|Land Of the Contrasts|
Travel Interest: Culture & Nature
Duration: 20 days / 19 nights
ITINERARY: Selva Negra, León Viejo, León, Granada, Masaya, Apoyo Lagoon, Ometepe Island, Solentiname Archipelago, Corn Islands
Day 1 – Day 2
After your arrival to Managua you will be transferred to the Central Highlands of Nicaragua. Visit the Finca Selva Negra in the highlands of Matagalpa at more than 3000 feet. Join a “behind the scenes” coffee tour and learn more about this delicious beverage.Hike on the trails of the Selva Negra and enjoy the virgin rain forest and its abundant flora and fauna.
This morning we will head to the archeological site of León Viejo, the former city of León which was abandoned in 1610 by its inhabitants because they feared an eruption of the Volcano Momotombo. Enjoy a guided tour of this historical site and superb views of the Volcano Momotombo and Lake Managua.Then stop in the rural village of Nagarote for a tasty Quesilllo, a traditional Nicaraguan dish.
This morning explore the historic center of Nicaragua’s artistic and intellectual capital, colonial León. Visit the Main Plaza, the biggest Cathedral of Central America, some of the 12 churches, the house of the poet Ruben Darío and a colonial art gallery. Adventure the rural town of San Jacinto in the middle of the active Maribios Volcano chain. Visit the fields that lie behind the village and see the boiling mud holes, the result of water being heated by volcanic action.
Tour the Flor de Caña Rum Factory and discover the secrets of its natural ageing and production process. Then transfer to the Pacific Coast and pass the rest of the day on the beach, enjoying a fresh seafood meal and an afternoon at leisure.
The volcano Cerro Negro is a unique volcano. It’s just 400 meters high but the ascent is steep and there is just a natural path that leads to the top. The absence of any vegetation provides a fantastic view of the area. The crater can be observed from above and the rim leads to the other side where the striking volcanic chain can be observed with several volcanoes. You will definitely enjoy this adventure!
Explore Central America’s oldest European settlement, colonial Granada, on a private guided walking tour. Visit the Main Plaza with the Cathedral and Episcopal Palace, the Central Park, San Francisco Church and the Plaza of Independence. Visit the enchanting highland villages “Los Pueblos Blancos” for an indigenous artisan's workshop and walk through its colonial streets.
Today you will visit the historic town of Masaya famous for its handmade hammocks and visit its restored 19th century indigenous market.In the afternoon you will explore Masaya Volcano National Park, one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful natural parks. The park compromises an area of 54 km² with scenic trails and roads that leads to and around two volcanoes and five craters. Hike uphill and take a look into the impressive crater. From the central crater it is possible to hike to the other craters or viewpoints. You will be impressed by the smoking volcano and its astonishing surroundings.
Today you will enjoy a bicycle tour around Granada. At Puerto Asese you will take a boat ride to Las Isletas an archipelago consisting of 365 islands. There you will be able to discover the wildlife and enjoy fascinating views of Las Isletas and the Mombacho Volcano. In the afternoon you will adventure Mombacho Volcano on a canopy tour in a coffee farm. Enjoy great panoramic views of the reserve and discover the exotic flora and fauna of the park.
This morning you will depart to the Apoyo Lagoon, a beautiful crater lake with clear dark blue waters and home to numerous species of fish. Take a refreshing bath in the lagoon, go kayaking or just relax at its shores.
Transfer to Rivas and take the ferry to lovely Ometepe Island. Visit picturesque small towns on the way to your hotel.
Drive to the little town of Altagracia and start your uphill trek of Volcano Concepción. At the top enjoy an impressive view of Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Coast.
Today you will visit the natural reserve Charco Verde on the south side of the island. The reserve is home to a lagoon, a hill and an abundant flora and fauna. Hike to the viewpoint the Mirador del Diablo, and relax on the beach. In the afternoon enjoy a guided hiking tour that will take you through shade coffee plantations. Discover several rock carvings of different sizes that were left behind by the indigenous Nahuatl Indians.
This morning transfer to the village of San Ramon on the southern slope of Maderas Volcano and hike up to the stunning waterfall. The trails winds through a virgin vegetation with a rich flora and fauna. After getting to the top enjoy a bath in the clear waters of the waterfall lagoon. In the afternoon visit the local towns on a horseback riding tour.
Today you will head to the Department of Rio San Juan and adventure the Solentiname Archipelago which consists of 36 islands. Travel by panga, a motorized canoe to visit the homes of the artisans and painters of the islands. Get to know more about their art and way of life on the archipelago.
Back at the hotel you will have time to see the local church with its primitive art paintings and the surroundings on your own.
Early this morning you will travel to the picturesque fisherman´s town of El Castillo. The village was founded in the 18th century and is located at the bottom of a Spanish fortress. Today it is an attractive museum which houses impressive artifacts.
Day 17 – Day 20
Today you will head back to Managua to take a domestic flight to the port town of Bluefields and enjoy a walking tour of the Creole town and visit Miskito and Garifuna artisans. Then fly over to the Corn Islands and enjoy your last days at leisure and take your time discovering this pearl of the Caribbean. You can bike around the island, snorkel the reef, swim in the clear blue waters, enjoy a delicious fresh seafood meal or just relax in a hammock on the beach.
The itinerary can be tailored to suit your individual interests and needs.