Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Highlights of Nicaragua



14 Days

Prices Start from

$5,569pp (ex. flights)

Uncover the highlights of Nicaragua while travelling between crescent-shaped bays and colonial-era cities, taking a ferry to the nation’s iconic volcanic island, hiking through cloud forests, interacting with friendly fruit-selling and fabric-weaving locals and sipping sundowners on sun-drenched beaches.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Resplendent Quetzal in flight 1

Highland Birding

With binoculars in hand, scout the northern highland forests for sightings of quetzals.

Nicaragua's Caribbean coast 2

San Juan del Sur

Relax on the beaches where lush jungle meets turquoise waters, perhaps taking a yoga class.

Granada at Sunset, Granada, Nicaragua 3

Leon & Granada

Amble the streets of colonial cities, interacting with locals and sampling road-side fruits.

Ometepe Island, Nicaragua 4

Summit a Volcano

Hike to the top of Concepcion Volcano on Ometepe Island for all-encompassing island views.

Why we like it

Encompassing the real focal points of Nicaragua, this journey through the land of coffee and colonial architecture is one of extremes. From Leon, the laid-back city with a stark white cathedral, to Ometepe Island, the volcanic island with a sensational sunset, this trip takes in fascinating wildlife, colourful streets and lush jungles. With explorations of the oldest city in Latin America, the cloud forests of northern Nicaragua and the private white-sand beach of an exclusive eco-lodge, this is a breathtaking journey through marvels that simply need to be seen in person.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Nicaragua on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Managua - Matagalpa

  • Day 3


  • Day 4

    Matagalpa - Leon City

  • Day 5

    Leon City

  • Day 6

    Leon City - Granada

  • Day 7


  • Day 8


  • Day 9

    Granada - Ometepe Island

  • Day 10

    Ometepe Island

  • Days 11

    Ometepe Island - San Juan del Sur

  • Day 12- 13

    San Juan del Sur

  • Day 14

    San Juan del Sur - Managua

Day 1


Day 2

Managua - Matagalpa

Day 3


Resplendent Quetzal in flight

With binoculars in hand, scout cloud forests of the northern highlands for sightings of quetzals.

Day 4

Matagalpa - Leon City

Day 5

Leon City

Inglesia La Recoleccion, Leon, Nicaragua

Amble the streets of colonial Leon and Granada, interacting with friendly locals and sampling road-side fruits.

Day 6

Leon City - Granada

Day 7


Day 8


Day 9

Granada - Ometepe Island

Ometepe Island, Beach at Sunset, Nicaragua

Hike to the top of Conception Volcano on Ometepe Island for the all-encompassing island views.

Day 10

Ometepe Island

Days 11

Ometepe Island - San Juan del Sur

Morgans Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Relax on the beaches of San Juan del Sur, where lush jungle meets turquoise waters, perhaps taking a yoga class.

Day 12- 13

San Juan del Sur

Day 14

San Juan del Sur - Managua

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

Treasures of the Cloud Forest: Quetzals & Coffee

Spend time in Managua, the hot and sultry urban expanse on the south western shores of Lake Xolotlán that sits wedged between towering flanks of extinct volcanoes, crater lakes and lagoons. A dramatic setting for the nation’s capital with a dizzying array of landmarks and tree-lined boulevards, Managua enjoys a reputation as the ‘City of Peace’. Travel north to a coffee estate nestled within the lush cloud forests of the Matagalpa Highlands, exploring the wilderness on hiking trails or horseback. Search for howler monkeys, mountain lions, sloths, ocelots and a plethora of birdlife that includes hummingbirds and quetzals, and perhaps join a bean-to-cup coffee workshop with a local artisan.

Inglesia La Recoleccion, Leon, Nicaragua
Colourful Doorway in Granada, Granada, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua
La Merced Church, Granada, Nicaragua
La Merced Church, Granada, Nicaragua

Private Boating & Latin America's Oldest Colonial City

Amble the colonial cobbled streets of Leon in the company of an expert guide, unveiling its reputation as the nation’s intellectual capital and heart of the arts. Tour its important museums and galleries, visit sites of historical importance relating to poets and painters, and walk on the roof of a show-stopping cathedral. In alluring Granada, the oldest Spanish-built city in Latin America, wander narrow streets lined with brightly coloured dwellings. When not sampling traditional Nicaraguan cuisine, join locals as they barter at the market or sip coffee under the shade of the yellow-walled cathedral. Our highlight is an exclusive boat tour of volcano-formed Las Isletas Archipelago in the company of a private guide with lunch served on one of the islands.

Ometepe Island with Volcano, Nicaragua
Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Climb an Active Volcano

Board a ferry to Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, dominated by the twin volcanic peaks that make up the quintessential Nicaraguan postcard landscape. With its laid-back island vibe and the acclaimed Punta Jesus Maria sunset, this is a place for relaxing, partaking in a spot of kite-surfing or renting a scooter to ride along the coastline. Rise early to hike up the conical slopes of active Concepcion Volcano, traversing dense forests and passing chattering monkeys before taking in far-reaching views from its barren summit. Perhaps paddle in a natural volcanic waterhole, seek out a coconut smoothie, hike to a cascading waterfall or locate the stone carvings and petroglyphs of its pre-Columbian past.

Morgans Rock Hacienda,San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Morgans Rock Hacienda,San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Private Beach & 4x4 Safari

Unwind on one of the beaches where lush jungles meet blue waters. Admired for its tumbling Pacific surf and golden sand dunes, one favourite is the former fishing hamlet of San Juan del Sur. Having managed to retain its easy-going charm, it is chocked with local markets, stalls serving Nicaraguan dishes in palm leaves and colourful buildings. Staying in an eco-lodge set within 4,000 acres of jungle, spend time on a private beach or cooling off in a villa plunge pool while monkeys scamper across the balcony. From this lush base, embark on 4×4 wildlife safaris, horseback rides, snorkelling excursions and surfing lessons, and perhaps even watch turtle nesting and hatching in season. Perhaps move to the eastern coast to visit Yemaya, Corn or Calala islands.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

El Convento, Leon £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • City

Hotel El Convento is one of Leon’s most charming hotels. This was the site of the former San Francisco Convent. The lovingly restored colonial buildings and carefully maintained gardens all add to the ambience and character. All 32 rooms are simple but equipped with modern comforts. Restaurant El Victoriano has a great reputation and there is a good range of local restaurants and bars on your doorstep.

View Property

La Perla £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • City

La Perla is one of Leon’s best hotels. It is very centrally located, just a couple of blocks from Leon’s cathedral, the central market and close to the National Theatre and the municipal palace. This mansion has been sympathetically restored by local artisans who have taken great pains to recreate the building’s full colonial neoclassical grandeur. There are just 15 rooms around a traditional central courtyard. The upper floor rooms have views across the city. The hotel has a small pool, bar and a respected restaurant that offers a good range of New World wines.

View Property

Selva Negra £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Wilderness

Located in the Matagalpa Highlands, Selva Negra Ecolodge and Coffee Estate is a long-standing rustic rainforest lodge. Bungalows and chalets dot the grounds and the restaurant is in the main house, opening onto views of the lake. There are 20km of maintained trails across the property, great for horse riding and birding. You may also elect to take a farm, coffee or nature tour with one of the local guides. This is a simple lodge but one of the most comfortable and environmentally aware in the Matagalpa area.

View Property

Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Morgan’s Rock is set in 4,000 acres of jungle, overlooking its own private beach and the Pacific Ocean. Constructed of raw materials the 15 bungalows and three two-bedroom villas dot the hillside, decorated with salvaged items, softened with heritage crafts and textiles. Each accommodation has its own veranda and seating area and five of the bungalows, as well as the villas, have private plunge pools. Choose between a forest or ocean view – positioned at treetop level, it is not uncommon to have monkeys scamper across your balcony or sloth poised in the tree beside you.

View Property

Start planning your trip

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


John’s first-hand knowledge of Nicaragua was indispensable – because of him, we visited places like Ometepe Island and San Juan del Sur that we had never considered.

Destination: Nicaragua
Travel Expert: John

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From $5,569 Per person

When to travel

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes


Get in touch

  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.