Nicaragua walking tour holiday

“Our only two week walking holiday in Nicaragua, following a tailor made itinerary through cloud forest, rural villages and volcanic virtuosity. ”


Guided walking tours | Managua | Leon | Leon Viejo | Hike up Cerro Negro volcano | Masaya Volcano | Apoyo Lagoon | Granada | Las Isletas de Granada | Mombacho volcano | Hike through cloud forest | Lake Nicaragua | Ometepe Island | Hike to Maderas volcano crater | Nicaragua Pacific coast | San Juan del Sur | La Flor Wildlife Reserve

Description of Nicaragua walking tour 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. There are various rest days. More challenging hikes are available.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Fly to Nicaragua. You will be met on arrival in the capital city of Managua. Settle into your hotel and meet your guide this evening.
Day 2:Visit Leon Viejo. Short drive to the colonial town of Leon. Historical tour of Leon Viejo, the old town buried by volcanic ash. Continue to the 'New' Leon, where you stay for three nights. This afternoon you may like to visit the excellent art gallery. (B)
Day 3:Walk on an active volcano. Walk up Cerro Negro Volcano today, 450m high but still very active. Relax back in Leon this afternoon. (B)
Day 4:To Granada via the Masaya Volcano, where you can peer into the crater. Continue to the village of the same name, famed for its artisan markets. Browse for souvenirs and see the craftspeople at work. Have lunch at the beautiful Apoyo Lagoon en route. (B)
Day 5:Explore Granada. Meander through the continent's oldest European city in a horse-drawn cart with your guide this morning, learning of its fascinating history. Take a boat tour to Las Isletas de Granada at sunset for beautiful views across the lake, as the local birdlife comes home to roost. (B)
Day 6:Volcano and cloudforest. This morning you head to the cloudforest reserve on the upper slopes of the Mombacho Volcano, overgrown with hundreds of orchid and bromeliad species, and home to three species of monkeys, as well as numerous birds. (B)
Day 7:Travel to Ometepe Island. Stopping en route to visit the cloudforest reserve on the slopes of the Mombacho Volcano, continue south to take the ferry across Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe Island is entirely formed of two volcanoes, one dormant (Maderas), one active (Concepcion). Stay in a family-run hillside lodge. (B)
Day 8: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. (B)
Day 9:Relax or explore. Take another hike today, or simply enjoy the friendly atmosphere and enjoy the lake views on the island. (B)
Day 10:To the Pacific Coast. Catch the ferry back to the mainland and continue by road to the coastal town of San Juan del Sur. Formerly a quiet fishing town, after people discovered its beaches it rapidly expanded, although retains its laid-back feel. Stay in a small hotel by the beach. (B)
Day 11: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. (B)
Day 12:Relax on the coast. A final chance to sit on the beach, swim and unwind. (B)
Day 13:Return to Managua. Head back around 3 hours north to the capital, for a final night's stay in a comfortable hotel. (B)
Day 14:Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

Daily departures until October
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Nicaragua walking tour holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Nicaragua 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.


This 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.

2 Reviews of Nicaragua walking tour holiday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 06 May 2015 by

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:

Dear Stephen,

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.

Best wishes,


Reviewed on 17 Dec 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The beauty of the country and the people. Some of the most warm and friendly people I have ever come across. Very safe in the areas we travelled and absolutely amazing art for very little money. Loved it!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The only really extremely negative aspect of the trip was the experience with American Airlines, flying through Miami. Avoid this if humanly possible. People travelling to Nicaragua are either locals or family of locals bringing much desired American goods. Travellers pay for many large pieces of excess baggage. American does absolutely nothing to manage this and the result is many, many, many bags don't arrive with the flight. We were without our bags for one full week of our two week vacation and the "customer service" we received from American was dismal. We spent too many hours of our trip dealing with trying to recover our bags and failing that, shopping for things to hold us over.

I am told that the other airline, Continental, deals with this in a much more efficient and friendly way with much fewer lost bags and quicker recovery. None of the three of us travelling together received our bags, were treated rudely, given incorrect information, and ignored. If you must fly AA, bring everything you need on board with you and don't expect to get your checked bags! Also, the Customs at Managua airport leaves much to be desired, closing on Sundays and Holidays for persons claiming baggage arriving after they have.

The Ministry of Tourism should be given feedback that if Nicaragua is to become the next Costa Rica, Customs should increase their level of customer service. We BEGGED customs to let us get our bags on a day that they were closed for a holiday (six days after we arrived) because I had desperately needed medication in my bags. The begging fell on deaf ears, even though I, the customs agent and my bags were within 50 feet of one another. I spent serious money trying to get the medication I needed, and was not able to get the most critical things, as they simply were not available (insulin pump supplies).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I do.

Read the operator's response here:

I would like to point out that the flights don't form a part of this package - the clients themselves chose to fly with American.

Popular similar holidays

Costa Rica and Nicaragua self drive holiday

Costa Rica and Nicaragua self drive holiday

Self drive highlights of Nicaragua and Costa Rica

From £3130 17 days excluding flights

Nicaragua holiday, Cobbled Streets to Coral Reefs

Nicaragua holiday, Cobbled Streets to Coral Reefs

Colonial cities, Volcanoes, Homestays and Caribbean Islands

From £1525 10 days excluding flights

Nicaragua adventure holiday

Nicaragua adventure holiday

Discover remote destinations on this exciting adventure

From £2755 18 days excluding flights

Family holiday in Nicaragua

Family holiday in Nicaragua

A great adventure experience with your family in Nicaragua

From £1595 12 days excluding flights

Convert currencies