Colonial Cities, Nature and Communities
13 Days / 12 Nights
Visit the colonial city of Granada, go zip-lining on the Mombacho volcano, learn about coffee production and stay overnight with the local community in Northern Nicaragua. Head to a scientific centre and lodge and discover the beauty and wilderness of Peñas Blancas. Go hiking, encounter crystal clear rivers, water wells, large and small waterfalls, giant trees, and a wide variety of tropical plants and wildlife. Go to León's Central Market on a quest for the ingredients for your culinary experience before exploring León. Try sand-boarding on the Cerro Negro volcano, the head to the Caribbean Paradise of the Corn Islands for a few days. Finally explore Managua and the Masaya Volcano.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Nicaragua with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Nicaragua - Transfer to Granada (-/-/-)
Welcome to Nicaragua. One of our representatives will be waiting for you in the arrivals area to welcome you and assist you with the transfer to Granada.
Day 2. The City and the Volcano: Crater Trail and Zip-lining Adventure (B/-/-)
In the morning, discover Granada by a city tour to its main sites. In the early afternoon, you will be taken to Mombacho Volcano for a fun hiking and canopy tour.
Granada is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, founded by the Spanish in 1524. No visit to Granada is complete without exploring the city's historic centre on foot and in a classic horse-drawn carriage. On this tour, you'll discover key sites including the San Francisco Convent, founded in 1529, and La Merced church where you can climb the bell tower and enjoy spectacular views over the city, Lake Nicaragua, and the Mombacho volcano. The last stop is the oldest sector of the city in the area around the Xalteva church and the old city walls.
In the afternoon you will be driven to the top (1,345 m) of the volcano in a truck. After a quick trip to the scientific station you will explore this impressive volcano on a guided walk. The well-kept Crater Trail (1.5 km) leads you around the crater through dense cloud forest. You can enjoy spectacular views overlooking Granada, Las Isletas, Laguna de Apoyo and the Masaya Volcano. Be sure to keep an eye out for the howler and white face monkeys as well as sloths and the endemic Mombacho salamander, found nowhere else in the world except here. After the crater trail head down the mountain to start your zip-lining tour. The canopy tour consists of 11 zip lines and 17 platforms. All guests are accompanied by an expert instructor and provided with high quality equipment, including helmets, pulleys, and gloves.
Day 3. Northern Nicaragua (B/-/-)
Transfer from Granada to Matagalpa. In the afternoon, learn about the coffee process at Aguas del Arenal property, located just in El Arenal Nature Reserve.
The city of Matagalpa is located in the North of Nicaragua and has been referred to as 'the pearl of the North'. It has quite a fresh climate, due to being situated in a valley, surrounded by a mountainous area. Matagalpa has a long history and is nowadays the centre of Nicaragua's coffee production. Matagalpa's centre has many hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as museums and other cultural centres. Various coffee farms, picturesque villages and the waterfalls of the Santa Emilia River are nearby, and you can find spectacular flora and fauna in the surroundings. The Apante Hill Nature Reserve is a great place to go hiking.
How about learning about the production process of good quality Nicaraguan coffee this afternoon? First you will begin with a walk through rows of plantillos (the Spanish name for coffee bushes) straight to the processing sheds and nurseries. Here you will learn and be part of how coffee is produced, from seed to a cup. You will also learn about the social and economic factors of coffee production, the traditional roasting and tasting, as well as the history of coffee cultivation.
Day 4. Be a Coffee Producer for a Day (B/L/D)
Transfer from Matagalpa to the San Ramón Community, where you will spend the night with one of the families. Learn about the daily life of the coffee producers.
CECOCAFEN and UCA San Ramon promote rural community tourism, offering tourists a unique chance to experience the culture and daily life of coffee producers and their communities. Tourists can visit the coffee farms and participate in the process of coffee production, sleep in private homes of rural families and share their everyday lives by learning how to cook local dishes or produce natural medicine, as well as enjoy various cultural events such as music, drama, crafts etc.
After your arrival have a traditional Nicaraguan lunch, followed by time to spend with the family that will be hosting you at their home. Afterwards, you will be able to choose which activities to join from the following options: coffee farm tour, forest hike, gold mine visit, agro-ecological gardens walk and/or a tortilla workshop before an early dinner. Spend the evening with the locals.
A guided tour can be taken to an abandoned gold mine called "La Reina", to the waterfalls "La Lima" and "La Garrota" or you may want to take the tour to the "Cerro de la Cruz" to get a taste of the political and historical opinions of a native. Nearby visits to the local eco-resorts, "La Esparanza Verde" and "La Selva Negra" will add the final touch to your ecological, historical and cultural get away.
Day 5. Peñas Blancas Massif (B/-/-)
Today we are heading to the Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza, a scientific centre and lodge at the same time. They go out of their way to preserve the beauty and wilderness of Peñas Blancas, and help the local community by inviting children to the reserve for a better understanding of nature, as well as promoting sustainable tourism. The proprietors have a vast knowledge of the flora and fauna of the reserve.
Free afternoon to enjoy the trails surrounding the property.
Accommodation is simple but comfortable and the food served here is simply delicious.
Day 6. Waterfalls and Cloud Forest (B/L/-)
Take a hike at the border between the provinces of Matagalpa and Jinotega, part of Central America's largest reserve, Bosawas. Encounter crystal clear rivers, water wells, large and small waterfalls, giant trees, and a wide variety of tropical plants as you make your way through the reserve, while the fog that seems to be ever-present adds mystery to this magical place. The reserve is inhabited by pumas, jaguars, ocelots, wild boars, deer, pacas, sloths, monkeys and birds such as hummingbirds, wranglers and the rare quetzals.
Day 7. León - Culinary Experience and City Tour (B/L/-)
Transfer to León. Join a traditional culinary workshop, where you will enjoy a typical Nicaraguan dish with a local family, followed by a walking tour of León to explore the main sights.
Start this delightful experience with a visit to the Central Market, a colourful site for a one-hour quest for the ingredients and for learn about the cheese making process, corn-based dishes and its derivatives, drinks and other typical Nicaraguan foods. Continue to the indigenous neighbourhood of Sutiaba, where the cooking workshop takes place in a traditional setting. Enjoy the tasteful Nicaraguan dishes, including a traditional drink Chicha o Pinolillo, made from corn, and a dessert known as Perrereque.
Continue with a walking tour of León. Visit revolutionary murals, baroque/neoclassical churches and an art museum with works of internationally renowned artists. Explore colonial buildings and enjoy the view from the picturesque rooftop of the largest cathedral in Central America.
Day 8. Cerro Negro Volcano Sand-boarding (B/-/-)
Cerro Negro is the youngest volcano in Central America as well as one of the most active ones. The sand-boarding experience starts with a one hour walk to the top of the volcano. On the way up, short informative stops are included, shedding light on the history of the volcano, the craters and lava rock fields. Once at the top, safety instructions are given before beginning the descent. An exciting and educational adventure, and a thrilling sand-boarding experience.
Day 9. Caribbean Paradise (B/-/-)
Transfer to the national airport in Managua to board the flight to Corn Island. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel.
The Corn Islands are one of Nicaragua's many secrets. Located about 80 kilometres off the Atlantic coast are the two Corn Islands: Big Corn and Little Corn. Big Corn is about 10 square kilometres, around three times bigger than Little Corn. The islands are home to many hotels and restaurants and some beautiful beaches. Fishing, snorkeling and diving are only some of the activities offered here. Many people just come here to relax, but there is also some nightlife. The local baseball matches on Sundays are worth a visit.
Days 10-11. Caribbean Paradise (B/-/-)
Days at leisure.
Day 12. Managua and Masaya (B/L/-)
Board a flight back to Managua. On arrival you will head towards the Masaya Region for a tour that combines culture and nature by visiting the highlights of the region.
First of all visit the Masaya volcano. It is still active and the only volcano in the western hemisphere where you can drive to the rim from where you can see the smoking crater. If you are lucky, you might encounter the extremely rare Green Parakeets (Chocoyo) which, strangely, call the volcano their home. After visiting the volcano visit Masaya's famous artisan market. In this very diverse market you can find many unique Nicaraguan products. The Masaya market is a very enjoyable and colourful experience. You can also go to the less touristy local market instead. Before heading to the last stop of the tour, the Pueblos Blancos, have lunch in the romantic village of Catarina from where you can enjoy spectacular views over the enormous crater lake of Apoyo which is said to have the clearest water in Central America. After lunch you will have the opportunity to walk around the village. San Juan de Oriente, one of the so called Pueblos Blancos is the last destination on today's itinerary. Here you will see white colonial architecture. Learn about the delicate process of the traditional art form of ceramics and visit the house of a local family.
Day 13. Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to Managua for your departure flight.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £1,799 per person + flights
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Meet & greet
Information package with maps and a detailed itinerary
Accommodation at mid-range boutique hotels and home stays
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner as indicated (B/L/D)
Tours mentioned with an English speaking guide
VAT / taxes
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Nicaragua. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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