Nicaragua nature and wildlife holiday
Includes meals, activities & excursions as described; private transport; private guiding.
Excludes international flights; tips; personal expenses.
Description of Nicaragua nature and wildlife holiday
Virgin Rainforest – Local Colour - Abundant Wildlife – Volcano Hiking - Colonial Towns – Expert Private Guides – Cloud Forest - Luxury Beach Ending.
Explore one of the safest, friendliest and yet least visited countries in Latin America. Enjoy a mixture of colonial towns, volcanoes, islands and beaches and learn about this rich and varied land with your private guides. Relax in comfort with charming colonial hotels and luxurious lodges as you visit a country as yet barely touched by tourism.
This holiday is not particularly active, mostly it involves relatively easy walking but conditions can be hot. More challenging hikes are available and each trip is tailor-made to suit your interests - please enquire for full details.
|Day 1:||Fly to Nicaragua. You will be met on arrival in the capital city of Managua and taken to your first hotel, on the edge of a clear crater lake, surrounded by thick forest teeming with birdlife.|
|Day 2:||After a leisurely morning head to the impressive Masaya Volcano, via the village of the same name, famed for its artisan markets. Browse for souvenirs and see the craftspeople at work, and have lunch at the beautiful Apoyo Lagoon en route.|
|Day 3:||Travel to Ometepe Island, stopping en route to visit colonial Granada, then exploring the cloudforest reserve on the slopes of the Mombacho Volcano, continue south to take the ferry across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe, where you stay in a family-run hillside lodge.|
|Day 4:||Ometepe Island is formed of two volcanoes, one dormant (Maderas) and one active (Conception). Take a relaxed driving tour of the island and the volcanoes today before an afternoon at leisure to enjoy your surroundings or swim in the clear waters of the Ojo de Agua spring.|
|Day 5:||Walk to a crater or a waterfall. You can choose to hike to the crater of Maderas volcano today, or take the gentler route through the forest to the San Ramon waterfall to swim in the clear pool below. Another gentler option is to take kayaks out onto the lake to enjoy the tranquillity.|
|Day 6:||Set off across the lagoon by boat and down river to your next island, set in a peaceful archipelago in the vast Lake Nicaragua and renowned for its distinctive art and atmosphere. Take a walking tour with your guide, perhaps following the Artisan's Trail along the water's edge this evening.|
|Day 7:||Explore the wildlife reserve of Guatuzos by boat with your guide, passing islands full of howler monkeys and an extraordinary variety of birds, and perhaps visit the reserve's beautiful orchid garden.|
|Day 8:||Into the jungle. It's back in the boat this morning, across the lake and downriver, through pristine forest (and a surprising 17th-century fort) to the reserve of Indio Maiz and your ecolodge on the riverbank.|
|Day 9:||Explore the jungle at your leisure, which is extremely rich with hummingbirds, colourful butterflies, exotic frogs and orchids. Learn about medicinal plant uses and spot all manner of wildlife, then visit nearby El Castillo and its ancient Spanish fort.|
|Day 10:||Watch the scenery change around you as you travel to the coffee growing highlands and into the agricultural hub of Matagalpa. Spend this afternoon with your guide on a tour of the city tailored to your interests.|
|Day 11:||Set off for the cloudforest this morning, then explore your lodge's own onsite coffee plantation, following the process from seed to cup. This afternoon is yours to explore more, or just relax and enjoy your surroundings.|
|Day 12:||Spend today at the Peñas Blancas reserve, walking the trail from bamboo plantations into primary rainforests shrouded in mist, passing pretty waterfalls and streams as well as all manner of birds and mammals. After a farmhouse lunch you might like to head to one of the waterfall pools for a dip.|
|Day 13:||Visit the rainforest project we support with our carbon mitigating program to learn about their important work, before settling into your hotel in the historic centre of colonial Leon.|
|Day 14:||Head out with your guide to get under the skin of this historic city, its fascinating history and architecture - finishing with the incredible views from the top of the largest cathedral in Central America.|
|Day 15:||Walk on an active volcano. Walk up Cerro Negro Volcano today, only 450m high but still very active, before your historical tour of Leon Viejo, the old town buried by volcanic ash. Relax back in 'new' Leon this afternoon, where you may like to visit the excellent art gallery.|
|Day 16:||To the Pacific Coast. A short drive this morning brings you to your last stop, the relaxed costal village of Las Peñitas. You have a range of options for this afternoon; sea kayaking, snorkelling, visiting the nearby wildlife refuge or just strolling along the beautiful beaches and enjoying the sunset.|
|Day 17:||Paddle through the mangroves of the offshore Juan Venado nature reserve by kayak, spotting birds, iguanas and caiman, then perhaps visit the reserve's own turtle sanctuary.|
|Day 18:||Relax on the coast. If you're still looking to explore, you may like to visit the La Flor Wildlife Reserve just along the coast, set off for a hike in the area or book a fishing trip by boat.|
|Day 19:||Set off back to the capital today to check in for your flight home, extend your time in Nicaragua or perhaps cross the border into Costa Rica.|
1 Reviews of Nicaragua nature and wildlife holiday
Reviewed on 06 May 2015 by Stephen Osgerby
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Wildlife encounters in the tropical forest - howler monkeys, a sloth, racoons and porcupines plus too many species of birds to name
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Noting a previous review and having had previous experience of the (lack of) service provides by US-based airlines we used Panama as the gateway to Central America. Options are KLM, Air France and Iberia. We used KLM who were very good. It makes the journey longer but is worth it.
There are legal money changers on street corners in Leon and Granada. These give a much better exchange rate than banks or the Cambio at the airport.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The impression we got is that the services used were all locally based/owned so the country benefited economically.
The reforestation project at Penas Blanas that we visited is a fascinating initiative and well worth supporting.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent hotels, good food and varied sightseeing ( wildlife, volcanoes and historic cities) The only thing missing is a bucket-list icon on the itinerary.
Logistically the tour was excellent - transfers went smoothly and the guides were likeable and knowledgeable
Read the operator's response here:
Many thanks for taking the time to post a review of your recent Nicaragua holiday on the RT site. We're delighted to hear that you had such a good time.
While often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour to the south, we're huge fans of Nicaragua for its wildlife, history and culture, and it was great to hear that you were able to enjoy these aspects too. It's definitely true, as you indicate, that you have a very immersive experience when visiting - it's arguably the most culturally authentic of all our
destinations in Latin America. I'm pleased too that we were able to tailor your trip to include Penas Blancas, it's a beautiful part of the country with good work being done, as you say.
Thank you again for choosing to travel with us and share your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you on another trip to Latin America with us soon.
PlanetNicaragua is one of the least visited countries in the Americas. This is a genuine pioneering destination. If you don’t mind patchy tourist infrastructure then you will be rewarded with a visit to a country yet to be spoiled by mass tourism.
Our tours are structured to create the least possible impact on local ecosystems. In Nicaragua you will generally be accompanied by a private guide which means more attention and therefore a richer overall experience. The guides we use for walks in the national parks are all trained naturalists and many live locally to the area. They are experts in the flora and fauna of the region and are incredibly passionate about passing on their knowledge, so clients have a greater understanding of local environment and the delicate balance of regional ecosystems.
PeopleThis itinerary has been designed to show the amazing variety of Nicaragua. We also work hard to ensure that our holidays here are sustainable and that all communities we visit benefit from our presence. During your holiday you visit biological research stations and breeding programmes. You also spend time in the homes of artists and artisans. Your presence contributes to the welfare & continuance of all projects.
For almost 20 years World Vision has been working hand in hand with the local communities in Nicaragua’s Chorotega and Northern Huetar regions to promote sustainable development practices. Among the schemes they have initiated are: the Economic Development programme, which generates sources of employment and agricultural funding in rural areas; the Prevention, Emergency and Rehabilitation programme which works in the area of emergency prevention and offers relief and rehabilitation to victims of disaster; the Promotion of Justice programme, which helps to foster respect for the rights of children and women through better education.
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