In this 12-days vacation package, you will visit in a guided tour León, Nicaragua’s oldest city. You will also visit Granada, San Juan del Sur and Omeptepe, a large island in the middle of a fresh water lake. The natural beauty of Nicaragua is one of the world’s best kept secrets. The country has a largely untouched jungle with a variety of rich flora and fauna. This beautiful country is also home to the two largest forest reserves in Central America.
Upon your arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Managua.
Today you will visit the second oldest city of Nicaragua, León. The ruins of León Viejo have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It used to be the original location of León; today there is nothing but ruins. At León Viejo you can see the foundations of the houses, as well as some partially restored significant buildings, like the church. Get a great view of Lake Managua, the Momotombo Volcano, and the other volcanoes surrounding the city. After the tour you will go to the city of León.
León is the second largest city in Nicaragua. It is home to a many historic Spanish colonial homes and churches. León is considered to be the intellectual center of the country. Your guide will show you many beautiful locations including the cathedral, the murals of the revolution, Museum Ruben Dario and Gallery Ortiz-Gurdian. The collection of this gallery includes work from European masters (Picasso, Chagall) and a stunning assembly of Latin American art. In the afternoon you will have some free time to rest and relax.
Hike the youngest volcano in Central America, and most active in Nicaragua. Hike up the rocky side and down the sandy side. Visit the 2 activate craters, feel the heat, smell the gases and enjoy the views.
In the afternoon you will be exploring the White Indigenous Towns of Catarina, San Juan de Oriente and Diria. These small communities got their name because many of the buildings and streets were once constructed with a combination of volcanic rock, water and limestone that gave them a chalky-white color. Each village has its own special characteristic and with an average elevation of 1,600 feet, the views of the surroundings are spectacular. In San Juan del Oriente you will see a pottery making demonstration. This is a good place to buy some unique and inexpensive Nicaraguan pottery.
Afterwards you will stop at the city of the Flowers Masaya where you will visit the marketplace. Here you can buy local handicrafts such as paintings. At the end of this day you will arrive at Granada.
Today you will visit the first National Park of Nicaragua, the shallow shield Masaya Volcano. This is the only volcano in the western hemisphere where you are able to drive to the rim. In the park you will find an underground tunnel which was formed by lava flows; you may be able to find bats and look inside and observe the glowing lava in the dark crater mouth of the volcano.
Granada will surround you with unique colonial architecture. The city of Granada is known for its rich history, dating back to the Spanish conquistadors. Interesting places to visit are the churches San Francisco, La Merced and Xalteva and the neoclassical cathedral.
Today you will have a city tour by a horse-drawn carriage. During this tour you will pass by old colonial houses and visit an ancient fortress and a cemetery in colonial style with tombs of more than 400 years old.
You will have a kayak tour in Lake Nicaragua to observe the Granada islands. The natural beauty of the islands is spectacular, and history buffs will enjoy the Fortin de San Pablo, a Spanish fort that was largely unsuccessful in preventing pirate attacks on Granada. The islands are located in an exotic tropical archipelago of 365 tiny volcanic islands. Enjoy a quiet wilderness experience with the sound of birdsong overhead as you cut silently through the glassy water.
Today you will head to the surfing town of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur. The long waterfront is lined with seafood restaurants and beach side decks looking over the sailboats and fishing boats that dot the majestic bay. San Juan del Sur has emerged as a hot spot for the adventurous traveler and retiree alike. Surrounded by the beaches Maderas, Yankee, Tamarindo and Remanso, San Juan del Sur proves to be perfectly located as the social hub of your traveling surf trip or if you just want to relax and rest.
Today you will be invited to zip line through the jungle or hop on a quad, hike to the top of the hill and look over the turquoise bay at sunrise, charter a boat for fishing, go to the two world class Nicaragua surf breaks up north, have a cup of local Nicaraguan coffee, stroll through the market and finish your day with a mojito on your deck as the sun sinks into the great Pacific. The adventure is waiting for you.
Today you will depart to Ometepe Island. Ometepe is considered the largest island in the world found within a freshwater lake. The island is 276-square-kilometer jewel in the great lake of Nicaragua. It houses two majestic volcanoes connected through a small trip of land. Ometepe is currently one of the destinations admired by both local and international tourists of its nature, hospitality, beautiful landscapes, the two volcanoes, a rich archaeological background, relaxing beaches and its numerous natural reserves and forests that enjoy a high biodiversity. The island is currently inhabited by friendly people who love their territory, dedicated to fishing and high quality agricultural production; made possible by the fertile soil.
Visit the natural park Ojo de Agua. This is a natural spring of crystalline waters. Ojo de Agua is a river of clear water with medicinal properties that rejuvenate your skin. Rustic facilities have been built on this farm, including pools, thatch-roof huts and hiking trails. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the healthy Ojo de Agua. This freshwater source feeds two large swimming pools set into old growth forest.
Today we offer you the optional hike to the Volcano and Lagoon Maderas. The truncated cone of Maderas is covered in thick cloud forest. On its summit a crater lagoon was formed where you can swim in a serene setting. Because of its ecological and archaeological importance most of the Maderas side of the island has been designated a nature reserve. The cloud forest shelters a diverse floral and faunal life, including howler and capuchin monkeys, many birds, butterflies, amazing orchids and ferns.
Today you will have a moderate hike in the lagoon of Charco Verde and afterwards relax at the Santo Domingo Beach.
The Lagoon of Charco Verde owes its name to its green water, which is due to the plentiful vegetation on the shore. This ecological reserve covers 20 hectares of tropical dry forest and is home to many species of animals, as well as local and migratory birds. Within the reserve you will find the mystical lagoon of Charco Verde with its emerald green waters. Today it’s a tranquil spot in an unspoiled area of old woodland where you can quietly observe the beautiful fauna.
Playa Santo Domingo is a 4 kilometer long stretch of gray sand. The water of the lake is always choppy but nicely warm and shallow making it safe for bathing and swimming. On the beach you can relax in the constant onshore breeze with view to the jungle covered Maderas volcano, watch egrets preying on small fish, or make a walk to the north along the beach, framed by dry forest vegetation.
In the afternoon you will be taken back to Granada.
Unfortunately your journey finishes today. But if you’re not ready to go home just yet why not extend your trip! A popular multi-country tour is Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Contact one of our knowledgeable agents to begin customizing your tour package today!