Guanacaste – Peñas Blancas border – Masaya area and national park – Granada – Lake Nicaragua and islands “Isletas” – Border – Costa Rica
Trip Summary: For those having little time, this overnight tour from Guanacaste is without any doubt the best way to have a quick but interesting overlook of what Nicaragua has to offer. Native markets, an old colonial city, great Lake and hundreds of islands; this is a perfect combination, as Costa Rica doesn’t offer any similar places or activities! This tour is a mix of architecture, culture and eco-tourism.
Note: we can operate the “day tour to Nicaragua” from Guanacaste, however we don’t recommend it, the pace of this tour is way too fast and most of the time will be spent in a van…
Day 1: Costa Rica- Nicaragua – Granada (L)
Pick up in your hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, in the morning. Transfer to Peñas Blancas (border), we will provide support to get your passport stamped, etc. Continue
Your guide will pick you up in your hotel in Costa Rica. You will be transferred to the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua (1h45), get your passport stamped. Continue to Granada located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. On the way you will observe Ometepe Island and its two twin volcanoes.
Your tour will start visiting the ceramic manufacturers in the one of the white villages, “San Juan de Oriente”, the process did not change in the last decades.
Later stop at Catarina Lookout and its impressive views. Catarina is a small and characteristic village of Nicaragua where people work seedling nurseries, make handcraft and raise horses. Placed on top of a hill at 520 meters over the sea level, present a very agreeable climate, the temperature is between 22 and 27 degrees, from here you can have a magnificent view of the Apoyo lagoon, Mombacho volcano, Granada and Lake Nicaragua. Enjoy a typical lunch “a la plancha” in this beautiful and pleasant environment.
Artisans at work – Masaya active volcano
Continue to Masaya & its handicraft market, where you can admire and buy at reasonable prices unique pieces made by the locals, more than 150 shops offer all the items made in the area: wood, hammocks, leathers, ceramics, painting and much more.
Then we will visit the 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.
Continue to Granada, accommodation in your hotel in Granada.
Night at hotel Patio del Malinche 2* sup or Plaza Colon 3* sup
Granada is the oldest colonial city in the Americas, founded by the Spanish in 1524. Touring Granada will transport you back to the colonial times, with its classical and neo-classical buildings, its horse-drawn carriages!
Day 2: Granada city tour – Lake Nicaragua & Islands – Costa Rica (B. L)
After breakfast you will visit the city: The convent and Church San Francisco, now is a historical museum, after we will go to La Casa de los tres mundos: art gallery, and a cultural academy, we will visit Iglesia la Merced…. and much more. Get a traditional horseback carriage to Lake Nicaragua pulled by two horses and conducted by a local driver.
Granada City, streets and Old Convent San Francisco
Then, we’ll drive to Lake Nicaragua. You will go for a Boat Ride and discover Lake Nicaragua and some of its 356 islands “isletas”, a must see.
The islands “Isletas” 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. You will be able to observe some of the many species of tropical birds that live in the islands. The inhabitants (“Isleños”) live peacefully in simple yet decent conditions and dedicate themselves to fishing and small agriculture, and now to tourism too.
Enjoy a delicious lunch in a typical restaurant in front of Lake Nicaragua.
Life in Lake Nicaragua
Leave the city, continue to the border and back to Guanacaste, drop off at your hotel.
Package includes all the following:
- Transportation in deluxe van with a/c, days 1 and 2
- Entrance fees to all places mentioned in itinerary
- Boat ride
- Specialized guide in English and his expenses for the tours
- Lunch, days 1 and 2
- Taxes on services included
- Other expenses, purchases etc
- Taxes at the border
- Travel insurance