Colonial Cities, Volcanoes and Rainforests

Holiday in Nicaragua

Emerald Coast, Lake Nicaragua and Granada, San Juan del Sur

Duration: 11 nights

Price: From £4,400 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers, transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

On this exciting itinerary, conquer looming volcanoes, explore beautiful colonial cities, spot wildlife in the forest and choose from any number of amazing activities, from horse riding to hiking, ziplining to snorkelling.
Perfect forWhether you’re dipping down the side streets of León, ascending a volcano or venturing into the pristine cloud forest, this itinerary is all about exploration – a great one for those who want to get to the very heart of the unspoilt country of Nicaragua.
In the knowFor a taste of the Caribbean at its most untouched, take a trip out to Nicaragua's Corn Islands.

Best for

  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Off the Beaten Track
  • Adventure
  • Beach

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Itinerary details


1 nightManagua

On arriving in Managua, you’ll be driven to the intimate Hotel Contempo, a foodie haven that’s home to the highly-acclaimed Restaurante Azul. Spend a peaceful day in the capital taking in the views over the stunning Tiscapa Lagoon or exploring the bustling handicrafts market.
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The following morning you’ll be taken to the colonial city of Leon, where you’ll take a tour of one of Nicaragua's oldest cities. As well as paying a visit to the intriguing museum of Nicaraguan legends, arts and poetry, you’ll discover the Baroque churches and fascinating revolutionary murals hidden down the city’s narrow streets. The ‘high point’ of the tour is the climb to the rooftop of Central America’s largest cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll be treated to fantastic views over the city and beyond.

While in Leon, you’ll also head out into wildest Nicaragua to hike the active Cerro Negro volcano and venture into the heart of the Juan Venado reserve. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and turtles as you wind your way through mangroves by motor boat before arriving at a tiny secluded island, where you’ll relax a few hours away on the deserted beach. You’ll be staying at the wonderful Hotel El Convento, an elegant hotel rebuilt on the grounds of an ancient convent.
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Leaving Leon behind, you’ll head to its fiercest colonial rival, Granada. Along the way, you’ll drop in on the traditional villages of Masaya and Catarina and stop to peer down into the smoking crater of the Masaya volcano, a favourite hangout for green parakeets. 

In Granada, you’ll explore the city on a guided tour, which will take you through the historic centre. Climbing the church tower, you’ll have magical views of the Mombacho volcano - and you can enjoy a hike in the heart of the cloud forest on its slopes. Eagle-eyed visitors may even spot white-faced monkeys and endemic Mombacho salamanders.

You’ll take a short, scenic boat trip to the charming Jicaro Island Lodge, which perches on a private island on Lake Nicaragua, where you'll stay for three nights.
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5 nightsSan Juan del Sur 

The following day, you’ll leave the colonial splendour behind for unspoilt natural beauty. Hidden in a crescent-shaped bay just outside San Juan del Sur, you’ll cross a suspension bridge over a canyon to get to the villas and bungalows at Morgan’s Rock, which overlooks miles of private beach - wake up to gorgeous views in the morning. 

While here, watch sea turtles lay their eggs on the shore, horse ride along the beach, relax on the pristine shores, scuba dive, snorkel, sail or surf in the Pacific or zip through the canopy of the pristine forest, where howler monkeys and sloths loiter in the treetops.
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel locations for this itinerary

Hotels we've recommended for this trip

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