Golden Tours Nicaragua

Colonial Charms More Details

DAY 1

Managua’s International Airport + Hotel Nearby

This will be the first day for you in Nicaragua, our Tour Guide and our Driver will be both waiting for you at the Airport, right away you meet them, you will receive the itinerary for the whole trip, afterwards you will be transported to your hotel where you will spend the night.

DAY 2

Managua + León (Ruins of old León City + New León City

Today, after breakfast we will head to the Colonial City of León. On our way to that jewel, we will stop by the ruins of León Viejo, a place where the city was originally built. In 1524 the Spaniards settled the City of León at this place but later on in 1610, some earthquakes made the locals move the city around 60 kilometers away from the original foundation. After learning about these ruins it’ll be much easier for us to understand the history of the monumental city of León.

In the afternoon, we will do a city tour, we will start walking around the city of León, and we’ll visit the most important building of the city such as the Cathedral which is the biggest one in Central America, museums, parks and a local market.

DAY 3

León (free morning + Cerro Negro Volcano Boarding)

This morning is left free so you explore the city on your own, walk around it or just relax as you get ready for the adventure time you will have today.

Cerro Negro Volcano: The first eruption in a valley located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the colonial city of León took place on April 13, 1850. Yes, ladies and gentleman! That was the baby Cerro Negro Volcano which by first time, ejected huge quantities of molten material which irregularly headed in all directions that day until April 22nd when it had the last eruption of this first facet. The Cerro Negro Volcano is now days one of the best-known attractions for practicing adventure in Nicaragua. From the first time it erupted to these current days, it has had 21 facets (eruptive periods) which usually last several days in which dozens of eruptions have taken place, reaching an altitude of 728 (almost 2400 feet) so far. This is the youngest in Central America and one of the most active in the region as well. This cinder-cone volcano is formed by ash and black sand, hence its name. Its eruptions are generally expulsions of pyroclastic fragments, ash and lava and its last eruption was in 1999. Its young age and constant activity make the growth of trees and plants impossible on the fallen black skirts of the hill, because of this, it will be almost most of the time very windy when walking to the top. Some parts of this volcano are covered by huge rocks and others by fine sand. We will walk up around it, using a trail full of loosen rocks and slide down on the sandy area. 

Hiking Cerro Negro is an unforgettable and unique experience, an adventure hard to find somewhere else

The Tour: Today after lunch, at 2:00pm, you will be picked up in your hotel and driven to the base of the volcano. This one-hour drive in a sandy and bumpy road, using a 4×4 truck to Cerro Negro will be very fun. The road to the Cerro Negro Volcano Natural Reserve is rough and hostile, the vast majority of it is covered by a floor of quicksand that has been expelled by the volcano in the many eruptions it has had in the past. On the way to the base of the volcano we will find local communities, plantations of different products such as cassava, bananas, fruit trees, beans, etc. and very often, on that narrow one-way road, we will find ox carts full with firewood and people working on the roadside as well.

Once at the base of the volcano, it is time to start our hike, it will take us an hour to climb up and we will not do it without first having our difficulties with the loose rocks, the strong wind and the heat, but in the end, all of this is part of the exquisite adventure that this volcano offers, like the compelling views of the surroundings as we ascend.

Once we have reached to the top of the great Cerro Negro, we will take our time to walk and enjoy the beautiful view that will show us the Maribios volcanic mountain range that contains the highest volcanoes in Nicaragua aligned almost perfectly in the country’s Pacific Coast. All of this while we wait for the beautiful sunset on top of the volcano which will be one of the best sunsets you have ever seen. Walking for some minutes, we will soon reach areas where the temperature of the volcano’s sand is so high that one can easily imagine the volcanic activity that is taking place under our feet and it can help us understand how active this volcano is. Then, we prepared to descend. For this, we have to dress in our special suits that cover us from head to toe, we will wear gloves and goggles; Once dressed, our experienced guide will show us how to manage the board to slide on the hill. The climb takes an hour or more, but sliding down takes less than 10 minutes; here you could reach speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour, if you like adrenaline; Although we must say that, the speed can be controlled by yourself.

After finishing this adventure, you will head back to your hotel to have a shower and get cleaned from the black ash of the volcano and go to a restaurant for a delicious dinner.

DAY 4

Private Transfer from Leon to Granada + Granada City Tour + Isletas Sunset Boat Tour

Good morning! At 8:00 am, you will have a delicious Nicaraguan breakfast and our tour guide and our driver will pick you up in your hotel and together, you will drive a bit less than 3 hours to the colonial city of Granada. 

Granada is one of the most impressive colonial cities in Nicaragua, with its charming pastel streets, Granada is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nicaragua. It is the oldest city on the mainland that still remains on the same place where it was originally built, it had some difficulties with pirates and civil wars but arose from the ashes to be as imposing as it is today. 

Granada City Tour: On your arrival to Granada, our guide, a specialist in the history of Nicaragua, will take you all for a city tour. You will walk to the heart of the city of Granada to visit its most emblematic buildings such as churches, which includes the cathedral and church of La Merced where you will climb the tower to appreciate the city from above; you will also visit the beautiful and classic Granada cemetery where you will learn a little more about the history of this city, the old hospital, now in ruins, and the railway station. you will finish this city tour in the municipal market of Granada to learn a little about the city’s commerce and there you will try the delicious typical dish of Granada called “vigorón”. After tasting vigorón, you will be picked up and brought to your hotel, you will have a small free time before our second tour in the late afternoon. 

 

Las Isletas: Lake Nicaragua is dotted with jungle-clad islands. The biggest is the twin-volcano Isla de Ometepe. But off the lake shore from Granada lie a few hundred smaller islands — some of the most beautiful places to visit in Granada. This is an archipelago of around 360 small volcanic islands that today wonderfully dot the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Las “Isletas” is a place located just 10 minutes from the Colonial City of Granada.

Isletas Sunset Boat Tour: The Marina where you will take your boat for the isletas sunset boat tour is located just 10 minutes away from Granada and there, you will do the boat tour in the isletas. 

The tour of Las Isletas on a private boat is impressive, the large number of birds that can be seen, the flora and fauna in general, plus the panoramic views are something unique that you will not miss today. On this tour, you will learn the geological process by which these small islands were formed, or at least, the two theories that are believed are the reasons for the formation of the archipelago. You will also learn about the life of the locals, how they live, what activities they practice, the educational system of local children and much more of the culture of these families.

DAY 5

Adventure Day: Canoeing + Hiking Tour + Swimming + Horseback Riding​

The communities of Charco Muerto, Los Cocos and Casa de Tejas are located in the southwest side of the city of Granada, in front of the volcanic island of Zapatera and on the shores of Lake Cocibolca and if that’s not enough, this is also located at the base of the Mombacho Volcano. The geographical characteristic of this location has privileged these communities with spectacular panoramic landscapes such as coves, beaches, mountains, viewpoints, cliffs, underground waters and above all, wonderful and beautiful people.

The Tour: Your day will start early at 6:00 in the morning, at that time you will leave Granada and take the Pan-American Highway for 30 minutes and then take a dirt road for almost 25 kilometers to the beach of Casa de Tejas and Playas del Coco. in front of Zapatera Island. The road is rustic, muddy and rocky, with streams and ravines, which makes the adventure more dynamic and exciting. 

Once in the community of Cocos, you will start the walking tour for approximately an hour, passing through forests, you will reach the top of a mountain with beautiful viewpoints where you can rest while admiring the spectacular panoramas, after there, you will go down the mountain until you will reach the community of Charco Muerto. This is a peninsula with a very particular geological characteristic, coves, walls and cliffs allow this place to become a magical destination in the sight of those who visit it.

From there, you will go on horses to the base of the volcanic hill known as “La Lomona ” (the big hill). From there, you will walk to the top of this hill for about 40 minutes. The majestic and dazzling views up there are something you are going to love. From above, you can take photos of the Zapatera archipelago, Lake Cocibolca and when it is clear, the imposing Concepción volcano of La Isla de Ometepe can also be seen.

There at the top of La Lomona, you are going to have a picnic, grill beef and have a few beers while you relax for a while in the shade of a big tree. After about two hours, you will go back down to Charco Muerto and from there, by rowboat (you will have your own paddle) to where you will be picked up to head back to Granada.

On the way back, you will stop by the crystalline and underground waters of Aguas Agrias. This tropical paradise is located at the base of the Mombacho volcano, the water comes from the Mombacho cloud forest, infiltrating through the underground sources and running for many kilometers until it flows here into this place which is perfect for swimming in its waters loaded with medicinal properties. You will leave this place around 6 pm and drive back to Granada for one more hour. 

 

*Very important: With this tour, you are supporting over 20 families of these communities who are doing their best to improve their economic situation with these rural activities.

DAY 6

Free Morning + Ceramic Workshop + Katarina Lookout + Masaya Volcano Lava Tour at Night

This morning you will have free time for you to do whatever you want, but in the afternoon, at 2:00 pm, you will be picked up by your driver and guide and start a beautiful time getting to know the Nicaragüan culture and watching a spectacular phenomenon like seeing lava in an active volcano.

Today, you are visiting San Juan de Oriente. This town houses about seven thousand people and around 90% of them have always dedicated their life to the making of ceramic as a way of earning money to live. At this workshop, you will learn the process they work with clay and how they inherited it from their ancestors; this place is located in a family house, so it is a family business which means that by coming here, you are supporting the locals’ economy. 

Los Pueblos Blancos “The White Villages”, are found near the city of Masaya, and just half an hour from Granada.  The unhurried lifestyle of the residents of Pueblos Blancos is most appealing to holiday makers, who are welcomed with warmth that is characteristic of these friendly villagers which are full with wonderful people.

The majority of the Pueblos Blancos residents are skilled in the manufacture of traditional arts and crafts. Their specialty is ceramics and pottery and it is through the sale of their wares that they make a living to support themselves and their families. Workshops are open for visitors to enter and watch these skilled artisans at work, turning out beautiful items on their pottery wheels, which are then fired in the on-site kiln and set aside to be decorated. Visitors never fail to be impressed by the variety and superb workmanship of the myriad of plates, cups, bowls, bottles, vases, wind chimes and other containers and decorative items for sale at these workshops, many of which use the sidewalk as their shop window. Other handicrafts include a variety of items made from wood, leather, carved stone and fabric. The prices of these top quality handicrafts are reasonable, leaving the shopper with the difficult task of choosing which items to take home. 

After our first stop in San Juan de Oriente, as most visitors do, we will stop by the nearby lookout point of El Mirador De Catarina which offers a spectacular view of the enormous Lake Apoyo, Granada City, Lake Nicaragua and Mombacho Volcano. Once you are done here, you will go visit the Masaya Volcano National Park for your Night Tour.

Masaya Volcano: The Masaya volcano is undoubtedly the most spectacular geological monument in Central America, and the easy access we’ll have here makes it a fascinating destination which can be explored by both natural tourists and scientists of all kinds; volcanologists, geologists, historians and anyone who wants to enjoy a wide variety of unique attractions are somehow obligated to come to this paradise. 

This is a shield-shaped volcano which has allowed the authorities to build a paved road to the main crater and its very well-defined paths will take us to specific points where the human eye will delight.

The Tour: After visiting the places we mentioned above, you will have a small drive of just 20 minutes to Masaya Volcano National Park.

Once we arrive at the main entrance of the Masaya Volcano National Park, we obtain our tickets and drive approximately 6 kilometers to the Santiago active crater parking area; it will still be daytime here, so we’ll walk about 20 minutes to the different viewpoints to admire the different beauties that this park has to offer.

This National Park is not only lava, that is why we will arrive before sunset, and we will walk to the top of the Masaya Volcano, throughout the entire journey, from the beginning to the end, our certified and experienced tour guide will explain everything related to this park; its eruptive history and formation, its geology, flora, fauna and tourist importance of this park, in addition to the events that have occurred here over the years.

Once on the edge of the San Fernando and San Juan craters, we will obtain one of the most dazzling views of Central America, with also the most astronomical sunset in the region. From here we will contemplate, in addition to the geological ring called “El Ventarrón” in which the 54 square kilometers of the Masaya Volcano National Park rest; we will enjoy the volcanoes: Mombacho, Masaya, Nindirí, Momotombo, Momotombito (this last one if Managua City is not foggy), the Masaya lagoon, the Xolotlán Lake in Managua and Cocibolca Lake in Granada, the cities of: Managua (capital of Nicaragua), Masaya and Granada and if all this were not enough; get ready to admire the most exuberant sunset (if it’s not raining) of this Land of Lakes and Volcanoes. Here, the sun’s rays play with the steam that comes out of the Santiago crater, this mixture of sun rays and volcanic gasses form a spectacular phenomenon that is admired every year by thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Once the sun is gone, we will walk back to the active crater of Santiago, to observe a gigantic and divine lava lake at the bottom of it. We will be at this area for 10 to 30 minutes so that you can take the photos you want and record this tour in your memory as one of the best of your life. Once this tour is finished, we will drive approximately 40 minutes to return to Granada where we will be arriving around 7:30 pm.

DAY 7

Private Transfer & night at Apoyo Lagoon

After breakfast in your hotel, you will be picked up and transported for just 40 minutes to Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve; you will spend the day relaxing and having fun and the night would be spent here as well.

Apoyo Volcanic Lagoon: Apoyo is the largest volcanic lagoon in Central America, the Apoyo volcano was once a gigantic volcano which eruption was probably the largest in our history as a country, its conical-looking crater more than 170 meters (500+ feet) deep was filled by rainwater. Today we have a natural paradise here in the depths of this volcano. Its waters are loaded with components such as sulfur dioxide which makes it healthy for the skin and when swimming here, the body will relax and everything will be in an environment with tranquility and peace.

DAY 8

Private Transportation to the airport

Unfortunately, this tour won’t last any longer and today is our last day. After your last delicious breakfast, you will have a private transportation to your airport for you to say goodbye to this amazing country. The drive will last just one hour.

We hope you will come back soon!

INCLUDES

PLACES VISITED

Dirk M
Dirk M
March 28, 2024
Simple the Best in Nicaragua don't know what to start. Mario loves his job more then most tour operations go, we first made reservations with him through WhatsApp about seeing the Islatas In Granada Nicaragua, It was perfect It was a little bit more expensive than the rest of their tour guides that are on the streets but he promised us a private tour any picked us up from the airport on time and gave us a beautiful Sunsets, I was a little apprehensive over giving him a deposit but his Google reviews were good and it was only $20 deposit. After that he did not push us to use him but we decided to use him to go to Mobacho volcano and do the Puma, after reading lots of reviews on how to do it we decided with Mario and his team. Honestly there was no shenanigans he picked us up from a hotel there was no waiting around to take a 4x4 vehicle the guide over there spoke perfect English and then his driver waited for us to be picked up It was fantastic compared to other people issues trying to save a little bit of money. He also gave as a right to the airport pretty late at night with his driver. Don't hesitate to use him and services for all your tour needs and Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Thank you again. Very polite all the transportation cars what clean and communicated very well. Thank you Mario and Gusto
Steve P
Steve P
March 8, 2024
Fantastic service!!!! I cannot say enough positive things about Mario and his company. They treated me and my group extremely well, far beyond the call of duty. If you are looking for a very knowledgeable tour guide and one with excellent connections I highly recommend them. Also, if you happen to get Maynor as a guide suggest you ask him to sing, he has literally an award-winning voice.
Roland
Roland
March 8, 2024
Amazing and Memorable Experience with Mario Romero and Golden Tours Nicaragua! Mario Romero of Golden Tours Nicaragua surpassed every expectation as a provider of group transportation, excursions, and as a tour guide and person. To begin with, Mario’s oral and written English and Spanish are superb. From his very first, detailed, descriptive, and thorough introductory summary-of-services email, our correspondence was professional, timely, and clear, enabling one of the smoothest "business" transactions I’ve ever enjoyed, covering logistics and pricing, but also littered with helpful tips and suggestions for me to hone my tour. A bit of context, I’m a Canadian musician and tour leader who ran a 2-week musical excursion for a group of 25 middle-aged choir singer “gringos” from Canada in February 2024. I’d been to Nicaragua before to plan the tour, and so I knew my way around, although I don’t speak Spanish. I needed support running my tour on a variety of fronts; little did I know that by engaging Golden Tours, I’d have most of them covered. Mario Romero responded to a query I’d posted on Facebook looking for recommendations for a bus company to get my group from the airport to our destination. I sent him a quick message outlining my needs, which he responded to promptly and professionally, as mentioned above. Not knowing him, I wrote a few more exploratory emails to feel out the collaboration. He answered all questions promptly and thoroughly, had great prices and services, and it was quickly apparent that he could offer much more to my tour than mere group transportation. And so I engaged him, a decision I have never been more happy with in my life. At that point, Mario helped me settle on the best dates and times for group movements and excursions, working around other facets of the itinerary and helping to bring focus and optimal sequencing among a diverse array of activities. As the collaboration progressed, Mario continuously adapted plans to best fit my group’s needs as he better understood their age and interests. In the end, Mario Romero and Golden Tours coordinated all of my group travel needs, first from the airport in Liberia across the border into Nicaragua, and then from San Juan Del Sur to Granada, to the Masaya Volcano, to Ometepe Island, to beaches, and other destinations. All of this unfolded perfectly and with great adaptability, for example, adapting to the fact that the group had multiple lodging designations to shuttle between. Mario also coordinated the bulk of my group’s excursions, which was enormously helpful since he made all the necessary calls and reservations, handled payment matters with venues, and dealt with small issues that arose directly with venue staff on my group’s behalf. Yes, that’s merely what the job entails, but he carried this out perfectly, never allowing an opportunity for misunderstanding to slow things down. In this capacity, he additionally served my group as translator, tour guide, historian, botanist, sociologist, and philosopher. I do not exaggerate. He even supported our choir by acting as MC and verbally introducing musical selections we sang in our three evening - and very much outside of business hour - concerts, a role I could never in my wildest dreams imagine that our “transport guy” would be able to fill. Mario was liked and respected by every member of my group, a response he earned by simply being an amazing human. At the end of the tour, having discovered Mario’s passion for music and his desire to learn to play, we gave him the group’s electric piano, as a parting gift and partial gesture of thanks. I will definitely be back to Nicaragua to work with Mario and all the guys from Golden Tours Nicaragua - drivers Justo Cárcamo, Marvin Calderón, and tour guide, Maynor Ríos, who led an unforgettable spontaneously-organized early-morning bird-watching tour along the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Thank you, Golden Tours Nicaragua!
Susan-voyage
Susan-voyage
March 6, 2024
More than a tour guide! Mario provided lots of support to our musical ensemble during our visit to San Juan del Sur and Granada and shared his knowledge of Nicaragua, volcanos, birds and more. He attended all of our concerts and provided introductions to our repertoire in Spanish. Going beyond the role of a tour guide. Gracias!
David R
David R
February 4, 2024
Nicaragua in September I have traveled with Golden Tours several time and have had a wonderful experience every time. I recommend Mario to help you make your Nicaragha trip unforgettable. They are very knowledgeable and can answer questions or even help plan your trip. I am going back to Nicaragua the end of February and first of March and have everything booked with Golden Tours.
Sophie R
Sophie R
January 28, 2024
Great! Nous avons fait le tour Mombacho, Masaya et Laguna de Apoyo en une journée avec notre guide Abbott. Tout était parfait, il allait à notre rythme et répondait très bien aux questions.
Evelien
Evelien
January 12, 2024
una guía de sueños Mario es una guía fantástica! Él es amigable, confiable y muy útil. Logró involucrar a todos en el grupo cada vez. Sabe mucho y puede contar historias bien. Me sentí 100% cómodo con él y nada es demasiado para él. Él es el mejor guía que he conocido. Gracias, Mario ????
Stijn Beleyn
Stijn Beleyn
January 11, 2024
Authentiek, veel info over fauna en flora, amusement Super toffe ervaring in Nicaragua! Mario is de beste gids die je kan hebben. Hij verzet hemel en aarde om u volop te laten genieten van dit prachtige land! De trip naar Charco Muerto was een top ervaring om de lokale bevolking te leren kennen! Zeker niet twijfelen om hem te contacteren en volop te genieten van Nicaragua!!!!
tinatraveler
tinatraveler
January 10, 2024
Family tour with Mario Our family had a wonderful tour with Mario. He showed us around Granada and we had the best sunset experience at Masaya Volcano park. We got there early to see the sunset while most tours only came at night. Transportation to Ometepe and all the way to our resort in Costa Rica. He even set us up for transfer to Liberia airport. Always on time and professional. Highly recommend for peace of mind.
Peter D
Peter D
January 9, 2024
Best tourguide ever! Mario was our tourguide for 10 amazing days in Nicaragua. He showed us amazing places: El Castillo, Indio Maiz, Los Gatuzos, Solentiname, Granada and all the volcanoes in the area. Communication is excellent, his English is impeccable and his enthusiasm is the icing on the cake. Everything was super easy and smooth, he took us to places we would never have found on our own, places we would never have dreamt of going if it weren't for him. His love for nature, wildlife and people is contagious. His knowledge of the history and the culture of Nicaragua is vast and being around him is fun. While we were exploring and having the time of our lives, he was clearly enjoying the experience as well - which is awesome. Tip - if you can - visit Charko Muerto - you'll get a taste and feel of what the real Nicaragua is like that you cannot find anywhere else!