the
crossroads of North and South, Nicaragua is also divided between the dry Pacific
and wet Atlantic by a series of volcanoes and mountain ranges. These two
divisions (North/South, Atlantic/Pacific) furnish a wide range of habitat types
in a very small area. These habitats range from savanna-like plains to dry
tropical forest, submontane tropical forest, rain forest, cloud forest, a
variety of aquatic habitats on both Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, volcanic
crater lakes, and the largest bodies of fresh water in Latin America. The
combination makes the country a diverse and fascinating destination for nature
lovers and professional biologists alike. All of the biomes offer rich rewards
for those who find wonder and fascination in the details of nature.
The tourism industry in Nicaragua has long suffered
from Nicaragua's poor reputation brought about by instability, revolution, and
civil war. Even after the general security situation calmed following the
peaceful transition to democratic rule in 1990, many of the remote areas that
would be of interest to ecotourists remained dangerous. Today there remain some
remote areas, extremely high in biodiversity, that are still dangerous. However,
most of Nicaragua is now quite safe. The problem is a lingering negative
perception of Nicaragua, especially in North America.
Another problem that continues to cripple tourism development, and by
extension, ecotourism, is the critical lack of developed tourism infrastructure
outside of Managua and a very few places along the Pacific coast. Even in these
locations, the choices are extremely limited. For those familiar with Central
America, the state of Nicaragua's infrastructure most resembles that of Costa
Rica, 20-25 years ago. Most Nicaraguan tour companies eke out a meagre living
from add-on tourism or the limited domestic market. Most international tourists
(excluding business travelers) come from Europe, with the U.S. running a close
second. There are several U.S.-based ecotourism companies that have run
offerings in Nicaragua.
This situation means that the
wilderness areas in Nicaragua remain true wilderness (deforestation, etc, is
another story). It means that the country is an ideal location for small-group,
low-impact guided ecotours. It means that with completely new species being
discovered practically on a daily basis, there is a chance that a hard-science
format tour could be a part of scientific history. However, it also means that
the visitor should come to Nicaragua with the knowledge that animals in the
forests are well hidden and often quite shy. If you want to see tame wildlife
that will pose for pictures while being hand-fed, you had better go elsewhere.
The wild animals of the Nicaraguan forests require patience and a keen eye. In
addition, it means that touring Nicaragua on one's own and actually seeing
anything, let alone knowing where to go, is practically impossible.
- Ecotourism International of Nicaragua SA -
The company specializes in fully
customizable, small-group, low-impact, off-the-beaten-track ecological tours to
locations throughout Nicaragua. In addition, the company offers a selection of
fully developed "package", or pre-planned tours that range in difficulty from
"soft", with top-notch, comfortable hotel accommodations and air conditioned
vehicles, to "hard" with multi-day backpacking expeditions. Our tours have a
strong science and natural history component. Each of them includes an in-depth
look at a particular ecosystem that allows the visitor to experience the
breathtaking diversity of Nicaragua's Pacific slope in a highly interactive,
free-form and understandable atmosphere.
We take a
global approach to ecotourism and the environment. Our visitors are not just
shown the flora and fauna, but learn through hands-on, on-site explanations by
internationally recognized biologists and ecologists how all of the components
of the ecosystem function together: from mimetic adaptation to primary
succession. In addition, our visitors are shown the human impacts - both
positive and negative - that affect or modify these ecosystems. Our
hard-science, educational format provides a rewarding experience for the
biologist, the birder, or the person who just wants to enjoy and understand the
One of the key "special
interest" groups is the birders. Nicaragua offers some of the most spectacular
birding opportunities in Central America. The company has developed three
distinct itineraries tailored specifically for birders, with three different
levels of difficulty. Depending on what the ?afficionado? wants to see (and is
willing to put up with), we can offer a soft trip based in Managua, with visits
to specific birding sites (highlights are wild parakeets, waterfowl, ani,
manikin, motmot, etc), a moderate trip which allows the birder to get access to
some of our more exotic species (including macaw, amazonia, etc), and a "hard
core" trek to what one consulting scientists claims is the highest population
density of northern quetzal in Central America.
addition to our in-house programs, EINSA has established joint venture or add-on
offerings that include an active archaeology dig, leadership and organizational
development training and seminars, and intensive Spanish language instruction.
These special programs are offered through a network of local companies and
organizations that "pick up where EINSA leaves off" in our straight ecotourism
Finally, EINSA has developed a
comprehensive support package for scientific researchers and academic/student
groups, including assistance with site selection, logistics, and on-site
backstop. For student groups, we can also provide on-site lectures, seminars and
training from biologists with over a decade of experience studying the biota of
In addition to our "tourism" activities,
EINSA is currently working directly on environmental protection. One of our
sites has recently come under attack by commercial logging interests. We have
had some success via publicising the issue and also through direct badgering of
the Ministry of Environment and select members of the National Assembly. We are
actively working to halt this illegal activity through public awareness,
lobbying, and joint efforts with the concerned landowners. What's more, the
corporation has pledged 5% of each tourist dollar to a local, non-profit
environmental protection foundation.
International of Nicaragua's multi-lingual (English, Spanish, French, German,
Italian) and highly-trained staff (emergency medical service (ems), rescue,
SCUBA, etc) guarantees each visitor high-quality, personalized attention and a
safe, rewarding trip.
For more information, please
contact the address below.
Prepared by ...
Ecotourism International of Nicaragua, S.A.
Apartado Postal LC93, Managua,