8 days in Nicaragua: Colonial and Volcanoes Route
Duration: 08 days / 07 nights
Location: Begins and ends at Managua International Airport.
Visit: the cities of Leon, Masaya and Granada; the volcanoes Cerro Negro, El Hoyo, Masaya, and Apoyo crater lagoon.
Colonial and Volcanoes Route
With this tour, you will explore some of the most interesting volcanoes of Nicaragua, that despite its proximity, show very different ecosystems. You will also discover the charming colonial cities of Leon and Granada.
- Enjoy amazing views of the Maribios volcano range.
- Hike the youngest volcano of Nicaragua and venture on a unique activity: Volcano Sandboarding at Cerro Negro.
- Hike to El Hoyo Volcano, easily recognizable for the giant sinkhole on its slope and marvel at its spectacular views over Lake Xolotlan, Momotombo volcano and Asososca lagoon.
- Go to the edge of an active crater by vehicle at Masaya Volcano National Park.
- Discover the city of Granada, one of the oldest cities in America.
- Explore the Isletas, an archipelago of 365 islets on Lake Cocibolca.
DAY 01 Managua
Greeting to your arrival at the airport. Check in at the hotel in Managua.
DAY 02 Managua – Leon
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the colonial city of Leon, founded in 1610. The city functioned as capital of Nicaragua on multiple times after the independence in 1821, and it played a major role on the country’s history.
After the check-in, we will visit the Cathedral of Leon, one of the most beautiful temples of the continent and the biggest one in Central America, recently declared as a World Heritage Site. This temple is the resting place of great Nicaraguans like the poets Ruben Dario and Salomon de la Selva. You will also have the chance to visit the Art Centre of Ortiz-Gurdian Foundation and the Ruben Dario Museum, located in the house where the great poet lived for 14 years.
DAY 03 Leon / Cerro Negro Volcano
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Cerro Negro volcano, the perfect destination for people who love adventure. Cerro Negro is the youngest volcano in Nicaragua and one of the smallest ones. This volcano is completely covered with rocks one on side and black sand on the other, which allows the practice of Volcano Sandboarding.
We begin with a hike from the base of the volcano on a rocky path. Each person will carry their board for the descent. Once we reached the top, you will have an amazing view of the Maribios volcano range and the crater. Then we will give you some pointers and make a small demonstration of how to handle the board. Going down the sandy slope is truly an adventure. After this amazing experience, we will return to Leon.
DAY 04 Leon / El Hoyo Volcano
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to El Hoyo volcano, which reaches 1088 meters in altitude. El Hoyo (The Hole) got its name from the giant sinkhole on its slope. It has two inactive round craters and active fumaroles.
We will drive from Leon in a 4×4 vehicle, going through the countryside, passing by some agricultural communities up to the ranger stating at the bottom of the volcanic complex Las Pilas – El Hoyo, where we will start hiking. Once at the top, we will get to see the sinkhole up-close and enjoy the amazing views over Lake Xolotlan, Momotombo Volcano, Asososca lagoon and the farming lands.
Transfer back to Leon.
DAY 05 Leon – Masaya – Granada
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Granada, the oldest city in the western hemisphere of the Americas, founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
On our way we will visit Masaya, known as the cradle of Nicaraguan folklore. First, we will visit Masaya Volcano National Park where we can go near the edge of an active crater by vehicle. Then we will continue to the Handicraft Market, where you can find great souvenirs and beautiful crafts made of wood and ceramics, embroidery, hammocks, clothes and jewelry. Arrival in Granada.
DAY 06 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.
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 07 Granada – Mombacho – Apoyo – Granada
After breakfast, we will go to 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.
Afterwards, we will continue to Apoyo lagoon, an ancient crater lake located in the dry tropical forest of Nicaragua, which is home to Howler monkeys and a variety of tropical birds. Here you can swim or kayak on the pristine waters of the lagoon. Whatever you choose, there is no doubt you will enjoy the tranquility of a very special place. Transfer back to Granada at the end of the day.
DAY 08 Granada – Airport
Transfer to the airport according to your flight’s departure time.
- Private transportation in vehicle with air conditioning.
- 01 night in Managua.
- 03 nights in Leon.
- 03 nights in Granada.
- City Tour of Leon.
- Sandboarding at Cerro Negro Volcano.
- Hike to El Hoyo Volcano.
- Visit to Masaya Volcano National Park.
- Visit to Masaya’s Handicraft Market.
- City tour of Granada.
- Visit to Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve.
- Visit to Apoyo crater lagoon.
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