Latin America Vacations
Nicaragua | Granada to Costa Esmeralda | Family
Zip-lining through rainforests, marveling at volcanoes and kayaking on Lake Nicaragua: this adventure has something for everyone!
7 days / 6 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
From kayaking along the Isletas of Lake Nicaragua to exploring the jungles surrounding Mombacho Volcano, this adventure will have you “oo-ing and ahh-ing” at every turn! Discovering Nicaragua’s first national park will give you the chance to observe a dormant volcano and an active volcano up close! Zip line just above the treetops in one of Nicaragua’s most beautiful nature reserves. Relax on the white sand beach at Morgan’s Rock, taking in the wide-open Pacific Ocean views. Take a shot at photographing the abundant wildlife of Ometepe Island. From ultimate relaxation to top-notch adventure, Nicaragua has what you’re searching for!
Home to countless volcanoes, a spectacular coastline, the two largest freshwater lakes in Central America and rainforests teeming with flora and fauna, it’s no wonder Nicaragua has been designated Central America’s hidden treasure. Join our expert guides as they unwrap the historical, cultural and natural intrigues of this stunning Latin American country on our carefully-crafted, seven-day itinerary that guarantees your youngest and oldest adventurers will fall in love with the sights, sounds, flavors and fun of Nicaragua. Of course there’s plenty of time for that hammock and cocktail for you, too!
- Discover Masaya Volcano National Park, home to a 54-square-kilometer caldera
- Kayak around the islands of Lake Nicaragua, stopping on a lush shore for a delicious lunch
- Hike around Mombacho Volcano, keeping an eye (and ear) out for howler monkeys
- Fly through the rainforest treetops on an exhilarating zip-line ride, with monkeys and birds as your companions
- Take a dip in “Ojo de Agua,” a natural spring with crystal-clear waters on Ometepe Island
- Sink your toes in soft sand, practice some yoga or simply kick back in a hammock once in awhile – after all, it’s your vacation, too!
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The volcanoes: While Masaya Volcano is still active, it's only had two lava flows since the 16th century. Who wouldn't want to explore it?
Ometepe Island: This unique bit of paradise in Lake Nicaragua is the largest island in a fresh water lake in the world.
The cuisine: Try Nicaragua's national dish, Gallo Pinto, which is made up of rice, beans and other local ingredients.
Managua, Nicaragua MGA
Managua, Nicaragua MGA
Arrival in Managua / Transfer to hotel
Today you will arrive in Managua’s International Airport. After completing the immigration formalities, our driver and English speaking tour guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport to transfer you to Granada, about an hour’s drive away, where you’ll arrive to Hotel Plaza Colón, your accommodation for three nights.
About Hotel Plaza Colon
Our Boutique Hotel is located in front of the main Plaza of colonial Granada. The colonial architecture and precious wood balconies oriented to the park are the main essence of the hotel. We have been welcoming international travelers for over ten years and are the only Hotel certified in sustainble practices by the Rainforest Alliance in the region.
Antique furniture, room service, and kind attention of the staff are just a part of your stay. A coffee shop and wine shop are within walking distance.
Granada / Masaya
No visit to Granada, one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, is complete without a tour of the city’s historic center. On your guided tour you travel both on foot and by traditional horse-drawn carriage to explore interesting sites including the San Francisco Church, San Francisco Convent, Merced Church and Xalteva Church. Next head for the ChocoMuseo to learn everything about chocolate and cacao. Your workshop covers the entire chocolate making process, starting from the cocoa bean (organic and from Nicaragua), and ending with your own handmade bar of chocolate! At the twilight hour, visit the Masaya Volcano and witness the wildlife at their most active time of day.
Granada / Mombacho
This morning, navigate the calm waters of Las Isletas on Lake Nicaragua, keeping an eye out for the different species of birds and wildlife that inhabit the lake and its surroundings. Pass by local fishing communities where you get a glimpse of their daily island life. After lunch and a drive to the top of Mombacho Volcano, we’ll explore the scientific station and Crater Trail on the lookout for howler and white face monkeys as well as sloths and the endemic Mombacho salamander in the dense cloud forest. Head down the mountain for an exhilarating zip line tour that features 11 zip lines and 17 platforms.
Isla de Ometepe
After breakfast, transfer to the port of San Jorge (1 hour, 45 min) to hop on a ferry to Isla de Ometepe. The island of Ometepe is situated in one of the world´s largest fresh water lakes, Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe has served as home to indigenous tribes and cultures for many centuries, of which the many pre-Columbian petroglyphs are silent witnesses. On arrival at the island, we start our adventurous tour of Ometepe’s natural treasures at Peña Inculta, a reserve where groups of white-faced and howler monkeys live.
Afterwards, visit the historical coffee hacienda Finca Magdalena, where you can get an insight into the process of organic coffee cultivation. Take a short hike to some petroglyphs (rock carvings) in the midst of nature. You can have lunch overlooking the beach and continue to Ojo de Agua, a natural pool where you can relax before heading back.
About Finca San Juan de la Isla
The San Juan de la Isla Lodge is located on the Island of Ometepe and is a great choice for visitors who wish to feel at one with the island nature and culture. Comfort, privacy, great lake and volcano views, authentic Nicaraguan hacienda style, a long sandy beach and warm water all invite the visitor to make San Juan de la Isla the first choice for a beach front lodge Ometepe Island. The volcano lodge’s beach-front location is the ideal base for swimming in Lake Nicaragua’s clean, warm waters. Other activities include hiking inside nature reserves, mountain biking, horseback riding and volcano climbing.
San Juan del Sur / Morgan’s Rock
Take the ferry back to San Jorge and head to your next destination at the Pacific Bay, San Juan del Sur. Once a quiet fishing village, San Juan del Sur has emerged into one of the country´s major beach destinations. Fortunately the town has maintained its charm and laid back atmosphere. San Juan del Sur is home to many hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs and offers great nightlife. The beaches are great for surfing almost year round; other activities include snorkeling, diving, sailing and whale-watching. You can do a canopy tour just outside the town and enjoy nice views of the surrounding landscapes. Also the protected La Flor beach and wildlife reserve should not be left out of any itinerary, especially for those who are keen to see marine turtles. Twenty minutes north of San Juan del Sur, Morgan’s Rock Ecolodge sits on a crescent-shaped beach and is the perfect place to spend unscheduled time playing or relaxing.
About Morgan’s Rock Ecolodge
Situated on a 4,000-acre sector of protected Nicaraguan jungle, Morgan’s Rock Ecolodge boasts the finest amenities available in the region. From homegrown breakfasts picked directly from the hotel garden to walks along the miles of white-sand beaches surrounding the resort, you’ll certainly be hard pressed to forget the incredible sights, sounds, and tastes you’re treated to at Morgan’s Rock. Guests are also invited to participate in the signature onsite experiences on offer ranging from surfing to fishing to hiking.
San Juan del Sur / Morgan’s Rock
Today can be spent however you see fit at the lodge. Perhaps you’d like to check out the private white sand beach, a place that calls for supreme relaxation; bring a book along, swim in the clear waters, or just take in the never-ending views from your beach towel. Take on a surfing lesson with a personal instructor, trained to teach you the basics of this intense sport. Paddle around an estuary by kayak, searching for hidden creatures in the surrounding trees. Grab a bike and get to know Morgan’s Rock Private Reserve on two wheels. Whatever you decide to do today, enjoy the beauty and adventure of Nicaragua!
Depending on your flight schedule, our private transportation will pick you up at your hotel and shuttle you to the International Airport in Managua (3 hours).
* This trip is operated in partnership with Vapues Tours.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Vapues Tours.
Arrival & Departure
Your trip begins with your arrival in Managua at Nicaragua’s Augusto César Sandino International Airport. Your pick up time will coordinate with your flight information. After passing through Customs and Immigration, take the left hand side exit and you will see a Vapues Tours/Austin Adventures representative, who will be holding a sign that says your name on it. Your guide will take you to your first night’s hotel, Hotel Plaza Colón, about an hour’s drive away in Granada. Your trip ends with a drop-off at the Managua International Airport three hours before your flight departure.
Hiking: Easy to moderate hikes ranging from 1 to 2.5 hours (approx. 1-3 miles).
Sightseeing: Enjoy the beautiful views at the top of Mombacho and Masaya volcanoes, in the city of Granada, and much more.
Kayaking: 2 to 3 hour kayaking tour among the islands of Lake Nicaragua. Guided and no experience necessary.
Zip Lining: Flight between the treetops. Equipment provided and no experience necessary.
“Other” activities: Morgan’s Rock and San Juan del Sur have many activities to choose from ranging from snorkeling to whale watching to surfing (and much more!). These activities are not included in the trip price and are considered an extra cost.
Vapues guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
Nicaragua, “the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes” is the largest country in Central America and has the lowest population density. The name Nicaragua comes from a combination of two words, “nicarao” and “agua”; the Nicarao are the Indian tribe that was occupying the shores of Lake Nicaragua when the Spaniards arrived in the 1500’s, and “Agua” is the Spanish word for water. Nicaragua’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to its designation as a biodiversity hotspot. Walk the attractive streets of San Juan del Sur lined with charming homes and store fronts built of wood painted in vibrant colors. Visit the “Mouth of Hell” as you experience a hike through Masaya Volcano National Park, the first national park of Nicaragua. Explore Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve, one of the 76 protected areas in Nicaragua with an active stratovolcano, which hasn’t shown any significant activity since its last eruption in 1570. Come explore Nicaragua with the experts in adventure travel!
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Meals are included as indicated in the daily itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- Meals as indicated by detailed itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- English-speaking, professional tour guide during guided tours.
- All transfers and transportation during the trip.
- All entrance fees for the visits as per description.
- Water on board for transfers and excursions.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, luggage tags, and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures/Vapues Tours guides/drivers.
- Tips for chamber maids, bellboys and local guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Meals not listed in itinerary.
- Tourist card entering Nicaragua (US $10.00 –subject to change).
- Extra activities at Morgan’s Rock.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Latin America Expert
Not sure what to expect when you get your boots on the ground—or bike on the road or paddle in the water—in that dream destination? Dan Austin would love to tell you. More than likely, he’s been there, done that, and then some. The founder and president of Austin Adventures, Dan is a boots-on-the-ground influencer in the company, helping guests, ensuring guides lead the way he would, and curating new trips by personally experiencing and evaluating every detail. While always happy to add to his list of 64 countries and counting, Dan most highly values helping guests experience their adventure in the most inspiring and energizing way possible.