Three Gems of Nicaragua

Explore Granada, Las Isletas & Ometepe Island from three special lodge bases
Overview

overview

Slow down in the land of lakes and volcanoes as you settle into three different environments in south central and coastal Nicaragua. First, engage the rich cultural colonial heritage of Granada and the beauty of nearby Las Isletas. Then, venture further on Lake Nicaragua to the fertile volcanic island of Ometepe, with her dramatic twin peaks, where you can enjoy broad, palm-lined  beaches, abundant wildlife, lush waterfalls, hiking, horseback riding and an array of water activities. Punctuate your exploration on the Pacific coast. The accommodations on this trip are part of the allure, all small hotels that are exquisitely attuned to the environment, and committed to sustainability practices.  Two of them -- Jicaro Lodge is one of the isletas near Granada, and Morgan's Rock on the Pacific Coast -- are as rated with the most comfortable of all hotels in Central America.

Life in Nicaragua is unhurried, people are inordinately friendly, and the tourism scene is anything but slick. The locales of this itinerary contrast with JOURNEYS' Nicaragua Volcano Vistas which encompasses the mountainous center of the country; the two can be blended to create a lovely 12-14 day program.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Days 1-2: Granada, Masaya and the Pueblos Blancos
    Welcome to Managua.

    You'll be greeted on arrival at Managua's international airport. Depending on your arrival time, you will either transfer, one hour, to Granada, or overnight near the airport and transfer the next day.

    The colonial city of Granada is as picturesques and charming a town as you might find anywhere in the Americas. Founded in 1524, it is believed to be the oldest city established on the mainland by the Spanish. The central plaza is grand and full of life. The cathedrals, cafes, houses and storefronts are a palette of pastels. Part of your city tour will be in a horse-drawn carriage. Do not consider this an affectation. Throughout Nicaragua, this is still an essential transportation option.

    In addition to your orientation to Granada, you'll explore nearby Masaya - both the volcano with its belching crater, and the town which is known for its crafts. The town is one of a cluster known as Los Pueblos Blancos (the white villages), each with its own specific renown. Choose which most interest you. In San Juan de Oriente, you can observe a thousands-year old ceramics tradition. In Catarina, find the streets lined with small plant nurseries. In Diriomo learn about the traditions of black magic and folk healing.

     

     

    Lodging
    lovely hotel(s)
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  • Day 3: Granada / Las Isletas
    Enjoy the history and culture of Granada.

    Take your own time this morning to enjoy a stroll down the broad and beautiful boulevard that links Granada's central plaza with the shore of Lake Nicaragua.

    In the afternoon, board a private launch for the 20-minute ride among the picturesque isletas (little islands) to Jicaro Island Ecolodge with its spectacular views of the Mombacho Volcano across the lake.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jicaro Island Ecolodge
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  • Day 4: Las Isletas de Granada
    See all the sites of this fantastic city.

    Jicaro Eco-loge is your base today and there is a selection of activities that you can enjoy, including visiting other islands in the archipelago, birding and photography, fishing, and learning about the sustainability practices of this unique small hotel. Enjoy sunset over Lake Nicaragua from the pool, the dock or the watchtower. Savor award-winning cuisine prepared with the freshest local ingredients.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Jicaro Island Ecolodge
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  • Day 5: Mombacho Volcano / Ometepe Island
    Escape to Ometepe.

    Depart Jicaro this morning, and spend a half day exploring the environs around Mombacho Volcano. In contrast to Masaya's starkness, the slopes of Mombacho are deeply forested and full of wildlife. By early afternoon, arrive at the Lake Nicaragua ferry port at San Jorge for your crossing to Ometepe Island. The name Ometepe means "two hills" for the twin volcanoes that define the island. Separated by a narrow isthmus, each volcano has its own unique climate and vegetation. For centuries, Ometepe served as sanctuary to indigenous tribes searching for a safe homeland, as evidenced by the petroglyphs, pottery and scluptures that are being uncovered here. There is still a feeling of sanctuary in this quiet haven with its treats for history and archaeology lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    TOTOCO Eco-Lodge or beachside hotel
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  • Day 6: Ometepe Island
    Discover the hidden jewels of this tropical island.

    Today, enjoy the highlights of Ometepe, including the natural landscape formations and pre-Columbian relics. Visit Finca Magdalena community farm, the botanical paradise around Charco Verde lagoon, the natural water pool at Ojo de Agua, and the beach of Santo Domingo with views of both volcanoes.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    TOTOCO Eco-Lodge or beachside hotel
    Show on a map
  • Days 7-8: Pacific coast/Morgan's Rock
    Enjoy the bays and beaches of the southern Pacific coast.

    Return by ferry to the mainland and drive to the Pacific coast, where your first stop is San Juan del Sur, characterized by its brightly colored wooden homes and picturesque, crescent-shaped bay. 

    A half-hour drive up the coast by a well-maintained dirt road, takes you to the acclaimed, unique, hotel named Morgan's Rock. The hotel's fifteen cliffside bungalows are accessed from the dining area and pool via a lovely walking trail and suspension  bridge. Situated above a lovely bay and pristine beach, located within a nature reserve, the eco-lodge offers a wide array of activities, including kayaking through mangroves, biking, horseback riding, and fishing with locals on the open seas.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel Morgan's Rock
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  • Day 9: Managua
    Goodbye, Nicaragua.

    The drive to Managua today offers a fascinating view of life on the small farms and roadways that parallel the Pacific. Pass through the thriving town of Rivas and continue on to Managua.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,350
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in JOURNEYS' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$700
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
Charming Eco-lodges with wonderful views on water
Group Size:
4-8
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
Charming Eco-lodges with wonderful views on water

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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