Announcing our first trip for 2017... start your year off right as we embark on an adventurous trip to Central America!
We are heading to the ‘Land of Lakes and Volcano's' to explore the abundant rugged natural landscapes, diversified echo systems, history, culture, colonial cities, and the Pacific coast of Nicaragua!
Nicaragua is a somewhat hidden gem among the countries in Central America. Once a politically unstable country, Nicaragua now enjoys a peaceful Democracy and has risen up and become known as one of the safest countries in Central America!
Nicaragua is often over-looked by travelers as they head south to its neighboring country of Costa Rica. While Costa Rica has exploded with tourism and even has become Americanized in many ways; Nicaragua’s authentic charm is still very much intact! Many feel that Nicaragua’s natural/rugged landscape coupled with its beautiful Colonial Cities makes it the most unique and beautiful country in Central America. Nicaragua’s landscape bursts with green space and volcano's! One-fifth of its land mass is protected in national parks as well as nature reserves.
The Nicaraguan people (known as the Nica’s) are known as being warm, hardworking, proud, and freedom loving people. We will learn all about the country’s diversified culture and history!
Nicaragua has two seasons, rainy or dry. Their dry season starts in November and runs through June. As we will be there during their dry season, we will likely experience better driving conditions than during their rainy season, better wildlife viewing opportunities (since many of the leaves will have fallen), and also lower mosquito/bug population. We can expect the day-time temperatures to hover around 85-95 degrees in the Cities and a bit cooler by the coast, the evenings are usually in the 70’s.
We have hired Nicaragua’s best tour guide company which also meets our rigorous standards, including giving back to the community! Check out their website: http://greenpathways.com.
We will be well taken care of with our own personal driver (in a 2016, 15-passenger Toyota Hiace Microbus with AC) and English speaking tour guide. Our personable and knowledgeable local guide will teach us everything we want to know about Nicaragua, while taking us on some very special and adventurous excursions. Our excursions will put is in touch with nature, the Nicaraguan culture and its history.
About our accommodations
Two nights in Leon; Hotel Flor de Sarta: comfortable family-run boutique hotel, walking distance to cafe's and attractions, AC in bedrooms, breakfast included, pool, awesome reviews!
Two nights in Granada; Casa San Fransico: comfortable family-run boutique hotel, walking distance to cafe's and attractions, AC in bedrooms, breakfast included, pool, awesome reviews!
Four nights in Playa Gigante/Redonda Beach; LaJoya Villa in gated community overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Bedrooms have AC, swimming pool overlooking the Pacific, full kitchen, is walking distance to peaceful beach, and to Aqua Echo Resort (http://aquanicaragua.com/) where we can utilize their many awesome amenities: beachfront cafe & bar, group yoga classes, snorkeling gear, stand up paddle boards. Massages can be booked as well (for additional charges). From our house we are also about a 25 minute walk to the authentic fishing village of Playa Gigante; where we can have a cold beer with locals, go fishing, take surfing lessons, relax on the beach...
Some pics of our villa:
Depart early AM and arrive in Nicaragua around 2pm. Our driver will pick us up and take us to the city of Leon where we can check into our boutique hotel and become acquainted with the city, have dinner, and go for a dip in our hotel’s pool.
Sat AM you will have the choice of exploring Leon and its Cathedrals/Museums (Leon Cathedral is the largest Cathedral in Central America, took over 100 years to build and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or going to Cerro Negro Volcano to take in the sport of Volcano Boarding (8am – 1pm).
2pm we will depart on an off-road adventure in our 4X4’s to drive 1.5 hours to Telica Volcano. We will hike about an hour and hang out on the volcano at sunset to take in the spectacular views and see some lava! We will then head to a local family’s home on the volcano for a home-cooked dinner, and soak up some culture. We will get back to Leon around 8:30pm to take a relaxing swim in the hotel’s pool.
Sun AM we will leave Leon after breakfast and head to the Colonial Gem; Granada (known as the Paris of Central America, and one of Central America's oldest cities, 1524). Once arriving in Granada, we can take in lunch at one of their cafes, get settled into our hotel, take a swim, and explore their charming streets, museums and Cathedral.
After breakfast we leave for our next exciting Volcano adventure! We are heading to Mombacho Volcano. Here we will experience a cloud forest, see wonderful wildlife, flowers/fauna and spectacular views of Lake Nicaragua! Our hike will be about two hours or so. We can also stop by a coffee plantation to savor some Nicaraguan coffee! Post Mombacho we will have the choice to either go on an optional two hour SUP tour around the islets on Lake Nicaragua, or head back to Granada.
After breakfast we will pack up and head toward the Pacific Coast (AKA the Emerald Coast), while on our way we will visit the Masaya Volcano and villages. No hiking involved to the see massive crater of this volcano! We’ll have lunch, and shop for hand crafted souvenirs! On our way we will meet up with our Chef… yes, we will have our own wonderful Chef for our 4 night stay at the beach. We will shop for groceries with her and then go check into our Pacific Coast palace! Our Chef will prepare our dinner while we relax by the pool and/or take a hike around our amazing property.
Each morning our Chef will prepare our breakfast, then the day is yours for either R&R, or hit the road for more adventures (ziplining, etc)!
I will work with everyone ahead of time to plan some excursions during these days if folks so desire. There is still plenty to be seen (including an optional all day excursion to the Island of Ometepe), or just kick back and enjoy our property and the luxury echo resort/spa next door (yoga, spa, snorkeling, beach time), or walk to the little town of Playa El Gigante, to go fishing, take a surfing lesson, or have a cold beer with locals.
While at the villa our Chef will prepare all of our breakfasts, our 1st night’s dinner, and our last night’s dinner. Lunch can be had next door at the Spa’s beachfront café, or in the town Playa El Gigante.
After breakfast we will head back to Managua Airport to come back home with a head full of new memories and stories!
Transfers to and from Managua airport
Our own personal van & driver for entire trip
English speaking and highly reputable tour guide (5 out of 8 days)
All breakfasts (hotels have homemade breakfast options and our Villa will have a chef for all 4 breakfasts and 2 nights' dinners)
Two volcano hiking excursions (Telica & Mombacho)
Amenities at Aqua Resort (next to Beach Villa)
Lunches & dinners
The length of trip is eight nights & nine days. There is early bird and regular pricing.
Early bird price: $1,340 - book (& pay the 30% deposit) by August 15, 2016
Regular price: $1,415 - book after August 15th
Prices are for shared room occupancy. Single supplement fee applies to have your own room.
Final balance due October 22, 2016
Passport: only a passport is required for entering Nicaragua, there is also a $5 fee for entering witch buys you a tourist card good for our time there
Time Zone: Central time zone (no daylights savings time is observed)
Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance: