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zWonders of Nicaragua

8 days

Never more than 16 guests.

Overall Rating
based on 13 Reviews

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Small Group Discoveries for Our World Travelers

+ Our unhurried 2-night stay on Ometepe Island immerses you in the daily life, surprising history and pristine habitats of this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
+ Nature reserves cover 22% of Nicaragua and we include more of these natural wonders: Volcanoes, lagoons, virgin forests, mangrove swamp and a barrier island.
+ Our Small Group sightseeing promises a deeper and more intimate appreciation of historic Leon and Granada, the oldest Colonial city in the Americas.

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Day
1

Welcome to Managua

Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe InterContinental Hotel.

Day
2

City sightseeing and Ometepe Island

Discover Managua’s Old Town and modern districts and visit the National Historic Park of Loma de Tiscapa. Learn more about the city’s dramatic past and see the ruins of the once grand Presidential Palace. Travel across the calm lake waters to Ometepe Island. Accessible only by ferry, this remote and unique UNESCO Biosphere Reserve was formed by two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua’s vast expanse. Check in to the Villa Paraiso Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
3

Exploring Ometepe Island

Your day begins on the forested slopes of the Maderas Volcano, once the site of an ancient civilization whose legacy you will encounter in the form of ancient petroglyphs. Then visit the Ometepe Museum and continue into Charco Verde Nature Reserve, nestled at the base of two volcano and home to a variety of the island’s wildlife including monkeys, armadillos and anteaters. Meals B,L

Day
4

The Colonial Grandeur of Granada

Travel by ferry and over land to Granada, the oldest Colonial city in the Americas. Enjoy a guided tour featuring the town’s most celebrated architectural landmarks including La Merced Church and San Francisco Convent, now home to a fine collection of pre-Columbian sculpture. Then set out by boat to explore among the islets that dot the shores of Lake Nicaragua. As the afternoon is winding down, you’ll join rural residents as they go about their daily life, returning from school and running errands by boat. Many of these folks are artisans who have spent their entire lives on these waters. Enjoy two nights at the Plaza Colon Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
5

Mombacho Volcano Crater Tour

Enjoy a guided nature walk around the crater of Mombacho Volcano and learn about this unique eco-system, home to more than 90 species of orchids. Then learn about the cultivation and roasting techniques that have been refined at Cafe Las Flores, a picturesque coffee plantation surrounded by rainforest. Enjoy a sampling of their fine blends before returning to your hotel. The balance of your afternoon is free to explore more of Granada’s Colonial-era ambience at your own pace. Meals B

Day
6

Masaya Volcano and Colonial Leon

Explore Santiago Crater, active since 1946, and experience another colorful slice of daily life at the bustling Masaya Market, also a great place to find artisan handicrafts. Continue to the shores of Lake Managua to visit the ruins of Old Leon c, established by the Spanish in the 16th century and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue on to the modern-day city of Leon to visit the home of Nicaragua’s beloved poet, Ruben Dario, and tour the Colonial-era Cathedral c, the largest in Central America. Overnight at El Convento Hotel.  Meals B,L

Day
7

Juan Venado Nature Reserve

Explore by motorboat in this pristine reserve, where mangrove forests and a barrier island are home to abundant animal life. Return to Leon in the mid-afternoon where the rest of the day is free to explore more of this handsome and captivating town at your own pace. Meals B,L

Day
8

Farewell, Nicaragua

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your onward journey.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Combine with Treasures of Nature in Costa Rica

8-Day Post-Tour Extension from $3,099

Embark on thrilling activities every day with our expert naturalist and discover more of Costa Rica’s amazing diversity.

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Day
8

Welcome to San José

Check in to the deluxe La Corteza Amarilla and meet your Trip Leader, Dino Matarrita. Tour the lovely campus of the University of Peace and visit its Monument Park before this evening’s dinner and orientation. Meals D

Day
9

Through Braulio Carrillo National Park to the Caribbean

This morning’s drive through San Jose reveals city highlights like the handsome National Theater. Then travel through Braulio Carrillo National Park to the Caribbean coast and journey into the Tortuguero Canals. Check in to the Pachira Lodge and visit Tortuguero village and the Turtle Museum before dinner and another nature briefing with Dino Matarrita. Meals B,L,D

Day
10

Explore Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero is an exotic wetland filled with flora and fauna. Explore by boat along its canals, winding through the wildlife-rich vegetation. A guided walk along rainforest trails reveals other facets of this eco-system. In the afternoon, explore these wetlands on a thrilling kayak excursion with Dino. Meals B,L,D

Day
11

Onward to Arenal

Transfer by boat to Cano Blanco for a tour of the Del Monte Banana Plantation. At Muelle de San Carlos, you’ll discover a thriving population of indigenous iguanas. Continue to Arenal and check in to the luxurious Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa in time for dinner here. Tonight, relax in the soothing natural mineral pools and waterfalls of your resort. Meals B,L,D

Day
12

Explore through the forest canopy!

Embark on a thrilling exploration of the jungle canopy as you walk safely along bridges suspended high in the treetops. Enjoy lunch and time to shop in La Fortuna. Or if you prefer, there are also options for hiking or horseback riding. Back at Arenal Kioro, there’s time again to indulge in your resort’s landscaped hot-spring pools. Meals B,L,D

Day
13

From cloud forest to coffee plantation

This morning’s scenic journey around Lake Arenal promises great photo opportunities. Your destination is Monteverde Cloud Forest, a haven for bird-watchers. Afternoon visits to coffee and sugar cane plantations reveal the process that brings high-mountain beans to your coffee cup. Then learn how sugar cane is distilled into saca de guaro and sample this liqueur. By special arrangement, dine with Marvin Rockwell, one of the Quaker pioneers who settled in Monteverde more than 50 years ago. Overnight at the Hotel Fonda Vela. Meals B,L,D

Day
14

Monteverde Cloud Forest and Orchid Garden

Explore the Cloud Forest Preserve this morning as Mr. Matarrita deepens your understanding of this complex ecosystem. Then visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden, home to more than 400 varieties of these delicate flowering plants including the smallest orchid species in the world. Enjoy dinner tonight at Cabure. Meals B,L,D

Day
15

Back to the capital

You’ll be escorted to San José where our services end. Meals B

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Trip Type

Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on TACA. Add extra nights.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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