GT-809 – NICARAGUA

gt809

From $1,912.00

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History, Nature and Adventure.
Granada, Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island, San Juan del Sur & pacific Coast beaches, volcanoes, crater trails, kayaking, Nature Reserve, artisan market, chocolate cooking class,

Eight Days / Seven Nights
Minimum two persons

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Welcome to Nicaragua!

Meet & Greet at the International Airport in Managua, follow by Private Transfer with Bilingual Guide to Colonial Granada City.
Overnight accommodations Dario Hotel

DAY 2: Colonial Granada City – Boat ride trip, Lake Nicaragua – Chocolate Cooking Class (B/L)

Breakfast included at the hotel. Pick up at the hotel at 08:00AM. You will have a sightseeing tour by horse carriage to arrive later to the main plaza for our walking tour of the surrounding area. You will see “La Merced” church, the house of the Zamora family, the famous “Casa de Los Tres Mundos” and the San Francisco convent. Here, we will have the opportunity to see and take pictures of mysterious idols made by our ancestors. This is an impressive collection of genuine pre-Columbian sculptures in human and animal shapes.

You will continue your day with a relaxing boat ride around some of the islands. Formed by the impressive Mombacho volcano. See the volcanic evidence and influence of the area. Enjoy great landscape views and wildlife and of course have a chance to take pictures. Lunch included in a local restaurant in Granada. After Lunch you enjoy the “Chocolate Cooking Class”.

Everybody knows about Belgian, Swiss or French chocolate but have you ever heard about Nicaraguan chocolate? Originally from Central America, this plant has an extraordinary history; it was one of the most important products for the Mayan and Aztec cultures, as well as other Central American cultures. The discovery of America led to the introduction of chocolate in Europe, transforming it into the product we all know today. At Choco Museum we will follow all the processes to make chocolate from fermented organic cacao beans. We will learn how to roast, winnow, grind, and mix, conch, refine and mold. At the end of the 2 hours’ workshop you will leave with a sample of your very own handmade Nicaraguan chocolate. Don’t miss an original opportunity to learn how to prepare Chocolate!
Overnight accommodations Dario Hotel (B/L)

DAY 3: Mombacho Volcano “The Crater Trail” – Canopy Tour (Zip line) – Artisan Market & Night Tour

Masaya Volcano (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up at the hotel at 08:00 Hrs. Today you will head to Mombacho Volcano for a nature walk. For the visit, our vehicle will lead the way to the foot of the mountain where we will get in touch with the park keepers. Then we will switch vehicles and start our way up to the top on a four wheel drive. The adventure begins on a paved road and right from the start we will be surprised by the biodiversity of this natural reserve. Surrounded by exuberant vegetation and enjoying breathtaking views. When we reach the summit, we will understand why this ecosystem is a cloud forest. The park keeper will give instructions to everyone so we can enjoy our visit. We will then take the trails of the volcano (For approximately 1:45 Minutes) to learn a lot about the flora, the fauna, the ancient people who lived there and the Vulcan logy of the area. If the day is clear enough, we will visit an impressive viewpoint to observe the plain pacific region of Nicaragua. Typical lunch included at Casa Hacienda in the reserve.

We will also visit the Masaya arts and crafts market for local ceramics, hammocks wood and leather souvenirs.

Our last visit of this day is the Masaya Volcano. The vehicle will go up to the hill and within only a few steps you will see the impressive Santiago crater, active since 1946. Learn from your local expert how the Aratinga Strenua manages to live in the toxic crater walls as well as the history of the Spanish priests who explored the volcano and the superstitious beliefs held by the natives who inhabited the area. The second attraction is to watch a large number of bats departing massively from their caves. Follows a visit to an underground tunnel which was formed by lava streams. Equipped with flashlight and helmet you will enter the tunnel and observe the interesting rock formations. The tour ends with a visit to a viewpoint that provides the possibility to actually look inside the crater mouth of the volcano, observing the red, glowing lava. Diner in a local restaurant in Masaya and Back to Granada
Overnight accommodations Dario Hotel (B/L/D)

DAY 4: Colonial Granada City – Ometepe Island Tour (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up at the hotel at 08:30 Hrs. Private guided transfer from Dario Hotel in Granada and travel to San Jorge Port, Rivas. You will board a ferry for a one-hour ride that will take you into the heart of Ometepelt (Ometepe). Upon arrival enjoy of a full-day tour of Ometepe Island. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the most interesting places on the island. You will visit the Numismatic Museum, a short hike around mysterious Charco Verde, Altagracia, known for its charming little church, museum, stone statues & Ojo de Agua.
Overnight accommodations Villa Paraiso Hotel

DAY 5: Kayaking tour at Istiam River, Merida or Hike Maderas Volcano (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up at the hotel at 07:00 Hrs. During this three hour tour you will enjoy nature at its best. You will paddle by the lake shore and its beach until you will reach the mouth of the Istiam River. Once you have reached the river you will have the opportunity to observe a great variety of birds, monkeys, turtles and the “cujipal” (a type of caiman native to the island). You will also be able to appreciate the variety of plant life typical of this wetland ecosystem. Without any doubt this is the most exciting and exotic tour that Ometepe Island has to offer.

Maderas Volcano:
The steepness is 45 degrees approximately, with moderate steepness canopy and accessible. The first 400 meters is dry forest and little bit wet, from the 400 – 800 meters it is transition forest and from the 800 – to the top (is the most muddy section, stony but more wet)

Is a dormant strata volcano and is home to one of Nicaragua’s two cloud forests. Whether you want to go all the way to the volcanic lagoon at the top or simply explore the slopes and learn about the five different eco-systems, this activity is highly recommended. If you plan to go to the lagoon at the top, be aware that at the top, it is very muddy and slippery ALL-YEAR-ROUND.

A couple of thousand years ago the summit of the Maderas (1394 m) exploded and a multitude of lava boulders rained down on the slopes of the volcano. Today, the truncated cone of the Maderas is covered in thick cloud forest. On its summit a crater lagoon has formed where you can swim in a serene setting. The cloud forest shelters a diverse floral and faunal life, including howler and capuchin monkeys, many birds, butterflies, amazing orchids and ferns. Because of its ecological and archaeological importance most of the Maderas side of the island has been designated a nature reserve.

A hike on the Maderas volcano takes approximately 8 hours. The most popular trail, which starts in Balgüe from the Finca Magdalena, is 4.5 km one way. It’s an arduous hike on a steep defile dug into the rock and excavated by water. The humidity transforms the trail into a muddy, slippery path and sometimes you have to really climb instead of walk. From the top of the Maderas you can descend to the crater lagoon which is hemmed in by the steep rising forest. You can swim in the cool water of the perfectly still lake, bordered by reeds. Often the lagoon is fogged in by a mysterious curtain of mist and seems to have no other side.

Views during the Maderas hike are limited as it passes through impenetrable cloud forest, with tree limbs covered in hanging bromeliads and lichens. From the thickets you hear the calls of hidden birds and monkeys howling somewhere near.
Overnight accommodations Villa Paraiso Hotel

DAY 6: Ometepe Island – San Juan Del Sur, Pacific Coast (B)

From Ometepe Island to San Juan del Sur town & Night expedition to La Flor wildlife Refuge to look for Sea turtles
Enjoy breakfast then be transferred to Moyogalpa port by the hotel transportation to catch the ferry that will bring you back to main land. At San Jorge your guide and transportation that will take you to San Juan del Sur. For the next 45 min learn about San Juan del Sur town and surroundings

After check in you will have plenty of time to enjoy Pelican Eyes Resort and visit the little town of San Juan del Sur on your own. At 7:00pm meet your naturalist guide for tonight’s tour to La Flor wildlife refuge. La Flor is located 18 km South of San Juan del Sur, the pure white sand is bordered by tropical forest on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The reserve is small, only 800 hectares but it is where 30,000 Olive Ridley turtles or Paslama come each year to mate and make their nesting areas along the 900 meters of sand beach. The massive arrivals event happens 7 to 8 times a year mainly from July to December. Its peak season – September & October. At the park rangers station you will received a welcome introduction and the park rules created to protect these vulnerable species to man and other predators. Once ready you will head through the forest to wait for the wonderful phenomenon to happen. If mother nature is kind enough you will able to see the entire process of turtles emerging from the ocean up to laying 100 eggs! La Flor also home of other species such as monkeys, black & Green Igunas, coyotes, raccoons, skunks , lizards and many more reptiles that are more active at night and are a perfect companion in this fantastic expedition.

Tour Duration:4 hours

Includes: Transportation, naturalist guide, entrance fee & special light to observe the turtles without interrupting their great effort of laying 100 eggs
Recommendations: Please wear dark cloth, pants, comfortable walking shoes and rain gear & bring insect repellent

DAY 7: San Juan del Sur (B)

Free day to explore on your own.
Overnight accommodations Pelican Eyes Hotel

DAY 8: Private Guided Transfer from San Juan Del Sur to International Airport (B)

Private Guided Transfer to International Airport (the transfer takes 3 hours maximum, we do recommend a late flight) (B)

RATE PER PERSON BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY: FROM: $1,912.00
Groups of minimum 4 adults: $1,450.00 per person based on double occupancy
NOTE: The above rates, does not apply between December 21 and January 10. Easter Week (March 28th – April 04th)

RATE INCLUDES:

All Private Transportation. Bilingual Guide (English Speaking) all the program. Granada City Tour. Boat ride trip, Lake Nicaragua. Chocolate Cooking Class. Hike The Crater Trail & Canopy (Zip line) at Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve. Tour Masaya Volcano at Night & Artisan Market. Ometepe Island Tour. Kayaking tour at Istian River, Ometepe Island or Hike Maderas Volcano. 3 Nights lodging at Dario Hotel, Granada. 2 Nights lodging at Villa Paraiso Hotel, Ometepe Island. 3 Nights lodging at Pelican Eyes Hotel, San Juan Del Sur. Meals as specified on above itinerary. All entrance fee. Bottle of water every day. Hotel taxes (17% sales tax)

NOT INCLUDED:

Expenses of personal nature. Meals & Tours or services not specified in the itinerary. Tips for guide & driver. Bellboys & Maids Tips. Local and/or International phone calls. Personal and/or medical expenses. Entry & Exit from International Airport in Managua. Entry: Tourist Card: $10 per person.

Dario Hotel, Granada

Charming hotel with a colonial atmosphere, completely refurbished, in a neoclassic building of the early nineteenth century, catalogued as a building of historic interest. The Hotel offers an intimate and peaceful atmosphere. Housed in beautiful grounds, with a swimming pool, gymnasium, business center and truly excellent facilities, the hotel is the perfect place for an unforgettable stay; 22 double rooms and one suite, all fully equipped and carefully designed for maximum comfort are equipped with: Air conditioning (Split),Ceiling Roof fan, Private Bathroom Hot water Cable T.V. Universal plug (110V) Wireless internet. One of the rooms was designed for Physically Challenged people and is the only hotel in Granada with this service
Located in the historic centre of Granada, in the Calle de la Calzada, the hotel is just 100 meters from the Parque Central and only a few minutes away from the Great Lake of Nicaragua, or Lago Cocibolca, as it is also known, with excellent views of the Cathedral and the Mombacho Volcano.

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Hotel Villa Paraiso

The hotel is located on Playa Santo Domingo, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, situated just between the Concepcion and Maderas volcanoes. Playa Santo Domingo’s incomparable natural beauty includes 7 km of white, sandy beaches and countless varieties of tropical foliage including the ancient trees of La Cabulla Park.
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Pelican Eyes Hotel, San Juan del Sur

Pelican Eyes Hotel & Resort is a tastefully designed hotel located on a hill not far from the beach, overlooking the bay and town of San Juan del Sur. The hotel offers luxurious hotel rooms, cabins, and villas spread out over the different areas and levels of the property. You can count on many amenities and services. There is wireless internet offered in both restaurants (La Cascada and Bistro La Canoa), All three infinity pools have an ocean view and are a great spot for enjoying the superb sunset. Poolside bar and dining service is also provided.
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