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Nicaragua and Costa Rica Holidays Granada Volcanoes Leon Montelimar

Nicaragua and Costa Rica Holidays

Nicaragua and Costa Rica holidays will allow you to combine wildlife and pristine rainforests, with beautiful colonial cites and culture.
 
Nicaragua is a land of lakes and volcanoes, of colonial richness, unspoilt beaches and pristine tropical forest. It is a unique and beautiful place, ideal for relaxing, exploring and adventure. With over six million people it is the largest country in Central America, and the capital Managua is the second largest city after Guatamala City. Despite its size, Nicaragua remains one of the area’s least visited and best preserved countries.
 
There is variety here, with something for everyone. The cities of Granada and Leon offer extraordinary colonial culture and architecture, as well as chaotic energy and buzz. They have outstanding art and museums, volcanic lagoons, exceptional food and university life. You can explore the hundreds of islands in one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world or climb one of the dozens of volcanoes and look over the edge. Check out the largest rainforest outside the Amazon, take a river boat ride all the way to the Caribbean or wonder at the ruins of a town once buried in volcanic ash for over 400 years. Then head to Montelimar beach on the Pacific coast for some relaxation.
 
Ethnic cultural and biodiversity, plus geographic drama and beauty instil Nicaragua with an excitement rarely equalled, so when you visit Central America please do not miss it.
 
For expert advice on Nicaragua and Costa Rica holidays, including Granada & its volcanoes, Leon and Montelimar, contact our friendly team on 01582 766 122 today. We can tailor make a holiday to your exact requirements.  Download our Central America brochure (PDF 0.5 Mb).
 
Selling Nicaragua and Costa Rica holidays for over 15 years.
ALL OUR NICARAGUA AND COSTA RICA HOLIDAYS, INCLUDING GRANADA VOLCANOES, LEON & MONTELIMAR, ARE FINANCIALLY PROTECTED wherever in the world you live.
 

More information on Nicaragua & Costa Rica holidays, including Granada & its volcanoes, Leon and Montelimar:
  
Granada is a beautiful, picture-postcard colonial city on the northern edge of Lake Nicaragua. Founded in 1524 it is said to be the first European city in the America and its Moorish and Andalusian style architecture mirrors its Spanish counterpart, after which it was named. It is full of museums, galleries, churches, restaurants and bars. At the centre of everything is the main plaza, Central Park, which is dominated by the cathedral.
 
Granada is not only an outstanding historical and cultural centre but it is also a foodies paradise. Among the many other attractions are the Mi Museum, a magnificent private collection of 5,000 pre-Columbian ceramics, and the oldest church in Central America, the Convento y Museo San Francisco. Established in 1585, it houses a convent and a superb museum which includes the Zapatera Statuary. This is a fascinating collection of black basalt statues dating from 800 to 1200, gathered from the ceremonial island of Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua. You also have to visit the Museo de Chocolate, where children (of all ages) can experience the whole ‘beans to bar’ process of producing the Nicaraguan chocolate which many of us enjoy.
 
The city has its own volcanic crater lagoons, the most famous of which, Apoyo is 4.4 miles wide. It is the largest in the country and ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The city is increasingly the country’s major tourist base, providing the ideal hub for a wide range of excursions. Chief among these is Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve. Just 6 miles south, the reserve offers great hiking on the volcano, canopy zip lining, horse riding and a fascinating tour of coffee plantation and production.
 
The lake itself is the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world and the only one with its own sharks. These are the famous Nicaraguan or Bull sharks, which are now protected. The fishing, water sports and beaches here are good and very popular. A must-see in the lake is Las Isletas. This amazing archipelago of 365 volcanic islands originated when Mombacho exploded long ago and deposited much of its cone into the water. It extends far into the lake and all the main islands offer their own attractions. These include a Spanish fort and a troupe of friendly wild spider monkeys. There are luxury hotels and houses on some of the islets, but most of the 1,200 inhabitants are fishermen. The birdlife here is spectacular. You can see hawks, herons, cormorants, parrots, vultures & many more. Take a boat trip, sail or hire a kayak to exploring these stunning islands.
 
By far the largest island in the lake is Ometepe, formed in a famous peanut shape when two volcanoes rose from the water. With an area of over 100 square miles and a population of 30,000 it is a largely self contained community, with the most traditional folk culture in Nicaragua. Ecotourism is well established, based on the exotic plant and wildlife and the astounding archaeology. Symbolic rock art in the form of petroglyphs (engraved rocks) from 300 BC abounds on the island with 1,700 discovered so far. Magnificent ceramic hoards have also been discovered. For a relaxing treat head for the laguna in the Charco Verde Nature Reserve.
 
Leon is the second largest city in Nicaragua. It matches Granada in colonial splendour but has more political and intellectual buzz. It is a university town resplendent with churches and cathedrals – and a non-stop night life. Like Granada it is named after its namesake in Spain and the two cities only stopped quarrelling about which was more important when Managua was made the country’s modern capital in 1858.
 
Of all its many churches, Leon Cathedral is the most impressive and the largest in Central America - a very solid construction which has withstood earthquakes, volcanoes and civil war bombings. The architectural styles and colours of the city’s churches vary widely and wandering around and comparing them makes for a fascinating walk. While you wander, check out the Art Deco style City Hall, merely one of a number of remarkable buildings, like the Posada Colonial, the Mena Theatre and the old Railway Station. Leon’s art galleries and museums are superb. Heading the list of must-see collections is the Fundacion Ortiz, with its spectacular hoard of Latin American art. There is also a wide range of Central American and international art on show at Centro de Arte Fundacion Ortiz Gurdian, reputedly the finest art museum in Nicaragua.
 
20 miles east are the Ruins of Leon Viejo, the original town founded in 1524. It was abandoned after a series of devastating earthquakes and only rediscovered in 1967. Because it lay covered in volcanic ash and debris, it is the only city in the Americas which has remained in its original state, unchanged by later city development. Do not miss this fascinating Pompeii-like World Heritage Site.
 
There is any number of trips available, including volcano hiking and for the more adventurous, volcano ‘boarding’, plus mangrove forest swimming and kayaking. One stand-out tour is to Herrideros de San Jacinto, the boiling mud pits and steam plumes on the side of the Telica Volcano. This spectacular geological sideshow is guided by young local boys and directly supports the local economy. There is a lot of environmental and social tourism in Leon, with proceeds going to all sorts of genuine local causes, so look out for them and support them when possible.
 
Managua, the capital city, is located in the west on the southern shore of Lake Managua. Home to over a third of the population, it has suffered from devastating earthquakes - and it shows. The city is sprawling and chaotic but it remains the heart of Nicaragua. It is also romantic and fascinating, with many attractions which make staying for a while well worth the effort. The Museum of Acahualinca, one of many in the city, houses the famous 6,000 year old footprints found in the mud of Lake Managua. The food is good and varied, from local Nicaraguan, French, seafood and sushi to some of the best steaks in the world.
 
There is even a Natural Reserve in the city, the Tiscapa Lagoon located in the crater of an extinct volcano. You can zip-line across the lagoon, enjoy the bars, shops and restaurants and take a canopy ride. At night you can see the beautiful illuminated fountain at the Ruben Dario Rotunda from the reserve. The new cathedral is near the Rotunda, with its unusual 63 mosque-like roof domes. This and the atmospheric shell of the original in Old Managua are local must-sees for those interested in church architecture.
 
Managua is the base for the incredible Masaya Volcano , just 13 miles to the south. It is the centrepiece of the first and largest Nicaraguan national park, one of 78 protected areas nationally, where you can literally look into two of the most accessible active volcanoes in the country. There is a little hiking involved but the crater views and geology are unforgettable. This is a truly exceptional trip during which you can also see it all at night after the magnificent sunset. And don’t forget to explore the underground tunnel of lava.
 
The Pacific beaches, like the famous Poneloya beach and Montelimar, are great fun and relatively undeveloped, but take care with the currents, which can be treacherous.
 
On the Caribbean Coast you will find the incredible Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. With an area of 7,700 square miles, this pristine rain forest occupies 15% of the country’s land. It is relatively unexplored with outstanding biodiversity: 700 bird species, a multiplicity of mammals including jaguar and puma, and 200,000 species of insects. The local tourist jewels are the Corn Islands, Little and Greater, lying 44 miles offshore. Here the tourists are second in importance to the lobsters but the thick jungle, pristine beaches and crystal clear waters more than compensate. Or take a trip on the majestic San Juan River, flowing for 120 miles east from Lake Nicaragua to the sea, dividing the country from Costa Rica. Before the Panama Canal was built, this was part of the route across Central America. You can explore the upper reaches or go all the way - and fly back if necessary – and the villages, people, their art and traditions will fascinate and captivate you.
A Week in Nicaragua
QPN7M
7 NIGHTS
FROM £1,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
This wonderful holiday to Nicaragua visits the colonial gem of Granada on Lake Nicaragua; beautiful Ometepe Island & the Isletas archipelago, before continuing via the Masaya Volcano to the city of Leon. Also visit Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve in the wetlands, before relaxing on Montelimar beach on the Pacific coast. All transfers & specified sightseeing with English-speaking guide included.
Holiday Nicaragua Granada Ometepe Isletas Leon Juan Venado Montelimar
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Holiday to Nicaragua
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Granada
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Ometepe Island
• 
Concepción & Maderas Volcanoes
• 
Isletas Archipelago
• 
Masaya Volcano
• 
Leon
• 
Rum Factory
• 
Juan Venado Nature Reserve
• 
Montelimar Beach
• 
Holiday to Nicaragua
• 
Granada
• 
Ometepe Island
• 
Concepción & Maderas Volcanoes
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Isletas Archipelago
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Masaya Volcano
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Leon
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Rum Factory
• 
Juan Venado Nature Reserve
• 
Montelimar Beach
Wildlife & Culture: Costa Rica + Nicaragua
RRN14S
14 NIGHTS
FROM £2,595
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Combine the wildlife of Costa Rica with the Spanish colonial culture of Nicagarua on this fascinating two-country holiday. Visit the Tortuguero Wetlands,  the rainforests of Arenal, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, Monteverde cloud forest & volcanic Rincon de la Vieja. Continue to picturesque Granada on Lake Nicaragua & Islets Archipelago. English speaking guide, all transfers & specified sightseeing  included.
Photo Costa Rica Nicaragua Granada Wildlife Colonial Culture
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San Jose
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Gold Museum
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Turtles & Birding
• 
Arenal Volcano Rainforests
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Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
• 
Monteverde Cloud Forest
• 
Rincon de la Vieja
• 
Granada
• 
Isletas Archipelago
• 
San Jose
• 
Gold Museum
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Turtles & Birding
• 
Arenal Volcano Rainforests
• 
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
• 
Monteverde Cloud Forest
• 
Rincon de la Vieja
• 
Granada
• 
Isletas Archipelago
3 Countries: Panama + Costa Rica + Nicaragua
QPA18P
18 NIGHTS
FROM £3,995
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Travelling with your own English-speaking guide, enjoy our amazing holidays to the Panama Canal, Costa Rica & Nicaragua. Visit the famous canal, ride  'Coast to Coast' on the Panama Railway & visit an indigenous tribe. Then fly to San Jose & visit Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde & Rincon de la Vieje, finishing in the beautiful colonial city of Granada. English speaking guide & all specified sightseeing included.
Holidays Panama Canal Costa Rica Nicaragua Arenal Tortuguero Granada
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Panama City & Panama Canal
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Embera Quera Tribe
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Panama Railway
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San Jose
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Arenal Volcano
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Monteverde
• 
Rincon de la Vieja
• 
Nicaragua
• 
Granada
• 
Panama City & Panama Canal
• 
Embera Quera Tribe
• 
Panama Railway
• 
San Jose
• 
Tortuguero National Park
• 
Arenal Volcano
• 
Monteverde
• 
Rincon de la Vieja
• 
Nicaragua
• 
Granada
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