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Length of trip:
Approximate price of this trip per person:
from $ 3000 to $ 5000
Best travel dates to go:
Detailed Description of this trip:
Actively explore the nature, scenery and communities of Nicaragua, all accompanied by a superb local guide. You will learn about the natural and cultural history of of Nicaragua by hiking on active volcanoes, visiting local coffee fincas dedicated to nature preservation and spending time in and around the old colonial city of Grenada. Expect good food, very friendly local people, surprising dedication to good environmental practice and wonderful opportunities for nature and culture photography. Escape the conventional ecotourist routes in favor of little-known sanctuaries and small, hospitable ecolodges. If you enjoy coffee, this trip will help you appreciate the virtues and significance of "organic," "shade-grown," and "fair trade" designations. Even if you don't, Nicaragua is one of our new destination that will be sure to please all adventure travelers!
This Trip is Recommended for:
Day 1 - Managua
On arrival at Managua Airport, you will be met and transferred to the beautiful Montibelli Private Wildlife Reserve in the hills outside of Managua.
You are free to hike the trails with the advice of the resident naturalist.
Food and Dining
Your dinner and overnight will be at the new Montibelli Ecolodge within the reserve.
Lodging: Montibelli Ecolodge.
Day 2 - Matagalpa
Head out on a bird and nature hike early in the morning with resident naturalist and bird expert Pomares Belli. Many of the 152 species of birds identified here are very difficult to see anywhere else, and you may be entertained by displaying manakins, motmots, toucans, trogons or tanagers. At least 115 species of butterflies, 33 reptiles, and 30 species of mammals inhabit the reserve.
Depart after breakfast for a drive to Matagalpa in time for lunch.
Visit the grave of legendary American philanthropist and child welfare advocate Benjamin Lindner, who was killed in an ambush by Contra guerillas.
Food and Dining
Continue on to Finca El Jaguar Ecolodge for your dinner and overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Lodging: Finca El Jaguar Ecolodge.
Day 3 - Nicaragua
El Jaguar is a family run farm whose main goal is to produce high-quality environmentally friendly coffee in harmony with nature and the local community. Their mission also includes protecting the biodiversity of 200 acres of cloud forest. Today, you will enjoy a guided tour of the farm and sanctuary. Owners Lili and Georges Duriaux–Chavarría describe El Jaguar as an ecoadventure project, as there are also six hiking trails on the reserve.
Stay at El Jaguar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 4 - Nicaragua
El Jaguar/Selva Negra.
Morning hike at El Jaguar.
Then transfer via scenic road to Selva Negra.
Accommodations at Selva Negra Mountain Resort are quite comfortable, and the food is excellent. The resort is the hospitality component of La Harmonia Coffee Estate, a state of the art coffee farm which has won international prizes and acclaim for sustainable methods of producing environmentally-friendly, organic, shade-grown coffee.
You will be at an elevation of about 3,000 feet, making it cool here year-round. The forest holds respendent quetzal, bellbirds, and numerous other species. You will enjoy a tour of the farm, school and a chance to hike in the cloud forest.
Then, you will be transferred to Finca Esperanza Verde for two nights. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Lodging: Selva Negra.
Day 5 - Nicaragua
Full day hike high into the cloud forest.
Return to Selva Negra for dinner and accommodations. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Lodging: Selva Negra.
Day 6 - Granada
After breakfast, drive several hours via the historic Ciudad Dario to the colonial city of Granada, on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, for a very different view of the country.
You will see why Granada is a favorite destination and second home site for Nicaraguans and foreign visitors. Enjoy a tour of this city filled with colorful buildings, attractive squares and volcanic vistas.
Food and Dining
Enjoy dinner al fresco on the square or at one of the pedestrian malls. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Lodging: Hotel Dario.
Day 7 - Granada
After a very early breakfast, you will be transferred to Volcano Mombacho, where you will be one of the first people to arrive!
The top of the volcano offers a grand vista of Granada and the islet-dotted Lake Nicaragua. You will have the choice of participating in a 20 minute, two hour or four hour hike, based on your ability and ambition.
Then, you will head for Lake Nicaragua, where your guide will hire a boat for an afternoon of exploring more than 300 islets.
Food and Dining
You will have a picnic lunch on Fortress Island while observing the natural and cultural beauty of this tropical venetian setting. Dinner will be your own at any of Granada's many wonderful restaurants.
Your overnight at Hotel Dario.
Day 8 - Masaya
Masaya/Laguna de Apoyo.
In the morning, depart for a guided hike of one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, Masaya Volcano. The national park that houses the volcano is Nicaragua's first and largest. Your guide will lead you on a spectacular hike based on your ambition, ability, and the current eruptive status of the volcano. You will be able to fully appreciate and photograph this steaming, belching behemoth. You might hike up past a massive vulture roosting area, or down an old lava flow to the shores of an old caldera lake.
Day 9 - Nicaragua
Depart or Extend to Rio San Juan.
After a lakeside breakfast, transfer to the Managua Airport for your return flight to Costa Rica or home. Or, you may choose to extend your trip with some extra days in Granada or other areas of Nicaragua, such as the wildlife-filled jungle areas of the South.
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