Central America Luxury Adventure (18 Days – 17 Nights )

Nicaragua and Costa Rica in luxury: start with Granada, our colonial gem and its surroundings, continue to Mukul, a treasure in the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua; : Culture, colonial architecture, native villages and beaches in Nicaragua; volcanoes, rain forest, extensive wildlife and more and different beaches in Costa Rica. Continue to Costa Rica and Arenal area via San Jose, with a magnificent tour on the way; take some wildlife tour from there and end up at Manuel Antonio national park and beaches. In Panama, visit the San Blas Islands, a laid back community located in the mid Caribbean. (You may instead choose Bocas del Toro, also with beautiful beaches, but more infrastructure and facilities).

day_1Day 1: Managua Airport – Managua

On your arrival at the International Airport in Managua, you will be transferred to the Hotel Contempo.

day_2Day 2: Managua – León Viejo – León City Tour

In the morning you will be greeted in your Hotel in Managua by our driver who will then transfer you north to your hotel “EL Convento” in León! On the way stop in a village to try the famous “Quesillo” (white cheese served in a tortilla, with onion and sour cream) and a “tiste” (juice made of corn juice). See the way tortillas are made in the kitchen! Then, visit to “Leon Viejo”, this was the first capital of Nicaragua. In December 2000, León Viejo was added to an exclusive list of less than 600 historical and archaeological sites recognized worldwide for their importance to human history. A visit will enable you to get to know a great deal of Nicaraguan History. Arrival & check-in at Hotel La Perla 3* sup, 1 Junior Suite, breakfasts (typical) & taxes included. In the afternoon, your guide will pick you up at the hotel for the Leon City Tour. Private Bilingual guide (Spanish-English), entrances fee & taxes included On this wonderful tour, you will visit one of the oldest colonial cities in Central America Leon. You will have the opportunity to visit the main churches of Leon. The Cathedral of Leon also known as (Cathedral Basilica of the assumption of Leon, and whose official name is Insigne and Real Basilica Cathedral of the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), here you will be able to climb the cathedrals tower for an amazing view of the city and surrounding volcanoes. You will also tour the magnificent Ortiz Gurdían Art Gallery which features many famous artists painting from Europe and Central America, this gallery is located in 2 colonial homes.

day_3Day 3: León – Masaya Active Volcano – Granada – Granada City Tour

After breakfast you will gather in the lobby for your driver, who will transfer you to Granada, the jewel of Nicaraguan cities!  On the way, stop in Masaya which is situated 14 Km north of Granada and 17 km south from Managua, the town of Masaya raises on the banks of the lake that has the same name. Start visiting the Nicaragua’s First National Park created in Nicaragua in 1979, one of Nicaragua’s most interesting and beautiful natural phenomena. It comprises an area of 54 km2 with more than 20 km of scenic roads and trails, leading to and around the one impressive volcano and five formidable craters; one of them currently displays gaseous activity and incandescent lava in its interior. You can also visit the Museum that offer interesting history and legends. Eventually arrive in Granada; arrival & check-in at Hotel Plaza Colon 3* sup, 1 Standard double room, breakfasts (a la carte) & taxes included. In the afternoon, you will gather in the lobby for the Granada City Tour. Private Bilingual guide (Spanish – English), horse drawn Carriage, entrances fee & taxes included. Granada City Tour: This wonderful outdoor experience begins when you are picked up at your hotel in a traditional Horse drawn Carriage. You will start with a visit to La Casa de los Tres Mundos art gallery a cultural academy, then the convent of San Francisco church, built in 1529 decorated with elegant paintings and pre- Columbian statues from Zapatera Island. Then you will visit Iglesia la Merced taking stars up the tower from where you will have great views of the city.., after Iglesias la Merced you will go to the Old Train Station that has just been restored located in front of Sandino Park. The last place you will visit is La Polvora, a fort where the Spanish stored dynamite and weapons in the 17th and 18th century to repel the attacks of English and French pirates.

day_4Day 4: Granada – Lake Nicaragua and the islands “Isletas”

After breakfast you will gather in the lobby for the Islander Day in Lake Nicaragua. You will be driven to Lake Nicaragua, once in the docks you will go in motor boat to see the most beautiful islands in Lake Nicaragua and their rich flora and fauna, discover some of the 356 islands “isletas”, a must see. On the way to a private Islet, enjoy a tour of the islands that were formed thousands years ago, after an eruption of nearby Mombacho volcano (now extinct). They are now covered with lush, tropical vegetation, some of them are inhabited by natives, others have vacation houses built on them, and others are still deserted. The inhabitants (“Isleños) live peacefully in simple yet decent conditions and dedicate themselves to fishing and small agriculture, and now to tourism too. Arrive in a private ecological island, enjoy lunch there and time at leisure (once in the island you can do kayak, swimming, bird watching and spend a relaxing day!), it is a truly paradise located amidst nature, in front of the Mombacho volcano. Transfer back to the marina in a motor boat. You will be back in Granada around 4.00 pm. Overnight at Hotel Plaza Colon 3* sup, 1 Standard double room, breakfasts (a la carte) & taxes included.

day_5Day 5:  Granada – Mombacho Nature Reserve Tour Visit the native markets and Indigenous Towns – Mukul, Tola Area
After breakfast our driver and guide will pick you up in the lobby of your hotel, you will go to Mombacho Nature Reserve. Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve: This is a 1400 meters high Volcano. It’s been extinct for many years now, and it is totally covered with vegetation. This has created a rich ecosystem where within it live 50 species of mammals, 174 species of birds, 30 of reptiles and 750 species of flora. A powerful truck will drive all the way to the top of the extinct volcano. We will go through coffee plantations to the cloud forest, which offers exceptional sites to discover its flora and fauna. From the top hike 1h30 around one of the craters in the lush cloud forest; the different lookouts set along the way boast incredible views to the crater, Granada, and the “Isletas” of Lake Nicaragua. Optional today: Hike El Crater Trail (1h30m) or the Tigrillo (3 hours) a more challenging hike that goes around the other crater and offer stunning views. A local guide will accompany you if you chose the Tigrillo as this path is less visited and you are in the jungle. After the Mombacho Reserve, you will visit Catarina, a small and characteristic village of Nicaragua where people work seedling nurseries, make handcraft and raise horses. Placed on top of the extict volcano 520 meters above sea level this presents a very agreeable climate. The temperature veries from 22 and 27 C° (72 & 77 F°) from here you can have a magnificent view of Apoyo lagoon, Mombacho volcano, Granada and Lake Nicaragua. After Catarina you will then transfer to the ancient highland villages of  “La Meseta” to visits the Mesa artisan’s workshops of San Juan de Oriente and Masatepe. All these precious towns have colonial period houses, churches and a hardworking native population. After your Masaya areas excursion, take the road toward south. The area of Tola is still quite unknown unlike its “sister area” San Juan del Sur located south, but boasts the country’s most pristine beaches. White and pink sands, tranquil bays… Accommodation in this newly added beach resort, and the most luxury hotel in Nicaragua. Spend the night at Mukul 5*, 1 Ocean View Bohio, breakfasts, hotel and sales taxes included.
day_6Day 6:  Free day in Mukul Resort, Tola Area

Day at leisure at this beautiful beach resort; time to having fun at a relaxing beach! Optional activities can be organized, such as: Surf rental or surf lessons, turtles watching, sailing trips, snorkeling, etc. Overnight at Hotel Mukul 5*, 1 Ocean View Bohio, breakfasts, hotel and sales taxes are included.

day_7

Day 7:  Mukul Resort, Tola Area – Managua

Morning at leisure at this beautiful beach resort; time to having fun at a relaxing beach! In the early afternoon your driver will meet you for transfer you to Managua. Arrival & check-in at Hotel Los Robles 3*, 1 double room, breakfasts, transportation & taxes included.

day_8Day 8: Managua Airport – San José, Costa Rica – Poas Volcano – La Paz waterfall and gardens – La Fortuna  

Today, you will be transferred to the International Airport to board your flight to Costa Rica with Nature Air. End of Nicaragua tour. Arrive in San Jose int’l airport. There, meet your bilingual driver to transfer north towards la Fortuna and Arenal volcano, via the mountains of the Central Valley. As we ascend in the mountains we will notice a change in temperature and vegetation; we will see coffee plantations as well as fern, flower and strawberry farms along the way, creating a beautiful array of colors and textures. Reach the Poás Volcano where we will not only admire the impressive main crater with its sulfur fumaroles, but also learn about the different ecosystems in this unique and protected national park. Arrive at La Paz Water Fall Garden, visit this property. Walk through a trail, leading to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the park we will also visit the hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden and the frog’s exhibit; to be enjoyed by those of all ages. Lunch included at La Paz. Continue the trip north. After scenery way in the mountains, reach the famous home of thick jungle and the Arenal volcano. Night at hotel Arenal Nayara 4* sup., DBL Casita Deluxe, breakfasts, transportation & taxes included.

day_9Day 9: Arenal – Rain Forest adventures

In the early morning you will be picked up at your hotel to enjoy an adventurous activity: the Sky Adventure, in the hills of Arenal rain forest. You will do three different activities in one solo day: Sky Walk; The cloud forest from a different perspective, enjoy this guided tour where you will learn all about the flora and fauna of the area walking through and over the treetops. The naturalist guide will make this gentle walk/hike (2h alternate walk in land and suspension bridges) very interesting, showing you the wildlife on the way. In Sky Tram explore the world famous Cloud Forest of Monteverde in a 5,249 feet ride that would lead you up to Costa Rica Continental Divide. Sky Trek: Zip in a tour full of adrenaline. Fly over the treetops through 10 different cables which in total make. 13,387 feet, with lengths reach 2,526 feet, and highs of even 460 feet.  (You also can do the bridges and/ or Sky Tram only and skip the ziplines). Night at hotel Arenal Nayara 4* sup.

day_10Day 10: la Fortuna – Caño Negro – Optional Tabacon hot springs

Today you will be collected at your hotel around 7.30am.  You will be transferred north to the Caño Negro wildlife refuge, from there take a boat touring the Rio Frio (“Cold River”). You will see lots of birds during the trip. Lunch included. You may also visit an iguana farm. This is a group tour today. Transfer back to Arenal, you will get there back around 3.30pm. Optional (not included): continue with a refreshing three hour thermal hot springs visit at Tabacon hot springs, an extraordinary natural site with hot springs and thermal waters from nearby volcano, with buffet dinner included. Just the perfect place to enjoy nature and relax after an active day! Night at hotel Arenal Nayara 4* sup.

day_11Day 11: la Fortuna Manuel Antonio

Your shuttle will pick you up in la Fortuna. Departure to Manuel Antonio. via the Coast and then the Pan-American Highway and locatedin the Mid Pacific. Manuel Antonio also hosts one of Costa Rica oldest and most famous national parks. Overnight at hotel Arenas del Mar 4* sup, Double Ocean View Superior room.

day_12Day 12: Manuel Antonio – Half day Manuel Antonio National Park  

Take a leisurely hike with a highly trained, well-educated Costa Rican naturalist guide through our exotic, bio-diverse tropical rain forest preserved in our 34 year old Manuel Antonio National Park.See how many different kinds of flora and fauna you can spot just in the span of a 2 ½ hour nature walk or hike. Snacks are offered during the tour, and guest may remain in the park after wards. Overnight at hotel Arenas del Mar 4* sup.

day_13Day 13: Manuel Antonio at leisure

Day at leisure at the beach., Enjoy your hotel Arenas del Mar, its main pool and beach side pool, and its beautiful beach. You may take a tour to rio Tarcoles to watch crocodiles. Overnight at hotel Arenas del Mar 4* sup.

day_14Day 14: Manuel Antonio – San Jose airport – Panama City

Today, departure from Manuel Antonio, to San Jose airport (SJO) for your flight to Panama (flight not included). End of Costa Rica tour. After your arrival to Panama, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to a city hotel by one of our representatives. Overnight at Las Clementinas, deluxe apartment with breakfast included.

day_15Day 15: San Blas Island

Early in the morning, you will be transferred from the hotel to the Albrook airport in Panama City for your departure flight to San Blas Islands. Upon arrival, you will be taken to a beautiful secluded lodge with three cabins, where you will enjoy an impressive ocean view right from your hammock. Overnight at Yandup Island Lodge, over-the-water bungalow with three daily meals included.

day_16Day 16: San Blas Island

Spend a free day at leisure, enjoying the pristine beaches of the islands, or sign up for any of the complimentary tours offered by the lodge. Get to know the Kuna culture and traditions, explore the underwater world while you snorkel or hike in the rainforest. Overnight at Yandup Island Lodge, over-the-water bungalow with three daily meals included.

day_17Day 17: Panama City Tour / Embera Village

You will be transferred to the airstrip for your return flight to Panama City. After your arrival, you will be taken to a Cultural tour: You will be taken to up north towards Lake Alajuela. There you will step into small boats, which will carry you up the Rio Chagres. A fascinating and dense jungle will accompany you on your boat trip. Upriver, you will step out of the dugout canoes and enjoy a short hike (can be a bit muddy) to a beautiful waterfall in midst of the rain forest. Enjoy this tropical paradise far away from any civilization, take a swim in the refreshing pool just beneath the waterfall and submerge in this true tropical getaway. Now you are ready to visit the village of the Embera Indians, one of seven indigenous tribes in Panama. The people of the Emberá tribe will welcome you at the pier and gladly give you an idea on how they still live today. The villages chief will give you a brief explication on the history of the tribe, its traditions, cultures, believes and handicrafts. Then, a traditional lunch of fish and plantains prepared by the Embera women will be served to you. In the afternoon you will experience a traditional Embera dance and have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts. The sale of local products directly benefits the village and helps to pay the school fees for the children. You can also get a temporary Embera tattoo painted on your arm or leg. Overnight at Las Clementinas, deluxe apartment with breakfast included.

Day 18: Departure

Transfer to the Tocumen International Airport for your departure flight. End of services!

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Sample Itineraries

Sample Itineraries