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active 17 mins ago

Lucía Barrios

I have worked in Tourism industry since 8 years. I am keen on the outdoors activities especially those involved in direct contact with nature like hiking, snorkeling. I love to swim, bird watching and writing. I am a peace of mind person. In Nicaragua, one of my favorite places is the Ometepe Island, where Peace is all around. This place is a magnificent natural paradise, the people and its magic is just overwhelming. In Panama, my idylic destination is Bocas del Toro for its outstanding and picturesque landscape, its vibrant culture and the diversity of adventurous and relax experiences found there. Definitely two destinations that should be on your travel list.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

" Nature , Adventure, and wellness trips"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I studied Management and Development in Tourism in Managua, Nicaragua, I have gained depth love for the sustainability and responsible management of the touristic activity. I have first obtained experience in the hospitality industry and then have developed myself working on the organizations of travel plans for families, and in ecologically responsible adventures trips in all over Nicaragua. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My favorite travel memory is exploring San Juan River in Nicaragua, at the Indio Maiz reserve with astonishing birds and magnificent trees on the jungle along the river and the great sensation of peace that this natural spot offers to all your senses. Give you a chance, and Let me introduce you a warm land full of color and tropical environments, at the heart of the Americas only here in fantastic Nicaragua.
"

Lucía is part of the following groups: Panama Travel Agents, Nicaragua Travel Agents
Drive between coasts on this Panama road trip
Panama Self-Drive Adventure: Coast to Coast - 17 Days

Enjoy the freedom of the open road on this 17-day self-drive journey through Panama. Discover dazzling diversity, from lush national parks and mountainous regions to the buzz of Panama City and the dreamy beaches of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Along the way, you'll hike to waterfalls, zipline through cloud forests, visit coffee farms, relax on tropical beaches, and sail to pristine island paradises.            

Panama's Pacific Coast
Insider's Panama: Isla Palenque, Boquete, Portobelo & Panama City - 10 Days

Discover the quieter corners of Panama on this 10-day journey between cities, mountains, and coasts. Escape to an island paradise in the Gulf of Chiriquí, explore the lush coffee region of Boquete, and immerse yourself in Caribbean culture in the laid-back fishing village of Portobelo. Your getaway ends in the capital of Panama City, where you'll tour the historic Casco Viejo and watch ships transit the famous Panama Canal.

Mist over the mountains of Santa Fe National Park, Panama
Panama & Nicaragua: Adventure, Nature & Culture - 16 Days

Discover some of Central America's hidden gems on this 2-week adventure through Panama and Nicaragua. Beginning in Panama, visit lush national parks filled with wildlife and tour the mountainous coffee region of Boquete before flying north to Nicaragua. Here you'll explore colonial León, try your hand at volcano boarding, and trek into the remote Somoto Canyon. After a visit to the volcanic beaches of Ometepe Island, finish your journey at the Pacific with a relaxing stay on the Emerald Coast.

Tropical island in Panama
Panama in December: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

December is the start of the dry season in Panama, so combine that with the major holiday of Christmas and it's a busy time of year to visit. But with great weather, you might find the peak season worth it anyway. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in December.

Panama city skyline
Panama in August: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

August is the middle of the rainy season in Panama, and while most travelers won't want to spend much time lounging on a beach during this month, there are other compelling reasons to visit this tropical country in August. Read on to learn more.

Panama city skyline
Panama in July: Travel Tips, Weather, & More

Right in the middle of the rainy season, July is a quiet and cheaper time to visit Panama City. While you might not want to lounge on a beach, cultural sightseeing activities are worthwhile in any weather. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in July.

Recent trip reviews for Lucía

Trip to Nicaragua
Nicaragua | Mar 12 - Mar 17, 2022

S
sarah f.
Atlanta, GA | Reviewed on Mar 18, 2022

Planning the trip through KimKim was super easy and efficient. Lucia worked with us beforehand to plan the perfect Nicaragua trip! She was even extraordinarily helpful when there was an issue with the airlines and submitting the covid test on time. She somehow was able to work her magic and contact someone locally to make sure we got on the plane and also when the plane was delayed causing a missed flight was able to accommodate and change our transfer -- all which we would not have been able... read more

Planning the trip through KimKim was super easy and efficient. Lucia worked with us beforehand to plan the perfect Nicaragua trip! She was even extraordinarily helpful when there was an issue with the airlines and submitting the covid test on time. She somehow was able to work her magic and contact someone locally to make sure we got on the plane and also when the plane was delayed causing a missed flight was able to accommodate and change our transfer -- all which we would not have been able to do on our own and probably have missed out on the trip! The hotels she booked were awesome as were our guides (particularly Freddy and Oscar!) One thing that could have been better would have been checking in throughout the trip. I felt that once we got to Nicaragua, we did not hear from her as much and she was harder to get in contact with. I have traveled a few times with KimKim in the past and each time, the local specialist had checked in daily to make sure everything was going well and to give the more detailed time/itinerary/packing list/guide info for the next day. This would've been very helpful, and just a nice gesture all around. Even when we sent her a message, she did not respond (we had to call in order to get in touch with her). Aside from this the trip was great!

Local specialist: Lucía Barrios
Lucía
Lucía Barrios
Local specialist in Managua & Panama City | Reviewed on Apr 08, 2022

Dear Sarah & Molly
I am so happy to hear you had a beautiful experience while planning and enjoying your trip to Nicaragua. We were indeed lucky that all the information was appropriately followed up on time with the local authorities..
Also I appreciate your feedback regarding the communicacion, I am aware this time I was not efficiently following up with you, this is very essential indeed and I will work on this to improve. About the guides and hotels, I am also glad to know you found... read more

Dear Sarah & Molly
I am so happy to hear you had a beautiful experience while planning and enjoying your trip to Nicaragua. We were indeed lucky that all the information was appropriately followed up on time with the local authorities..
Also I appreciate your feedback regarding the communicacion, I am aware this time I was not efficiently following up with you, this is very essential indeed and I will work on this to improve. About the guides and hotels, I am also glad to know you found them nice.

Thank you so much for leaving your review, we really feel grateful too you tooke a moment to comment about your travel to Nicaragua. Next time you need any further assistance with Nicaragua and Panama, please bear in mind we will be delighted to assist you .

Warm regards,

Lucia

Perfect vacation, very easy and stress free.
Nicaragua | Nov 14 - Nov 28, 2021

Wendy
Wendy P.
Sacramento, CA | Reviewed on Nov 29, 2021

Thanks Lucia (and everyone else) for such a wonderful vacation.

This trip had to be replanned three times thanks to Covid. But Lucia did it. It was such a great, stress free time. All the transfers were prompt...and when one showed up 9 minutes late (the only one that was the slightest bit late), they sent a message at 9 to let me know the situation.

The tours were all private, which was great for me, because it was booked such a long time ago when my body was in much better shape... read more

Thanks Lucia (and everyone else) for such a wonderful vacation.

This trip had to be replanned three times thanks to Covid. But Lucia did it. It was such a great, stress free time. All the transfers were prompt...and when one showed up 9 minutes late (the only one that was the slightest bit late), they sent a message at 9 to let me know the situation.

The tours were all private, which was great for me, because it was booked such a long time ago when my body was in much better shape (again, thanks covid).

Volcano Day sent a guide (Tony) that carried my board up the volcano for me! All of the guides were so welcoming and friendly.

Each hotel had its own charm...but Casa Marimba had cats. Not sure if I mentioned it to Lucia, but cats are my favorite. I might have spent almost as much time petting the cats as I did in the lagoon.

Wonderful trip from a great company that I would highly recommend 😀

Local specialist: Lucía Barrios
Lucía
Lucía Barrios
Local specialist in Managua & Panama City | Reviewed on Nov 29, 2021

Dear Wendy,
we are happy to read about your experience in Nicaragua! Thanks for taking the time to share your valuable feedback. It was indeed a plan with some challenges due to the worlwide situation and we are beyond glad to know it happened when you felt ready for it and as it had to be. Didnt really know about your preferences about cats, however it is great you could also enjoyed with such cat companies this stay in the lagoon. Looking forward to receiving you anytime, and thanks... read more

Dear Wendy,
we are happy to read about your experience in Nicaragua! Thanks for taking the time to share your valuable feedback. It was indeed a plan with some challenges due to the worlwide situation and we are beyond glad to know it happened when you felt ready for it and as it had to be. Didnt really know about your preferences about cats, however it is great you could also enjoyed with such cat companies this stay in the lagoon. Looking forward to receiving you anytime, and thanks for your recommendation. All the best for your future trips,

Best regards from Nicaragua,

Lucía and Vapues travel team

Our 3 week self-drive trip through Nicaragua ...
Nicaragua | Jan 27 - Feb 16, 2020

G
Graeme W.
Australia | Reviewed on Feb 18, 2020

Our 3 week self-drive trip through Nicaragua organised by Lucia at the local tour company Vapues through kimkim was excellent and exceeded our expectations. The initial discussions with Lucia about our interests and pace of travel were quickly understood and an appropriate itenery with realistic travel expectations proposed, negotiated, agreed, and most importantly delivered.
Despite our late arrival in Managua, the Vapues staff were there to assist with the 4WD booking and get us off to a... read more

Our 3 week self-drive trip through Nicaragua organised by Lucia at the local tour company Vapues through kimkim was excellent and exceeded our expectations. The initial discussions with Lucia about our interests and pace of travel were quickly understood and an appropriate itenery with realistic travel expectations proposed, negotiated, agreed, and most importantly delivered.
Despite our late arrival in Managua, the Vapues staff were there to assist with the 4WD booking and get us off to a quick start. The tours around Leon to Isla Juan Venado, Cerro Negro, and Volcan Telica were brilliantly guided by Alex and of sufficient length to appreciate the places and give us enough free time in Leon to walk around, and climb the cathedral at sunset.
Self-drive to Somoto allowed us the freedom to experience what we wanted to see en route at our pace. If you like rum, Flor de Cana is well worth the trip as are the boiling mud pools. The Cayon de Somoto 6 hr hike was one of the highlights and Noel was a splendid accompanyment for the adventure guiding us through the safe way to jump 12m into the river. The full tour of the canyon is recommended to see the full range of ecosystems including the roosting micro-bats. The surprise 50th birthday celebrations laid on by Vapues and Canyon de Somoto tours were delightful.
Next stop the cloud forest highlands around Jinotega where the varied birdlife, coffee plantations, and different climate were a surprise. The accommodation (Aguas de Arenal and La Bastilla) was very good, relaxing, and attentive with the few number of tourists making it to this area. In self-driving make sure you get detailed instructions as both are remote and not well signposted! An excellent bird watching tour from La Bastilla taken by a top guide seeing some rare specimens including the three-wattled bellbird, toucans, and numerous hummingbirds was not to be missed. The long day trip to the rainbow waterfall in Penas Blancas was slightly disappointing, but the scenery exquisite. Local side trips around Jinotega to the zip-line, lake, and local black pottery are worth the effort.
Granada next is a gorgeous town with more tourists than anywhere else, although still small in number. Fine churches, museum, cafes and nightlife. We stayed at El Respiro slightly out of town, which is luxurious with fine views over Volcan Mombacho and awoken to the sound of howler monkeys. Trips to Volcans Mombacho and Masaya are strongly recommended, particularly the sunset viewing of Masaya with the lava lake a highlight of the trip. Both guides Tiger and Rene added significantly to the experience. If self-driving get clear instructions of meeting places: if stuck the locals are lovely, approachable, and very keen to assist in any way. Additional sunset kayaking trip with William from Inuit Kayaks was excellent and his ability to spot wildlife deserves respect.
Next stop Lago de Apoyo, lovely spot and worth the trip. Birdlife was spectacular at all times of day. Scuba-diving in a crater lake is not the most spectacular in the world, but seeing endemic fish, and fumeroles bubbling underwater is unforgetable.
Ometepe was very different scenery with the twin volcanoes shrouded by cloud and the associated cloud forest. The climb of Maderas was VERY tough 7km each way with an average gradient of 1:5 on rocky muddy paths makes for an 8 hour, physical if rewarding experience, glimpsing views through the atmospheric cloud. Morning birdwatching kayak trip from Playa de Mangoes guided by Alan was brilliant just leisurely drifting through flocks of water birds, Cayman, and turtles. The brief rain showers refreshed and offered a different perspective. The half day walk to Ramon waterfalls is less physical, better views through the forest and the chance to see white faced capuchins as well as howler monkeys. Also spotted paca along the way. Waterfall would be more spectacular in the west, as would the walk in, but the water was refreshing to plunge and feel the force of the tumbling waters.
Next trip from Ometepe to El Castillo was a highlight of organisation by Lucia at Vapues. 4WD dropped on the mainland, transferred smoothly by 4WD to Colon on the SW corner of Lake Nicaragua ( the last 15km very rutted) the location of the 'port' is not really known to the locals! The private boat whisked us 50km to San Carlos via an observation of nesting migratory birds on a small island in the middle of the lake: pink spoonbills, wood storks, osprey...a real unexpected highlight. Then up the Rio San Juan to El Castillo. This trip would be nigh impossible to organise and very grateful to Lucia. The jungle in the Indio Maiz is again very different to the rest of Nicaragua. The walking through the post-cyclonic regenerating area around Rio Bartola is well worth it to see the poison-dart frogs and serenity of the jungle. Our guide Sayla was excellent with plenty insights into Nicaraguan life as well as deep knowledge of the jungle. The experience was compounded with a full-day kayak excursion travelling 20km from El Castillo into jungle less affected by the hurricane 3 years ago. The open nature of the jungle and the spotting skills of Harlem and Orlando were exemplary with the highlights being the spider monkeys and 3m crocodile where we were recently kayaking😁. The night Caymen tour with Sayla was another highlight with red eyes staring back from all points along the banks. Other night creatures added to the enjoyable, educational, and relaxing experience.
During the trip Lucia was always available to give updates to necessary changes in itinerary (such as cancellation of the white-water rafting trip due to lack of water). Any changes were quickly resolved with optional tours offered. The only slight criticism would be the lack of specific detail in some of the activity instructions and expectations for tours. This has got something to do with our independent nature of travelling and my pedantic characteristics, but more detail would have reduced some anxiety along the way. If a simple tour it would have been significantly easier.
Lucia as the sole point of contact throughout the 8 month duration from initial request to completion was appreciated. I would strongly recommend Vapues tours, even mentioning the name 'Vapues' when on the road opened doors in surprisingly places. All the guides, drivers, and contacts we met along the way were professional. The tours perfectly suited our description of what we wanted so definitely 5/5 for an exceptionally memorable trip.

Local specialist: Lucía Barrios
Lucía
Lucía Barrios
Local specialist in Managua & Panama City | Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

Dear Graeme,
We are extremely happy to know about your experience in Nicaragua for such a trip. Thanks for your kind and detailed feedback on this itinerary, and every specification in regards to each of the person assisting you during your travel. I am taking into consideration your suggestions of bringing to the traveler more description when it comes to the activities description. Once again thank you so much for having traveled with us, and if there is any future request for an Amazing... read more

Dear Graeme,
We are extremely happy to know about your experience in Nicaragua for such a trip. Thanks for your kind and detailed feedback on this itinerary, and every specification in regards to each of the person assisting you during your travel. I am taking into consideration your suggestions of bringing to the traveler more description when it comes to the activities description. Once again thank you so much for having traveled with us, and if there is any future request for an Amazing travel, please do not hesitate and contact Kim Kim as we will be always delighted to assist you with a great itinerary.

all the best,

Lucía

Nic
Nicaragua | May 18 - May 24, 2019

J
john s.
Australia | Reviewed on May 26, 2019

Nicaragua far out weighed our expectations mainly due to Kim Kim. The tour and itinerary were excellent. Thanks Lucia.
Oscar was there to meet us at Managua airport and transfer us to Granada. The tours in and around Granada were great and the highlight for me was the zip lining at Mt Mombacho. That was amazing.

Rene gave us a great tour to Mt Masaya and his knowledge was diverse and enlightening.
Juan the driver was also a happy guy and he transferred us to San Juan del sur.

Sadly San... read more

Nicaragua far out weighed our expectations mainly due to Kim Kim. The tour and itinerary were excellent. Thanks Lucia.
Oscar was there to meet us at Managua airport and transfer us to Granada. The tours in and around Granada were great and the highlight for me was the zip lining at Mt Mombacho. That was amazing.

Rene gave us a great tour to Mt Masaya and his knowledge was diverse and enlightening.
Juan the driver was also a happy guy and he transferred us to San Juan del sur.

Sadly San Juan del Sur is suffering since the drop in tourism, so it was a quiet time there.
Rafa then transferred us to the border of Costa Rica (Penas Blancas) and helped us through the Nicaraguan immigration and customs, which we were most grateful for. It is also worth mentioning that the drivers were very safe which we appreciated.

Thanks again to Kim Kim

Local specialist: Lucía Barrios
Lucía
Lucía Barrios
Local specialist in Managua & Panama City | Reviewed on Jun 06, 2019

Dear John,
We appreciate your kind comments and we are very glad you enjoyed your time in Nicaragua. Thank you for taking the time to review your experience in our country. It is our main objective to provide our guests unique experiences and safety during trips.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for a future trip to Nicaragua.

We wish you all the best.
Vapues Tours Team

Nicaragua
Nicaragua | Dec 19 - Dec 31, 2018

K
KENNETH R.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Jan 05, 2019

My trip to Nicaragua was outstanding and in large part due to Lucia. She was perfect from my initial research into Nicaragua until my last day of the trip. I told her how many days I wanted to travel, the things I like to do and the accommodations I prefer. She sent me a very detailed itinerary and it was everything I wanted to do. Her communication was clear and she always answered my emails right away. Once I got to Nicaragua - everything was always easy. Drivers were always on... read more

My trip to Nicaragua was outstanding and in large part due to Lucia. She was perfect from my initial research into Nicaragua until my last day of the trip. I told her how many days I wanted to travel, the things I like to do and the accommodations I prefer. She sent me a very detailed itinerary and it was everything I wanted to do. Her communication was clear and she always answered my emails right away. Once I got to Nicaragua - everything was always easy. Drivers were always on time, tour guides were knowledgeable and each guided tour was fascinating. I spent time in León, Granada, Ometepe Island and San Juan del Sur - always getting a safe ride from place to place. My guides for each on of the adventures all spoke English and were a wealth of information about the culture, history, flora and fauna of Nicaragua. I hiked up Madera Volcano and lost my guide on the way down (totally my fault - I went ahead and took a wrong turn) - I called Lucia from the trail, have her my google map pin of where I was (her idea) and eventually got back with my guide. She was on top of everything and it made my trip to Nicaragua one I will never forget.

Local specialist: Lucía Barrios
Lucía
Lucía Barrios
Local specialist in Managua & Panama City | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2019

Dear Kenneth,
Thanks for your lovely comment. We are beyond happy to confirm you had a wonderful time in Nicaragua and experienced our culture, history, flora and fauna, all in one personalized program. As well, we are more than welcome to know your feedback about our services - it helps us to keep improving.

Please feel free to contact us at any time for a future trip to Nicaragua.
All the best from Nicaragua,
Lucía