The heart of Nicaragua, touching each era from prehistory to the Revolution and the present day, visiting volcanoes, lakes and colonial cities, and with wildlife and scenery along the way.
Day 1 You are met on arrival at the airport and driven to a characterful mid-range hotel in a quiet suburb of the capital.
Coffee in the cloud forest
Day 2 BLD You meet your guide this morning and begin your visit to Nicaragua with a drive into the northern highlands to Selva Negra, a lodge in a lovely area between Matagalpa and Jinotega settled in the late 19th century by German immigrants to grow coffee. There are walking trails in lush cloud forest for you to explore, fields of coffee and flowers, and a focus on sustainable organic farming. You can see how it all works, with bio-gas for cooking, humus production and more. Horses are available for a ride around the plantation.
Day 3 BL Today you travel to the colonial city of León, the intellectual heart of the country, with a stop to see the boiling mud fumaroles at San Jacinto. Your guide will show you around León, with its impressive cathedral and the Museum of Ortiz-Gurdian, one of the finest contemporary art galleries in Central America. You stay 2 nights in the heart of León’s historic quarter at El Convento.
El Viejo and Chinandega
Day 4 B A fascinating and rewarding day among the villages and towns outside León. El Viejo dates back to the 17th century and is a national pilgrimage site. A museum at Chorotega holds 1500 pre-Columbian artefacts. The colourful farming community of Chinandega lies in one of Central America’s most fertile valleys. Here action against intense child poverty that arose in the 1980s created a foundation that today cares for 400 lively kids–you can practise your Spanish amid a bombardment of big-eyed grins. Nicaragua’s past, present and future all in a few hours.
Day 5 BL Visit old León, founded in 1524 by Lake Managua opposite the impressive Momotombo and Momotombito volcanoes–whose eruptions smothered the city in 1610 until its rediscovery in 1967. A UNESCO site, excavations reveal the life of Spain’s early colonies. Drive to Granada (3hr) between Lake Nicaragua and Mombacho volcano, for 4 nights at a converted mansion in the historic centre.
Day 6 BL A tour of the cultured city of Granada, including the Cathedral, Convent of San Francisco, Casa de los Leones and Museo de Granada–a private museum within a grand home. After lunch there is some free time to enjoy the city, perhaps by horse-drawn carriage. In the late afternoon take a pleasant boat tour on the lake through Las Isletas de Granada.
Masaya Volcano and Pueblos Blancos
Day 7 BL Time to inspect a big active volcano, driving right to the rim of Masaya to look deep into its massive crater. Continue to the ‘white’ villages each with a special handicraft from pottery to hammocks, baskets, leather or woodwork.
Day 8 BL Spend the day at Domitila Reserve. Here you can explore the trails through the tropical dry forest for a chance of seeing birds, butterflies and howler monkeys. Alternatively you could relax in the thermal waters or go horse riding.
Day 9 BLD Take the ferry across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe. You explore the island with your guide, visiting Laguna Charco Verde, a mysterious pool said to contain an enchanted city. Travel to the far end of the island for a view of Maderas volcano and the village of Altagracia with basalt idols beside the church. Stay 2 nights at Villa Paraiso on a lake shore beach, with the rest of today free to relax at your forest cabin.
Day 10 BLD Today you drive then hike to San Ramón Cascade, a lovely 110m waterfall. The rest of the day is free to relax on the sands, nature watch for monkeys, trogons, hawks and blue morpho butterflies or stretch your legs some more.
San Juan del Sur - Pacific beach
Day 11 BLD Catching the morning ferry you are driven to San Juan del Sur on the Pacific coast, your base for 3 nights. Choice of 2 small hotels in town or upgrade to Morgan’s Rock.
Days 12-13 BLD Free at the beach.
Day 14 BL There’s time for a last morning at the beach, before you are driven back to Managua (2½-3hr).
Day 15 B In the early morning you are driven to the airport for your flight home.
Guide price from £2,695*
15 days / 14 nights. Starts and ends in Managua, Nicaragua.
The guide price is per person based on 2 people travelling together and sharing twin/double accommodation.
It includes all your travel in Nicaragua, the services of experienced English speaking local guides (private to you) on days 2-11 inclusive, 14 nights accommodation in mid-range hotels, 14 breakfasts, 12 lunch, 3 or 6 dinners (depending where you choose to stay while at the coast), all excursions described in the Nicaraguan Odyssey tour.
*The price varies depending which hotel you choose to stay at while on the Pacific Coast.
with mid-range hotel options £2,695
with upper range hotel options £2,950
Not included: International flights, Nicaragua departure tax, items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, tips, laundry
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Geodyssey brings you an exclusive selection of thoughtfully designed holidays in amazing locations throughout our destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our holidays focus on what is natural, authentic, comfortable, stylish and affordable, and on what works best in each country. Our tailor-made holidays are individually designed by our experienced team on the basis of in-depth knowledge, a real enthusiasm for our destinations, and a desire to make sure we get it right for each and every customer. All our customers have 100% financial protection. All the land-based holidays on this website are exclusive to Geodyssey. Geodyssey is an independent company managed by its owners, based in London, founded in 1993.