Take a Flight to San Juan del Norte
Officially renamed San Juan de Nicaragua in 2002, the municipality formerly known as San Juan del Norte has recently opened a new airport on the outskirts of its main town, known alternatively as Greytown or San Juan del Norte. Named Greytown Airport, the new facility will make travel between Managua and this fairly remote destination on the southern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. Local airline La Costeña has already added the new airport to its schedule with flights from Managua twice a week. The airport’s 1,200 meter runway is suitable for small planes with a capacity of 19 passengers, but plans are underway to lengthen the runway to accommodate 46-passenger airplanes.
Previously San Juan del Norte could only be reached by road or boat, and this new convenient means of transport opens up opportunities for tourism development in this spectacular area of Nicaragua. Authorities are also reportedly investigating the possibility of improving access by sea, allowing for the arrival of boats from the Caribbean region. Currently there are a number of small hotels and other accommodation options in and around San Juan del Norte, and it is anticipated that the increased traffic to the area will benefit these existing businesses as well as the tour guides in the area, and may even open up opportunities for new hotels and restaurants, depending on tourism demand.
In addition to the rich natural beauty of the area, with its sparkling beaches, swaying palm trees and the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, there are some interesting historic landmarks to visit. Visitors can explore the ruins of the colonial settlement, including the cemeteries with gravestones revealing the different nationalities of the people laid to rest there, most of whom were British, Spanish and American. There is also evidence of attempts to create an inter-oceanic route in past centuries, to link the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, something which may yet become a reality in Nicaragua.
The lush vegetation, lakes and streams in the area are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Visitors may have the good fortune of spotting the unusual, and sometimes elusive, manatee in the unspoiled lakes surrounded by virgin forest. Other animals to be on the lookout for include birds, butterflies, snakes, frogs and small mammals, such as deer. Certainly, nature-loving holidaymakers will find plenty to enjoy when visiting San Juan del Norte in Nicaragua.