Navigating Nicaragua's Volcanoes & Lakes

western Nicaragua adventure tour exciting activities
western Nicaragua adventure tour exciting activities
Navigating Nicaragua's Volcanoes & Lakes
Duration:
9
Days
Priced from:
2499.00
USD

Navigating Nicaragua's Volcanoes & Lakes

Trip Overview

(Biking, Hiking, Kayaking, Zip-lining and Sandboarding) The secret is out. The allure of Nicaragua is enticing travellers looking for a true adventure to discover this off the beaten path destination. The country boasts a dazzling landscape of rugged coasts and surf, verdant inland jungles, active and dormant volcanoes, colonial cities, warmly hospitable people and no tourist crowds. Navigate western Nicaragua by land, air and water on this 9-day adventure tour that combines exciting activities, awesome landscapes and intriguing culture. Hike up and surf down an active volcano, marvel at boiling mud formations and bat-filled lava tube caves and explore charming colonial towns and local artisan markets. Then kayak on a lake filled with lilypads and freshwater sharks, bike through indigenous settlements on a volcanic island and fly through a coffee farm by zip-line. For those of you who refuse to be tamed, this multi-sport vacation is the trip of a lifetime!

WOW FACTORS

  • Hike up and go volcano boarding down the active Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America
  • Kayak between hundreds of lava isletas on Lake Nicaragua amongst giant lily-pads and exotic water birds
  • Bike between indigenous settlements on Isla Omatepe after zip-lining through a dense jungle of coffee trees

    View a Nicaragua trip video here.

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Questions?

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Managua
Arrival
Our Nicaragua tour begins. Upon arrival into Managua International Airport a BikeHike Adventures representative will greet you and transfer you to a comfortable hotel in the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Nicaragua's bustling capital city. There will be a brief orientation at some point today, but the extensive orientation will be once the whole group is together.

Meals: none

Day 2

León
City Tour
We begin the journey with a drive to the colonial city of León. Founded in 1524, León is the site of Central America's largest cathedral and is famous for its colonial charm. After some time to explore the city and a typical lunch near the lively central park we get our first taste of volcanic activity with a visit to the boiling mud holes at San Jacinto. We return to our hotel in León in late afternoon and have a free evening to explore.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

León - Cerro Negro Volcano
Hiking & Sandboarding
In 1992, Cerro Negro Volcano buried León in ash and sand reminding the city of the uncertainty of living near volcanoes. Its most recent eruption came in 1998. Following breakfast, we drive to the base of the volcano and begin the climb up to the top of Cerro Negro Volcano. There will be a chance to look into the mouth of this active volcano and enjoy the spectacular views before beginning a much quicker and exciting decent. Sitting or standing on sand boards are the quickest way down, but just walking down the sand slopes is also exhilarating. From here we return to León for lunch. The plan for the afternoon is a short drive to the Pacific coast for an afternoon on the beach. Total duration of climbing and sandboarding 4 hours. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Masaya Volcano National Park - Granada
Hiking
A visit to the Masaya Volcano National Park and the surrounding area is our route today as we travel south leaving León and heading to Granada. The park is Nicaragua’s first and measures 54 sq km / 34 sq mi. The 5 craters of the volcano and lunar landscape make for a great day of hiking. A large variety of volcanic features abound to be explored, including bat-filled lava tube caves where archaeologists have discovered skeletons from seemingly pre-Colombian sacrifices. The town of Masaya contains markets of "Artesanias"-or locally handcrafted items, ranging from hammocks to rocking chairs to items crafted from clay, stone, glass and pewter, among other things. The day ends in the colonial port city of Granada.

Hiking 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

Granada - Lake Nicaragua
Sea Kayaking
At the northern end of Lake Nicaragua hundreds of lava isletas play host to important nesting and roosting sites for thousands of cormorants and other water birds that live on the lake. This morning we sea kayak through these isletas and enjoy a unique bird watching experience. The Mombacho Volcano shadows these isletas, and this will be our first glimpse of the two volcanoes of Isla Ometepe, rising in the distance. Another evening in Granada allows us to enjoy the colonial atmosphere.

Kayaking 2 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Mombacho Volcano - Isla Ometepe
Zip-lining & Biking
The Cutirre Farm, outside Granada, is a working coffee farm perched high on the slopes of the Mombacho Volcano. There is a canopy tour here, set high in the treetops above the deep green of coffee plants. From the forest canopy we'll have a bird's eye view of the huge ciebas, mountain cedars, and guyabones trees that make up the shade for the plantation below. After receiving an in-depth safety talk and being fitted with harnesses and gloves, the adventure begins. Traveling between platforms along zip lines give us the rare opportunity of viewing the world as the monkeys and birds do. Afterwards we continue south to Isla Ometepe. We have a one hour ferry ride to the island, and then we mount our bikes for the first time. We ride gritty gravel roads for 25 km / 16 mi, right in between the 2 volcanoes to Santo Domingo, on the east side of the island. This is our resting place for the evening. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Isla Ometepe
Biking
Ometepe is the largest island in Lake Nicaragua, and is made up of the two volcanoes Concepcion and Madera and the bridge of lava that connects them. It is ideal for mountain biking and a ride around the volcanoes makes for a challenging day of biking. The route passes through several indigenous settlements and offers great views of the lake and the chance to see monkeys and a variety of birdlife.

Biking  42 km / 26 mi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Moyagalpa - Granada
Biking
The final leg of the physical journey begins with a 45 km / 28 mi mountain bike ride to Moyogalpa. Here we board the ferry and return to the mainland. We'll transfer back to Granada for our last night in Nicaragua. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

Managua
Departure
You'll be transferred to the international Airport in Managua to connect with your return flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

NOTE about Ascent/Descent numbers: 
The ascent/descent numbers are usually generated using Ride with GPS. The numbers are TOTAL ascent/descent for the day and these numbers do not suggest altitude. There are usually multiple small ascents and descents added up throughout the day to reach this total ascent/descent for the day. (While our numbers are generally consistent with Ride with GPS, depending on the mapping technology used, numbers may vary).

 

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), mountain bikes, sea kayaks, airport transfers, internal transportation and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare, gratuities, airport departure taxes, meals not included and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel: 8 Nights

Trip Facts

Weather in Nicaragua

Nicaragua observes a tropical climate. There are two main seasons (dry and rainy). The dry season (January - June) is marked by virtually no rain. Rains returns in June and July, rejuvenating plants and trees. August and September experience daily heavy rains for short periods. More rain experience in the east.

Nicaragua has three temperature zones.

The lowlands (Pacific and Atlantic coast) vary between 72°F and 86°F (22°C - 30°C).
May temperatures commonly reach 100°F (38°C).

Central Nicaragua is typically between 62°F and 76°F (17°C - 24°C).

The northern mountain regions 54°F and 68°F (12°C - 20°C). 

Travel Documents

To enter Nicaragua, you must hold a current passport valid for six months beyond your date of departure. Citizens of Canada, the US and the UK do not require a travel visa to enter Costa Rica. Visa requirements vary from country to country. Check with your local Costa Rican consulate for current requirements.

Food and Water

Recommended dishes include gallo pinto (a breakfast food consisting of fried rice, red beans, garlic and spices), nacatamal (dough filled with pork, rice, potatoes, sweet pepper and spices cooked inside plantain leaves) and indio viejo (meat prepared with onions, garlic, sweet pepper and tomato paired with tortillas in broth). It is best to drink only treated or bottled water while visiting Nicaragua. Bottled water, soft drinks, fresh juices and beer are readily available.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “moderate” trip. These trips include 4-5 hours of physical activity throughout the day, with many breaks along the way. The biking portions of BikeHike Adventure’s trips are the most cardiovascular portions of the trips, but there are always support vehicles available on our BikeHike trips. During the biking section, our travellers don’t have to carry anything on their backs as any packs can be carried in the support vehicle.  During the hiking portions of the trip, the most you would have to carry on your back is a daypack.

Has this trip been run before?

BikeHike Adventures has been operating since 1994. 

The logistics of organizing tours to remote corners of the world can be very complex. Our trip development department spends long hours researching destinations, routes, ground operations and equipment. All itineraries are screened without clients before they are added to our growing repertoire of adventures. Nothing is untested. 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. A typical trip is comprised of men and women in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 35-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well.

Will I require vaccinations to travel to Nicaragua?

We cannot give official medical advice. We advise you to contact your nearest travel clinic for updated information on health requirements, because this information can and does change frequently. You should plan ahead for your inoculations, as some of them require 30 days to take affect. Some shots cause mild reactions (fatigue to mild fever and nausea) and may require more than one dose over a period of weeks.

A great resource site is the Centre of Disease Control at www.cdc. gov.

Is it possible to use foreign cell phones or wifi while traveling in Nicaragua?

Yes, wifi and cell reception is available in most areas, mainly in the cities. However, while hiking and biking, there are perhaps a few areas where cell reception is unavailable. Most hotels are equipped with wifi. 

Is there a support vehicle?

Yes. The support vehicle will carry all the necessary equipment including bikes and all our personal equipment. Your gear will be in the vehicle at all times, so you are only expected to carry a daypack at any given time.

Which airport do we fly in and out of for this trip?

Managua. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip and depart anytime on day 9.

Can you tell me more about the activities?

Sea Kayaking

The sea kayak portion of the trip takes place in tandem and single sit on top kayaks on Lake Nicaragua. It is a leisurely paddle through lava islands with plenty of opportunity to see the daily activities of the locals. Previous paddle experience is not necessary.

Biking

The biking on Ometepe Island is all on paved and rocky dirt roads around the island. Expect undulating roads through small villages along the coast. There will be one or two guides with you and a support vehicle shadowing the route carrying all the nuts and bolts to make for a hassle free experience. You are encouraged to cycle at the speed you are most comfortable with and to not push over your own limits.

Zip-lining

Donned in harnesses, helmets and gloves, we traverse along cables perched high in the forest canopy. We whisk from platform to platform with a rush of adrenaline and our expert guides safely slow us down on the other end. There are 12 platforms, a high wire walk and an exciting and fast rappel at the end.

Hiking

The hiking portion is merely day tripping, carrying no more than a daypack containing a jacket, water bottle, snacks and camera.

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Many of our travellers (both men and women) join as singles. On average, BikeHike groups are 75% single travellers and 25% couples. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip children friendly?

While most of our trips are created with adults in mind, many of our itineraries are suitable for strong and active teenagers. This trip is generally not a family focused trip for young children but teenagers would enjoy it. However, we do offer many Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children as young as six.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. This includes accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS

In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels, bungalows, and haciendas that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

Adventure Dates

  • Dec 26 - Jan 03, 2020
  • Jan 25 - Feb 02, 2020
  • Mar 14 - Mar 22, 2020
  • Nov 21 - Nov 29, 2020
  • Dec 24 - Jan 01, 2021
Don't See Dates That Work for You?
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
2499.00
USD
per person

No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

Are You Organizing a Group Trip?
Discover our private group discounts

Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity Distance Lodging Meals
1
Managua
Arrival
Hotel
2
León
City Tour
Hotel
b,
l
3
León - Cerro Negro Volcano
Hiking & Sandboarding
4 hours
Hotel
b,
l,
d
4
Masaya Volcano National Park - Granada
Hiking
2 hours
Hotel
b,
l
5
Granada - Lake Nicaragua
Sea Kayaking
2 hours
Hotel
b,
d
6
Mombacho Volcano - Isla Ometepe
Zip-lining & Biking
Biking 26 km
16 mi
Hotel
b,
l
7
Isla Ometepe
Biking
42 km
26 mi
Hotel
b,
l,
d
8
Moyagalpa - Granada
Biking
45 km
28 mi
Hotel
b,
d
9
Managua
Departure
b

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BG
Bee G
November 20, 2016

Organization was stunningly good especially for a less developed tourist country; precise, smooth. cannot say enough good things about Pedro and Carlos our driver:) I truly enjoyed every aspect of our time. Perhaps, if pressed, I would choose highlights as the variety....of activities; and of areas explored. I am thrilled on all fronts; and would happily travel again with your firm.

Duncan, BC, Canada
AB
Allison B
November 21, 2011

Mike was the best guide I have ever had. He was absolutely sensational. His experience made me feel safe. He anticipated needs of the group. He was flexible. He has the most incredible attitude and I now have a frame on my desk that says, "See opportunity in every obstacle". He renewed my belief in that statement. He is a wonderful guide and a wonderful man.

Toronto, Canada
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