Hope Turns to Excitement – Grand November Reopening of Jicaro Island Lodge, Nicaragua

Nicaragua: a beautiful and safe country that quickly became recognized as the hottest new travel destination – a destination even fit for a royal engagement.  It was well and truly on the map for all of the right reasons; for its endless adventures, rich culture, sprawling beaches and charming colonial towns with centuries of stories to tell.  All these things remained true until things changed in May 2018.  Overnight, the burgeoning tourism industry was decimated due to civil unrest.  People stopped coming to Nicaragua and tourism stopped almost from one day to the next.

Despite its distance and isolation from the woes of the country, even Jicaro Island suffered and had to temporarily suspend operations.  “It broke my heart to have to close the beautiful hotel that I had poured my heart and soul into”, said owner Karen Emanuel, “even more so because I had to let some of my amazing, incredibly talented staff go and put all the community projects that we had started on hold.”  But even in the tensest moments of the crisis, neither Karen nor her Jicaro family lost hope.  Jicaro kept a core team of more than half of the staff on payroll throughout the crisis.

From Hope to Renewed Excitement

Now that calmer times have arrived and most of the country’s hotels have reopened and operating again, hope has turned to excitement:  Jicaro is set to reopen on November 15th.  The reservations are slowly but surely coming in.  Behind the move to welcome visitors back to the island is an unwavering commitment to Nicaragua’s people, to Jicaro’s staff, to the locals that supply the lodge, to the school children supported by generous guest donations and to every other community member that relies on tourism in the area.  We owe it to them all to do our part in restoring what was lost.

“It’s crucial that we help to rebuild the country and provide jobs and help to the communities that surround us,” says Karen. “I wish for nothing more than for people to start coming back and recognizing the majesty of the place.”  At Jicaro, the island is looking better than ever and there’s an energized buzz amongst the reunited staff that spent the last several months improving the island’s infrastructure and facilities.  Morale is high and there’s a strong sense of motivation like never before – Jicaro is on a mission to bring tourism back to Nicaragua.

There is No Better Time Than Now to Visit

There has never been a better time to visit Nicaragua. Those among the first to return to the country will be welcomed with the warmest, most appreciative hospitality. We are sure that this will not only be proven true at Jicaro, but everywhere they visit in the country.  And for those who have always wanted to visit Nicaragua, a trip to the country now is all the more meaningful as the nation begins to pick itself back up. Lastly, of course, there are great value offers available throughout the upcoming high season.  While some travel warnings are still in place, we can confidently say that our guests will be totally safe on the island and at the tourist attractions in and around Granada.  From a tourist’s point of view, nothing has changed in Nicaragua other than the need for visitors to return and experience all the Nicaragua has to offer.  Welcome back.

Jicaro Island Lodge reopens on November 15th.  To make a reservation and/or require information on rates or availability, please visit www.jicarolodge.com or contact us at reservations@jicarolodge.com.  Ask for our special grand reopening values.  We still have limited availability during the festive season.  If you would like to receive more information on the political situation in Nicaragua and how it might impact your travel plans, please reach out to Hans Pfister, CEO of the Cayuga Collection,at hans@cayugaonline.com.

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Andrea Bonilla

Co-Owner & VP Operations