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Breath-taking panoramic views from the top of Cerro El Chile, nothern Nicaragua

Unexplored Nicaragua Tour

Nicaragua offers a wealth of incredible nature, authentic culture, legendary hospitality and beautiful colonial cities – not to mention a fair few volcanoes! This twelve-day tour has been designed to allow travellers to experience all of these elements – that taken together make Nicaragua such an exciting and varied holiday destination. Nicaragua’s fascinating but turbulent history forms the backdrop of this Unexplored Nicaragua Tour – a tour that takes travellers off the beaten track to discover some of the country’s most beautiful protected nature reserves in the north of the country, before heading over to León and the Pacific coast, and finishing in the stunning colonial city of Granada, on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.

  • Explore the less known north of the country, home to outstanding landscapes and rich biodiversity
  • Hike through the lush Peñas Blancas cloud forest, which forms part of the largest natural reserve in Central America
  • Learn about coffee from seed to cup at a traditional small family-run finca
  • Swim in (and jump into!) the waters of Río Coco whilst exploring national monument, the Somoto Canyon
  • Relax at Las Peñitas beach and explore the surrounding mangroves by boat
  • Hike around the crater of the active Masaya volcano
  • Discover the cities of Managua, León and Granada – all offering something unique to travellers – including fascinating histories and well-preserved colonial era architecture
  • Gain an understanding of the history of revolution in Nicaragua
  • Visit a women’s weaving cooperative and traditional black ceramics workshops

This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide and driver throughout. All activities and excursions are private (only for you). The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.

This tour is designed for those with an adventurous spirit and a love of nature. It takes travellers off the beaten track to some truly stunning locations, and brings them into contact with incredibly friendly people and authentic local cultures. The tour starts in the capital city, Managua, where travellers will have their first introduction to the dramatic history of Nicaragua, including the 1972 earthquake which devastated the capital and increased opposition to the Somoza regime, whilst on a tour of the city’s main sites. Next stop is the women’s weaving community of El Chile, where you’ll will learn the story behind the cooperative and find out about traditional cotton dyeing and weaving, before enjoying some breath-taking 360° panoramic views from the top of Cerro El Chile. The north of Nicaragua is home to many stunning and unexplored nature reserves, and Peñas Blancas is one such area: well-protected cloud forest, waterfalls and amazing biodiversity. Over the next couple of days you’ll have the opportunity to explore the nature reserve on foot and experience firsthand the natural beauty of Peñas Blancas. Then we move on to La Fundadora community, where you will be able to enjoy more stunning views whilst experiencing a traditional rural lifestyle. During a visit to small family run coffee finca, a charming and extremely knowledgeable farmer will explain the whole coffee process from seed to cup and the many benefits associated with having a diversified farm. As well as coffee, the north of Nicaragua is renowned for producing fine cigars, and the town of Estelí is at the centre of the country’s tobacco industry. After a tour of a cigar factory, you’ll head to La Garnacha ecological community where you’ll taste a slightly more unusual local specialty: Swiss cheese! The visit to the community will be followed by a horse ride to visit Don Alberto’s finca and stone sculpture gallery. This captivating old man has spent the past 30+ years carving the rocks around his secluded property and is always happy to take guests on a tour of the resulting stone sculptures – which is also a tour through recent history and his own incredible imagination! After another night in Estelí, you’ll head to Somoto, close to the border with Honduras, to spend the morning exploring the stunning Somoto Canyon, framing part of the longest river in Central America, “Río Coco”. Then it is the colonial city of León, a city rich in history and impressive architecture, which you’ll have the chance to explore at leisure after a guided tour. León is located near the Pacific coast, and the following day will be spent exploring the mangroves and relaxing on the beach. The stunning colonial city of Granada is the next destination – where you’ll be able to enjoy a city tour and boat trip through the adjoining Isletas on lake Nicaragua. A trip to Nicaragua wouldn’t be complete without a close up encounter with a volcano so your final full day will include a visit to Masaya Volcano, one of the most active in the country! Last stop of the tour will be the Pueblos Blancos where you will be able to admire the outstanding craftsmanship of local artisans specialising in create pre-columbian pottery - and enjoy impressive views over Laguna de Apoyo.

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  • Trip duration: 12 days
  • Countries visited: Nicaragua
  • Comfort level: Medium: Accommodation in B&Bs or 2-star family-run hotels (always in a private room).
    Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
  • Level of difficulty: Medium - although the hikes in Peñas Blancas can easily be swapped for shorter hikes or different activities for those looking for a low level of physical difficulty.
  • Accommodation: 1 night in a hotel in Managua, 1 night in hotel in Matagalpa, 1 night in basic eco-cabins in the Peñas Blancas reserve, 1 night in basic eco-cabins at La Fundadora community, 3 nights in a hotel in Estelí, 2 nights in a hotel in León & 2 nights in a hotel in Granada. All hotels are 3-star or boutique.
  • Transport: Private car and 4x4
  • Meals included: 11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Percentage of cost going to local communities:
    At least 30%
  • Bilingual guide: Available in English or Spanish
  • Extra services: -
  • Additional information: You will be greeted at the airport on arrival by a local guide who will take you to your hotel and will be able to answer any questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure everything goes smoothly. No minimum number of passengers required. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least 2 people travelling. You should expect a cheaper price for bigger groups. Your passport is required at time of booking. For information on visa requirements, immunisations and health formalities please visit the FCO Travel Advice Website or the US Travel Advice Website (direct links to Nicaragua's page). Information on money changing in each destination, as well as what it is customary to tip for various services, will be provided. This tour of Nicaragua has a medium level of physical difficulty but participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like. If you have any concerns or require special arrangements please call or email us to discuss. What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries, comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts, rain coat, dry bag /ziplock bags for valuables, and waterproof cover for your luggage in case of rain.
  • Best time to travel: The high season runs from December to April when the weather is mainly hot and dry - but experiencing the lush green countryside during the wet season also has its appeal!
  • Extra budget recommended: Around £200 / $250 pp to cover all meals, snacks & expenses not included in the in the tour.
  • What is included: Welcome reception at the airport. Transfers (private car). Overland transport. Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides (all private). Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Contributions to the social projects visited. Donation to help in preserving the Amazon rainforest through agro-forestry and education.
  • What is not included: Flights from your country of origin. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs.
There is no minimum duration and you can take only the activities or destinations you want. To start creating your ideal, tailor-made tour to Nicaragua, please complete and send this form. Our Nicaragua partner will be in touch shortly: [contact-form-7 id="4228" title="Nicaragua Form - Matagalpa Tours"]

Unexplored Nicaragua Tour

£ 1,490 GBP

Nicaragua – the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes – is a country that offers something for everyone: great nature and hiking in the northern hills, relaxed fishing villages and palm fringed beaches, beautifully persevered colonial cities, huge freshwater lakes and majestic volcanoes. This tour is designed to make the most of this great variety on offer and is for those with an adventurous spirit and a love of nature. It takes travellers off the beaten track to some truly stunning locations, and brings them into contact with incredibly friendly people and authentic local cultures.

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