8 days in Nicaragua: Granada, Masaya, Ometepe and El Coco
Duration: 08 days / 07 nights
Location: Begins and ends at Managua International Airport.
Visit: Granada, Masaya, Mombacho Reserve, Ometepe Island and El Coco beach.
The Trails of the Caciques
Visit some of the most beautiful and unique destinations of Nicaragua, located in the ancient territories of Caciques Diriangen and Nicarao, two of the most powerful leaders in the Pacific of Nicaragua at the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadores in 1522.
- Stand on the edge of an active volcano at Masaya Volcano National Park.
- Discover the city of Granada, one of our colonial jewels and one of the oldest cities in America.
- Explore the Isletas, an archipelago of 365 islets on Lake Cocibolca.
- Enjoy great views of our volcanic landscape at the artisan town of Catarina.
- Marvel at the unique landscape of Ometepe, an island formed by two volcanoes located on Lake Cocibolca.
- Witness the massive arrival of turtles at La Flor Wildlife Refuge (July-January)
DAY 01 Airport – Granada
Reception at the airport. Transfer to the colonial city of Granada, one of the oldest cities in America, founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Cocibolca. Granada welcomes visitors with its colorful architecture, deep historical roots, mouth-watering cuisine, and friendly people. Check-in at the hotel. Free time in Granada.
DAY 02 Granada – Masaya – Granada
Breakfast at the hotel. We will start the day with a boat tour of Granada’s famous Isletas, an archipelago of more than 360 islets formed by an ancient volcanic explosion, just off the shore of Lake Cocibolca. While you listen to your guide’s commentary about the history of Lake Cocibolca, admire views of Mombacho Volcano and keep an eye out for native birds like tanagers, hawks, jays and warblers.
Then we will go to Masaya, known as the cradle of Nicaraguan folklore. We will visit Masaya Volcano National Park where we can go near the edge of an active crater by vehicle. Then we will go to the Handicraft Market, where you can find great souvenirs and beautiful crafts made of wood and ceramics, embroidery, hammocks, clothes and jewelry.
Back in Granada, we will visit the museum at San Francisco Convent, which houses an important collection of historical artifacts and paintings, like the 28 pre-Columbian statues from Zapatera Island, dating from the years 800 to 1200 AD. You will also have the chance to enjoy the city from a different perspective at the top of the bell tower of La Merced Church.
DAY 03 Granada – Mombacho – Ometepe
Breakfast at the hotel. Early transfer to Ometepe Island. On our way, we will visit Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve. We will drive from the tropical dry forest region, through coffee farms and into the cloud forest humid conditions. Arriving at the top, we will do the 1 Km trail, along which we will observe an unusual collection of orchids, ferns and butterflies. If the weather conditions are clear, we will enjoy fantastic views of Granada, the Isletas and the surrounding countryside.
We’ll continue to San Jorge to take the ferry to the stunning Ometepe Island, a Biosphere Reserve, known for its beautiful landscapes and biodiversity. In pre-Columbian times, indigenous northern tribes traveled to Central America looking for a paradise envisioned by its priests, a land formed by two hills. It was in Nicaragua where the promised paradise was found. Ometepe Island became a sanctuary which is proven by the huge number of petroglyphs, pottery and statues that can be in the area.
From a short distance, we can appreciate the beautiful and unique landscape of Concepcion and Maderas volcanoes. Once we arrive in Ometepe we’ll visit El Ceibo Museum, which houses an archeology collection and a numismatic room. Transfer to the hotel.
DAY 04 Ometepe Island
Breakfast at the hotel. You have two choices to choose from:
- Hike to Maderas Volcano: The hike takes approximately 8 hours. The humidity transforms the trail into a muddy, slippery path and sometimes you really have to climb instead of walk. Views during the Maderas hike are limited as you pass through the impenetrable cloud forest, with tree limbs covered in hanging bromeliads and lichens. From the top of the Maderas, you can descend to the crater lagoon. During the hike you might hear the calls of hidden birds and monkeys howling somewhere near.
- Hike to San Ramon Waterfall and Ojo de Agua: The cascade of San Ramon is a gorgeous 50-meter waterfall on the southern slope of Maderas volcano. A clearly marked trail takes you through dense jungle, passing by old trees covered in moss, vines and bromeliads. Howler monkeys live in this area, as well as a wide variety of birds, butterflies and other insects. Once you reach the waterfall, you can cool off in the small pool at its foot. Then, we will continue to Ojo de Agua, two natural swimming pools filled with thermal spring water from an underground well.
In the afternoon, you can enjoy a relaxing time on the beach.
DAY 05 Ometepe Island – El Coco
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we’ll visit El Porvenir farm where we can find mysterious petroglyphs that dated from pre-Columbian times, when the island was considered a very important ceremonial site. Then we’ll go to Charco Verde lagoon before taking the ferry back to San Jorge. Transfer to El Coco, one of the most beautiful beaches of Nicaragua.
DAY 06 El Coco / La Flor Wildlife Refugee
Breakfast at the hotel. Free day at the beach. During nesting season, we will do a night-tour to observe the turtles laying their eggs at La Flor Wildlife Refuge.
DAY 07 El Coco – Managua
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning to enjoy El Coco Beach. Transfer to Managua.
DAY 08 Managua – International Airport
Transfer to the airport according to your flight’s departure time.
- Private transportation in vehicle with air conditioning.
- Ferry to Ometepe Island
- 02 nights in Granada
- 02 nights in Ometepe Island
- 02 nights in Playa El Coco
- 01 night in Managua
- City Tour of Granada.
- Boat tour around the Islets.
- Visit to Masaya Volcano National Park
- Visit to Masaya’s Handicraft Market.
- Visit the Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve.
- Visit to El Ceibo Museum.
- Hiking Maderas Volcano OR Hiking to San Ramón waterfall and Ojo de Agua
- Visit to El Porvenir
- Visit to Charco Verde lagoon.
- Tour to La Flor Wildlife Refuge (During nesting season: July-January)
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