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62. TELEPHONE - INTERNET

OPTION 1 - ECONOMIC - PHONE & INTERNET
Satellite companies with coverage in Nicaragua are GLOBALSTAR and IRIDIUM.
See   http://www.iridium.com or http://www.globalstar.com

Satellite phones are about $549 to buy.
International phone calls from 60 cents to $1 per minute.
Can buy Prepaid cards or have regular monthly service with a contract.

You can buy the IRIDIUM phone in Managua, Nicaragua.
Or you can purchase (or rent) an IRIDIUM or a GLOBALSTAR  phone in the US and bring it.
Here is a US dealer that sells both GLOBALSTAR and IRIDIUM

http://www.outfittersatellite.com/


Also you can buy a Kit that has phone and data (Internet).

OPTION  2 -  UNLIMITED INTERNATIONAL CALLS &  FAST INTERNET
a) FAST INTERNET

Here is a company that gives you fast satelite internet at an affordable price.
If you rent the equipment you pay $330 a month and a $300 one time installation fee 
If you buy the equipment you pay $230 a month and a $2600 one time fee (installation and buy the equipment)
The equipment is a MODEM and an ANTENNA

see  www.wifinic.net  or  www.satelinet.net

WIFINIC has an office in Managua, Nicaragua and they can install the system for you on the island.

Or you can buy the system in the US and bring it with you.
If interested in more details see info below
p1-Internet-Rent            p2-Internet-Buy
p3-Phone-Buy               p4-Modem-Antenna
p5-ViaSat-SurfBeam    p6-SurfBeam-Info

b) UNLIMITED INTERNATIONAL CALLS

After you have the Fast Internet Connection you can subscribe to a service like SKYPE and have unlimited International calls
that you can make directly from your computer anywhere in the world.

see http://www.skype.com/intl/en/home  or  http://www.skype.com

Of course many Internet cafes are also available in Bluefields.
There you can use the Internet and make inexpensive International phone calls.


63. SEWER (or SEPTIC) SYSTEM 
The island has a two stage (Sold-Liquid) Sewer Filtration system.
The Filtration System that uses Carbon Rock and Sand and it is recommended by the Ministry of Health (MINSA). 
Here is a copy of the Drawing.



The Liquid Stage room never fills up.
The Solid Stage Room is a plastic 1100 liter tank will last about 10 years before it fills up.
When it fills up you canempty it on the sea with a pump in about an hour.
We just cleaned the septic tank, here is what it looks like.
We rent the septic pump for about $40 per day. We can clean the septic tank in about 1 hour.

0-37 - Septic Tank Lid & Tube

0-38 - Septic Tank - Clean


64A. COOKING ENERGY - ON THE ISLAND 
To save energy, our gas stove and oven use tanks of propane gas (TROPIGAS) on the island.
We have 2 small propane gas tanks on the island. It costs $10 to fill up each one of them.
 Tanks are small and portable and give you about a months cooking time each tank.

64B. ELECTRICITY - SOLAR or  WIND POWER
If you need a bigger Wind or Solar system,  TECNOSOL ( www.tecnosolsa.com.ni )
 or ECAMI or any other company can come to your parcel give you the quote and install it all for you.
There is always a nice breeze on the island except on south wind days, and most days are sunny.
But to be 100% sure you can put a combination of Solar-Wind Power system on the island.
A mixed Wind -Solar System of about 6000W or 6KW can run a whole house, costs about $8,000 installed to your property.
That includes Solar Panels, Solar Batteries, Wind turbines, Controller, Inverter. See price  quote below.


WIND - SOLAR info
TECNOSOL uses equipment made by TEMPOWER, here is their site.
Wind Turbines at : http://www.tempower.com/Wind.php
Webpage : http://www.tempower.com

If interested in more details see info below
These are actual photos of a Wind Solar Project we just did this year 2009 together with TECNOSOL for a client.
p01-Solar-Batteries-Inverter
p02-Panel-House -Drawing
p03-Panel-House Quote
p04-Panel-OnHouseTop
p05-Wind-Solar-Batteries-Controller-Inverter
p06-Turbine-Tower
p07-Whisper-175-Wind-Turbine1
p08-Whisper-175-Wind-Turbine2
p09-Whisper-175-Wind-Turbine3
p10-Wind-Quote-p1

p11-Wind-Quote-p2
p12-Wind-Turb-Tower-Base
We have installed a small but complete SOLAR SYSTEM on the island.
It has panels, bateries, controller, inside and outside lights etc.
That is on top of the existing generator powered system that already exists on  the island.
110W panel



65. WASHER -  DRYER

Yes, We have a 110V washer - dryer for your clothes on the island.

66. COST OF LIVING  
Cost of living in Nicaragua is quite inexpensive. Salaries are also very low.
An average daily salary is about 270 Cordobas which is about US$10 per day.
Food (for example beef, fish ,vegetables) and local material for construction, furniture etc, cost less in Nicaragua due to inexpensive labor.

67. IMPORTING Goods
These days you can find in Nicaragua almost everything that you can in the USA or Miami and at approximately the same prices.
Nevertheless if you decide to import merchandise, there are two marine cargo shipping companies that ship directly
 from Miami to El Rama port  and then via the river to Bluefields.
See   www.kingocean.com

Merchandise from Managua is also shipped to the Atlantic (Caribbean) coast through the city of Rama and then via the river to Bluefields.

68. Is Lobster, Fish and Shrimp inexpensive ? Why ?   
The area is a producer of Lobster and shrimp that is exported, mainly  to Miami.
As a result, lobster, shrimp and seafood is abundant fresh and inexpensive in both Bluefields and the surrounding areas.

69. FLORA - What TREES can GROW there ? 
Any tropical fruit  or vegetable like coconut, papaya, mango, pineapple and avocado can grow in the  island.
Currently the islands have royal palms that produce fresh & juicy coconuts.

70. Is it SAFE to TRAVEL & LIVE in Nicaragua ? 
Even during the civil war, which ended in 1990, the political unrest did occur at the Northwest parts of the country, in Managua and in border towns.
The area of Bluefields is located in the state of RAAS which covers the eastern 1/3 of the country and has a population of only 200,000.
(Total population is apr. 5 million)
This area (mostly jungle) due to its low strategic importance, low population and far distance from the borders,
had an absence of political violence, even in the era of the Sandinistas.

71a - Is the island safe?
Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America and the Atlantic (Caribbean) Coast consists of friendly English and Spanish speaking people.
The island has two full-time caretakers who also act as security.

71b. Security around the island
The Nicaraguan Navy also patrols around the area.
The Permanent Navy station is about 5 miles before you get to teh island the island
That provides security and establishes the importance of the area as a favorite spot for Eco tourism or private residency in the Caribbean Nicaragua.
Surrounding area is very scarsely populated, people know each other are very freindly and keep an eye on the area.
Owner never had any theft or problems all these years.

71c. Is it possible to have firearms (rifle and pistol) on the island?
Yes the laws are just like in the US. Fastest way is to get a gun/ rifle and put it on the caretakers name so you can have it and use it immediately in your property.
He will have a loan on the gun equal or more to the gun’s value so the gun will be yours. To get a gun permit you have to be a resident.
Or you hire a caretaker that has a gun permit and a gun, so you can use it also.
Also you can you hire a security company with armed guards, but  that is more expensive and not really needed.
Most owners in the area have caretakers that are not armed, the area is still nice and safe.

71d. TIPPING
No tipping is required or expected during your visit to the island.

72. Yahoo News - Article about Nicaragua
Here is an article that ranks Nicaragua as the top place to retire (and most affordable)...enjoy it.
http://www.nicabeachfront.com/Bocal-Yahoo-Article-htm

73 B - INVESTMENT CLIMATE – US Govt. Report
Openness to foreign investment: Since 1991, Nicaragua has made significant progress in opening to foreign investment.
The Foreign Investment Law guarantees foreign investors the right to remit 100 percent of profits through the official exchange market and,
 3 years after the initial investment, repatriation of original capital. The law also allows 100 percent foreign ownership in all sectors of the economy.
To enjoy those guarantees, investments must be approved by the Foreign Investment Committee of the Ministry of Economy and Development.
However, most foreign investors do not seek Ministry approval because the banks freely repatriate profits.
Recently, Ministry approvals have taken over a year.
he embassy knows of no instances in which profit repatriation has been a problem.
Foreign investors receive national treatment with respect to export/import policies.
There are no onerous visas, residence, or work permit requirements which inhibit foreign investment.

74. TAX  INCENTIVES  
The Nicaraguan Government is very supportive of any  tourist activity in the area and gives the investor a 10 year 100% income tax exemption
along with a permission to import free from taxes all goods related to your small or big tourist operation. For more info, see our page at:

       Tax Exemptions - Investments  in  tourism industry - NICARAGUA (law 306)
The Decree No. 520 of 1960, Decree on Hotel Investments, declares of national interest capital investments in hotel constructions
or entertainment centers that promote tourism, provided that the investment is not less than 200,000 cordobas in the Departments of Carazo,
Granada or Rivas, or 300,000.00 cordobas (US$ 30,000)  on the Atlantic Coast.
The following benefits and exemptions are granted to the investor:
a) Tax exemption on the capital and income tax for a term of 10 years
starting on the date that the Tourism Institute certifies that the corresponding center has started its operation.
Likewise, the investor is exempted from direct tax on capital during the period within the execution of the project
and the date the center starts its operation.
b) Custom duties and consular fees exemption on the importation of all kinds of materials, equipment, goods, furniture, machinery,
and articles exclusively assigned to the construction  of the center and its annexes, and also for its maintenance.
c) Exemption of the obligation to make prior deposits for its import and authorization to make use of foreign credits.
The Municipalities tax plans for these type of investments will be adjusted to the spirit of Decree 520,
 in order not to levy tourist investors similar municipal taxes that are  described and exonerated above.
Click below to see and download the entire law 306 translated in English

www.nicabeachfront.com//Bocal-Tour-Incent-Law-306.htm

75. If I have my own plane Can I fly directly to Bluefields ?
To be authorized to fly drectly to Bluefields with your private plane  you have to send the application info at least  24 hours before arrival
 by E-mail  (aisona@hotmail.com) or Fax  011 505 2233 1765 or 011 505 2276 8588.
You need to submit  :  
1. Airplane Insurance
2. Airlplane Registration
3. Aviation operating certificate
4. Pilots Licence
          Here is the original document with the 4 requirements before it was translated
            
After you land on the airport you pass, inmigration, customs and police inspeccion.
The Website of the National Institite of Civil Aviation is  is
 www.inac.gob.ni

76. Can I rent a plane or helicopter in Nicaragua ?
Yes, you can rent a private plane or helicopter in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua
The planes are 1 propeler, are US made by CESNA.
The helicopters are R22 (2 seater) or R44 (4 seater), both US made by Robinson Helicopter.
      
 R44 Helicopter. It can be rented at the  Managua Intl Airport
               
          
The only company that rents helicopters is HELENICA (Helicopteros de Nicaragua)
Site  : http://www.helinica.com/en/

Ph  011 505 2254-4761  Mob  011 505 8855-5556.
They charge $750 per each hour of flight. That price includes tax, gasoline and the pilot.
It is an R44 helicopter for 4 persons, that is the pilot and 3 passengers.
Pink Pearl island trip: 2 hours 15 min to go and  2 hrs 15 min to return. Cost  4hrs x $750 = $3375
If the helicopter spends the night you pay $150 more for food and hotel for the pilot.
On the way to the island the helicopter stops at “La Esperanza” for refueling.
Reservations : 8 days in advance
Can pay Credit card at the airport or at the office. - 70% deposit.  Remaining 30% after the trip

77. LAST MINUTE. . .DO NOT FORGET to Bring..
a)
Pair of boots or at least close toe shoes, and a pair of Long Blue Jeans or other equivalent thick pants (trousers).
This way you can walk in the back of the properties, over rocks etc.
b) Sunscreen and a cap or a hat for the sun.
c) Cash - US$ Many places in Bluefields do not process - or delay a lot - with credit cards, same situation with travelers checques.
US Dollars are accepted here along with the national currency. 1 US$ is about 29 cordobas.

77a. The TRIP - ACTIVITIES
Nestor the manager is arranging the whole trip
On the boat it will be just Nestor the manager, the boat man, his helper and you.
On the island there is a caretaker his name is Pingo he is there with his wife.
That trip is especially for you. There are no other visitors just the people that are facilitating your trip.
If we can get the construction guy Armando we will will send him over also he can talk to you about construction, although the island is ready.
He has built the island and several others in the area.
They are 3 construction guys that on the island that are cleaning the island for you and doing minor repairs.
The guy on the island that speaks english, his name is Murray
There must be some fins there so you can snorkel around the island.
You can take the kayak and go around.
Do not forget to go fishing around the island.
We will have some seafood for you on the island.
Hope you enjoy the island and have a nice tropical trip.

78a. ACCESSIBILITY 
You first fly to Managua from the US. Managua is reached directly from Miami and Houston or Los Angeles
by "American Airlines", "Continental", "Iberia" or "Taca".
The Coastal town of Bluefields (pop. 50,000) can be reached from Managua in 50 min with Airline "La Costena",
 that has 3 or 4 flights a day. Airfare is about $73 each way.

Managua To Bluefields
6:30am, 10:00am  and 2:00pm - be there 1 hour before your flight.
Bluefields to Managua
8:30am, 11:00am  and 4:00pm - be there 1 hour before your flight.
For detailed Schedules and Airfares, see:
  http://www.lacostena.com.ni

The Island can be easily reached from the city of Bluefields  with a speed boat within 1 hour 10 minutes.
All you have to do is fly to Managua the capital of Nicaragua. We can arrange the rest of your trip.

78b. If you have to go to CORN island..
       don’t do this...

Corn island is about 100 kilometers or 60 miles from the mainland.
Corn island is not accessible by boat only by plane.
A direct trip from Corn Island to Pink Pearl is risky, expensive and difficult to arrange.
You will be going North West from Corn Island to Pink Pearl, so you will be traveling on the open sea with waves pounding you for 1.5 hours…bad idea.
The trip is expensive about $600. When there is rain or waves the trip is cumbersome even for fishermen.
The best way, is to go to Corn Island by plane, and to leave Corn Island by plane.
        if you are already in Corn Island...
If you have a number we can call you. If you have an e-mail tell us the day and flight you can be in Bluefields.
It is best if you can come to Bluefields with the first flight. Our manager Nestor will pick you up at the airport.
       but better do this instead…
Ideally after you land in Managua you fly to Bluefields and we can take you to see Pink Pearl, you spend one night at the island.
Then we return you to Bluefields and there you take the flight from Bluefields to Corn Island.
After you see Corn Island you can take the flight from Corn Island to Managua.
.
79. Who Flies to Managua ?
The following airlines all fly to Managua
 
AMERICAN  AIRLINES   www.aa.com  800 - 433 - 7300    From Miami - Direct
DELTA www.delta.com  800 - 221 - 1212  From Atlanta - Direct
UNITED  www.united.com 800 - 864 - 8331  From Houston - Direct
COPA  www.copaair.com  800 - 359 - 3672  From Miami- Panama- Managua
AVIANCA  http://nuevaexperiencia.avianca.com/en-ni/   800 - 284 - 2622  From Miami - Direct

80. How I fly from Managua to Bluelfields ?
With La Costena   http://www.lacostena.com.ni  - Ticket is around $125 round trip
Tel  + 505 - 2263 - 2142 or 43 or 44
Managua  to  Bluefields  3 - 4  flights daily

2-07.  Arriving to Bluefields
with "La Costeña" Airlines

 
3950. Bluefields   Airport
"La Costeña" plane

2-08. Bluefields town and bay