Cultural & Natural Escape

Day #1:

Remark: Please arrive early to the border of Costa Rica & Nicaragua

Once through immigration you will meet your local guide.  You will then walk 100 meters (with your luggage) to the Nicaraguan border where you will go through Nicaragua immigration. (this procedure takes from 30 minutes to 1 hour).

Afterwards you will have a land transfer to the Santa Fe bridge (10 Km) and then continue the adventure by private boat to El Castillo Town. (1 hour)

Lunch at Local Restaurant.  After lunch a visit to El Castillo Fortress

El Castillo

Escorted by a guide from the Castillo, you will visit and interact with the people of the zone. The guide will explain about the customs, gastronomy & myths. Visit the historic fortress El Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepcion.  Built by the Spanish in the 18th century to defend the land from English pirates.

Enjoy the travel on the San Juan River. Keep your eyes open because you will see jumping great tarpons, herons, alligators, cormorant and pink birds (Espatulas Rosadas).

At Night, you will have a Caimans Night Tour with Bilingual Local Guide

Caiman Night Tour

Enjoy this unique experience of searching caiman under the moonlight and accompanied by only a specialist guide.

In the darkness and melody that Rio San Juan nightlife offers you the opportunity to discover, with just a spotlight, alligators by the color of their eyes, plus all the features of their habitat.

Dinner at Local Restaurant


**Overnight at Luna del Rio Hotel, El Castillo
   Standard Rooms for Two (02) Nights
   Breakfast & Taxes Included

Luna del Rio Eco-Lodge opened its doors on September 2013 and is located on the banks of Rio San Juan, at the historic village of El Castillo. This eco-lodge was built by Marga, a Spanish lady who fell in love with the area when working with the Spanish cooperation agency in 2005. Luna del Rio work was done with the clear and solid objective of preserving the rainforest.  Important initiatives have been led with the intention to promote environmental and cultural sensitivity amongst the tourist that visit the property.  Five rooms equipped with private bathrooms, fans, air conditioning units and hot water. Some of them offer fantastic views of the river, while the other rooms will delight guests with views of the village and the Fortress.

Luna del Rio Eco-Lodge offers access to many different attractions in the area, including Indio Maíz Reserve, which is a must when visiting Rio San Juan.

Day #2:

The Indio Maíz Biological Reserve is considered one of the best preserved natural reserves in Nicaragua. The area is located in the southeast corner of the country, bordering the San Juan River. The reserve encompasses 3,180 km², and is home to a wide variety of rainforest animals.

Among the animals that live in the forest are hundreds of different bird species, including toucans, hummingbirds, macaws, parrots, and many other spectacular, colorful species. The reserve is also inhabited by beautiful mammals like deer, sloths, wild boars, pumas, jaguars, pacas, foxes, and even one spectacular aquatic mammal: manatees.

The Indio Maíz Reserve is situated right next to Bartola River, and from the boat it is possible to spot beautiful animals and enjoy the impressive forest. Many birds can be easily seen when traveling up the river by boat, and it is not uncommon to see dozens of different species during one trip.

Lunch Picnic at the Reserve, and then continue by boat to the organic cocoa farm.  Your guide will explain the process and give you a taste of the cocoa fruit.

Afterwards, we will go to the cocoa Cooperative El Castillo, where you will see the export process of cocoa and chocolate. To finish, you will enjoy tasting chocolate.

Day #3:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • 09:00 Hrs. Private Boat transfer from El Castillo to San Carlos
  • 10:30 Hrs. Private Guided transfer (land transfer) from San Carlos to Granada City (6 hours approx…)
  • 16:30 Hrs. arrival to Granada

Rest of the day at Leisure


**Overnight at Real La Merced Hotel, Granada
   Standard Rooms for Four (04) Nights
   Breakfast & Taxes Included

 The hotel is in the neoclassical style with columns, arches and moldings, it was called “Caesar’s household”.  Later the building was taken over by the Chamorro family for a short time, before being acquired by the Zampieri family (Casa Zampieri) until 2014. This family, of Italian origin, added the first pool in Granada.

This property blends the grandeur of the past with all the comfort advantages of modern day.  The reconstruction of the building was carefully planned respecting the original plan and proportions.  A second floor was added to the back of the mansion identical to the original style, plus all the mechanisms of climate services and connectivity of a hotel of international quality. The new owners, since 2012 have overcome “the violence of time” and rebuilt one of the most beautiful and representative mansions of Granada, whose majestic presence highlights the intercession of the Real Street and Avenue September 14.

The furniture in the social areas are antiques, purchased from collectors and local families to recreate the original spirit of the house. The lamps, ceiling and doors are replicas of the originals.

Hotel Real La Merced has 18 rooms that are fully equipped, private pool, breakfast, and gym. Every room has: Tv Cable, Internet + Wifi, Hot water bathrooms, Air Conditioning.

Day #4:

The Masaya Volcano is Nicaragua’s first national park in the country, established in 1979. The park includes a beautiful volcanic lake known as the “Masaya lagoon”. Upon arrival, we will witness the influence the volcanic activities have had in the shaping of this zone. Only ten minutes from the entrance we will be able to visit the environmental interpretation center, a museum where we can see a model of the park and paintings of Nicaraguan artists concerning the history of the volcano. Learn about the tectonic plates and volcanic regions of the planet. We will learn about the flora and fauna of this wildlife refuge. We will continue our trip to the summit, where we will get out of our vehicle and walk a few steps to see the Santiago crater, active since 1946.

Just fifteen minutes away we will visit the Masaya arts and crafts market for local ceramics, hammocks wood and leather souvenirs.

Transfer to Granada to have lunch and then continue with the City Tour.

The Colonial city of Granada was founded by Captain Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in the year 1524, it was founded next to the Mombacho volcano and the great lake of Nicaragua. Named after the city of Granada in Spain, this city has plenty of colonial churches, narrow streets and large homes with beautiful indoor patios, tiled roofs and pretty colonial colors.

We will meet in the main plaza for our walking tour of the surrounding area. You will see “La Merced” church, the famous “Casa de Los Tres Mundos” and the San Francisco convent.  Here, we will have the opportunity to see and take pictures of mysterious idols made by our ancestors.  This is an impressive collection of genuine pre-Columbian sculptures in human and animal shapes. Due to the historical and cultural value of the city, it is in the process of being declared a World Heritage Site of by UNESCO.

You will finish your day with a relaxing boat ride (45 minutes) around some of the islands, formed by the impressive Mombacho volcano. You will see the volcanic evidence and influence of the area. Enjoy great landscape views and wildlife and of course have a chance to take pictures

Day #5:

Today you will head to Mombacho Volcano for a nature walk.

For this adventure we will travel to the foot of the mountain to meet up with the park keepers. We will board our 4-wheel drive vehicles and start our way up to the top. The adventure begins on a paved road and right from the start we will be surprised by the biodiversity of this natural reserve. When we reach the summit, we will understand why this ecosystem is a cloud forest. The park keeper will give instructions to everyone so we can enjoy our visit. We will then take the trails of the volcano (For approximately 1:45 Minutes) to learn about the flora, the fauna, the ancient people who lived there and the Vulcanology of the area. If the day is clear enough, we will visit an impressive viewpoint to observe the plain pacific region of Nicaragua.

Right after we will begin the Canopy Tour!  Qualified staff will assist us with all the necessary equipment. After we gear up we will be driven to the starting point where instructions and safety measures will be provided in detail by the staff members. We will then be ready to take one of the most exciting excursions in Nicaragua, the canopy tour. Canopy is an English word that refers to the top of the tree which is where the adventure actually takes place. You slide on cables that connect platforms located at the very top of enormous trees. We will be assisted the whole trip so we can enjoy this experience in comfort and safety. As we slide from platform to platform, we can admire the wonderful sights of the surrounding exuberant nature.

Our guide will let us know when it is time to board the vehicle that will transport us back to the foot of the mountain. Considered a moderate hike and for the zip line you only need the spirit of adventure.

Lunch will be served at Casa Hacienda in between activities. (First the canopy then the hike)

After Lunch you will visit San Juan de Oriente & Catarina Towns.  Here you find beautiful arts and crafts and nurseries with beautiful flowers. We will also see the view from Catarina of the surrounding water and volcano landscape and get to know the Nicaraguan’s character, personality and way of life. In San Juan de Oriente you will visit a local house to see how they work the ceramic with their hands.

Day #6:

D´Santos Hotel Boutique & Wildlife Reserve, since 1870 the Rapaccioli family began with coffee growing. These pioneers of the area were awarded with a prestigious Dutch certification for their responsible coffee production.

Strolling along the easy paths of the reserve with your naturalist tour guide will be just the beginning of a fascinating experience. You will learn about the traditional ways of cultivating shaded coffee, about the species of plants and their relationship with the fauna of the area. Keep your eyes open for iguanas, small mammals as well as dazzling butterflies and a large variety of birds like woodpeckers, manakins and our national bird motmot.

Having experienced the tropical forest, a delicious traditional lunch will be served at a beautiful Palapa.

After Lunch transfer back to Granada and rest of the afternoon at Leisure.

Day #7:

Prívate Guide Transfer Granada to International Airport (1 hour)


  • Total of Two (02) nights at Luna del Rio Hotel, El Castillo, Rio San Juan
  • Total of Four (04) nights at Real La Merced Hotel, Granada
  • Breakfast: 06
  • Lunch: 05
  • Dinner: 02
  • All Private Transportation by Boat & Land Transfer
  • Private Transfer by land from Tablillas to Santa Fe bridge
  • Private Transfer by Boat from Santa Fe bridge to San Carlos Town
  • Tour of the Town & Fortress & Caimans Night Tour
  • Tour Indio Maiz Reserve “Bartola Trail” & Cacao Tour
  • Private Transfer by Boat from El Castillo Town to San Carlos Port
  • Private Guided Transfer (by land) from San Carlos Port to Granada
  • Full Day Tour Masaya Volcano, Artisan Market, Granada City & Islets Boat Trip
  • Full Day Tour Mombacho Volcano “The Crater Trail, Canopy Tour, Catarina View Point & San Juan de Oriente
  • Half Day Tour Nature Walk & Coffee Tour at D’Santos Reserve.
  • Private Guided Transfer from Granada to International Airport
  • Meals as specified on above itinerary (06 Breakfast, 05 Lunch & 02 Dinner)
  • All entrance fee
  • Hotel taxes (17% sales tax)

Not included:

  • Personal expenses.
  • Meals & Tours or services not specified in the itinerary
  • Entry through Los Chiles at Las Tablillas Border CR – NIC
  • Entry: Tourist Card  US$ 10.00 per person
    •  Municipality US$ 2.00 per person
  • Exit through International Airport
    • Exit: Airport Tax  US$ 45.00 per person (Note that the exit tax is now included by most airlines in ticket cost, please check with your carrier)
  • Tips for Guide & Driver
  • Tips for Bellboys & Maids Tips
  • Local and/or International phone calls
  • Personal and/or medical expenses