12-Day Essence of Nicaragua
Product Code: 1113-25732


  • • Explore colonial Granada
  • • Seek out the revolutionary murals in Leon
  • • Chill out on the beach at San Juan del Sur
  • • Savour a typical meal at a rural farm
  • • Connect with your hosts in an Ometepe homestay experience.
Tour Code
12 days
Departure City
Granada, Nicaragua
End City
Granada, Nicaragua
Tour Type:

Experience: Historical, UNESCO, Nature, Backpacker

Encounter rich historical landmarks with expert guides; Visit locations designated as World Heritage Sites by the United Nations; Get in touch with Mother Earth; Geared to the "Get up and go!" traveler who wants to enjoy independent or semi-guided adventures

Style: Escorted

Tour director/guided escort is available from the beginning to the end of the vacation

Group Type: Small group

Take an intimate and semi-private trip with a small group

Activity Level: Moderate

Designed for travelers in good health who are comfortable with light walking or hiking

Quality: Standard

Travel with professional guides, enjoy more time at attractions and/or stay at comfortable accommodations

Day 01
Granada, Nicaragua

Home - Granada

Hotel: Hotel Chilamates or similar

Arrive in Granada at any time. Granada is approximately one hour from the Managua International Airport, and taxis are readily available to transfer you to the hotel. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Chilamates
Del supermercado La Colonia 1 cuadra al Sur
Tel: +505 2552-1428

Visiting Attractions

Day 02
Granada, Nicaragua


Granada is Nicaragua’s oldest and 3rd largest Spanish city, named after it’s Moorish counterpart in Spain. It retains its colonial character with traditional architecture and large cool patios inside of the older homes. In the evenings the rocking chairs come out and visiting time begins.

Visiting Attractions

Day 03
Granada, Nicaragua


Walking is probably the easiest way to see all the sights of Granada. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will give you an initial orientation walk around the city and then you will have plenty of time to explore in more depth. Stroll over to Casa de Los Leones for a glimpse of what’s going on this week culturally. There’s also a promenade, Centro Turistica, down by Lake Nicaragua, a 15 min walk from the central plaza. Travel down the city’s historic avenues to visit the impressive cathedral, the colourful market or the Convento de San Francisco, which was built in 1529. Today, the convent is a museum complex housing festival masks and a collection of 2,000-year old statues. Optional activities include a scenic boat trip or guided kayak excursion among the 365 little islands (isletas) of Lake Nicaragua.

Visiting Attractions

Day 04

Granada - León

Off to politically progressive Leon. You will have an included orientation walk around the city's core to get your bearings. This town was the nation’s capital from the colonial period until 1857 and is still the centre of much of the country’s cultural and intellectual activity. Nicaragua’s first University was founded here in 1912, for example. Leon is still the home to multiple universities, and when in session, you will see many students around town. Many well preserved Spanish colonial buildings and churches line the streets along with the cathedral, which is the largest in Central America. Construction began in 1747 and continued for one hundred years. Your orientation walk includes entrance to the rooftop of the cathedral where you'll see beautiful vistas of town and surroundings. The famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario is buried here, and the house where he grew up is now a museum on calle Central, three blocks west of the plaza. Considered one of Latin America’s greatest poets, he influenced Spanish literature in his time.

Day 05


There is always something interesting to do in Leon, whether it be a city tour, volcano boarding down Nicaragua’s youngest volcano Cerro Negro, or a trip to the nearby beaches of Poneloya and Las Penitas. If you’d prefer to just wander through the streets you’ll find several politically-charged murals depicting Nicaragua’s turbulent history and several good museums in the area, including one dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of the Sandinista movement.

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Approximate Distance: 140 km
Day 06

León - Ometepe Island(1B,1D)

From the town of San Jorge, we cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to arrive at Ometepe Island. The group will be split up amongst different families who will host them in their homes in a small community during their stay on the island. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the home.

Day 07

Ometepe Island(1B,1D)

This unspoiled island paradise formed out of the lava flowing in between two volcanoes, Maderas (1394m) and Concepcion (1610m), is a nature-lover’s dream with abundant wildlife and beauty. It is located in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, tenth largest freshwater lake in the world and home to the world’s only freshwater sharks. Take a walk through its lush forest for a chance to see howler monkeys and green parrots. Small villages around the island farm a variety of crops in the fertile volcanic soil including plantains, coffee, beans and tobacco. Fishing is another important industry on the island. While here, try hiking Maderas volcano (a tough but achievable hike), float in clear springs, relax and swim on the beach, or rent a bicycle to visit the small rural villages on this island. You can also view pre-Columbian petroglyphs or the small museum of indigenous artifacts in Altagracia.

Estimated Travel Time: 7 hours
Approximate Distance: 200 km
Day 08

Ometepe Island - San Juan del Sur

After taking the ferry back across Lake Nicaragua to the mainland, we catch a bus to low-key San Juan del Sur for some serious relaxation by the sea. Set on a stunning horseshoe shaped cove, this fishing village is the perfect place to combine two of Nicaragua’s best features – its beautiful beaches and its award-winning Flor de Cana rum! Here you can do as little or as much as you want to do.

Day 09

San Juan del Sur

Take surf lessons, try out your luck fishing, go zip-lining on the hills above San Juan del Sur, or just lounge on the beach! A short boat or taxi ride away, the deserted beaches of Playa Maderas and Majagual to the north and Playa Remanso to the south are calling out to be explored.

Day 10

San Juan del Sur

Enjoy your day in San Juan del Sur.

Day 11


Travel back to the city of Granada for one final day. Opt to visit nearby Masaya volcano, one of the most accessible volcanoes in the country. This active volcano is located within the 52 square kilometre Masaya Volcano National Park, established in 1979 as Nicaragua's first national park. Volcano Masaya is just one of two volcanoes situated within the park boundaries, the second being the Nindiri Volcano. The park's landscape is rocky with volcanic ash throughout. Wildlife inhabiting the park include coyotes, deer, iguanas, monkeys and the unique crater-dwelling parakeets who live in the toxic inner walls of the Santiago crater. Hike up the black, gravel trail and get a close-up view at the impressive crater, which continues to emit smoke and sulfur gases. Feel the gentle rumbling of this living volcano beneath your feet - what a way to cap off two weeks of adventure in Nicaragua!

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours
Approximate Distance: 80 km
Day 12


Depart Granada at any time.

The departure tax in Nicaragua is 35USD. Most, if not all, airlines now include the departure tax in the price of the ticket, so please check your ticket. There is a 2USD departure tax if leaving the country overland.
Please note that order of day-to-day itinerary is adjustable depending on tour start day.


Package Includes

  • Leon orientation walk including entrance to cathedral rooftop. Planeterra-supported homestay on Ometepe Island, with a local family. Beach time in San Juan del Sur. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners. (Allow USD240-320 for meals not included.)
  • Hotels (9 nts), homestay (2nts, possible shared facilities).
  • Public bus, private van, boat, ferry.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12

Package Excludes

  • Airfares or related transportation between your home and Granada.
  • All personal expenses including hotel room service and meals; however, you have the option to pay for meals that tour guide arranges
  • Allow USD290-390 for meals not included.
  • Gratuity for escort(optional).
Special Notes
  • Joining Hotel:
    Hotel Chilamates
    Del supermercado La Colonia 1 cuadra al Sur
    Tel: +505 2552-1428
  • Joining Instructions:
    To get to Granada from Managua's international airport, take one of the official airport taxis located outside of baggage claim. If you arrive during daylight hours it is also safe to exit the airport, walk across the crosswalk to the other side of the road and take one of the taxis waiting there. Official airport taxis cost US$45, and the ones across the road cost $10-15 less. The taxi ride is approximately 45 minutes from Managua to Granada.
    By public transport, you can take a taxi across town (airport taxis are approximately $17 and across the street they cost approximately $5 - always agree on the price beforehand) to the UCA. Mini-van shuttles leave for Granada every 10-15 minutes, 1 hour costs $1. The last shuttle leaves around 8pm. Shuttles will drop you off about 3 blocks from the hotel and taxis are available within Granada for approximately $0.60 if you choose not to walk.
    Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned.
    Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. The CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
  • In order to protect your own property, please bring any valuable items with you at any time. Please do not leave any valuable items on the bus/hotel/attraction/restaurant etc. Tours4fun, local operators, drivers and tour guides will not take any responsibility for any theft loss at any location.
  • This tour/activity is overseen by a select local operator in the region. Upon booking your tour or activity and after receiving confirmation, you will be issued an e-ticket detailing the local operator's name and contact information. If you require assistance finding a specific tour, please contact us for more information.

Pricing Info

Your reservation is always subject to confirmation by email, normally within one to two business days.

*Prices listed have been adjusted.

*Price for Single Occupancy applies when one person stays in one standard hotel room.
*price for Double Occupancy applies when two people stay in one standard hotel room respectively.
*Children under 12 years of age are not permitted on this tour.
*Child shares the same price as adult.
*Adult: 18 and older
*Child: 12-17
*Maximum room capacity: 2 people.
Please note that if you have booked the "Singel Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Days 6-7
*Please include the birth date of your children when booking.

Reservation Info

    1.Immediately after submitting your reservation you will receive a Receipt of Reservation via email.
    2. Within one to two business days of submitting your reservation you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you need to book an airline ticket, we recommend that you do so after you receive a confirmation of your tour reservation from us.
    3. An E-Ticket will be sent to you via email as soon as details of your reservation are confirmed or your supporting information is received by us. We will provide you with all detailed information about your tour on the E-Ticket. Contact information for local tour provider will be included on E-Ticket for your convenience or re-confirmation purpose if re-confirmation is required.
    4. Simply print your E-Ticket and present it with your valid photo ID on the day of your activity to your tour guide. Please remember E-Ticket is your proof of purchase.

Terms and Conditions

    - Your purchase does not guarantee confirmation. Your purchase will initiate a reservation process. We will confirm with you via email within one to two business days.
    - Prices may vary due to availability. We reserve the right to make price adjustment without prior notice.
    - Please refer to our Standard Amendment, Cancellation and Refund Policy before you make reservation.
    - Please refer to Customer Agreement before you make reservation.
    - Local tour provider reserves the right to make modifications to tour arrangements including order of tour activities, hotel and its location if deemed necessary.

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Departure Date:jul-01, 2017
Number of Travelers
Room 1
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