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Land of Lakes and Volcanoes


Explore the hidden gem that is Nicaragua! Known as the ‘Land of Lakes and Volcanoes’. Travel through enchanted cloud forests, hike active volcanoes filled with bubbling lava, visit isolated beaches where turtles come to lay their eggs and enjoy the colonial cities of Granada and the once capital of the revolution, Leon.

The Culture and history of Nicaragua will take you back in time from the pre-hispanic era to modern day. Delve into the history of Nicaragua and discover the way its culture has played a huge role in many of the peoples lives. Learn about the ancient petroglyphs of Ometepe Island, Spanish conquerors, the indigenous communities, civil wars and the recent revolution. Our expert guide will take you on a journey through time.

Highlights

  • Twin volcano island of Ometepe
  • Lava filled volcanoes
  • The rustic charm of colonial Granada and revolutionary León
  • Hiking through the cloud forests of Mombacho
  • Watch turtles lay their eggs on the Pacific beaches

Trip Information

  • 10 nights – 11 days
  • Visit: Leon – Granada – Ometepe – San Juan del Sur - Managua
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Expert bi-lingual guides
  • Comfortable colonial hotels, lake front lodges and ocean view hotels

Day 1

Met at Managua airport by your Green Pathways guide and driver. Private transfer (90 minutes) to the colonial city of Leon.

Accommodation – Leon

Day 2

After breakfast we spend the morning exploring the city on foot. Leon, once known as the capital of the revolution is home to the largest Cathedral in Central America (recently classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), museums, art galleries, street murals from the revolution and local markets.

The afternoon will be spent off roading to the active Telica Volcano followed by a one hour medium level hike to the crater of this active volcano. The impressive crater is over 1km wide. Watch sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Once its gets a little darker you will begin to see the glow of lava coming from the crater. On return down the volcano we stop off at the local community that lives on the volcano for dinner.

Accommodation – Leon

Day 3

Morning hike to the youngest and most active volcano, Cerro Negro. Known as the black hill, the volcano is part of the Maribios volcanic chain and from the summit there are incredible panoramic views of the chain as well as León in the distance. On a very clear day the view extends to the Pacific Ocean. From here we return to León for lunch.

After lunch in Leon. Transfer to the colorful colonial city of Granada.

Accommodation – Granada

Day 4

After breakfast we venture into Granada for a walking tour around the quant streets and colonial buildings. We visit the main cathedral and markets as well as the beautiful San Francisco Church, from which we'll get an exceptional view of the city. Granada is highly regarded for its traditional craftsmanship.

In the afternoon we take a peaceful boat tour around Las Isletas, a group of 365 islands in Lake Nicaragua. The islands were created when Mombacho volcano erupted many years ago. Watch the sunset over Mombacho volcano.

Accommodation – Granada

Day 5

This morning we drive up the steep slopes to the biological station of Mombacho volcano, where we hike through the lush cloud forests on the crater trail, intently listening to your guide share the local myths and legends of the volcano. As the clouds lift we are rewarded with the spectacular view of Lake Nicaragua and Granada. The volcano is home to an array of wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, deer, birds and reptiles.

On the slopes half way down the volcano is El Progreso café farm, our destination for this afternoon. After lunch at the farm, we take a guided tour to learn the process of producing sustainably harvested shade grown coffee. From the coffee bean to sipping on a delicious cup of Las Flores coffee.

Accommodation – Granada

Day 6

Morning we continue on by land then ferry to the twin volcano island of Ometepe situated in Lake Nicaragua The two volcanoes are connected by a small strip of land to make an hourglass shaped island. On route to your hotel we stop off at the islands museum and Charcoverde reserve for a short hike through its dry tropical forests. Great views of the peninsula, visit secluded volcanic beaches and spot monkeys hanging in the trees.

Accommodation – Ometepe Island

Day 7

A full day out exploring the island including hikes to volcano Maderas spectacular view point, petroglyphs, natural springs and lots of little communities in between.

Accommodation – Ometepe Island

Day 8

Free morning to explore the shores of the lake, swim in the calm clear waters or relax in a hammock amongst the shade of the trees. Afternoon transfer back to the mainland and onto the South Pacific Coast and tranquil fishing town of San Juan del Sur.

Accommodation – San Juan del Sur

Day 9

Free day to chose from a number of excursions. Explore the local beaches, surf, horse back riding at low ride, take a boat ride along the Emerald Coast or spend the evening exploring La Flor beach going in search of the Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs.

During turtle nesting season (July to January), there will be an optional 4x4 excursion to visit La Flor Reserve in the evening. La Flor is a nesting ground for sea turtles such as the Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtle. Nesting turtles visit the shores of this reserve to lay their eggs.

Accommodation – San Juan del Sur

Day 10

Returning to Managua this morning via the white washed villages of Masaya, famous for their pottery. Learn the process and test your skills with the opportunity to make a piece when we visit a local pottery family. Next, time for some shopping as we make a quick stop at the local Masaya Market, filled with local artisanal crafts.

The highlight of today is Masaya Volcano. This active volcano recently formed a lava lake in the past 18 months. This is quite the phenomenon. Now you can see hot bubbling lava flowing in the crater. (no walking involved – we drive direct to the crater).

On arrival to Managua in the early afternoon we stop off at Earth Education Project and Chureca Chic to learn of the empowerment and education project for women who live in impoverished and isolated communities. We spend the afternoon in their work shop learning of their upcycling project, hearing stories from the women and sipping on delicious Nicaraguan coffee in their boutique coffee shop. (http://eartheducationproject.org/)

Farewell dinner in Managua this evening.

Accommodation – Managua

Day 11

Morning transfer to Managua airport for departing flights.


Hotels

Leon – El Convento
Granada – Plaza Colon
Ometepe – Finca San Juan de la Isla
San Juan del Sur – Pelican Eyes
Managua – Los Robles

Dates

2017
2nd to 12th August
15th to 25th November
2018
14th to 24th February
4th to 14th April

Price

$2,099
Per person
Based on twin share double accommodation
Single supplement charge of $400
Contact Us for an Early Bird Discount
Minimum 6 – Maximum 12 persons

Includes

Lodging, private ground transportation, expert bi-lingual guide, activities mentioned above, meals as listed in the itinerary and a stainless steel water bottle to be refilled with free purified water at each hotel.

In addition, a donation to support local conservation efforts will be made on behalf of each trip participant.

Excludes: international airfare, travel insurance (highly recommended), passport/visa fees, gratuities, alcohol, optional activities not listed in the itinerary, and items of a personal nature.

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