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Calala Island Resort, Calala Island, Nicaragua

Highlights of Nicaragua

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

14 Days

Prices Start from

$3,683 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.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Keys:
Boat Journey
  • Day 1
    Managua
  • Day 2
    Managua - Matagalpa
  • Day 3
    Matagalpa
  • Day 4
    Matagalpa - Leon City
  • Day 5
    Leon City
  • Day 6
    Leon City - Granada
  • Day 7
    Granada
  • Day 8
    Granada - San Jorge
  • Day 9
    Ometepe Island
  • Day 10
    Ometepe Island - San Jorge - San Juan del Sur
  • Days 11-12
    San Juan del Sur
  • Day 13
    San Juan del Sur - Managua
  • Day 14
    Managua
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
Nicaragua
Colourful Doorway in Granada, Granada, Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua
La Merced Church, Granada, Nicaragua
La Merced Church, Granada, Nicaragua

Private Boating & The Oldest City in Latin America

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 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-Colombian 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.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your 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.

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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.

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Selva Negra £££££

  • Nicaragua
  • Wilderness

Selva Negra Ecolodge and Coffee Estate is located in the Matagalpa Highlands. The estate was originally established by German immigrants in the late 1800s and 100 years later became a 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.

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. Connected by a bridge the main restaurant La Bastide serves local and international dishes, and there is a swimming pool plus fitness centre offering massage and yoga sessions by appointment.

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Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

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Call us

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
Price
From $3,683 Per person

When to travel

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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