Adventures with Purpose: Nicaragua

Suggested Itinerary

15 Days From £5,145

Overview

Sandwiched between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, it seems appropriate that Nicaragua’s name translates as “united with the water”. It also seems an apt starting point for an adventure that combines the best of the country’s conservation and community initiatives in one incredible journey. Taking you into the cultural and community heartlands of Central America’s largest country, you’ll travel well off the beaten track, staying in a series of sustainable ...

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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kayak around the mangrove forests of Juan Venado whilst supporting the Young Environmentalists Club
  • Visit Lost Canyon Nature Reserve and participate in the protection of the endangered Nicaraguan Spiny-tailed iguana
  • Hike to the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ to learn about regeneration of the forest with yellow bamboo, helping to recover the balance in the surrounding ecosystem
  • Stay at the Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza, a lodge and scientific centre helping to preserve the surrounding forests
  • Enjoy life on Ometepe Island, while staying in a community-based accommodation initiative run by women from the La Paloma community
  • Spend time with a small community on the slopes of the Mombacho Volcano to learn about farming, customs and the daily lives of a people who have worked this land for generations

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE MANAGUA

DAY 1: ARRIVE MANAGUA

Nicaragua’s capital city is home to nearly two million people and, as you might imagine, lies at the heart of the country’s culture and commerce. Arriving today, you will be met by your Wild Frontiers representative and taken on to your centrally located hotel. A peaceful, colonial-style retreat, surrounded by gardens and boasting private patios, Los Robles provides the perfect boutique start to this remarkable adventure.

Hotel Los Robles

DAY 2: MANAGUA - LEÓN VIEJO - LEÓN

DAY 2: MANAGUA - LEÓN VIEJO - LEÓN

Leaving Managua behind this morning your journey takes you on towards the country’s eastern coast and the historic city of León. Stopping en route at the ruins of León Viejo (Old León) you will enjoy a walking tour of what was once Nicaragua’s first capital, originally founded in 1524 by the Spanish conquistadores. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, stunningly located next to the impressive Momotombo volcano, it provides an ideal opportunity to learn a little something about the history of early colonisation and the precarious situation faced by the indigenous people. Then continue on to the beautiful city of León, for a two-night stay.

Hotel Cacique Adiact
Breakfast

DAY 3: JUAN VENADO ISLAND

DAY 3: JUAN VENADO ISLAND

Juan Venado Island is a nature reserve located just a short drive from León. An impressive mangrove sanctuary that is home to some 106 species of birds, it is ideally suited to a morning’s kayak tour in the company of a local guide. A refuge for caimans, crocodiles and iguanas, the estuary that feeds into the Pacific Ocean is also a prime nesting site each year for Olive Ridley turtles. A spectacular way to spend the morning, this activity also supports the Young Environmentalists Club, based in nearby Las Peñitas. After a chance for a walk and a swim in the Pacific Ocean, you’ll then return to León for an afternoon of leisure amongst the museums, cafes and grandeur of one of Nicaragua’s most picturesque cities.

Hotel Cacique Adiact
Breakfast

DAY 4: LEÓN - ESTELÍ

DAY 4: LEÓN - ESTELÍ

Turning north today, the next leg of the journey takes you towards Estelí, a city whose rich history and culture has played a prominent role in war and revolution over the years. But first you will pay a visit to the Lost Canyon Nature Reserve, where you may have a unique opportunity to help rescue and relocate endangered Nicaraguan Spiny-tailed iguanas from the surrounding farmland. Completing the journey on to Estelí from here, you’ll then find yourself enjoying the hospitality of a lesser-visited northeastern corner of the country. For the next two nights you will be staying at a social enterprise hotel, founded and administered by “Fundacion Familias Unidas”, a non-profit organisation whose aims are to provide vocational training to young adults, as well as funding local youth sports programmes, rural health initiatives and educational workshops for local primary and secondary schools.

Los Arcos
Breakfast

DAY 5: TISEY NATURE RESERVE & FINCA JALACATE

DAY 5: TISEY NATURE RESERVE & FINCA JALACATE

Estelí is surrounded by some breathtaking natural scenery and today you will have a chance to make the most of some of it with a hike through the Tisey Nature Reserve. Blessed with vast areas of protected forest, traditional farmland and spectacular scenic views, the experience begins at the Estanzuela Waterfall, from where just a short walk will bring you to a traditional farmstead. On a clear day the views from here take in Lake Managua and out towards the volcanoes of the Pacific. Lunch will then be followed by a moderately challenging hike down to Finca El Jalacate, a subsistence farm that lies nestled amongst dense forest and rich farmland. The farm is home to Don Alberto, a resident artist who will take you on a tour of his impressive collection of rock sculptures, carved out of the forested hillside surrounding the farm.

Los Arcos
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6: ESTELÍ - PEÑAS BLANCAS

DAY 6: ESTELÍ - PEÑAS BLANCAS

Peñas Blancas is your next destination, located along the edge of the vast BOSAWAS Biosphere Reserve. Travelling by way of the charming village of San Rafael you will learn more of the lives of a national hero and a potential saint, before continuing on to the quiet streets of Jinotega, home to one of the most popular black pottery workshops in the region. After an opportunity to try your hand at turning the wheel and moulding the clay, you’ll enjoy coffee with a view before completing the transfer on to Peñas Blancas. For the next two nights you will be staying at the Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza, a lodge and scientific centre that promotes sustainable tourism whilst helping to preserve the beauty and wilderness of the surrounding forests.

Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: RAINBOW WATERFALL HIKE

DAY 7: RAINBOW WATERFALL HIKE

A guided hike to the ‘Rainbow Waterfall’ this morning provides an opportunity to learn more about attempts to transform and regenerate the forest through the use of yellow bamboo, helping to recover the balance in the surrounding ecosystem. Straddling the border between the provinces of Matagalpa and Jinotega, the walk will take in part of Central America’s largest reserve, encompassing a landscape filled with giant trees, crystal rivers and a vast array of tropical plants. Often shrouded in a ghostly mist, this haunting setting is also home to pumas, jaguars, wild boar and sloths. This afternoon you will then enjoy participating in a local workshop, where you will learn how to make furniture out of bamboo.

Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: PEÑAS BLANCAS - MANAGUA - GRANADA

DAY 8: PEÑAS BLANCAS - MANAGUA - GRANADA

The splendour of Granada awaits at the end of today’s drive, without doubt one of Latin America’s most beautiful cities. First though, you will make a stop at the Chocoyero-El Brujo Nature Reserve, where you will receive a unique insight into the area’s environmental management initiatives and their socio-economic impact on local families, and discover some of the history and traditions of the local communities. You’ll also learn how conservation is being passed down to the future generations through social customs. After lunch with a local family and a short walk through the reserve you’ll then continue on to Granada, another of Nicaragua’s impressive World Heritage Cities, spectacularly located on the shores of the vast Lake Nicaragua.

Patio Del Malinche
Breakfast

DAY 9: COMMUNITY VISITS

DAY 9: COMMUNITY VISITS

A morning visit to the small community of Nicaragua Libre brings you to the southern slopes of the Mombacho Volcano. Here you will learn more about subsistence farming and the customs and daily lives of a people who have worked this land for generations. A visit to a small cocoa plantation then provides an insight into the process of chocolate making, before a communal lunch with the locals. Returning to Granada, this afternoon you'll then visit a social centre based in the heart of the city’s historic centre. Here you will have an opportunity to take part in a hammock workshop and make use of the centre’s coffee shop, both initiatives run by professionals with auditive disabilities. A way to generate jobs for locals with handicaps and limited economic resources, they provide a great opportunity for you to help these projects and also experience communicating in Nicaraguan sign language.

Patio Del Malinche
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10: GRANADA - SAN JORGE - OMETEPE ISLAND

DAY 10: GRANADA - SAN JORGE - OMETEPE ISLAND

After an early transfer to San Jorge this morning, on the western shores of Lake Nicaragua, jump on a ferry to cross over to Ometepe Island. Once thought by the Aztecs to be the promised land, Ometepe is made up of two imposing volcanic cones that rise up from the fresh waters of Central America’s largest lake. Here you will stay in a community initiative that is run by local women, representing 10 families from the La Paloma community. Founded in 2004 and located on a lovely beach at the base of the active volcano, the cooperative maintains a strong focus on sustainable and community-based tourism. You will very much experience your time here as part of the community, eating with the local families and enjoying the hospitality of their homes. This afternoon enjoy a nature tour around the Peña Inculta Nature Reserve.

Puesta del Sol
Breakfast

DAY 11: COOKING CLASS & COMMUNITY VISIT

DAY 11: COOKING CLASS & COMMUNITY VISIT

A treat for the taste buds, you will have an opportunity to savour Nicaraguan cuisine today, with a cooking class led by the local experts. The day’s activities will also include an opportunity to help with daily chores and community projects. A particular highlight is a workshop where you can learn to make wine or tea out of tropical hibiscus plants and herbs - all set against the impressive backdrop of the island and its resident volcanoes. This afternoon has then been set aside for you to relax, or perhaps enjoy some optional activities such as waterfall hikes, a river kayaking experience or a visit to a local coffee farm.

Puesta del Sol
Breakfast

DAY 12: OMETEPE ISLAND - MORGAN’S ROCK

DAY 12: OMETEPE ISLAND - MORGAN’S ROCK

Transferring to the Pacific Coast this morning, the day begins with the ferry ride back across to San Jorge. From here you will then be driven on to the once quiet fishing village of San Juan del Sur. One of the most popular beach destinations on Nicaragua’s southern Pacific Coast, it still enjoys a charm and laid back feel all of its own. You will be staying at Morgan’s Rock, a sustainably-run hotel that lies along a crescent-shaped beach close to a secluded tropical estuary. Accommodation comes in the form of charming stone and wood bungalows, with private terraces that overlook long stretches of private beach.

Morgan's Rock Ecolodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: MORGAN’S ROCK

DAY 13: MORGAN’S ROCK

During the next couple of days you can enjoy a wealth of activities around the hotel, which may include birdwatching and horse-riding excursions, jungle walks and sunset hikes, mangrove kayak rides, monkey and sloth treks or a chance to make your own farmhouse breakfast or catch your own shrimps. You are also invited to help nature by planting a tree during your stay, and you can learn more about organic agriculture and its balancing act with maintaining a sustainable ecosystem. Your full-board package here allows for a choice of one excursion a day, whilst the bay itself is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and even surfing throughout much of the year. Your physical well-being is also well catered for, with the hotel supplying food from its own farm and from the local community.

Morgan's Rock Ecolodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: MORGAN’S ROCK

DAY 14: MORGAN’S ROCK

Enjoy another day to relax or explore at leisure.

Morgan's Rock Ecolodge
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: MORGAN’S ROCK - MANAGUA AIRPORT

DAY 15: MORGAN’S ROCK - MANAGUA AIRPORT

Before departure today you are invited to learn a little more about life on the farm; gathering the eggs, milking the cows, making fresh tortillas and preparing a hearty traditional breakfast. Later you will be transferred back to Managua Airport, where this extraordinary journey must unfortunately come to an end.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

15 days from £5,145

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Richard

Richard is our Latin America expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Richard by calling
1(833) 200-4640

Nicaraguans are gregarious people with a passion for poetry and irony. When things go wrong, this is to be expected they shrug, since they are blessed with the only country where lead floats and cork sinks.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN NICARAGUA