TRAVEL TO LEARN
Adventure, Leadership and Educational Travel

Nicaragua
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About Nicaragua: Learn about the country and the places you will visit.
Travel Assistant
: Let us help you with some of the typical travel plans.
Photos and Videos: See pictures and videos from previous trips


FAQs  


NicaVentura

Welcome to your first step in visiting the land of lakes and volcanoes! Truly an off the grid experience, Nicaragua offers some of the most spectacular landscape and authentic cultural experiences in Central America.

Although Travel to Learn focuses mainly on educational travel for students, we do offer trips only for adults. Our adult trips do not incorporate all of the same Areas of Focus as for student trips so please click on the ADULT link below to view a sample itinerary.

Students and parents should read this entire page and then select the NicaVentura link for more program details.

 

The Four Areas of Focus

Leadership
Students begin to learn what it means to be a leader and how each one of them can use their unique personalities and passions to make change. As students travel, use their Spanish, and build relationships, they build self-esteem. Their beliefs and knowledge about the world will be challenged but real life experiences inevitably lead to a growth in many areas: listening strategies, the feeling of helping others, evaluating real life decisions, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills. Participants (adults and students) return home with a fresh perspective on their lives and society and will be moved to implement change on some level.

Eco-adventures and the Environment
One of the main reasons people travel is to experience nature. Whether it is a Caribbean beach or the cloud forest, it is important to educate participants wile offering activities that keep in mind the fragile environment. There is plenty of fun to be had kayaking, hiking, surfing, zip lining, peering into volcanoes, walking into bat caves, etc. It is also a perfect opportunity to have discussion around how our own lifestyles may affect the environment. It is for this reason that we participate only in ecotourism and use only companies and guides that collaborate with the official Nicaraguan Ecotourism Agency.

Spanish Immersion
It is widely known that the best way to learn a language is to experience it. Formal Spanish class sizes range from one to four students per instructor. The Program Leader as well as the official Nicaraguan Tour Guides are Spanish speakers, allowing students to practice their Spanish in an immersion setting. Students are supported 24-hours a day with Spanish language and encouraged to use it whenever possible.

Service Work -- Why do service work?
It is becoming more common to do service work while on vacation but it is up to the company you work with to set up meaningful opportunities. We work closely with local organizations to help us find community-based projects that meet the needs of the people and/or the environment. Casa Xalteva, an orphanage in Granada, is one of those organizations that we have worked with over the years. Participating in service work can dramatically change a participant's perspective on life. Every trip is different and your Program Leader will share with you the opportunities available on your trip.

 

The 4 Areas
Why TTL? 

A NicaVentura experience is unique for many reasons.

  1. Safety is our top priority. We work with licensed tour operators who make safety their priority as well. We know where to find medical facilities, have private transportation available, carry cell phones and have emergency plans at all times.
  2. Students who Travel To Learn have fun, life-changing, authentic, meaningful experiences and become leaders in their communities.
  3. Every activity in this program is specifically designed to be educational. We incorporate the Four Areas of Focus into all of our programs in order to maximize the travel experience.
  4. We have extensive educational travel experience with all ages, including programs in Arizona, Montana, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
  5. We keep our numbers down to ensure the best possible experience. On most trips, adult or student, we take around 10 participants.
  6. The itinerary focuses on eco-adventures, language and cultural immersion, historical tours, and making connections with Nicaraguans.
  7. Our passion and love of the environment and people is apparent but we make sure to have fun!
  8. The Program Leader traveling with the group is a native Spanish speaker and a certified public school teacher in Arizona.
  9. Travel to Learn is unique in that the owner, Carlos Bill, is a certified teacher, has created these programs to be educational by nature, and goes on each trip to ensure a high level of service and to make sure those teachable moments are not missed.
  10. With most educational travel companies you will never meet the Program Leader who travels with your child. You will put them on a plane and hope for the best. With Travel to Learn you have the peace of mind that a teacher with 16 years experience in public schools has created and is in charge of the program. The combination of our Areas of Focus and having a program created and run by a certified teacher is difficult to find.



FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - For more travel information visit out Travel Assistant page.

Who can participate?
NicaVentura MS: Any adult with a child as young as middle school students.
NicaVentura ADULT: Any adult over the age of 18.
Travel To Learn will accept participants regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, income, or national origin and has no affiliation with any branch of government, political party, or interest group.

Why do volunteer work?
The quality of life in Nicaragua is considerably lower than in the United States. In fact, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Participating in volunteer work is an opportunity to help others as well as to learn from those we help. Volunteer work isn't a new concept but the idea is starting to reach more people. In fact, volunteer vacations are becoming more popular as evidenced by this news clip.

Do I have to speak Spanish to go on this trip?
No. Whether or not you have taken Spanish, you can participate in the program. However, having previously taken Spanish will increase your access to Nicaraguans and their culture. Remember, language is inseparable from culture so the more Spanish you know, the more you will get out of your experience.

Who is going to teach me Spanish?
gYour Program Guide: Your Program Guide, Carlos, speaks Spanish fluently and will support you as you use your Spanish throughout the trip.
Nicaraguans/Immersion: You must also decide to practice your Spanish outside of class. Most tours will be in Spanish and most artisans working in the market place don't speak English so you'll have to immerse yourself. Participants who practice their Spanish, regardless of fluency, learn more from the locals and get more from their travel experience.

Do I need a passport or a visa?
Visas from the United States are not required. Your passport must, however, be valid for at least 6 months prior to your departure date.

Where will I sleep?
Typically in hostels or small private type hotels. In Granada, you will stay at a hostel or hotel in town. Accommodations are modest, but hostels are chosen for their cleanliness, comfort, and safety. We have an excellent relationship with a family-run hostel in Granada and in most cases hostels feel more like what we would call a B&B. Typically, in Granada, accommodations do not include air conditioning.

Why Nicaragua?
Nicaragua contains 6-7% of the world's bio diversity and the second largest rainforest in the Americas. Close to 20% of the country's territory is protected as national parks or biological reserves. The country is mostly famous for its landscapes, flora and fauna, culture, beaches and of course, its lakes and volcanoes. If you have been to Costa Rica, imagine the exact same biodiversity. According to the Ministry of Tourism of Nicaragua, the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua is the preferred spot for tourists. It is also home to the second largest lake in Latin America. Other main tourist attractions near Granada are the city of Masaya, the volcano island of Ometepe and Mombacho Volcano. It is in this colonial town of Granada that participants will spend their first week.
Nicas (the local slang for Nicaraguans) are wonderful people. They are very welcoming, very proud of their culture and very willing to share cultural views with travelers.

How will I get around?
poastWe typically use private shuttles and cabs. We may use public transportation one day to get to the beach just for the experience.

Investing in your child
International travel programs may seem expensive. I challenge you to find another educational program run by a teacher that places such an emphasis on language and cultural immersion, leadership, service work, and ecotourism. Then, I challenge you to find one with the prices we offer for such a packed itinerary.
Think about the things that people already spend money on and consider the value of these items compared to an experience that will change your child's life.

Cell Phone Plan
Cell Phone
Shoes = $120
Laptop = $500-2,000
$500/year
$200/1-2 years
last 1 year
lasts 3 years

A Travel to Learn Experience = Priceless and lasts a lifetime!

 

 

Partners

 

Travel To Learn collaborates with organizations that are respectful of the natural environment and that keep in mind community resources by hiring local labor. We also use companies who have a professional work ethic and consider safety to be their number one priority.

Natural Reserve
Volcán Mombacho

Ecological Reserve
Charco Verde
Mombacho
Canopy Tours
Casa Xalteva

 

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Contact: 602.538.2929   info@itraveltolearn.com

 All photographs copyright of Carlos Bill and ©Travel To Learn LLC