This 6-day Nicaragua vacation is perfect for the traveler who is short on time, but wants to see the best Nicaragua has to offer. Start your travels visiting artisans in Masaya and wandering the colonial streets of Granada. Continue exploring the cloudforest atop Mombacho Volcano before continuing to Isla de Ometepe, a large volcanic island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. Enjoy an exciting itinerary that introduces you to the best of Nicaragua.
Climb Masaya Volcano, passing by fields of petrified lava
Walk the trails of Mombacho Volcano while watching for wildlife
Bike around Ometepe past small villages and banana plantations
Take a 1500-meter zip line course at the base of Mombacho
This morning you are picked up to first visit the nearby Masaya Volcano. Climb the volcano side, passing by fields of petrified lava, until you reach the top. Cover your face to bear the smell - you can get out and walk around, and even peer down into the deep sulfuric crater at the top!
Continue on next to the Masaya Market, the most famous handicrafts market in Nicaragua, and well known for its hammocks! After exploring the multicolored booths and bartering for keepsakes, continue on to the nearby small towns of San Juan del Oriente. Here you can witness the making of the handicrafts in action. See how an entire community contributes to making one hammock, watch the ceramic makers at the potter's wheel, or observe the carpenter as he builds wooden rocking chairs!
Continue on next to the colonial city of Granada for the evening.
This morning set out on a walking tour of the city of Granada. The oldest colonial city in all Central America, Granada was first founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. Though it has been sacked by pirates multiple times and undergone many civil wars, Granada boasts beautiful Spanish architecture, making it the must-see of Nicaragua. Explore San Francisco Convento Museum, one of the best in the region. Originally constructed in 1585, it was burnt by pirates and then later again by William Walker and recently restored in 1989. Inside you can see primitivist art, paper mache figurines depicting indigenous life, as well as the Zapatera Statuary, with black basalt statues carved between 800 and 1200 AD.
Explore also La Merced church, arguably the most beautiful in the city. Enjoy a climb to the belltower for an extra dollar! Also visit La Fortaleza, an old Spanish fort constructed in 1748 with the best view over the city! Spend the rest of your tour wandering around the main plaza, perhaps even take a horse-drawn buggy ride! Feel free to explore more museums as time allows.
This afternoon head to the shores of Lake Nicaragua for a boat tour of the tiny isletas offshore. Over 365 tiny islands were created by the eruption of Mombacho. Keep your eyes peeled for birds and other wildlife as you pass each island.
Day 4: Mombacho Volcano & Zip line Tour | On to Ometepe
This morning head to nearby Mombacho Volcano, an active volcano that last erupted in 1570. Hop into an army cargo vehicle which takes you up the steep climb on the brick road to the top where you find a small biological station. Feel free to get out and explore the small exhibits in the station. The top part of this volcano is home to a cloudforest, housing some endemic species of flora and fauna only found here. You can walk on the trails watching for wildlife, as well as find some lookouts allowing you to peer over into the now-forested craters below.
On your way down the volcano, stop to take the zip line tour at the base of Mombacho! Zip across this 1500-meter zip line course suspended by canopy platforms. The tour offers fantastic views of Mombacho cloudforest and the nearby Lake Nicaragua. The course contains fifteen platforms and a 25-meter-long rope bridge!
After the zip line adventure,drive to the town of San Jorge. From here board a ferry for the hour ride across the lake to Isla de Ometepe, one of the world's largest lake islands!
This morning enjoy an hour kayaking tour near Charco Verde. Keep your eyes peeled for birds and wildlife that inhabit the area.
This afternoon, embark on a bike ride around the island. Pass by small villages, banana plantations, and take in spectacular views of Concepcion and Madera Volcanoes.
The rest of your time you have the opportunity to explore the island's mysterious pre-colombian artifacts and petroglyphs dating back to around 2000 years ago. Visit the Ojo de Agua, Museo Numismatico, and Museo Altagracia during your time here. These small museums hold a lot of archeological treasures on display!
Day 6: Return Home
This morning you embark on the ferry back across the lake and continue on to Managua to connect with your flight home. Your flight must depart after 12 PM.
This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.