Welcome to Nicaragua! Discover the ancient and colonial heritage of Granada, one of the oldest cities in the Americas famous for its churches and historic mansions and travel to the university town of Leon, once the nation's capital and still the heartland of Nicaraguan arts and culture. Immerse yourself in the natural world, spending time at an Eco-lodge located on a private nature reserve. This richly bio-diverse area is famous for its sloths and at certain times of the year you may spot giant turtles nesting. Nicaragua is a wonderful scenic land that will likely surprise you with its beauty and very friendly people.
Day 1: Managua Private transfer on arrival to your centrally located hotel.
Day 2: Managua > Leon Enjoy a city tour visiting both the old and new city. Then transfer to Leon and take a walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site. See the enormous Leon Cathedral, then visit the Ruben Dario Museum and later the Ortiz-Gurdian Gallery, considered the finest museum of contemporary art in all of Central America. Here you find works by artists such as Picasso, Chagall and Miro.
Day 3: Leon This morning enjoy a visit to Cerro Negro, which means 'Black Hill', the perfect description of this truly unique volcano that was formed only 160 years ago thus making it the 'youngest' volcano of Central America. Board your 4x4 vehicle and drive for about one hour to reach the base of the volcano where energetic guests will want to climb 400 metres to the top. Although it requires moderate effort, the superb views from the summit are most rewarding, and after exploring the main crater, begin your descent through the loose rocks and sand of Cerro Negro's black slopes.
Return to Leon city and enjoy lunch, before transferring to Chichigalpa to visit the Flor de Cana Rum factory. Here you'll learn how sugar cane reached the Americas, the origin of the industry, and the development of a rum culture around the world together with the rum production process. Round off the tour with a tasting of Flor de Cana rum and a walk through a museum to gain an insight into the family run business which has been in operation for 120 years. After your rum factory visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel to enjoy an evening at your leisure.
Day 4: Leon > Granada Depart Leon today and head to Granada, stopping in San Juan de Oriente to experience a tradition of pottery making that dates back more than 1,500 years. Pottery from this region is becoming increasingly recognized by the outside world while remaining rooted in its ancient ways. Afterwards continue to the Catarina viewpoint which gives an amazing view of the Apoyo Volcanic Lagoon as well as the Mombacho Volcano, Granada, and Nicaragua Lake which can all be seen from here.
After lunch visit the Masaya arts and crafts market for local ceramics, hammocks and leather souvenirs. End the day with an evening excursion to Masaya Volcano for the lava night adventure, a spectacular sight before returning to your Granada hotel.
Day 5: Granada Take a walking and horse drawn carriage tour of the city and afterwards, enjoy a chocolate and cacao workshop. Learn how the cacao plant was one of the most important products in Mayan and Aztec cultures. Later take a scenic boat cruise on Lake Nicaragua, viewing some of the islands formed by erup tions of the impressive Mombacho volcano.
Day 6: Granada > San Juan Del Sur Enjoy a three-night Eco-lodge stay in sustainably constructed bungalows nestled in the jungle, close to a private beach. Take a two hour walk in the nature reserve at the base of Mombacha Volcano, and learn about the cloud forest and rich diversity of flora and fauna found there. A great opportunity to spot a sloth and admire the many species of birds found in the area.
Days 7 & 8: San Juan Del Sur Spend two days exploring this stunning area, or just relax and soak up the atmosphere of your lodge. The use of boogie boards, paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks and yoga classes are all included in your stay. Should you wish to be more active, then there are a variety of nature tours, horse riding and guided kayaking available at an additional cost.
Day 9: San Juan Del Sur > Managua Today travel some 3 hours to Managua by private transfer for your onwards flight and services end on arrival. You should not plan on departing Managua earlier than 1.00pm.
• Tailor-made journey with English-speaking local guides • 8 nights' accommodation • Transfers and transport on a private basis • Sightseeing and entrance fees • National Park fees • 8 breakfasts and 4 lunches
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Departs Daily, year round
Daily, year round
Booking conditions • Accommodation upgrades are available on this itinerary
• Supplements apply in high season, Easter, Christmas and other national holidays
• Accommodation upgrades are available on this itinerary • Supplements apply in high season, Easter, Christmas and other national holidays