Nicaragua & El Salvador tour
Description of Nicaragua & El Salvador tour
From relaxed bohemian towns and archaeological marvels in El Salvador, to Nicaragua’s charming colonial beauty and pristine jungles, our small group tour to Central America’s biggest and smallest countries shows a different side to this enchanting region.
We start our journey in El Salvador with a visit to Cerro Verde National Park, known for its three volcanoes and dramatic scenery. We then drive along the flower route to the traditional town of Nahuizalco and the colourful village of Ataco, before arriving at Joya de Ceren, a miraculously well- preserved archaeological site. We move on to the town of Suchitoto, with its picturesque cobblestone streets and candy-coloured houses, before visiting the rural community of Cinquera. Here we take a forest walk into the past with an ex-guerilla soldier for an insight into the Salvadoran Civil War based on personal experience. Our last stop in El Salvador is Jiquilisco, where we explore the mangroves to look for wildlife and participate in a turtle conservation project.
Crossing the Gulf of Fonseca we enter Nicaragua and transfer to the attractive colonial city of Leon, known for its beautiful architecture. We climb a nearby volcano before continuing to the Juan Venado Wildlife Refuge where we help reforest the reserve and learn about their green iguana conservation project.
From here we move on to Granada – the oldest colonial city of the Americas - before spending an evening climbing to the active lava crater of Masaya volcano. On the nearby island of Ometepe we try to spot monkeys and birds in the Charco Verde Reserve. We meet local communities on the Solentiname Islands next, before continuing to Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge and Indio Maiz for three days of wildlife utopia. We’ll meet a local biologist and may be lucky to spot a sloth or even a jaguar. Rounding off our journey, we travel through rural landscapes back to Managua, Nicaragua's capital.
Travelling through Central America’s most beautiful landscapes, we have many opportunities to meet local people and learn about life here in this little-visited corner of the continent. Often neglected by more ‘standard’ itineraries, both Nicaragua and El Salvador have much to offer the intrepid traveller.
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1 Reviews of Nicaragua & El Salvador tour
Reviewed on 16 Dec 2019 by Sarah Clark
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Reserva las Guatezos
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetWe must always keep the environment at the forefront of our minds and take all litter with us, disposing of it responsibly in big cities and towns. Bringing a reusable water bottle is a great idea and if purchasing any snacks, avoid excess packaging. We travel through some beautiful natural environments on this tour and visit various wildlife refuges and a biological reserve. It is important that we respect these environments and leave them how we found them. If we see any rubbish anywhere, we will always pick it up when possible.
Visiting wildlife refuges and reserves means we are playing a vital part of the rescue, rehabilitation and conservation processes that go in these places, both by learning and being able to promote awareness, and also through our entrance fees and donations. We even participate in a conservation project that captures and releases turtles. Working with biologists, we will assist in weighing and measuring the turtles, in an effort to assist in their long term survival.
Also, in El Salvador, we hike through the rainforest with an ex-guerilla soldier as our guide, to hear personal stories from the time of the Salvadoran Civil War. The fees we pay will not only help the community but will go towards the conservation of the ecological park we walk through.
PeopleKeeping money in local economies and supporting community projects is extremely important. We spend time with local communities, taking the time to learn about their culture, traditions and way of life, helping to keep old traditions alive and making sure that small communities benefit from tourism. Speaking Spanish, or at least learning a few phrases, will surely bring a smile to local people's faces and they will appreciate that we are making an effort.
We also show support of the community by learning about the history of the countries we are visiting and of the people that live there. In El Salvador, we support a grass-roots tourism project and hike through the rainforest with an ex-guerilla soldier as our guide, to hear personal stories from the time of the Salvadoran Civil War.
Using local guides also ensures money stays within local economies and means we will be treated to such valuable, in-depth and honest knowledge which you perhaps wouldn’t get from a western guide. It also means we are keeping carbon emissions down.
Most people like to take photos on their travels, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that the photogenic person in front of you may not want their picture taken. We always ask if it’s okay, and respect their wishes if they say no.
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