Contrasts of Nicaragua

From £1895 pp excl flights
14 Days
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Nicaragua has had a fascinating and turbulent past but through everything the Nicas have survived and community runs through the backbone of the country. This trip takes you on a journey through some of these communities and offers a chance to see what makes this country so very special.

Day to Day Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.

14 Days: Managua - León - Esteli - Masaya & Apoyo Lagoon - Granada- Ometepe Island - San Juan Del Sur

Activities: Sightseeing , culture experiences, community engagement, nature, boat rides, bird watching, waterfalls, swimming.

Day 1: Welcome to the stunning land of lakes and volcanoes! You will be met in arrivals and taken to your centrally located accommodation in Managua.


Day 2:Transfer from Managua to Matagalpa, famous for its mountains, coffee and pristine nature reserves.Your destination is a a lodge nesteled in the mountains, however you wills top on the way to have a city tour of Matagalpa.
Discover the famous "Pearl of the north" by a three-hour city tour, where you learn about culture and history, economy and the daily life of the Matagalpinos, as we call the inhabitants of this beautiful city.(B)

Day 3: Living with Coffee: From the surroundings of El Arenal Nature Reserve travel to San Ramón, where you will stay at a community and participate in the diverse activities the families of coffee producers do in their daily routine, is also an opportunity to learn about tradition, coffee and family life. On arrival you will have a traditional Nicaraguan lunch, followed by some time to get to know the family hosting you for the evening before heading out and participating in varies activities throughout the community.(B/L/D)

Day 4: After saying goodbye to your family and the community you will transfer to the northern city of Esteli. This Northern City is steeped in modern history which you will have the chance to learn about on a guided walking tour. Explore this fascinating small city rich in cultural heritage nestled among the mountains in the northeastern part of Nicaragua.
(B)

Day 5: Cigars of Nicaragua. No visit to Esteli is complete without a visit to one of its world famous cigar factories. Estelí is the epicenter of Nicaraguas premium cigar industry. On this exciting tour, you will discover the influence that Cuban cigar makers have bought to the region.

Day 6: Mud and Tortillas: This ‘out of the world’ experience involves a visit to these boiling mud holes heated by the nearby volcanoes. Continue to a local home to participate in a local tortilla-making workshop; where you'll learn to make this traditional staple food on a woodstove. Once they have cooled, you'll get the chance to taste the freshest Nicaraguan tortilla of your trip before heading to the Colonial town of Leon. (B)

Day 7: Your morning will be spent with your guide on a walking tour of this amazing city and the afternoon free for you do do with as you please. The colonial town of Leon was founded in its current location in 1610 and was the colonial capital of Nicaragua until independence from Spain in 1821. It has always been the political and intellectual center of the nation, and home to the second oldest university in Central America. The historic center with its colorful colonial buildings, baroque- and neoclassical churches, cultural venues and museums, and its large cathedral that has been declared UNESCO heritage, are only some of Leon's many attractions. (B)

Day 8: You will drive down the back bone of Nicaragua to one of the most well preserved colonial towns in Central America, Grenada. Once you have dropped your bags at the hotel it will be time to head off for a walking tour that will take you ‘behind the scenes’ of this fascinating city.(B)

Day 9: Rural communities of Grenada: Take a trip into the rural surroundings of Grenada, where you will have the chance to interact wit local communities, take a horseback ride through the incredible scenery at the base of Mombacho Volcano, enjoy a traditional lunch and spend the afternoon enjoying an artisinal chocolate workshop and tasting

Day 10: Take the ferry over lake Nicaragua to the mystical Ometepe Island. The island of Ometepe is situated in one of the world´s largest fresh water lakes, Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe has served as home to indigenous tribes and cultures for many centuries, of which the many pre-Columbian petroglyphs are silent witnesses.

Once you have settled in head off for a wonderful culinary experience with a local women's cooperative, known as Puesta del Sol, located in the surroundings of Moyogalpa on Ometepe Island. (B)

Day 12: Your final base for the trip is the wildife and natural gem of Apoyo Lagoon, however today you will also experience the natural and cultural wonders of Masaya.

Gaze down into the active Masaya volcano to see molten lava flowing in Santiago crater and then continue to the colorful artisan market in Masaya town. Afterwards, you'll have lunch overlooking the Apoyo lagoon from the Catarina viewpoint and visit the surrounding villages, including San Juan de Oriente, where you'll learn from local craftsman at a traditional workshop.

Then it is back to Apoyo Lagoon. Shared by the provinces of Masaya and Granada. This impressive dormant cone last erupted about 20,000 years ago and has been filling with clear fresh water ever since. The interior, where the tropical dry forest meets the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon, is a nature reserve and home to more than 225 species of birds including hummingbirds and golden orioles, to howler- and white-faced monkeys, green iguanas, and endemic species of fish. There are some challenging hiking trails, and the clean warm waters are most inviting to go kayaking, swimming, sailing or scuba diving.

Day 13: Day at leisure

Day 14: Sadly all good things come to an end… today it’s time to pack up and head to Managua airport for your on wards flight, leaving Nicaragua with lots of amazing memories and photos! (B)

Prices from: £1895 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.

Best Time To Travel

Best time to visit: December - April
Dec – Apr sunny and dry but cooler than the Summer. Jun – Aug rain showers, hot and humid. Sep & Oct heavier rain, hot and humid.
Nov & May are a mix and great for avoiding other tourists

Add a Mini Experience

These unique short trips and one day tours could make your holiday even better! They can be added into any itinerary and are designed to help you further explore the cultural, natural and social diversity of Nicaragua.

Isletas Kayaking Volcano Boarding Somoto Canyoning Coffee & Community