Nicaragua Volcano Vistas

Cloud forests, shade-grown coffee, Montibelli, El Jaguar, Matagalpa, and Selva Negra
Overview

overview

Enjoy an ecologically-sensitive exploration of the nature, scenery, and rural communities of Nicaragua accompanied by a superb local guide.  Most nights you will stay in small ecolodges located on or near organic, shade-grown coffee plantations which have become world models of sustainable management.  These are very pleasant and ecologically-rich environments in contrast to the industrial coffee farms in most of the world.  You will learn about the natural and cultural history of of Nicaragua by hiking on active volcanoes, exploring the native forests around the local coffee fincas, and traveling with local naturalists. Visit the old colonial city of Grenada renowned for its art, architecture, and fine dining. Expect good food, very friendly local people, surprising dedication to good environmental practices, and wonderful opportunities for nature and culture photography.   If you enjoy coffee, this trip will help you appreciate the virtues and significance of "organic," "shade-grown," and "fair trade" designations.  This is what Costa Rica was like 30 years ago. However you may imagine Nicaragua now, this trip will  change your view of the country and the people in a very favorable and postive way. And, you will feel good about supporting sustainable agricultural practices.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Managua/Montibelli
    Naturalist and bird expert

    On arrival at Managua Airport you will be met and transferred to the beautiful Montibelli Private Wildlife Reserve in the hills outside of Managua. You are free to hike the trails. Your dinner and overnight will be at the new Montibelli Ecolodge within the reserve.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Montibelli Ecolodge
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  • Day 2: Matagalpa/El Jaguar
    Juan Miguel Rizo, your guide

    Head out on a bird and nature hike early in the morning with the naturalist guide. Many of the 152 species of birds identified here are very difficult to see anywhere else, and you may be entertained by displaying manakins, motmots, toucans, trogons, or tanagers. At least 115 species of butterflies, 33 reptiles, and 30 species of mammals also inhabit the reserve. Depart after breakfast for a drive to Matagalpa in time for lunch. Visit the grave of legendary American philanthropist and child welfare advocate Benjamin Lindner, who was killed in an ambush by Contra guerillas. Continue on to Finca El Jaguar Ecolodge for your dinner and overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Finca El Jaguar Ecolodge
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  • Day 3: El Jaguar

    El Jaguar is a family run farm whose main goal is to produce high-quality, environmentally friendly coffee in harmony with nature and the local community. Their mission also includes protecting the biodiversity of 200 acres of cloud forest. Today you will enjoy a guided tour of the farm and sanctuary. Owners Lili and Georges Duriaux–Chavarría describe El Jaguar as an ecoadventure project, as there are also six hiking trails on the reserve. Stay overnight at El Jaguar.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    El Jaguar
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  • Days 4-5: Selva Negra
    Selva Negra Ecolodge

    After a final morning hike at El Jaguar, transfer via scenic road to Selva Negra. Accommodations at Selva Negra Mountain Resort are quite comfortable, and the food is excellent. The resort is the hospitality component of La Harmonia Coffee Estate, a state-of-the-art coffee farm which has won international prizes and acclaim for sustainable methods of producing environmentally-friendly, organic, shade-grown coffee.  You will be at an elevation of about 3,000 feet, which makes it cool here year-round. The forest holds resplendent quetzals, bellbirds, and numerous other species. You will enjoy a tour of the farm, school, and several hikes in the cloud forest.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Selva Negra
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  • Day 6: Granada
    Granada street

    After breakfast, drive several hours via the historic Ciudad Dario to the colonial city of Granada, on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, for a very different view of the country. You will see why Granada is a favorite destination and second home for Nicaraguans and foreign visitors. Enjoy a tour of this city filled with colorful buildings, attractive squares, and volcanic vistas. Enjoy dinner al fresco on the square or at one of the pedestrian malls.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel Dario
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  • Day 7: Volcano Mombacho/Lake Nicaragua
    Roberto D'Arce is your expert volcano guide.

    After a very early breakfast, you will be transferred to Volcano Mombacho, where you will be one of the first people to arrive! The top of the volcano offers a grand vista of Granada and the islet-dotted Lake Nicaragua. You will have the choice of participating in a 20 minute, two hour, or four hour hike, based on your ability and ambition. Next you will head for Lake Nicaragua, where your guide will hire a boat for an afternoon of exploring more than 300 islets.  You will have a picnic lunch on one of these many islands. Visit Fortress Island and observe the natural and cultural beauty of this tropical venetian setting.  Dinner will be your own at any of Granada's many wonderful restaurants before your overnight at Hotel Dario.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Dario
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  • Day 8: Masaya/Laguna de Apoyo
    Rim of Masaya Volcano

    In the morning, depart for a guided hike of one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes, Masaya Volcano. The national park that houses the volcano is Nicaragua's first and largest. Your guide will lead you on a spectacular hike based on your ambition, ability, and the current eruptive status of the volcano. You will be able to fully appreciate and photograph this steaming, belching behemoth. You might hike up past a massive vulture roosting area, or down an old lava flow to the shores of an old caldera lake. After your hike, you may choose to stop at the Masaya handicrafts market, usually considered the best place in Nicaragua to shop for traditional handicrafts such as leather, paintings, textiles, carvings, and jewelry. Continue on to Laguna de Apoyo Natural Reserve, which protects the ecosystems surrounding the 8,600 acre volcanic caldera lake. Howler monkeys and many species of birds inhabit the area. Your ecolodge accommodations at Posada La Buela on the shore of the lake offer a beautiful, friendly, and intimate natural setting for your final dinner of the trip.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Posada La Abuela
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  • Day 9: Depart or Extend to Rio San Juan
    Ecolodge at Laguna Apoyo.

    After a lakeside breakfast, transfer to the Managua Airport for your return flight to Costa Rica or home. Or, you may choose to extend your trip with some extra days in Granada or other areas of Nicaragua, such as the wildlife-filled jungle areas of the South.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,095
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:
$500
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:
2
Colonial style hotel, modern ecolodges
Group Size:
4-10
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
Colonial style hotel, modern ecolodges

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Southern Nicaragua Wildlife & Nature Lodge Extension

Duration: 4 days

This four-day extension to Southern Nicaragua gives you an up close and personal opportunity to enjoy the region’s fabulous views and unique wildlife. A guided motorboat trip up the Rio San Juan takes you past a jungle rich with exotic South Americ... read more

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