FAQ FOR NICARAGUA RETREAT
Welcome to Journey to the Cloud Forest: A Visionary Retreat for Women from April 22-29, 2017. We are thrilled that you have chosen to join us on this breath taking visionary journey to the cloud forest in Nicaragua.
Here are some helpful traveler’s tips.
Once you land at Managua Airport, you will be driven to your destination – a 3 hour journey along the well paved Pan American Highway, past villages and hamlets, undulating valleys and breathtaking mountains.
You will be residing for the entire week at the award-winning Finca Esperanza Verde (Green Hope Farm), an eco-lodge and coffee plantation nestled in the highlands of Nicaragua, and in the verdant region of the cloud forest. Finca Esperanza Verde (FEV) is the home of your host, Vivianne Arango, and is renowned for its stunning views, comfortable accommodation, delicious food, generous service, and commitment to conscious ecology, design and preservation.
To read more, please visit: www.fincaesperanzaverde.com.
MAKING YOUR RESERVATIONS
This trip is designed for a small group of women, so please make your reservations as soon as possible.
Deposit: Non refundable deposit of $550 by March 1, 2017
Balance Due: April 1, 2017
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You will need a Passport which expires NO SOONER THAN 6 MONTHS AFTER the end of your trip. The name on your passport and on your airline ticket MUST BE IDENTICAL!
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFORMATION
Your Entry Visa, which you pay as you enter Managua airport and show your passport, costs $10. Pay with a $10 bill. (When you leave you will present the little piece of paper so make sure to keep it safe)
The airline will need to see the bag tag you got when you checked in prior to departure. Local address to put on the baggage tag: Your name, Finca Esperanza Verde, San Ramón, Matagalpa, tele #8775-5341 (# at the finca).
There will be baggage handlers anxious to help you. THEY EXPECT TO BE PAID. One dollar for two bags will be plenty. US coins are not of any use to them. If you want to carry your own bags, tell them “No, gracias.”
Exit the airport and look for the Finca Esperanza Verde greeter who will be carrying a sign.
Please note there are direct flights to Managua International , Nicaragua from several deparature points in the USA. These include: Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston.
Nicaragua is 2 hours behind USA time.
If you have a late flight arrival the night before, you can stay at the Best Western Hotel Las Mercedes across from the airport in Managua and meet up with the group the following day. The same will apply on the other end (Jan 21), and if you have a later or earlier flight than most of the group. We will be happy to arrange a separate airport transfer for you at an additional charge.
The hotel gives the Finca a special rate. So if you do plan on booking with them, let them know you are guests at the Finca Esperanza Verde (FEV).
CHECK INTO FLIGHT SCHEDULES
Here is a helpful way to check into flights.
The sooner you book your flight, the cheaper the rates.
Please consult a travel clinic or your own doctor to inform yourself about your current immunizations and appropriate shots and vaccinations that you may need. You should begin this process as early as possible before your trip.
- Hepatitis A vaccinations
- DT booster
- Oral typhoid
- To prevent malaria take a 500 mg dose of chloroquin (brand name in USA – aralen) every week starting one week before your departure, during your stay in Nicaragua, and for 4 weeks after returning. Chloroquin is a fairly benign malarial medication compared to others.
Please note: Finca Esperanza Verde Ecolodge is at 4,000 ft elevation where few mosquitos are found and all the cabins are screened.
We encourage you to investigate and consider purchasing travel insurance for your trip. There are many options – and one that we recommend is Travel Guard. Call 800-826-4919 or 800-826-4919 for FREE for more information about insurance for yourself.
WHAT TO BRING
We will be arriving at a beautiful time of the year with temperatures around 72 degree Fahrenheit at night – 86 degrees in the daytime.
- Personal items: shampoo, soap, insect repellent, sunscreen
- Medicines: (pack your medications with your carry on luggage). For your comfort, be prepared to treat yourself for bug bites (benedryl, neosporin, cortison cream, bandaids), common cold, and constipation (consider a bag of prunes).
- Footwear: supportive walking shoes or boots (paths are muddy when it rains), flip flops or sandals. FEV provides rubber boots for your use and convenience while visiting the farm.
- Clothing: pair of jeans, light weight long pants, shorts, long sleeved shirt with a collar, jacket, sweater or shawl for cool evenings, rain gear, shorts, t-shirts, swimming suit
- Accessories: flashlight, batteries, ear plugs; water bottle, sun hat, journal, pens, camera, extra camera batteries, binoculars, money belt (the type worn next to the body), photocopy of your passport to carry with you at all times.
- Money: Expenses: $10 arrival tax, $20-$40 tip for staff at Finca Esperanza Verde, spending money for art work and crafts. BRING CASH ONLY. Travelers checks are not useful . Closest ATMs are in Matagalpa.
What to leave at home: expensive watches, jewelry, flashy clothes, and heels.
CLOUD FOREST TRAILS
The Finca’s natural cloud forest environment and spectacular views are second to none in Northern Nicaragua. There are 5 hiking trails – and we will be exploring the trails that are easy to moderate on our guided walks into the cloud forest.
TIPS FOR FINCA STAFF
The staff at the Finca are very helpful and there to serve you with Nicaraguan hospitality. It is customary for guests to tip the staff. There is a tip box at the reception desk. Tips are shared equally with the Finca staff.
WHAT DO I BRING FOR THE WORKSHOP RETREAT?
A month before the retreat begins, Amber will send you three visionary questions to consider – as a prelude to this reflective time together. Bring a special journal to write in, coloring pencils/markers for a special creative project we will do together. And bring one or two poems that you would like to share with us on one of our evening under the star gatherings.
Vivianne Arango and Amber Chand are delighted to welcome you to this very special Visionary Retreat for Women held in the cloud forest at the highlands of Nicaragua. As your entrusted guides, we are committed to offering you an experience which will celebrate who you are. Here, at this oasis you will be guided into a world of reflection, thoughtful conversation, storytelling, guided forest walks, delicious food and wine, breathtaking sunsets, nourishing relaxation, and much more.
CONTACT INFORMATION IN NICARAGUA
Emergency contact information for our office is firstname.lastname@example.org. The telephone number at the office in Matagalpa is 011.505.2772.3586. The cellular phone at Finca Esperanza Verde (Spanish only) is 011.505.8775.5341.