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Don’t Settle for Second Best

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All of our trips are designed & planned by Nicaragua’s most experienced travel specialist
- Richard Leonardi

Customer Letters

Hello Richard,

It has been a couple of months since my husband and I returned from our tour of Nicaragua and we felt the need to convey what an amazing experience we had with Tours Nicaragua.

From the moment I contacted your office until we were dropped off at the airport for our return trip home, we were treated with extreme care & courtesy and were well looked after.

When we arrived everything went as planned with no delays and no surprises. Roberto & Frank greeted us with huge smiles and were very friendly as if they had known us forever. Every guide and driver that we dealt with was friendly, cheerful, knowledgeable & likable! They were all amazing individuals who ensured that we were well looked after and all our needs were met.

They did not disappoint! The one person that stood out most for us was Roberto. His leadership, knowledge and caring were top notch. He is a “people” person who is passionate about life, has a wonderful spirit and a great infectious laugh! He was prompt with everything, he was extremely knowledgeable about his country, and he was genuine. And he became a friend immediately. It was as if we’ve known each other forever. The hardest part was saying goodbye. He is perfect for the role!

You guys certainly know what you are doing to treat your client’s right!

The accommodations & food were fantastic. Almost all went according to plan, except for a couple of things which were totally out of your control (like active volcanoes spewing lava or windstorms which forced the cancellation of ferries and sailboat trips). Roberto and Maura did their best to come up with alternate plans and he never left our side until he was sure we settled in for the day.

In summary, our experience with Tours Nicaragua was fantastic and will certainly recommend to all our friends and family. Please pass along our thanks to your staff.

Thanks so much,

Niki & John Alliston, Ontario, Canada
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Hi Richard,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for a wonderful vacation. Everything worked out perfectly. All of your suggestions and advice were extremely helpful.

Erick was an amazing guide. He was a true gentleman and always a pleasure to be with. He was very knowledgeable with the birds and nature. He always added interesting information about the country, the people and culture. I would give him a five star plus review.

The driver Sergio was also fantastic and a pleasure to be with and always a gentleman. He too would get a five star review from us.

In Leon, we found Rigo to also be a pleasure to be with. He too gave us lots of information about Leon. Our trip with him in Juan Venado was wonderful. He knew about the birds and the nature of the area. He to would get a five star review.

All the places you booked us in were perfect and would get a five stars from us. Aqua might actually get six, especially since we had the nicest room in the place.

The only mistake was ours, which was not staying longer in Nicaragua. So I guess there will be a next time.

We have already passed your name and company to several friends.

Thank you once again

Will Papp & Lisa Cunningham, New York, New York
USA
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Hi Richard

Stu and I just want to thank you for arranging our wonderful tour of Nicaragua! We could not be more happy or satisfied. Juan is an excellent guide, helpful, personable, knowledgeable and dedicated to assuring that we would have the best experience possible. Marvin is a skilled and reliable driver and we always felt safe and well attended. We are very grateful that you arranged for Edgar as our archaeological guide, his expertise coupled with his kind demeanor and keen sense of humor greatly enhanced our appreciation of the archaeological sites and artifacts. He and Juan were wonderful travelling companions and we enjoyed getting to know them.

The hotels met our needs very well and most exceeded our expectations. Nicaragua is a very beautiful and interesting country and the itinerary you planned introduced us to a perfect sampling of its many charms, focusing on our special interests. We saw a lot but we never felt rushed or overwhelmed since there was plenty of free time to relax. The food was delicious and the choice of restaurants and Juan’s recommendations were all just right. The logistics were smooth and well handled, and when there was an issue, such as the delay of our La Costena flight from San Carlos, Juan took us back to town to have a leisurely lunch and actively checked the status of the flight until it was time to return to the airport.

Many thanks to you and whole Tours Nicaragua team! We’ll be sure to contact you should our travel plans bring us back to Nicaragua.

Warm wishes,

Barbara and Stu Miller, USA
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Hello Tours Nicaragua,

We recently went on a wonderful nature tour of the Rio San Juan with Tours Nicaragua. There were 4 of us who boated down the river and ended up at the beautiful Rio Indio Lodge on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.

We were given amazing views of all sorts of beautiful birds including Roseate Spoonbills, Southern Lapwings, the Red legged honeycreeper, blue grey tanager, squirrel cuckoo, Semiplumbeous Hawk, King Vulture, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Pale billed and Lineated Woodpeckers and so many many more.

We saw an otter, many monkeys (Howler, Capuchin, Spider), crocodiles, caimans and iguanas. It was a nature filled 5 day trip.

Our guide Lenin was amazing, not only knowing so many species, where to find them, spotting them and giving us the opportunity to get great photos.

Our boat driver Manual was also a great spotter and manipulated the boat so well to allow us to take time so everyone in the boat had opportunities to see what he had spied.

Also the excursion up the Rio Indio to visit with the Rama family was very special.

The accommodations were spectacular and the meals were so delicious. This was our second trip with Tours Nicaragua and we would recommend it greatly and hope we will enjoy another tour with this fine organization in the future.

Rod and Patricia Sein, Lively, Ontario, Canada
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Dear Richard and Team Tours Nicaragua,

Trip of a lifetime. I just wanted to say thank you for your impeccable organization. At every turn you really made sure that our tour flowed effortlessly and you provided excellent attention to detail.

We were prepared for our luggage going missing thanks to you. So I had a daypack with shorts and bikini all ready for Corn Islands.

Our driver Edwardo was highly professional and courteous and I really appreciated the fact that he did not answer his phone whilst driving!
The roads in Nicaragua are daunting and it is good that he clearly had such high standards of safety.

The accommodation really blew us away and the children and I myself had never experienced such luxury before nor ever will again I dare say.

But the star of the tour has to be (guide) Guillermo!

He taught us so much in a gentle humorous style and I enjoyed chilling with him half-way up Ometepe, whilst the others did their marathon race to the top.

He was mortified when Old Leon was closed, but we managed to squeeze it in another day so no harm was done.

He was so patient and informative and he is a real credit to you and to the country of Nicaragua.

His pride and passion for your wonderful country was palpable. He is an excellent guide and a caring and compassionate human being.

I would love to return to Nicaragua one day. It is a very special place.

I wish you every success in the future.

You deserve nothing less.

Thank you,

Jilly H., Cornwall, England, UK
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Hi Richard

Just wanted to drop you a quick line having returned from a great trip to Nicaragua.

Delighted to say the whole tour was a huge success, and I wanted to thank you for all your help in ensuring that this was the case. Great itinerary, great accommodation (particularly the lodge on Ometepe, very pleased you persuaded us to say there it was delightful) and great guide!!

We cannot begin to say how impressed we were with Juan, who was absolutely brilliant. Professional, friendly, charming, helpful. Juan anticipated our every need and did everything possible to make sure we had the best time ever. We have all travelled extensively and we all agreed that Juan was one of the best guides we have ever had – he is a real asset to Tours Nicaragua.

For Andy and I, this was our first experience of using a local ground agent and it has certainly encouraged us to go down this route for further trips, as local knowledge on the ground certainly proved invaluable.

So many thanks to you and all your team, and for sharing this very beautiful country with us.

Kind regards,

Karen & Andy Richardson, Hereford, England
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Dear Richard

We wanted to thank you for our amazing vacation to Nicaragua in November. We appreciate your willingness to work with us to create the perfect individualized itinerary for our preferences. Your communication with us was always quick and informative, and we felt sufficiently prepared for what to expect and what we needed to bring.

Our tours on the first two days were directed by Rigo, and he was a wonderful guide. He was knowledgeable about the area and about Nicaragua. He took a lot of time making sure we were having fun, and he ensured that everything was prepared in a way that created the optimal experience for us. For example, he made sure we made it to Cerro Negro before it was crowded so our pictures did not have other people in them and we didn’t have to wait in line for others to sled down the volcano.

Erick, our main guide, was amazing. He was friendly, knowledgeable and even further researched answers to questions we had between times when we saw him. He was able to provide a lot of information to us on history, culture and nature, which are all things in which we have a personal interest. It was so much fun spending time with him on our hike up Maderas. He provided a lot of needed encouragement over a long, 9-hour hike, helping us make it all the way to the top when many others on the trail turned around. On the final day after saying goodbye to him for what we thought would be the last time, we realized that Todd had developed a fever. We called Erick and Maura, and Erick immediately walked back to our hotel from his home, ready to take us to a hospital if necessary. He made us feel at home throughout the trip.

Erick and our driver, Franklin, were also always early for our transfers between cities and ready to help us when needed. Franklin’s van was very clean and comfortable for our travel through the country. He was a very safe driver and transferred us without any complications.

We love Nicaragua and everyone we met along the way. We truly felt like we were among friends throughout our vacation. We have many friends and family in the US that are taking our strong recommendation to schedule a trip with Tours Nicaragua, so you will hopefully be hearing from them soon!

Thanks again for such an unforgettable vacation!

Todd and Aaron Fobian, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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Dear Tours Nicaragua, We had the most lovely Christmas holiday in your luscious country due in large part to the top-notch expertise of Lenin, our guide. His understanding of geography, history, politics, flora and fauna – and his wonderful sense of humor – made the trip a true delight. Freddie, our driver, was a pleasure who always made us feel safe even in the craziest roadway situations.

We chose an itinerary that emphasized nature, and we were not disappointed in your choices for us. Montibelli was a highlight with comfortable lodging, excellent home-made food, and great hiking and birding. It was fun just sitting on the porch waiting to see who might drop in for a bath while listening to the howler monkeys. I appreciate the importance of the shade grown coffee ecosystem, and its beneficial effects on various species, so I was really delighted to be wandering under the canopy of old growth trees, and learning more about the products grown there. We were so very happy to have Luis as our personal guide at Montibelli. His instincts and senses are so acute that he could even detect a mottled owl snugly ensconced within the leaves of a large broad-leafed bush. Luis took excellent care of us the entire time. I look forward to going back there.

Mombacho was a standout also. Hiking about the chilly cloud forest and feeling the warmth from the volcano fumaroles was truly outstanding.

In Granada and Leon, we greatly appreciated the luxury of the hotels you chose for us…..Hotel Real La Merced and El Convento. So very, very comfy! They were also perfectly situated for easy access to everything and the staff was exceptional. And, again, having Lenin’s deep understanding of place and people made this an experience that we are enjoying sharing now with our friends.

Cheers,

Gayle and Jim Sheets, Florida, USA
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I wanted to thank for arranging the best family trip we could have possibly have. We loved your country, the food, the coffee and the rum.

Each city was unique and ending on the beautiful beach on Corn Island was perfect. But most of all, every guide and driver was warm, welcoming and made us feel safe on all our adventures.

We all agreed that we had never had a trip where we learned more about a country.

Thank you so very much.

Maude, Scott, Graham & Connor MacGillivray, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Dear Tours Nicaragua,

WOW!!!! We have traveled extensively for the past 20 years, and I can say without qualification that our Nicaraguan adventure was the best ever. We were fortunate to have Lenin, most knowledgeable and accommodating guide ever, Pablo, most courteous and careful van driver, and finally Fernando, best boat driver. From Leon to El Castillo, from tropical dry forest to cloud forest to tropical humid rain forest…what a grand experience. My nearly 1,000 photos in 9 days tell it all! What were the highlights? Incredible birding on the Rio Zapote and Rio Papaturro ; watching howler, capuchin and spider monkeys cavort; dining on huge river shrimp and delectable snook in El Castillo; slogging through the muddy jungle Indio-Maio Reserve in Wellingtons seeking poison dart frogs, luxuriating in the Plaza Colon in Granada and El Convento in Leon and on and on and on. We will return to Nicaragua as soon as possible.

Thanks for designing this trip especially for us!

Manya Ogle, Murphy, North Carolina, USA
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Hi Richard,

I just wanted to say, on a personal level, that I’ve never had a better international trip experience than our trip with you. I’ve told many people here at home that although the geology was amazing, it was the people that were truly phenomenal–from your guides in Lenin and Rigo to everyone we met on our trip no matter the circumstances.

I can only describe it as emotional in the best of ways–overwhelming in the outstanding, caring, happy, and also humble people we met. America could learn much from Nicaragua and its people. We will be back again.

Thanks again for everything,

Nelson R. Ham, Professor of Geology & Environmental Science
St. Norbert College
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
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Richard,

Please accept my delayed thanks to you and all the fantastic guides and driver who traveled with our family this past Dec/Jan. All your staff were professional, genuine, and a joy to be with.

All logistics flowed perfectly and we had a fantastic Nicaraguan adventure. While we had many unique experiences, attending a Christmas Day bull riding rodeo on Ometepe Island had to rank as the best.

All the best with your ongoing business and please feel to use me a reference to any new clients down the road.

Cheers,

Tom Zulauf, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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Dear Richard

This is to say thank you for a fabulous holiday in Nicaragua. We are very pleased with the way things worked out and will certainly recommend both Nicaragua and Tours Nicaragua to our friends. From start to finish you did a great job for us with planning, itinerary and, especially, the hotel choices which exceeded our expectations. I really don’t think we could have asked for more.

We particularly want to thank you for the help of Javier and Paulo who both worked very hard on your behalf and really made the trip. Javier’s enthusiasm and guidance was incredible: we thoroughly enjoyed his company and really appreciated his knowledge. Paulo is surely the best driver we have ever had. We always felt 100% safe with him and his punctuality was matched by his patience with us – a true professional. They are both a real credit to your company.

So, thank you once again and may you all have a prosperous New Year!

Best wishes

Nick, Kate, Andrew and Rachel Clemo, Windsor, England, UK
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Dear Richard,

I just wanted to let you know that we had a Wonderful time visiting your country. The itinerary was great, action-packed, and balanced between nature and culture.

Wish we had more time in Granada to explore this fascinating city, but that was our fault for not allowing enough time in Nicaragua in general; we’ll be back. The hotels were great in Managua and Leon, especially the one in Leon! That was amazing!

Roberto was The best. I’ve traveled a bit and he is the best tour guide I’ve ever had. He was knowledgeable, kind, generous, patient, really warm and funny. From the moment we met him until we said goodbye, he was a total pleasure. He made the whole trip a great experience for everyone in my family. He’s a very special person.

Thanks,

Gabriel Martinez, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Hi Richard,

Just want to thank you for helping us put together a wonderful trip to Nicaragua. Everything was just perfect. We loved both Juan (guide) and Harold (driver).

The hotels were beautiful and we loved the country and the people. We learned a lot about the history of the country from Juan and others we met along the way.

Although I had been nervous about making so many stops and moving around so much, it really worked out well and I am glad we got to see many different areas of the country, all of which had their own unique histories and charm.

All the best,

Lynn Grossman, Westport, Connecticut, USA
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Richard,

Thanks so much for our great trip last week. We had a fabulous time, and it was more fun even than we expected. We had a terrific guide, friendly, professional, and full of information about Nicaragua, its history, culture, economy, flora and fauna. The hotels were great, as was the mix of activities. I have to admit we did not anticipate such a difficult climb on Ometepe, but the encounters with the howler monkeys made it worthwhile.

Thanks again, and we hope to return soon!

Regards,

Rachel Lovejoy, New York, New York, USA
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Dear Richard,

Just a brief note to let you know how much Tony and I enjoyed our recent trip. Thanks to Javier, Edgard, and Marvin, we received a wonderful introduction to Nicaragua’s history, culture, and ecology. We couldn’t have asked for better guides and driver.

I think Javier probably reported to you that we were very pleased with all the accommodations, food, transportation–indeed, all aspects of the tour.

When we arrived home last night the airport shuttle drive said, “Nicaragua?! I didn’t know anyone took a vacation in Nicaragua.” But we assured him that it is indeed a beautiful and fascinating place.

Cheers,

Cam Walker, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
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Hi Richard,

I wanted to post a couple photos and a very favorable review of my tour back in June–sorry it’s taken me so long to sit down and do this.

My trip with Juan as guide and Harold as driver was well-organized and included a variety of activities. The hotels were lovely, especially the Plaza Colon in Granada.
One of the most special moments of my trip was watching the sun rise on Lake Nicaragua. Hiking on the volcanoes provided amazing views and interesting nature and science.

Tours Nicaragua made me feel like a valued guest in Nicaragua.

Leda Hall, Washington, D.C. USA
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Dear Richard,

This was our second trip with Tours Nicaragua and it definitely won’t be the last. We were really messed up due to incredible snow storms in Montreal and couldn’t make it to Managua for several days, so had to fly to Liberia, Costa Rica. Tours Nicaragua staff organized a driver from Liberia to the Nicaraguan border for us where we were met by Franklin our driver and Roberto our guide.

Franklin is a great driver and Roberto is a really “up” guide – very knowledgeable about the country and its history.

I had my son, his wife and my two granddaughters with us and Roberto was able to keep us all informed and interested the whole time.

Great stops in Leon, San Juan del Sur and Granada with all the requisite markets, volcanoes, churches, coffee fincas, etc.

Again we can’t thank you enough for a great professional and pleasant experience.

Until next time,

Moose Morin, Ottawa, Canada
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Dear Richard,

We returned from our honeymoon in Nicaragua the other day, and already wish we could return! We wanted to thank you for the amazing trip you planned for us – every detail was perfect and suited our personalities well. We LOVED the accommodations you chose, and each hotel was unique and provided excellent service. From volcano boarding to sailing (which was the highlight of the trip for us) the excursions were a blast! A little adventure and a little romance ????

Jaime was the most amazing tour guide! He always arrived early to pick us up, and had an immense amount of knowledge about the areas we visited. His unique background provided a lot of insight about the flora and fauna of the country, the wildlife and other cultural perspectives. He was very flexible and made himself available to us always. Jaime even overheard us talking about my upcoming birthday (which was on the day we flew back home) and planned a surprise birthday lunch for me with a cake and guitar players!!! It was so special to have both Jaime and Franklin with us, as we trusted them immensely and felt at the end that we had become friends.

We can’t wait to return to Nicaragua and do another tour. We hope that on our next tour Jaime can show us around his favorite surfing spots on the coast and give us a taste of Nicaraguan surf life!

Thank you again for your help in making our honeymoon one we will always remember!

Best,

Jennifer and Chris Heinen, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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Hi Richard

I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for my tour. It was perfect and fabulous. Robert and Harold were just lovely to have as my guides and company. They took great care of me and I truly enjoyed being with them. They work really well together and were both great at what they do and fun to be with.

Next time I will want much more time at Ometepe; I had no idea that the time would pass so fast. We only got to see the one area of petroglyphs at the coffee farm and the day was done. I love the history and seeing the petroglyphs and Edgar was a wonderful guide. By then my Spanish was not too bad so I could follow most of what he said. Robert would finish the rest. I have some photos of Edgar so I will send then after I upload them to my computer. Edgar really is good at his job and we had a good time too.

It was really nice meeting with you and thank you for all of your help. I plan on coming back and doing a bit different tour but will let you know what I am thinking so we can plan.

All the best to you,

Patty Wallenburg, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Richard,

Shirley and I want to thank you and your staff for a wonderful tour in Nicaragua. It was all delightful: sights, accommodations, food, and certainly the people. Everyone was pleasant, professional and very helpful. We enjoyed it all but the trip down the San Juan and the stay at the Rio Indio Lodge was special.

We hope to be back in Nicaragua before too long.

Dave Parish, Natick, Massachusetts, USA
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Dear Richard,

I just wanted to thank you and your team for the excellent tour package that you put together for us. We very much enjoyed our trip and loved the people and the nature of Nicaragua. We would definitely recommend Granada, Ometepe, and San Juan Del Sur to our friends.

Cheers,

Hazhir Rahmandad, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Good Morning,

I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our vacation in Nicaragua!

Javier was an excellent guide… informative, helpful and enthusiastic. He is a great asset to your company and is a stellar representative of both Tours Nicaragua and the country of Nicaragua. Pablo was a terrific driver and went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed.

The accommodations were very nice… especially Solentiname. What a spectacular setting! We were able to see so much wildlife and spectacular flora as well. I would recommend this tour to everyone.

I do wish we had been able to see Granada as well…. perhaps it could be worked in to the tour in the future. But, since we didn’t get to see Granada I guess that is a perfect excuse for us to make a return visit!

Thank you again for the exceptional service.

Cheryl Rowland Weston, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
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Dear Richard

Hope all is well.

I just wanted to thank you, Maura and everyone else, who helped to make this the most wonderful holiday we’ve ever been on. Roberto, Frank, Enrique and Harry are all great people.

We were looked after so well and didn’t have to worry about a thing – the country is beautiful and we miss it so much.

When I woke up on Thursday morning and saw my bedroom and the English rain beating down on the window pane, I cursed!!

There’s so much I can go on about, but I won’t bore you.

We’ll be back!!

Yasho Shah, London, England, UK
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Hi Richard:

The trip was enjoyed by all, and I personally found Nicaragua a refreshing change from Costa Rica. The itinerary was well planned and the last day on Ometepe Island was a wonderful finale. I hope we will be able to return some day – maybe for the Rio San Juan trip that Richard Longley is interested in, and/or a longer time on Ometepe. Gerald is an excellent guide – personable and knowledgeable – and we appreciated the local guides Juan at Montebelli, and Eddie at Mombacho with his expert knowledge of the cloud forest plants.

Dr Hamish Duthie & Dr Lynn Allen, Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
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Richard and Maura,

We are back home! Had a wonderful trip and Robert is a great guide!!!! Feel free to use us for recommendations. We will send some of our photos also. We loved the hotels/lodges that you picked for us.

Carol Detmer and Stan Holmes, Cold Spring, Kentucky, USA
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Richard and staff–

I want to thank you for the excellent service you provided for my wife and I during our trip last month to Nicaragua. It started out a little rough with the weather caused delays on our flights down, but you were able to reschedule everything so our itinerary went as planned. We really appreciated your efforts.

The vacation was great, particularly the trip on the Rio San Juan and into the Indio Maiz Rainforest. What beautiful, unspoiled country. There are obviously changes coming with the new road to San Carlos and the development (new airstrip and dredging) near San Juan del Norte. I can understand why it is happening, but I am glad we were able to be there to travel in the area at this time. We never saw another person on the trip up the Rio Indio–something that probably won’t last much longer.< /p>

Accommodations everywhere were 1st class, and we felt perfectly safe everywhere we went. The time we spent the the last few days at Orquidea del Sur was a great way to end the vacation just relaxing so as not to get home more weary than when we left. I certainly recommend it to others looking for a place to unwind.

Our guide Lenin was wonderful–extremely knowledgeable, with a good personality and a great sense of humor. We couldn’t have done better. I have a few pictures I would like to send to him, but I don’t have his email address. Could you send it to me or let me know how to get them to him? Thank him again for his excellent service. And thank our driver, Ricardo, who did an excellent job.

Sincerely,

Alan List, Lovelock, Nevada, USA
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Dear Richard,

What a great tour – thanks so much!

Lenin and Harold were fantastic… I have traveled in around 90 countries, but I have to say they were both at the top of my list for effective, knowledgeable, personable guide and safe, kind driver… really appreciate that! Learned so much history – both political and natural.

My recommendation is to stick with the Boutique Hotels of Nicaragua list – and to market the fact that they are adaptively reused historic spaces – we absolutely loved them!

I was so amazed and impressed that Nicaragua is so easy to travel in… good roads, good food, really nice people, incredibly beautiful tropical landscapes, great architecture in Leon and Granada, etc.

Thanks so much and all the best – hope to visit again one day,

Sandi Chesrown, Arlington, Virginia, USA
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Dear Tours Nicaragua:

My fiancee and I recently returned from our trip to Nicaragua, booked through Tours Nicaragua, and I wanted to thank you for a fabulous experience! We had a lovely trip packed with information, adventure and local culture. Our guide, Henry Moraga, was friendly and informative; he really added so much to our trip. Henry was on time, every time, knowledgeable, polite and he smoothed things over whenever we hit a small snag. His information and advice was truly helpful, and he added wonderful depth to our experience. We enjoyed the various activities booked through your company. Moses from Mombo-tours was another delightful young man who guided through a fabulous day of kayaking, visiting with a local family and zip-lining over the coffee plantation. Another highlight was our sailing and fishing trip in San Juan del Sur. We caught our own lunch which was beautifully prepared aboard the boat. The crew was delightful! Morgan’s Rock was our favorite destination – truly a tropical paradise!

Thank you again for organizing such a delightful trip! We can’t wait to come back!

Jill Pinchiff and Michael Monaghan, Kent, Washington, USA
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Richard,

This is a belated note to tell you that my mother and I had a fabulous trip to Nicaragua Nov. 25-Dec. 4 with Gerald and Francisco. Your tour was wonderfully laid out to include all the things a first-time visitor might want to see in the country in a limited time. We fell in love with Nicaragua and particularly enjoyed how undertouristed it is compared to other Latin American countries. Most of all, we enjoyed the people. One of our favorite parts of a trip where every day was spectacular was getting to meet individual families on the Island of Ometepe, from the craftspeople to the family who welcomed us into their home for lunch. Of course, the very best ambassadors for the Nicaraguan people were your guide and driver. I hurt my back the day before leaving for Nicaragua, and my mom has one bad foot and one bad knee, and they took such very good care of us from start to finish. They were so attentive to our needs, whether for information, physical assistance, or Spanish lessons, that it was very hard to give them up at the end of the trip! One of our favorite parts of each day was when the four of us of would sit down to some new Nicaraguan dish at a local restaurant or food stall and we would laugh and laugh over what we had experienced that day. We loved our trip and will definitely be back to Nicaragua to see more of your wonderful country.

Kirsten Smith, Seattle, Washington, USA
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Dear Maura,

We have arrived home safely after a wonderful trip to Nicaragua. We enjoyed every moment and our experience was memorable thanks to Roberto’s knowledge, warm personality, good humour and attentiveness to our wellbeing as well as William’s safe driving and pleasant company. We enjoyed practising our Spanish and are now very motivated to continue our lessons here in Canada. We would also like to say that we are very satisfied with the organization of the tour by Richard and yourself. Your company has high standards and we will be pleased to recommend Tours Nicaragua to anyone that we know who plans to travel to Nicaragua.

Once again, thank-you to all of you for a fantastic trip!

Charlotte and Gordon Walkty, Winnepeg, Canada
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Dear Richard,

I couldn’t have asked for more with my recent Best of Nicaragua tour. The schedule was perfect because we had plenty of time to catch all of the places listed in the itinerary but also had the flexibility to go off the beaten path and try traditional foods and meet hard-working Nicaraguans to see how they live and make ends meet. The optional tour of Ometepe Island was superb and during my free days in León and Granada I saw the best of what those cities had to offer.

In the past I have toured countries in large groups but after spending the week with your guide and driver I doubt I ever will again. This trip was much more personal and fun than tours I have been on before—I felt like I was on a road trip with two friends instead of being a typical tourist. When I told our guide Gerald I was interested in trying certain Nicaraguan dishes I had read about, he knew the best places to do this and seamlessly fit these extras into my itinerary. When he realized I was willing to try anything and wanted to experience the culture as much as possible, he had great suggestions of other stuff I had not thought about or even heard of (mondongo and casuca) that were fun to try. We also went behind the scenes in kitchens to see the work that goes into their preparation.

Another great part of the trip that was not on the itinerary but your guide and driver made happen is our visit to a public school outside Granada. I am a teacher and wanted to see what a school in Nicaragua was like so they found one and we stopped. I was even able to address an elementary class while our guide translated. We got some great pictures of the school that I can’t wait to share with my own students.

Thank you to Tours Nicaragua for providing me with memories that will last a lifetime. I hope to come back to Nicaragua soon with my wife to show her what all the country has to offer.

Josh Whicker, Jeffersonville, Indiana, USA
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Dear Tours Nicaragua,

We have just returned from a superb holiday in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

The Nicaraguan leg organised by yourselves for our UK agent was exceptional. The itinerary for the trip was particularly well thought out and in the two weeks gave us an impressive introduction to the diversity in your Country.

Your guide, Javier was exceptional, and was both exceptionally knowledgeable and sensitive to tailor the holiday to our special interests. We will not forget the way he encouraged my wife to climb the Black Volcano despite her misgivings and as a result gave us an experience we would not have enjoyed without his patience and understanding.

We also do not forget our driver, Harold, for whom nothing was too much trouble and for his safe driving.

We cannot recommend Nicaragua highly enough for an eco-tourism destination and hope to get back to explore the Caribbean side of your Country.

Kind regards,

David and Sheila Brown, Woking, Surrey, UK
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Richard,

Comments on our San Juan River trip. We once again enjoyed the trip. The flight to San Carlos is fine and now the road from the “airport” to town is paved. The trip to El Castillo was fine. Hotel Victoria is a gem. From what I read on Trip Advisor when I entered my comments everyone else thinks so too. The trip to San Juan del Norte is an adventure. A bit long because of identifying many birds and reptiles and security stops. (7 hours). Rio Indio Lodge is out of this world. A place one would never expect to find so far off the beaten track. Food and service and rooms fine. The intermittent (5-9 AM and 5-9 PM) electricity and water a bit of bother. Rio Indio exploration, night time Cayman ‘hunting’, San Juan del Norte visit, right on and visit with Alicia a leader of the Rama very special.

In comparing our two trips we give a slight edge to Solentiname because of the shorter boat ride although the accommodations are certainly more primitive but the Rio Papaturro and the Isa Zapote are truly over the top.

I am not sure when we will do this again but I think we will. You have put together a super and very flexible way of setting up tours of Nicaragua. I only wish I could have been able (either time) to get one of my friends to come with us.

Thank you,

Carl and Judy Crosley, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, USA
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We arrived back in London after a long journey from Nicaragua.

I wanted to pass on my thanks to you and your team for organising such an outstanding trip for us to Nicaragua. We both thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, and that is all down to the excellence of the arrangements, and in particular the support, guidance and service we received from both Javier and Harold.

On this holiday we visited Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We were very apprehensive about including Nicaragua in our plans, however, it turned out to be the highlight of our trip. We enjoyed the places included on our schedule, appreciated the accommodation that was booked for us, and found the scenery, history and welcome of Nicaragua to be both warm and exciting.

Javier was excellent as a guide. His enthusiasm for his adopted country, it’s history and nature was boundless and infectious. He was sensitive to what we wanted and the times when we needed his advice and guidance, and those times when we were comfortable to be left alone. Harold was a very good, safe driver who gave us confidence that we were in very capable and safe hands.

Thank you for everything that you arranged for us. We will be back!!

Regards,

Peter Smith, London, England, UK
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Richard,

Shirley and I are back in Natick (50 degrees here, a very strange winter) after our delightful trip to Nicaragua, certainly one of the best trips we have ever taken due, in large part, to your assistance and the outstanding care and attention provided by our guide and driver. We can’t possibly praise then highly enough, or all of the other wonderful people we met along the way. Every aspect of the trip was a delight and far exceeded our expectations.

Thank you again, and we look forward to a return trip.

Dave and Shirley Parish, Natick, Massachusetts, USA
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Hello Richard,

What’s remarkable is the warm glow I still feel when thinking about our trip.

We’ve never had a better adventure. Our guides (mostly the effervescent Roberto, and for two days the knowledgeable and courteous Lenin) and our faithful driver (whose name I’ve managed to forget, but not his watchful attention to my family) were spectacular and the trip unforgettable. In a week we crammed in a coffee plantation, a mountain village, two major cities, several volcanoes, a lake tour, two days at the beach, and enough good food to satisfy my ever expanding belly.

And during all that I never felt rushed, and felt totally relaxed.

I hope you post this. Anyone who wanders into it should feel free to contact me if you need more convincing. The driver-and-guide system was perfect. You spend all your time seeing the country, and none of your time trying to figure out where the next turn is. I’m willing to take on a difficult journey, but Nicaragua would have been much less fun without the help of Tours Nicaragua. Spring for the few extra dollars! You’ll get far more than your money’s worth.

Cliff Postai-Wiegand, Johnson City, Tennesse, USA
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Richard,

On behalf of Clyde and I would like to thank all of you for a truly incredible vacation. Many of us approach our vacations each year with the hopeful anticipation that we will reinvigorate our mental energy, refuel our bodies, and restore our spirits. We, Clyde and I, hope that at the same time we are able to make new friends, share different perspectives and deepen our understanding of this complex world in which we live. Unfortunately planning a vacation of this nature typically generates so much additional work, it frequently feels that holiday preparation becomes a second job. I, (i.e., who typically assumes this role in our family) dislike the hassles and time required to plan a vacation in a country or place that is unfamiliar only to arrive and find that we made mistakes (e.g, booked a hotel in the wrong part of town), forgot something (e.g. to push the confirm on the car rental), and then spend our days once we arrive with our heads burried in road maps and guide books with scarcely a moment to look up and see where we are. We are overjoyed to say that trip planned by Tours Nicaragua and facilitated by our outstanding guide (Roberto) and driver (Eduardo) afforded us a rare opportunity to reinvigorate, restore, and renew our body, soul and mind in your spectacular country, while making good friends and learning about the tenacious people of Nicaragua and their culture.

A precious gift indeed! We loved it all.

Mucho gracias por todo.

Debbie and Clyde Bell, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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Richard,

We just wanted to let you know how pleased we were with the whole trip, the time at Morgans was great and Roberto was an excellent guide. We were also quite happy with La Gran Francia, although the street was a little noisy in the morning. My sons illness slowed us down a bit, but we relaxed and we still saw a lot and learned a great deal about your country.

We will certainly recommend you in the future. Thanks again.

Michael Rothschild, New York, New York, USA
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Dear Richard,

We have just returned to California with super memories of our 14 day Revolutionary Nicaragua tour. We really enjoyed the experience of following the route of Sandino and of being able to interview various Sandinistas and Contras to learn both of their personal experiences during the war as well as their current attitudes toward life in Nicaragua.

Our guide Lenín and driver Francisco were both extremely courteous and caring. Lenín’s understanding of Nicaragua’s geography, history, flora, fauna, and every other topic that came up made the trip a real delight.

We have travelled to other Latin American countries, but this trip was uniquely moving and satisfying. It was truly the experience of a lifetime. We would not hesitate to heartily recommend this trip to others.

Thank you,

Larry and Ruth Ward, Woodland, California, USA
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Richard,

Our family had a terrific time on our recent trip. Tours Nicaragua made everything so easy: our only responsibility every day was to show up, so we could relax and enjoy our outdoor adventures. The outings were well planned and our guides were all well trained and professional. The sailing trip was exceptional. And the lodgings exceeded our expectations, particularly the beautiful Pelican Eyes in San Juan del Sur. We also loved the food everywhere we went, and were struck by how flavorful everything was compared with our supermarket fare in the US.

Thanks again to your company and our guide, Lenin, for a wonderful and memorable vacation.

Sincerely,

Todd & Nancy Hemphill, Cary, North Carolina, USA
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Richard,

I just wanted to send you a note to tell you what a wonderful time we had on our recent family trip. Everything went smoothly, our guide Jaime and our driver (Pablo) were exceptional, always on time, full of information, very helpful, and our driver was always safe on what seemed to us like chaotic roads. We loved plaza colon, and morgans rock, everyone was very friendly, beautiful country, kayaking and zip line were great, granada was a lovely town with so much character, all in all a fantastic vacation. Tours nicaragua did a great job. Thank you.

Tracey Baldwin, Missoula, Montana, USA
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Hi Richard,

Just to thank you for organising such a wonderful trip. We both had a great time. As you say Flavio is an excellent mountain guide and was good fun as well as looking after us. The weather changed the end of the week and went to the Isla Juan – it was excellent the way that you could give us this as an option, with Flavio and (guide) Rigo talking through the choices sensibly with us (much better than how similar circumstances were handled on a previous holiday we have been on). The alternative day was equally good and we are glad that we did it, and enjoyed meeting and talking to Rigo. Finally I shouldn’t forget Roberto (guide) and the drivers, who all did good jobs too.

Thanks again for organising,

Simon and Nerys Chaplin, Cardiff, Wales, UK
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Richard,

I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for a wonderful experience while visiting your country. Last week my kids and I have an unbelievable time with Roberto (guide) and Mr Pablo (driver). Roberto was extremely knowledgeable about not only the country but about everything…vegetation, birds and animals, etc. And at the end of the trip when both of my kids started getting ear aches (from a week of swimming non-stop), Roberto took us to get the medicine we needed.

I was hoping to expose my kids to an experience that they would never forget and with the help of your company, Robert and Mr Pablo, I think my expectations were not only met but greatly exceeded. My daughter (who is 10) keeps saying, “the next time we go to Nicaragua…”.

Thanks again for your careful planning and attentiveness to our needs. We all felt very safe and well taken care of the entire week we spent visiting your country.

We hope to be back again some day!

Joni, Parker & Makenzie Thomson, Washington, D.C., USA
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Hi Richard,

I just wanted to let you know that I very much enjoyed my trip to Nicaragua. I am very pleased with the service provided by Tours Nicaragua. Lenín (guide) and Francisco (driver) were great; both took very good care of me. I felt I was in good hands. Lenin was especially patient with my hiking abilities going down the mountain.

Also the “what to bring list” you sent was of a great help – including advice to not check my bag in. My flight leaving New York was delayed and my luggage definitely would not have made the connecting flight. I barely did.

I’ve told all my friends about it the trip and they are all curious. Hopefully, you will have more visitors to Nicaragua – although not too many – so as to not spoil the uniqueness of the place.

Warmest regards,

Phillis Ing, New York, New York, USA
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Dear Richard,

Sorry it has taken so long for me to write to thank you organising a great trip to Nicaragua and Costa Rica for us, but somehow during our travels this far, we have not found very much spare time (we are now in North Argentina).

Thank you for taking so much care to find out a bit about Roland and I so that you could adapt the tour to best suit our interests, and if it was this influenced your choice in asking Gerald to look after us, you made a perfect choice. Gerald, is probably the best guide that we have had the opportunity to spend time with (and I should say that we have travelled in quite a few countries, using quite a few guides!) We were extremely impressed with Gerald´s breadth of knowledge on his country, from politics, to history, society in general and, of course, the natural world. It was great to have someone who seemed to have endless patience and also to take enjoyment from us wanting to stop to identify birds, insects, flowers, rock formations….. whether in the garden of a hotel or trekking up a rain drenched hill. What also never ceased to amaze us was that every place we went to, Gerald seemed to run into friends and this just added to our feeling that he must be a great guy. Not only was Gerald superb company as our guide, but he remained professional and courteous at all times, never once indicating any annoyance and tiredness, even at our constant lateness or questions.

I would also like to add that Don Pablo who acted as our driver did an excellent job. We have travelled a bit in central and south America and he certainly took great care to ensure that we felt comfortable and safe whenever he was driving, whether or not the road conditions were good. It is a shame that our spanish was so poor as we could see that Don Pablo had a great sense of humour and would have also been good company. He and Gerald made a good team. We really felt that you and your team did an excellent job.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Natasha and Roland Oakshett, London, England, UK
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Dear Richard,

We have returned to the USA with wonderful memories of our introduction to Nicaragua. We wanted to personally thank you for creating the awesome itinerary, hotels, guides & driver. It was a fabulous learning trip and we can not say enough about our guide Rigo and driver Francisco. What a pleasure to spend our time with such a caring, knowledgeable, guide. Our entire time in Nicaragua was fantastic.

Thanks again,

Susan and Verne Walton, San Jose, California, USA
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Richard,

Naomi and I are home after a fantastic trip! Roberto was a very knowledgeable and professional guide. We both loved talking to him and hearing his thoughts and personal stories. Francisco (driver) was always willing to share as well. They were always prompt but never pushed us when we wanted to linger. I hope we make it back to Nicaragua in the near future and will definitely contact you all again if we do.

Ron Wasserman, California, USA
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Hi Richard,

We are safely home and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our tour, Roberto was a wonderful guide, very nice person, and he fit in with us perfectly. Our driver Francisco was excellent and fearless. We especially appreciate all the thoughtfulness and accommodations due to our flight problems and late arrival.

Thanks again and regards,

Gary Zelko, New York, New York, USA
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Richard…. many thanks for selecting Roberto Lumbi for our guide on the recent trip to Nicaragua. He was the best guide we have had in all of our prior trips to Latin America. A charming, funny, knowledgeable guy. Really enjoyed his company. The Land Cruiser was perfect, and Francisco was a careful, safe driver. The itinerary was good, enjoyed the country very much. Thanks for your assistance in making our trip enjoyable.

James McIntyre, El Paso, Texas, USA
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Hi Richard,

I wanted to send you this e-mail to thank you for the wonderful vacation we had. The trip was absolutely wonderful. All four of us had an absolutely wonderful experience. The hotel in Granada was particularly great. Our first vacation to Nicaragua was great two years ago. I did not think it would be possible, but this one was even better.

I have other friends already talking about going to Nicaragua too. I will make sure to recommend your company. You do a fantastic job taking care of people in tour.

Thank our guide, Roberto, and our driver, Eduardo. They were so generous with their time and help. We deeply appreciate the time we spent with them. Thank you again and I hope to contact you in the near future for another trip.

Take care.

Francisco J. Castillo, San Francisco, California, USA
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Hi Richard,

I tend to go over the top when it comes to these things, but it was an amazing trip. I’ve never had a vacation that felt like two weeks or more crammed into one. Tours Nicaragua is such a great company, a real standout and I’ll sing your praises to all I know who are considering a trip to your part of the world. Plus I still have to come back and do Momotombo.

Many, many thanks to you and your top-notch staff. Why did I wait five years to finally make it to Nicaragua?

All best,

Doug Sanders, New York, New York, USA
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Richard,

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that my mother and I had a terrific time on our vacation last week. Your itinerary was excellent and we couldn’t have asked for better guides for our journey than Gerald (guide) and Don Pablo (driver). Please extend our warmest thanks to them for making the trip both memorable and pleasurable…

Thanks again for a great trip!

Regards,

Jim Baker, Rancho Palos Verdes
California, USA
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Richard:

I wanted to thank you for arranging a wonderful vacation for my family. We had a great time and enjoyed every moment. The hotels and restaurants were first class.

Our guide, Roberto, was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed spending the time with him.

Thank you and I’m looking forward to my next trip to Nicaragua.

Jenny Novoa
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Dear Richard,

Just a quick note to let you know that we really enjoyed our trip to Nicaragua. Tours Nicaragua looked after us very well. All of your staff were excellent. We particularly enjoyed our Volcanic Obsession trip. Flavio (mountain guide) was excellent and really knew his ‘stuff’. We got on very well with him. He was very personable and we would recommend him to any of your future customers. The accommodation was excellent in Managua, Leon and Morgan’s Rock.

We would particularly like to thank you for rescheduling our trip after we had to cancel our original trip at short notice. We will certainly be recommending both Nicaragua and Tours Nicaragua to our friends and to anyone looking for somewhere different to visit.

Kind Regards,

Shane & Andrea Sheridan, Dublin, Ireland
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Richard,

Our tour of Nicaragua in the last week of December 2008 was conducted by Roberto and your driver. Roberto was just fabulous, as was the driver, and we wanted to let you know how good they were. Really good.

Robert was accommodating, fun, polite, knowledgeable, and prompt. We had a really good time. And we enjoyed Nicaragua a lot. Thank you for making our time a memorable one.

Best regards,

Michael C. Brinkley, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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Richard,

I just wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful vacation in Nicaragua. Everything was perfect. I can’t imagine better guides than Gerald, Rigo and Flavio. The volcanoes were a challenging climb, but worth the wonderful view from the top. We had some delicious meals- at El Convento some of the best of our lives and some surprises due to our lack of Spanish.

Flavio speaks perfect English and he is a master on the roads. Rigo is an amazing person to talk with about anything in the world. Gerald took total care of us and knew just was right for us.

Thanks again for arranging the perfect vacation. I have now gone to the library to get some tapes to learn Spanish!!!

Sarah O’Donoghue
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Richard:

Just a note to thank you and our staff for a wonderful return trip to Nicaragua after a 47 year absence. From our initial contact, you and your staff were right on – clear and quick responses to any and all questions – silly or not. Our driver Alberto, was cool and efficient. Our Guide Gerald Duran was very knowledgeable, pleasant, easy going and super accommodating to our interests. He even made it up and down the volcano in Ometepe in the rain and wind. P.S. I made it too – apparently one of the few 70 year olds to do so to date.

Many thanks and you can be sure we will tell all and everyone about our wonderful experience in your – TOURS NICARAGUA – hands.

Moose Morin, Ottawa, Canada
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Hi Tours Nicaragua,

My family and I are now back in Canada, sadly the adventure is over.

Thanks to Tours Nicaragua we had several days of touring that were exceptional. Lenín is a fantastic guide and I would highly recommend him and your company to others. My family had a great experience. My only regret was that my son wasn’t able to join us. Thanks again.

All the best,

, Allison Ottem
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Dear Tours Nicaragua:

Matthew, Ross and I would like to comment on the trip we recently finished. We fully enjoyed our vacation and especially wanted to bring attention to the services provided by Frank (driver) and Roberto (guide).

Frank was punctual, courteous, always looking out for us and ready to help at all times – all of which we truly appreciated.

Roberto was informative- a real wealth of information about Nicaragua and all of our adventures from the volcanoes to the cities, to the culture and to our food choices. He also made helpful suggestions regarding adjustments to our itinerary and activities throughout the trip, and then facilitated us taking advantage of his suggestions. He also was more than a guide- he became a friend of ours and helped us to feel comfortable and at home during our amazing week.

We also enjoyed the day trips and accommodations along the way, especially the sailing/lodging at Pelican Eyes, the kayak/zipline combo and the chance to climb Maderas.

We would be happy to act as references to Tours Nicaragua in the future- don’t hesitate to ask us.

Thanks again, best regards and feliz navidad,

Bryan Rubin, New York, New York, USA
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Richard,

I wanted to take the time to tell you how absolutely spectacular our visit was. The entire vacation went off without a hitch. My husband and I could not believe how smoothly things went. The accommodations were wonderful. Each place was a pleasant surprise–many I knew would be nice, but others I really expected less than I received. We loved all of the places. The transportation was excellent whether it was by plane, boat, ferry, or car. It was always comfortable and appropriate for the destination.

Your personnel were tremendous. Our guides, Lenin and Roberto, were knowledgeable, prepared, punctual, but more important—they were fun. We really enjoyed spending time with them. They were so attentive, and anticipated our needs well. They always gave clear and helpful instructions so we were properly dressed and equipped for our outings. I really cannot say enough positive about these two young men. Our driver was Frank (Francisco), and he too did an excellent job–I always felt safe even on the craziest mountain roads. He was wonderful to work with.

I can’t wait to return to your spectacular country and I will definitely use your company again.

Kathy Collins, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, USA
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Richard,

We just got home from our tour this past weekend and we wanted to take a moment to express to you what a fantastic experience we both had during our recent visit.
We are both big fans now of Nicaragua and the wonderful citizens of this country. The country has a special beauty and in all of our encounters, the people were friendly, courteous and a joy to be around. Your company and its employees are to be commended as well. Our custom itinerary – Nicaragua Rural Walks (with an extra day in Granada) – was exactly what we hoped it would be and even better! Your company’s planning, transportation and – most importantly – your employees were all first-rate. We can’t say enough good things about our driver Francisco or especially our guide, Roberto Lumbí. As I’m sure you’re aware, a guide can ‘make’ or ‘break’ a touring experience. Robert surely knows how to ‘make’ the experience memorable! Professional in all aspects, Robert was our combination cultural ambassador, history instructor and entertainer.
Finally, we wanted to express what a positive and profound impression made by your mountain-climbing guides. These gentlemen were keenly competent, knowledgeable of geography/geology, flora/fauna and social history.

Our interactions and experiences left such a favorable impression on myself and my wife that we were already planning a return trip after our first 2 days in the country!

We look forward to return in the near future!

Sincerely,

Richard & Toni Hillman, Keller, Texas, USA
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Dear Richard,

Just wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our week in Nicaragua.

Jose was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable and made sure all of our needs were met. Pablo was an excellent driver and got us around safe and secure.

We would be happy to recommend your company to anyone traveling in Nicaragua.

Thanks very much.

Best Regards,

Nancy and David Schweitzer, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA
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Hi Richard,

We just wanted you to know how pleased we were with all your plans for our “Mother of All Trips to Nicaragua” (25 days).

We have come back home with comprehensive information concerning your country. This would not have been possible without the expert guides, Gerald, Lenin and Roberto, whom you provided us for each aspect of the trip. Their amount of information was phenomenal!!! We appreciated all their efforts on our behalf. They were all exceptional and we shall never forget Lenin’s flying leap as he tried to catch a rare frog in the underbrush! Gerald’s taking us to the rosquilla factory (Somoto) was most unique and Roberto’s stopping to visit at the school in Ometepe was great. We always enjoy interacting with the locals.

We thoroughly enjoyed Nicaragua and will highly recommend it to fellow travelers. Our visit with you, even though it was for a brief time, put a final conclusion to our e-mail correspondence for the past eight months and maybe it helped you figure out who we are as well.

All the best,

Maurice and Jackie Black, Thunder Bay, Canada
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Dear Richard:

We wanted to formally thank you and your staff for a wonderful trip! Lenin and Francisco provided us with exactly the right spirit, information and pace.

The accommodations were perfect and we can’t say enough as well about the itinerary – which somehow met all of our needs! We are a pretty well-traveled two families with a total of 4 children – so you can imagine that it takes a skillful guide to keep us all happy.

Finally, thanks for your agency’s help in sorting out the Pelican Eyes confusion (client decided to reserve this hotel direct, which muffed reservations and this was repaired by our office) – I did find my email confirming the correct set of requests – apparently disregarded by the hotel staff.

Please let both Francisco and Lenin know how much we appreciated their work, humor and integration into our group esprit de corps. We hope you know that they are superior employees.

We will happily recommend both Nicaragua and your agency to others here in the Bay Area.

Sincerely,

Betty Wood Lerchin, San Francisco, California, USA
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Richard,

Thank you.

Judy and I had a wonderful time. Gerald Duran is a superior guide. Don’t loose him and don’t overuse him. His dedication and enthusiasm would be subject to burn out if not given some limits. He is pleasant, personable, knowledgeable and much more.

Our driver Francisco was similarly helpful as were each of the boat drivers and nature guides.

Your e-mails and website are right on. You have a first class operation. Hotel Celentiname is basic and just right. Los Robles is a good city hotel and Plaza Colon was spectacular. Their staff in particular were very, very helpful. In San Juan del Sur Pelican Eyes (Piedras y Olas) was a similarly positive experience.

Judy and I are actually looking into property in San Juan del Sur. If we do and come back in December we will contact you for help with that trip, too.

Thank you again.

Carl J. Crosley, Syracuse, New York, USA
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We wanted to get back to you to let you know we were delighted with our tour.

Roberto and Harold both did a superb job. Roberto has a very diverse base of knowledge a memory for facts and figures that is amazing!

We really enjoyed the tour and we really enjoyed Nicaragua. We hope to return one day and will certainly recommend your company to anyone we know that will be traveling to Nicaragua. Please thank Roberto and Harold on behalf of Kelsey and I. We enjoyed meeting both of them.

Our best regards,

Paul and Kelsey Wroble, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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Dear Richard,

We’ve just arrived home from Nicaragua. Thanks to you, our short stay in Nicaragua was fine and unforgattable. On behalf of our friends, I thank to you and specially to our guide Roberto Darce and driver Edgar, for all you’ve done.

Thanks, hope to be again in that lovely country.

Cuneyt Basbugu, Istanbul, Turkey
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Dear Richard,

We would like to convey our delight with our adventure with Tours Nicaragua, Lenin and Eduardo! Our two weeks in Nicaragua was fabulous, many thanks to the fascinating itinerary and Lenin, a most excellent tour guide. We very much enjoyed Lenin’s knowledge, company, diligence and humour, he is very cool! Eduardo is an awesome driver and caretaker! We felt like teens again under the care of these two fine gentlemen!
The itinerary was perfect, allowing us to see some of Nicaragua’s highlights yet not rushing anywhere. We really appreciate learning so much from Lenin about Managua, Ometepe, Nicaraguan history, government, and the wonderful people of Nicaragua. Montibelli Nature Reserva was great, the Nicaraguan forest is so beautiful and filled our souls with joy. Pomares at Montibelli is a wonderful (birding) guide, so passionate. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Montibelli. Carol is a bird enthusiast, and Montibelli was definitely a highlight of the trip for her.
Of course Morgan’s Rock was indeed superb! We awoke early both mornings and kayaked the estuary and were thrilled to see so many birds, an excellent photography opportunity. A must for any itinerary! We loved that they produce all their food and power there. The meals were scrumptious and the staff very professional. Very beautiful scenery, beach, forest, and of course the accommodations were especially lovely. Howler monkeys are cool!
San Juan del Sur was very relaxing, the accommodations are certainly deluxe, and the town interesting.
Ometepe Island was another highlight for us, we loved the volcanoes and Lenin’s tour of Ometepe was excellent. We very much enjoyed meeting Paula, the sweet lady that carves jicaro, and local residents. Another excellent accommodation. What a wonderful lake, so warm.
In Granada, we enjoyed touring about the city on foot, and had a most excellent day zip-lining in the canopy of Mombacho, touring Laguna de Apoyo, and the walk along the crater of Mumbacho. The 4-wheel driving to the canopy tour and crater was great fun!
Thank you and we will most certainly recommend Tours Nicaragua to our traveling friends!

Cheers,

Rob and Carol Vesak
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Hi Richard,

just a quick thank you for organising such a fantastic holiday, I had a really great time and miss the place already!
Nicaragua is an amazing place with such lovely people and the activities you organised were just what I wanted.
Gerald is an excellent guide and provided really enjoyable company as too were all the local guides.
Please pass on my thanks to Gerald, Pedro and all the tours Nicaragua staff.
Also thanks for sorting out our luggage that was a great relief when it turned up.
Thanks once again for a really great time.

Jon Tavaris
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Hello Richard,

I just wanted to let you know that our vacation to Nicaragua was an incredible experience!!! Your company was reliable and helpful from start to end. Our entire trip was and experience we will not soon forget, each day was full of pleasant surprises… from the areas we visited, to the hotels we stayed in… to the great food we ate. Our daughter had a wonderful time and learned a lot. Lenin (guide) was awesome. We can’t say enough good about him. He was extremely knowledgeable and very personable. We feel we have made a friend in Nicaragua. Also, thank you for the prompt refund of the sail boat tour that got cancelled. EVERYTHING was just wonderful. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit Nicaragua in the future… next time I will get your guide book. I only had one choice of books when I was looking. After Lenin told us you wrote Footprint Nicaragua I went back to the bookstore and they had yours.

Thanks again for everything!

Teena Emanuel, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
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Hi Richard,

I just wanted to let you know that our trip to Nicaragua exceeded our expectations! We loved every place we went. The people and places were unforgettable. Robert Lumbí is indeed a terrific guide. He and the driver were wonderfully reliable and a pleasure to be with. Robert is such a great source of information. We felt we learned so much in a short time.

All the arrangements your company made for us were just what we wanted. All the activities came off without a hitch. The hotels were all great, each in its own way and with its own charm. I realize that Piedras y Olas might not be everyone’s cup of tea, due to all the stairs, but it’s fabulous! If only my calves hadn’t been so sore from the previous day’s volcano climb! Even so, we loved it and hope to get back one day soon.

My only regret is that we didn’t build in enough “down time” to just hang out in all the wonderful places we went. We’ll know better next time! My husband is quite determined to do a trip on the Rio San Juan.

Thanks again for arranging a lovely trip for us.

Most sincerely,

Sue Johnson, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Hi Richard

For what it’s worth, as the young guy on the trip, I thought I’d send you my two cents.

I was skeptical of being on a “guided tour” as I was expecting something a little stuffy, not too authentic and having strict time lines. Our trip was the opposite.

I can’t imagine having a better guide than Gerald. His style was very relaxed while being enthusiastic at the same time. He was a wealth of knowledge when it came to everything from the history of the country to the types of birds we were looking at, and even which place to stop at the side of the road for the best Quesillos. He really did make the trip what it was and was very accommodating, along with Alberto (driver), when we wanted to make minor changes in the itinerary like last minute stops at the market, etc… On top of all that, he is a great person and we really enjoyed his company at all times, including the overnight on Ometepe.

All in all, it was an amazing holiday and your team did an excellent job of making it so.

Thanks again to you and Gerald.

Regards,

Marc Morin, Ottawa, Canada
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Dear Richard,

What a terrific vacation we had in northern Nicaragua and what a stroke of luck to find Tours Nicaragua! Here is some feedback on your services.

Website Well designed, informative and frank about services/infrastructure in rural areas.

Tour consultation Your customizing the tour to accommodate our group size (4), schedule limitations and need for reliable electricity at night made the trip possible. The itinerary you planned made it both interesting and fun!

Driver Having the car and driver relieved us of a major source of vacation stress. And, Francisco did so much more. He carefully avoided children, potholes, livestock, and speeding buses packed to double capacity. He patiently slowed and maneuvered to allow us to take photos along our very scenic route. And he thoughtfully found shade for the van when one of our group sat out more strenuous walks.

Guide As many of your other customer letters state, Lenin is a treasure. In addition to his wide ranging knowledge, his good humor and positive attitude made the trip so pleasant. His courtesy, consideration and attention to details were outstanding. I cannot imagine a better guide for our trip.

Country We’d been planning this trip for some time, but we had no idea how much Nicaragua has to offer visitors. As you know, we came for the history and had a chance to see where my grandfather was stationed with the USMC in 1931 at Ocotal and Matagalpa. We left with a great appreciation for Nicaragua in the present beautiful beaches, amazing volcanoes, howler monkeys in the cloud forest, lovely little hotels, the list goes on.

People Everywhere we went people were courteous and friendly. We saw people doing all types of hard work, often with little or no technology farmers, fishermen, gold miners, coffee and leather workers, and the wonderful women at the pottery cooperative.

Thank you for helping us have one of our best family vacations ever! I highly recommend Tours Nicaragua.

Joanne McGloin, Guilford, Connecticut, USA
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Hi Richard,

I really wanted let you know how much we appreciated the wonderful treatment we received from Pablo our driver and Roberto Lumbi our guide. It was so nice to have Pablo for our driver again like coming home to something familiar and Roberto is fantastic.

I don’t know how or where you find such wonderful people but they certainly make a world of difference for the people they take care of.

Pablo was so helpful with everything after Paul got hurt that we didn’t feel the least bit concerned about getting to and into the airport with all our bags and Paul not being able to do anything but feel useless because of the crutches. Please let both of them know that they really added to making our vacation wonderful its one thing to go to a beautiful spot but another to be treated so courteously, informatively and kindly throughout the whole trip.

Thank you all very much.

Gloria & Paul Decker, Central Bridge, New York, USA
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Richard,

My wife and I have just returned from your “Nicaragua Explorer” trip, and all I must say that this is a truly fantastic trip, with lots of variety. If one is interested in rain forests, ruins, volcanoes, Colonial cities, local markets, history, culture, and intimate contact with the Nicaraguan people, this trip is the one to take.

My primary purpose in writing however, is to make you aware of the very special people who were our Tours Nicaragua guide and driver. My wife and I have taken more than 20 guided tours, and have had the pleasure of having some remarkable guides and drivers, but Roberto Lumbi and Eduardo Urbina are an absolutely masterful pair!

Roberto has marvelous problem solving and people skills, is a masterful storyteller, and has comprehensive scientific, cultural, and historical knowledge of the wide variety subjects that were the focal points of this trip. His knowledge of the culture and history of Nicaragua is most comprehensive. He speaks excellent English, is most courteous, and has a warm and magnetic personality. Roberto really helped us see the “big picture”, and masterfully put all the elements of this amazing country together for us.

Eduardo is an absolutely superb driver. There simply can not be a better driver in the country! He is focused on timeliness, safety, and customer comfort, and is exceptionally courteous. His little “special touches” were most appreciated, and it was wonderful to be greeted by his warm and engaging smile each morning. He is a perfect 10 on our rigorous “driver satisfaction scale”.

As a professional travel photographer, my requirements were a bit more rigorous than the average tourist, yet both Roberto and Eduardo were able to accommodate my needs. As such, I will soon have back from the photo lab remarkable photos of a remarkable country!

It has certainly been our good fortune to have spent time with these remarkable professionals. We can’t image a better team!

Please pass our sincere thanks on to Roberto and Eduardo, and wish them a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2007.

Best Wishes,

Howard Axelrod, Ashland, Massachusetts, USA
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Hello Richard,

Sorry for the delay in writing to tell you what a fabulous time Bruce and I had in Nicaragua. We enjoyed our trip and wished we had extra time to see more of your beautiful country. I know that we will return some day.

Guillermo Rocha was a superb guide. Extremely knowledgeable, pleasant and always kept our interest. I found out so much information about Nicaragua from Guillermo. He was a wonderful ambassador for your country! Our driver “Mr. Pablo” could not have been more pleasant.

Thank you for helping plan our trip to Nicaragua.

Best regards,

Pam Ardell, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
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Greetings,

I can’t say enough about the great personalized service you gave on my visit to your beautiful country.

Many thanks to Pablo (driver) for making it through the countryside. He would find it easy driving in Boston. Roberto (guide) was impressive with his knowledge about his country on everything from plants, animals, birds and geography. His knowledge of your history from names, dates and places was most impressive.

The festival in Granada was more than anything I expected. That day and a half of celebration gave me a lasting impression of what Nicaragua and the people are all about.

Thanks for setting me up for a great week.

John Sypek, Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA
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Hello!

I also wanted to tell you what a wonderful time our group had on our recent holiday with much praise for Gerald (guide) and Pablo (driver)! Roberto was great too although we didn’t spend much time with him. I also want to praise the seamanship and boat handling skills of Ricardo, without which we all could have died in the squall that kicked up on Lake Nicaragua while we were crossing!

We had such a great time and I cannot say enough about the kindness of the people there and how warm, welcoming and friendly everyone was! Of course there is always an exception to the rule and that would be all but one of the Managua American Airlines folks we dealt with for our lost baggage at the airport. American Airlines should step up their customer service if Nicaragua is to become the wonderful tourist destination that it deserves to be!

I would not and will not hesitate to recommend Nicaragua and Tours Nicaragua to anyone interested and I plan to definitely be back. (I will carry on all my luggage next time and plan to start Spanish classes immediately!!!)

Congratulations to you and your staff–you are doing a very fine job!

Rene McRogers, Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA
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Greetings Richard and everyone else at Tours Nicaragua,

Thank you so very much for the wonderful trip – Julio (guide) was just fantastic and Ricardo (boatman) made us feel so secure and pointed out so many animals. What a wonderful trip. We told everyone we met how much we appreciated the wonderful service you provided last year as well as this year. We are already planning our next January 07 trip and will be contacting you in a few months. So many things to see – so little time!

We enjoyed everything but the river trip was really something extraordinary to remember and the level of care and professionalism we enjoyed by your staff was without exception – perfect!

Thank you all again so much,

Gloria & Paul Decker, Central Bridge, New York, USA
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Hi Richard;

I finally got caught up enough after vacation to e-mail you about our trip of San Juan River complete.

It was AWESOME!!!!!!! Going down the river was wonderful, even for non-birder types like us. The amount of wildlife is breathtaking.

Lenin (guide) was the best. He’s really a great guy and a great guide. We hit it off right away. He couldn’t possibly be more accommodating. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide. His knowledge of the birds and wildlife were remarkable. He is just an all around good person to hang with on the river or probably anywhere!!! He spotted everything. Senor Martin (boatman) is a charmer. He knew the river better then I know my house. He never hit a rock and always knew where he was. The people up and down the river always had a shout out for him. I think he knows everyone!!! We grew very fond of him during the trip.

The combination was perfect!! They even got us into the Rio Indio part of the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve where we found a herd of wart hogs (actually we smelled them first) and went further up the Indio river then tourists had ever been. Spectacular!!

Just had to tell you how great it was, the night cruise for caiman, the kayaking, Greytown, the sand bar and the trip to San Juan del Norte were all terrific. You and Mike were right, that is the best trip. Worth every penny!!!

Thanks again.

By the way, I took your new guidebook with us and it was very helpful, no Moon book this time!! I saw a lot of travelers using your Footprint book. I think you’re catching on!!

You’ll probably hear from us again.

Donna Doyle and Ed Kazmierski, Montrose, Pennsylvania, USA
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Dear Richard,

Thank you for setting everything up for our time in Nicaragua. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves — we will be back.

Roberto, our guide was excellent. Quite knowledgeable and pleasant. Both Pat and I appreciated his efforts, including adjusting the schedule for minor changes that we requested. Eduardo, our driver, was also excellent. He was very professional and managed to get around potholes and other road problems – especially some of the other drivers in Managua.

Thanks again.

Sincerely,

Hans and Pat, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Dear Richard,

Many, many thanks for the superb Revolutionary Nicaragua tour that you arranged for us from 24 Jan and 9 Feb, 2006. We were given wonderful service by Lenin (guide), Aldo (driver), Santos (driver) and, of course, yourself. It is difficult to single out particular experiences, but the stories we heard from the ex-Contra and
the FSLN Comandante together with the museums and geography certainly put flesh on the bones of our previous reading and meeting the local artist and sculptor was certainly a bonus.

Of course lunch at the local houses in Pantasma (Jinotega) and on Ometepe Island added to our experiences, as being confined to hotels and restaurants doesn’t give the flavor of a country in quite the same way. The information and knowledge passed on to us by Lenin and yourself has been invaluable and both of you; Aldo and Santos were delightful company.

We loved your country and its people and will definitely return some time in the future. We had a fantastic time, far beyond our expectations, so thank you once again.

Please pass on our best wishes to everyone at Tours Nicaragua.

Kind Regards,

Pam & Arthur Freestone-Walker, Liverpool, England, UK
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Tours Nicaragua,

I am sorry for writing to you so late, but I wanted to tell you how very happy my mother and I were on our tour of Nicaragua!!! Your tour company and all of your staff are wonderful guides and drivers, and are real pleasure to know. Lenin Obando especially is to be commended for being such a wonderful guide. Thank you again sincerely – I will absolutely recommend your company to anyone I know that wants to visit Nicaragua!!!

Jacqueline Marie Dolphin
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Dear Richard,

Thank you so much for the incredible tour and history of Nicaragua. It is hard to think that we did all of that in one day! You covered so much in so many ways that we feel that we learned enough about Nicaragua to have a place to put all of the Trust Bank clients that we visited the two days before. We can understand them in the context of the whole country better. The trip you put together for us was not only comprehensive, but it was so much fun! It appealed to all of the senses. Getting to see the volcano was exciting with its boiling mist. The trip to Masaya was just what we needed. (I have had lots of fun with my apron). The lunch overlooking the lagoon and Lake Nicaragua was perfect. I can close my eyes and see it now. The visit to the potters’ home was one of my favorite memories. First of all picking up the girl who would be our voucher to visit, then watching them make the beautiful pots ( each at their on station) and finally purchasing our own pots were all such a treat. I only wish I could have carried more home. Such a talented and interesing family. Thank you for arranging that for us. Robert was great at pointing out all the birds and houses on our leisurely boat ride on the lake. That was quite a treat. Somehow you worked in the history of Nicaragua in between all of these events, and that was very much appreciated! The finale was the absolutely delicious dinner and the beautiful dancers AND their dancing lessons and hugs. It couldn’t have been a more inclusive or fun day! Thank you so much! I was very impressed with the Trust Banks and with all of the people that we met with Opportunity International, but it was your day of touring that has made it imperative that I return with my husband one day.

Thanks for everything,

Lois Swanson, St. Helena, California, USA
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Hello Richard –

I am home in the US – – actually came back just for one night to repack and get to New York for business. It was a wonderful trip and your services were excellent.

Some thoughts:
The Hotel Convento in Leon is truly world class – very very nice, great rooms, wonderful food.

Rigo was fantastic and very enjoyable to be with. He made me feel so comfortable and had so much insight into Nicaragua – probably one of the best tour guides I’ve ever had. Rigo also took me to the ocean for the sunset one day. I recommend adding that to all Leon trips.
We did the Telica hike in reverse and it worked great – in fact I really recommend that route – we started in San Jacinto and went to Telica from there. Also Cerro Negro was wonderful, the sliding down the side was not bad at all, and the Laguna Tigre is extraordinarily beautiful.

Gerald was also an excellent tour guide and he provided some extra and special little touches like sampling native fruits at a fruit stand and having a Nicaraguan pastry for dessert one day. Also his English is excellent and he had great insight into the country.

The driving was good, safe, always felt comfortable.

The Patio de Malinche in Granada was a very pleasant hotel – yes, it was quite spartanly furnished compared to Convento but very comfortable, the sitting areas and pool areas were great, and the hotel owner was very helpful and pleasant. He also provided a very nice breakfast.

I am totally pleased with the services.

Stan Kimer, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
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Richard,

Just wanted to drop you a line to express all our thanks for a sensational holiday.

Each location we visited was totally different and the beauty of the country shone through in so many different ways. Lenin is a star. He added so much through his knowledge and enthusiasm. You are fortunate to have such an excellent guide.

All arrangements very efficient and well executed and communicated.

‘Best ever’!

Thanks again

Peter Davis, Tonbridge, Kent, England, UK
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Richard,

Erin and I want to thank you and everyone at Tours Nicaragua for making our trip comfortable, educational, and easy. We had a short length of time available for our trip, we cannot speak Spanish, and we were unfamiliar with Central America in general. Tours Nicaragua provided a custom itinerary, efficient and comfortable transportation, and guides who made us feel welcome.

We wish in particular to thank Guillermo, our guide; he attended to our every need, translated for us quite capably, and provided a great background and overview of all the places we visited. Pablo was a safe and capable driver. And we especially enjoyed our day with Rigo and Flavio during our day at Cerro Negro.

We had a fantastic time and will return. We would recommend Tours Nicaragua to anyone planning on visiting Nicaragua.

Thanks,

Erin and Alex, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
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Dear Richard,

I would like to thank your company and especially Gerald (our guide) and Pablo (driver) for a wonderful trip. Every aspect of the trip was well organized – and in contrast to your book description of Nicaragua – was on time! Gerald was a wonderful guide and very responsive to our needs. At one point Cindy suggested that we should get some cigars. Gerald immediately had us visiting a cigar factory in Granada. When we were stranded on Ometepe (due to high winds, the ferry did not run that day), your guide Gerald was again very gracious and worked with your office team to arrange a refund from our next hotel – even though it was not booked through your company. Apart from that, we really enjoyed the country, the scenery, and the people. It was also wonderful to visit a country which is somewhat tourist naive allowing us a better impression of the real country.

Thanks again to you and your team.

Tim and Cindy Moon, Wisconsin, USA
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Richard,

I am remiss in not e-mailing you earlier about our wonderful week in Nicaragua.

Our stay at Morgan’s Rock was very relaxing. We visited the school with the supplies we brought and spent some time with the kids. Steve played tag with them and found out how fast 6 year-olds can run. We explored the beach and the property, and Steve took the sunset sea kayak trip. Other than that we just enjoyed the peaceful and beautiful accommodations and environment.

After our stay at Morgan’s Roberto (guide) picked us up on schedule and we headed for a great lunch of sopa de mariscos at Mariscazo. I can see why you like it so much. In Granada we particularly enjoyed our visit to the Museo Antiguo Convento de San Francisco. They have done a good job restoring the buildings and we found the exhibits informative. Seeing the sculptures from Zapatera was more meaningful to us after seeing the ones in Altagracia, Ometepe. Our day trip to the pueblos and Masaya market was the right mix of sight-seeing and getting to visit with crafts-people. We enjoyed our short visit to the Volcán Masaya. The trip to the top was well worth the time and the exhibits at the visitors’ center were informative.

Roberto is a warm and genial man and is incredible at relating history, culture, and facts in a lively and interesting way. We peppered him with almost as many questions as we had for you and he was always responsive in zeroing in on our interests. He was tireless in making sure that we were seeing and learning everything that we wanted.

For me the highlight of the trip was our visit with you to Ometepe. Your affection for the island and its people is evident and infectious. The day we spent touring and getting to visit the people you introduced us to was a special and unique experience. I have retold the story of that day many times over. It is a priceless souvenir and a lasting memory of our trip to Nicaragua.

Thank you so much for all your efforts in arranging and escorting us on this trip. Everything flowed seamlessly which I know is not always the case in Nicaragua. It was especially refreshing to let someone else handle the arrangements so that I could immerse myself in the time, place and people. You opened doors that we might never have found and we are all the richer for it.

Best wishes,

Paul Henry, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Congratulations Richard!

What can I say . . . you did it again! Thank you for a most wonderful tour of your beautiful country. The tour was just fabulous and we all loved it. The two highlights that stood out for us were the pottery workshop visit and the dinner with dancers. Everything else was “excellent” but those two highlights were stupendous! Thank you so much for taking the time to spend with our group. Many people commented on the depth of knowledge that you have about the country and really enjoyed your history talk. I can’t think of a single thing that I would change about the tour. Bravo and looking forward to my next visit! In the meantime, I am ordering your book!

Wendy Cox, Board of Governors Director
Opportunity International
Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Hi Mike and Richard,

On behalf of myself my wife Lucia and Ben I would like to thank you again for organizing our visit to Nicaragua. This trip has been outstanding from all aspects; the itinerary, the guide and transportation, the accommodation, the people, and, as you had told us, the food. We have gained an amazing amount of knowledge on the history, nature and biology, politics, economy and many other aspects of life in Nicaragua.

Everything was flawless from landing to departure.

As I’ve said to you over the phone, both Julio (guide) and Eduardo (driver) were fantastic throughout the trip. Julio is an amazing guy and we have enjoyed his company and his knowledge and guidance tremendously. Eduardo’s personality and knowledge of every road and alley complemented the above.

Best regards, keep in touch,

Arie, Lucia and Ben Birkenfeld, New Jersey, USA
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Hola Richard,

We are at last back home and I just wanted to let you know that we had a WONDERFUL time in Nicaragua. The land, the people, the culture are all so beautiful. We really enjoyed the itinerary but know we just scratched the surface of what the country has to offer. So we will just have to come back!

Last, we also really enjoyed the time we spent with Lenin (guide) and Marvin (driver). They were great hosts.

Thanks again,

Allison and Joe Kopcha, Brooklyn, New York, USA
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Richard,

I wanted to thank you for organizing the trip to Solentiname for my daughter and me. We had a good time and accomplished what we set out to do. Ricardo Henriquez was an outstanding boat captain and guide. He took us to several excellent locations and introduced us to many painters and artisans. He was extremely patient with our very limited Spanish, and was able to communicate to us using simple words and sentences. That made all the difference in the world to us.

Again, thank you for your help in putting this tour together for us. Please give my very best regards to Ricardo when you next talk with him.

Sincerely,

Vera L.Y.Uyehara, Miami, Florida, USA
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Dear Richard,

We are writing to provide you with some feedback on our Nicaragua tour. The itinerary was great. It had a diverse range of experiences and we enjoyed them all. All of the accommodations were the finest to be offered in each of our different locations. We found the logistics of transport to be well organized and effective. In particular we would like to comment on our tour guides who made an excellent trip even better.

Lenin’s (guide) knowledge of volcanoes and natural history was outstanding. Our journey to Telica Volcano was memorable. It took a lot of expertise on Lenin’s part to even get there. Once there the experience of hiking to a rim of a live volcano was exhilarating. The next day our visit to Cerro Negro was just as exciting. To visit a volcano that had such a recent history of eruptions was quite unique. Later that day we visited and swam in Laguna Tigre, which was especially unique knowing that Lenin spent part of his childhood nearby. His knowledge and enthusiasm made an enjoyable trip that much better. Throughout our three days with Lenin he was always doing his best to cater to our every need. He skillfully arranged and accompanied us for a visit with widow and son of Jose Jiron Teran, the late Ruben Dario scholar, of Leon.

Roberto (guide) was an exceptionable historian and during our two days with him we learned a great deal about the Nicaraguan history and culture and were intrigued by his own personal experiences. He too did his best to please us and made adjustments in our schedule so that we could visit a cigar factory in Estelí that was managed by the relatives of my wife’s friend.

Gerald was our third guide and was as outstanding as Lenin and Roberto. He proved to be quite knowledgeable on birds when we visited the Montibelli Reserve and later saw the parrots at Chocoyero reserve. He was a charming traveling mate at Ometepe Island. Being marathon runners ourselves we found him to be quite the adventurer when we climbed to the Maderas Volcano Crater Lagoon. One of the more challenging day hikes in recent years for us, he was quite supportive in our journey. He was also quite informative in our travels throughout his region which he obviously knew well.

We can (and already have) highly recommend Tour Nicaragua to our friends. Everything was great and we are sure we will be visiting Nicaragua again knowing that we will be well taken care of. We really felt so privileged having such capable, personable tour guides.

Thanks for everything,

Gregg and Margie Whitnah, San Carlos, California, USA
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To everyone at Tours Nicaragua,

A big thank you to everyone for making our first visit to Nicaragua so memorable (it will just be the first of many visits I’m sure). I have been treated to some of the most spectacular scenes I’ve so far experienced and I can’t get over how friendly and helpful everyone has been. A special thank you to Lenin (guide) and Martin (boatman), they were fantastic. For me, pursuing the Nelson connection was particularly special and I’ll be sure to tell the Nelson Society of which I’m a member, how brilliant this trip was. Our only regret was that we couldn’t stay longer exploring everything else Nicaragua has to offer!

Many thanks again,

Rachael and Ian, London, England, UK
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Greetings,

Thanks for an unforgettable 2 week trip to Nicaragua. The colonial cities of Leon and Granada are beautiful, not yet overly touristy. The cuisine (especially nacatamales) is easy to appreciate and the wildlife and geography are unforgettable.

Our only caveat was that Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure, unlike Costa Rica’s, it is not fully developed. This was brought home to us when we experienced our first accident in nearly 30 years of traveling. My wife and I were hiking the Maderas Volcano on Ometepe island when she slipped and broke her leg badly. She was rescued from the mountain by paramedics with a mule, transported by the Hotel Paraiso’s 4X4 to a ferry, then transported to an excellent hospital in Managua. This ordeal spanned 8 hours. If we had, as usual, been traveling by ourselves, the trip to the hospital could have taken days.

As luck would have it, we had decided for Nicaragua we’d use a tour company. We found Tours Nicaragua on the web. Fortunately, their guides and drivers coordinated the entire rescue: from getting assistance on the ferry to having an orthopedist waiting for our arrival at the emergency room. Richard Leonardi and Mike Newton then made their office available for us to contact family and doctors in the US. They provided us with translators at the hospital through to our airport departure.

The Tours Nicaragua staff, the paramedics on mule back, the wonderful staff at the Hotel Paraiso, the heroic ferrymen who carried my wife safely on board and the passengers who wished my wife god speed all exemplified Nicaragua’s greatest tourist asset, a caring people, who can forgive Americans for the many historic injustices we have visited upon them.

John Ferreira & Mary Nelson, Kensington, California, USA
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Dear Mike:

We wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic time. We absolutely loved the trip, and particularly enjoyed Nicaragua. That part of the trip was just so different than what we anything we had experienced before. Jose was a terrific guide – he took us to some really interesting places to see the locals make hammocks, pottery, hats, etc. I plan on sending him some pictures to give to the locals. Also, we really LOVED the hotel, La Gran Francia. That place was great – both the room and the restaurant.

The Kerr Family, USA
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Dear Richard,

I am writing to tell you what a great time we had with one of your guides, Lenin Obando. We spent nearly two weeks with him and Marvin (driver), climbing volcanoes, spotting wildlife, and generally getting to know your wonderful country. I think that I can definitely say that Lenin made the holiday for us, as he is extremely knowledgeable on most topics, he is easy going, has a great sense of humor and will go out of his way to make things more enjoyable.

We were very nervous at the thought of spending so much time with someone, having never done it before, and indeed, we had a day off from your company with a local guide, who we wanted to kill after half an hour! Lenin however was a delight, and we even missed him when he was not around.

You obviously have a very high standard, and hopefully feedback like this will help it remain so. We hope to return to Nicaragua soon, and will contact you for advice and organization.

Thank you again,

Jane Shepherdson and Liam OConnor, England, UK
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Dear Richard:

We just wanted you to know we were very pleased with Tours Nicaragua on our recent trip. We can’t praise Jose, our guide, enough. He was a kind and accommodating person, full of historical and geographical information. We could have asked for none better. The Habitat Project was a big success and we are now back in Raleigh catching up.

Regards,

Larry and Sue Yarger, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
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Hello Mike:

Just wanted to tell you what a fabulous time we had traveling Nicaragua! Your company is fantastic!!! We were well taken care of from the time we entered the airport till the time we left. Every detail was great!

Our guide Roberto was very personable and knowledgeable and made our time so enjoyable! Our driver Marvin was lots of fun, a great asset to your company. They were always on time and very accommodating, we never felt rushed and pointed out things we needed and showed interest in.

We would recommend your company without any reservations and look forward to traveling with you again. You have a beautiful country and we really think tourism is going to grow very quickly there!

Thanks again for a great time!

Mary Jo and Steven Frumkes, Port Charlotte, Florida, USA
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Hello Richard,

Please pass along our best wishes and greetings to Roberto (guide) and Marvin (driver). I wanted to drop you a line and let you know that whatever uncertainties we had about Nicaragua before arriving were quickly dispelled by this exploration and the professionalism of our two companions.

Roberto and Marvin were always prompt and courteous. Roberto’s abilities to understand us, and vice versa were greatly appreciated. The depth of his knowledge of the country and his patience with us in trying to understand added greatly to our overall enjoyment and education.

We would highly recommend your company and these two gentlemen in particular to anyone ready to appreciate Nicaragua as they both surely do.

This was our first visit to Nicaragua, and I have no doubt it will continue to change for the better, before our next visit. And there will certainly be a next visit.

PS. Our itinerary was exactly what we had hoped it would be, and I highly recommend a little Montelimar to finish off a successful educating exploration. My personal highlight would be the stop at the San Jacinto fumaroles and the tour of the pottery studio in San Juan del Oriente.

PPS. The accommodation and all dining experiences were first rate.

Regards,

Rob Keddy, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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Dear Richard,

We found Nicaragua a delightful and fascinating country, if not always easy – but for us that made it much more interesting. Lenin (guide) and Flavio (mountain guide) were superb – patient and helpful in the extreme, informative but also prepared to talk more deeply about a variety of subjects when asked. I feel that I know as much through them, especially Lenin, as through the trip. We both felt that we had lost a friend when we left Lenin behind. Our continuing voyage to the US was a distinct disappointment afterwards.

I am preparing a video of the trip and have an awful lot of photos, and simple sketches…..they will appear on Radley College website in due course – and I will try and remind you of the website when ready.

Hoping we may deal with you again….and thank you again!

Mike Dean, Oxford, England, UK
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Hi Richard.

Just to let you know that I had a good time whilst in Nicaragua. Your guide Jose & driver Marvin were both pleasant & informative/knowledgeable. Thanks again for your professionalism prior, to arranging the programme. Rare as it is today! Indeed therefore I would recommend your company to anyone interested in visiting Nicaragua.

Kind regards,

Paul Hewitt, London, England, UK
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Dear Richard,

Thank you so much for a wonderful holiday. We had a fantastic time in Nicaragua. The scheduling worked out really well and the places visited were all in their very different ways superb. Most of all Lenin was a really fantastic guide and friend to us during our stay. We cannot speak highly enough of him. He was so helpful in altering our programme and did everything possible to make our stay memorable. We will never forget so many of our activities. Perhaps Cerro Negro and Telica, Solentiname and the river trip to the wetlands were the most memorable. Our only regret was in not talking to you at Morgan’s Rock. We had no idea that it was you until the Morgan’s manager told us after your visit. We would have loved to have spoken with you to thank you personally. We hope to return sometime.

Thanks once again,

Best wishes

Gill Dean, Oxford, England, UK
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Dear Mike and Richard,

I have recently completed my tour with your company to the Rio San Juan and Solentiname with the wonderful guide Julio and boatsman Martin. I highly recommend them as guides and am amazed at how organized everything was, considering the remoteness of the area. Everyone and everything arrived on time, and all the Nicas worked very hard and took very good care of us. I actually felt Ernesto’s presence at Solentiname. This was my first visit to Nicaragua and I will definitely return day. Who woulda thunk? Please pass on my thanks to Julio and Martin. Love ’em both.

Geri Anderson, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
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Hi Tours Nicaragua,

My husband and I recently returned from a two week vacation in Nicaragua and were extremely pleased with the service you provided. Our guide, Jose Andino was without exception wonderful, informative, professional and personable and the driver was also wonderful. We enjoyed our trip so much that we’re planning to go again next year for 3 weeks. This was our first trip and because it was so great will certainly be the beginning of a repeat destination for the upcoming years. Thank you again for such a wonderful trip.

Gloria & Paul Decker, Central Bridge, New York, USA
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Hola Richard,

Cheers from León! I finally did get to buy my donkey in Somoto, and started traveling with her on 21 Dec. Two days ago, on 27 Dec., I sold her again, in San Juan del Rio Coco (it was quite funny, I asked the first random guy in town who I saw riding a horse: “Hola Señor, how are you? Would you like to buy a donkey?” – he bought her straight away!) It was a very nice trip; thank you very much for your tips; the region is indeed beautiful, and the people very nice. When I first wrote to you, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this thing maybe in Honduras or Guatemala, although Nicaragua was the most likely candidate for me; anyway, I wrote to several tour companies and guide books for information, but you were actually the only one who wrote back with helpful information, I appreciate that very much!

Jens Voigt, Germany
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Dear Tours Nicaragua,

I wanted to write and tell you what a wonderful time we had these past few days. We are in love with Nicaragua! It is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. We will definitely be coming back to explore more of its volcanoes, nature and cities. Lenin was an excellent guide – very knowledgeable and completely flexible to what we were interested in. The weather was wonderful, the hotel was lovely and quite accommodating, and the restaurants in Granada were excellent. We could not have asked for more.

We’ll be recommending your company to our friends and hopefully they will take the opportunity to enjoy it as we did. Also, Lenin let me browse through the Footprint Nicaragua guidebook you authored and I thought it was very informative. It’s a shame I couldn’t find it in the States.

I look forward to traveling in Nicaragua with your company again in the near future.

Best regards,

Maria Bachman, San Rafael de Heredia, Costa Rica
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Richard:

I’m sorry I didn’t write this email sooner. Our trip was really excellent, much better than I had expected, and our recollection of it gets better as time passes.

Lenin was an absolute gem. He had just the right combination of concern, distance, knowledge and humor. We made him do things that he was worried would get him in trouble with you (restaurants that he wasn’t familiar with, for instance), which always worked out perfectly (and added some new sites for your future vegan/vegetarian clients). Please give him, our “first penguin”, our loving regards.

We’re looking forward to returning to Nicaragua in the future.

Again, many many thanks.

Sincerely,

Daniel Jonas, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
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Hi Richard,

I have been home for a week and today all the Nicaragua pictures came back and there are many beauties. I really do want to thank you very sincerely for the marvellous trip that you organised for me. By contrast the Panama agent’s arrangements were a shambles and there was quite a degree of stress all the way through. Hope all is well with you and please give my very good wishes to Santos (driver).

Yours,

David Forman, Brighton, England, UK
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Dear Richard,

I wanted to write and tell you what a wonderful time we had these past few days. We are in love with Nicaragua!! It is such a beautiful country with so much to offer. We will definitely be coming back to explore more of its volcanos, nature and cities. Lenin was an excellent guide – very knowledgeable and completely flexible to what we were interested in. The weather was wonderful, the hotel was lovely and quite accommodating, and the restaurants in Granada were excellent. We could not have asked for more.

We’ll be recommending your company to our friends and hopefully they will take the opportunity to enjoy it as we did. Also, Lenin let me browse through the Footprint Nicaragua guidebook you authored and I thought it was very informative. It’s a shame I couldn’t find it in the States.

I look forward to visiting Nicaragua with your company again in the near future.

Best regards,

Maria Bachman, San Rafael de Heredia, Costa Rica
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Dear Mr. Leonardi:

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to write and express my appreciation for our wonderful vacation! You indeed made my mother’s dream come true. In spite of our last minute changes (thank you for your understanding!!!) every bit of our trip was just perfect! José (guide) and Santos (driver) were absolutely magnificent. They are thoroughly knowledgeable and well spoken about every aspect of Nicaraguan politics, culture, etc… My goodness, I don’t know what we would have done without them! Their generosity, humor, and true care for my brother, my mother and me will never be forgotten. They went above and way beyond the call of duty. On our last day, we left with the knowledge that we had made two new friends and extended our ‘family’ a bit more. I could go on but suffice it to say; I thank you for all your hard work. I was very lucky to have found your company on the internet and will now make sure that all my friends hear of you!

With gratitude,

Catherine Daley, Chicago, USA
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Dear Mike:

Your company arranged a remarkable tour for our group. With our focus on leadership and broadening our understanding of the world we live in, their tour provided us with a mixture of political, educational and cultural experiences that gave us an in-depth view of Nicaragua. With Richard we had one of the best tour guides I have ever met, and he made the trip interesting, exciting and challenging. I never expected to want to return to Nicaragua, but based on our experience, we are now talking about how soon we will return to this beautiful and amazing country.

Peggy McNutt, Project Director
The Nature Conservancy
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Hi Guys!

We are back in New York now after what was an absolutely wonderful stay in Nicaragua, and we wanted to write to thank you for suggesting and organizing an itinerary that fulfilled all of our wishes. The trip was a perfect blend of planned, guided activities and free time on our own to explore. We found the accommodations comfortable, clean, and hospitable. David met the challenge of climbing all three volcanoes (Cerro Negro, Maderas, and Concepción), and I managed the first and half of the second! We loved the kayaking, the canopy tour, and the biking; but more than anything, we fell in love with the warm, generous Nicas. Most importantly, I want you to know that our guide and driver were so professional and were always looking for ways to make the trip run smoothly and interestingly. José hiked with us in the cloud forest, took us to the market in Masaya, and made a really wonderful detour to San Juan del Oriente and Catarina on the way to Managua. The local guides Rigo and Lenín were also great.

We would not hesitate to recommend your services to others who are looking for an active, adventurous holiday!

Sincerely,

Lynda and David FeBland, New York, USA
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Hi Richard,

I realized I never emailed you back about our trip to Nicaragua. We had a fantastic time and both Lenín (guide) and Santos (driver) were terrific!! And your country was very beautiful – I would recommend travel there to anyone. I’m very happy that I found you on the Internet and that I was able to set this up via e-mail exchanges. Everything was great! Thanks again!

Andy Norton, Maryland, USA
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Hello Mike,

I am writing to let you know how much our family enjoyed our tour. At first, we had some trepidation about visiting Nicaragua, but after we arrived and saw how peaceful the country is and how wonderful the people are, all anxiety melted away. José (guide) was awesome. He was personable, knowledgeable and had a wonderful disposition and was also wonderful with our children, aged 12 and 9. Your vehicle was roomy and comfortable, and provided a wonderful way to see this scenic, marvelous country. I would definitely book TOURS NICARAGUA for a future tour any time, and also recommend this agency to anyone planning on taking a trip to Nicaragua.

Sincerely,

Wendy Robelo, California, USA
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Richard,

Thank you so much for your excellent tour and tour guiding during our stay in Nicaragua. We really enjoyed the day that you planned for us. The historical background was wonderful. The information that you shared with us made me sound like a real Nicaragua expert at the dinner party that we went to on Saturday night.

I hope to see you again on our next trip to Nicaragua.

Wendy Cox
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Hello Richard,

Everyone really enjoyed the tour, and if I return next year with a different group, we may arrange another tour with your company. It was excellent.

Thanks again,

Kristin Kultgen, Minneapolis, USA
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Dear Mr. Newton,

It is a joy to write about Nicaragua. The images are still so strong in my mind: the beautiful children leading us through the fumaroles, soaring over the volcanoes and over Lake Nicaragua in the little plane, Concepción rising out of the water as we approached Ometepe, our wet journey down the Rio San Juan, the majesty of the rain forest at the Refugio, the sweet-natured smiles of people everywhere. These are but a few. I have traveled independently for most of my life, but seeing the country with Richard as a guide and learning about it from an insider gave me much more insight into Nicaragua and its people. Plus it was a lot more fun! It was a privilege to be there. Many thanks!

All Best,

Donna Dailey, London, England, UK
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Dear Tours Nicaragua,

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know we really appreciated our tour at Los Guatuzos. That was quite a fun adventure for my son and me. Your guide was super: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and interesting. I would certainly choose Tours Nicaragua if we did another trip like that.

Thank you so much for everything.

Sincerely,

John A. Teller, Boston, USA
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Hi Richard,

I have been home for a week and today all the Nicaragua pictures came back and there are many beauties. I really do want to thank you very sincerely for the marvelous trip that you organized and guided for me. By contrast, the Panama’s agent’s arrangements were a shambles and there was quite a degree of stress all the way through.

Hope all is well with you and please give my very good wishes to Santos (driver). I will be in touch again very soon.

Yours,

David Forman, Brighton, England, UK
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Dear Mr. Newton,

Your company Tours Nicaragua is a professional, thorough, caring and engaged company. We received wonderful service at every turn and every request. The staff at your office is most knowledgeable and well connected in this important Central American country. I highly recommend their service and the experience of visiting Nicaragua.

Tim LaSalle, President and CEO
Agricultural Education Foundation
San Louis Obispo, California, USA
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Hello!

Thank you so much for a well organized and wonderful “tour “for us. We enjoyed José (guide) so much and he is an excellent companion. Everything on the planning side was perfect without a glitch. We liked the hotel Europeo and Selva Negra. I think you subtly downplayed the Hotel Europeo by omitting that it had air-conditioning and a pool, but it was great.

Thanks,

Evelyn Shreve
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Hello Richard,

Thanks for an incredible experience for our group of 87 in Nicaragua. Your attention to detail (even for a group so large) made our trip a joy. I had not realized the rich culture and diverse terrain of Nicaragua. Prior to traveling there, we had some apprehensions regarding our group’s safety–but after traveling with you in preparation for our trip and then traveling with our group–I realized that our fears were unfounded.

I’m not sure what was enjoyed most. The sunset boat ride through the islands on Lake Nicaragua were spectacular. The ocean beach was a delight. The excursion to the volcano and to the island of Ometepe were spectacular. And people are still talking about “the best pizza they ever ate” in Managua!

When I think back on the trip, what comes to my mind first is the friendship that we formed with you and the friendliness and efficiency of your staff. Nicaragua is more than a spot on the map to us now, it is a place where we have friends whom we wish to visit with again. Thanks for sharing your love for Nicaragua with us.

Sincerely,

Thure Martinsen, Washington, USA
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