(Managua, Granada, Ometepe Island)
Experience Nicaragua with its incredible natural and cultural attractions. Your tour will start with your arrival in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, with over 10,000 years of history. After checking into your hotel, the rest of your afternoon and evening can be spent at leisure exploring the “Venice of Central America”. In the morning you leave Managua and head for the city of Granada, founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. Today it offers numerous opportunities to explore and choose from, such as museums, theatres and shopping facilities. With its inhabitants as warm as the weather you’ll instantly fall in love with the charms of this city.
Conclude your tour with some leisure time at Ometepe Island on Lake Nicaragua. Ometepe means “Two Hills” in the native Náhuatl language. Once popular with pirates, today Ometepe Island offers nature tours featuring, howler monkeys, white faced monkeys as well as numerous insects and birds, not to mention the beauty of the mountains themselves. There are also numerous examples of Pre-Columbian art throughout the island for you to admire.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Enjoy a private airport transfer with private vehicle and English speaking driver.
In the morning, depart for the colonial city of León Santiago de los Caballeros with private vehicle and English speaking guide—for centuries, a political, military, cultural, and religious center of Nicaragua. In the ruins of Leon Viejo, experience the old town and enjoy its pre-colonial and colonial heritage. UNESCO designated León Viejo as a “Patrimonio de la Humanidad” (World Heritage Site.) The Spanish influence on the city is visible throughout. The streets, classic buildings, churches, and monuments are testaments to the rich history and culture of the region. Many consider the Metropolitan Cathedral the most impressive colonial monument Central America. Step up to the roof of the cathedral and enjoy an exceptional view over the colonial town and up to the volcano skyline of Nicaragua. The great poet and writer, Ruben Dario, is buried in the Cathedral. Dario reformed the Castilian language and is called the Father of Modern Spanish letters. During our visit, we will see Dario’s childhood home, the site of an excellent museum. Have lunch(included) in the colonial environment and, later, visit the hot springs of San Jacinto, at the foot of the Maribios volcano chain. Return to Managua before dinner.
You will be picked up from your hotel (or airport) and transferred to Granada. Private Vehicle/English Speaking Driver. Distance 47 Kms / 1 hrs
The city of Granada is the colonial jewel of Central America. Founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, it is the oldest continuously occupied city on the American continent. Examples of colonial and neoclassical architecture abound. Site of many important historical events, the city rests beside the magnificent Lago Cocibolca—or Lake Nicaragua. It’s streets, homes, churches, museums and other attractions will be recalled through the years. Our tour is a walk through the historic center of Granada, your English-speaking guide will show you the cathedral of Granada, La Casa de los Tres Mundos, El Convento San Francisco, and the churches La Merced and Xalteva and other important building. The trip is excellent for lovers of history, colonial architecture, and for those who wish for a peek into the past.
We depart from Granada in the morning to visit the National Park Volcán Masaya.The Santiago Crater is one of the most active in Central America, with a constant emission of gases that condense to form a column rising to the heavens. The flora and fauna of the dry tropical forest is backlit by the extensive habitat amid the lava fields. We drive to the edge of the crater, where you can peer into the opening that leads to the core of the Earth. We will visit the museum located at the entrance of the national park. Here you will learn much about volcanoes. Later, in Masaya—known as the Cradle of Nicaraguan Folklore—we visit the handicraft market. Here we find a great variety of hammocks, typical garments, fine leather goods, primitive art, wood products, and cane furniture. There is the possibility to have lunch (included) at this market. During the afternoon, we will visit the Pueblos Blancos, Catarina and San Juan de Oriente. The tour is ideal for all ages.
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the boat dock with a private vehicle/driver. You will take a shared boat to Ometepe Island. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (shared)
Ometepe Island offers a wide variety of adventures! Optional activities include: volcano tours, San Ramon waterfall, fishing, volcano hiking, horseback riding and more! Activities are subject to an additional cost.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the boat dock on the island (shared service), where you will take a shared boat ride to the mainland. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred in your own private vehicle to Managua.
Enjoy an urban oasis at this award-winning, luxury hotel in Managua. The Intercontinental Metrocentro is ideally placed in the centre of the entertainment and business district, adjacent to the country's largest shopping mall featuring more than 120 stores. Indulge yourself at Factory Streak & Lobster, enjoy a trendy ambience at NAU lounge bar or unwind in the tranquil surrounding at the terrace next to the pool and exotic gardens. Explore the city; visit Managua's famous Cathedral and its historic downtown area.
Hotel Plaza Colon is located right in front of Parque Colón, known as Parque Central in the historical city of Granada. The hotel is set in an elegant antique colonial house that has been restored to its original style and architecture, with external courtyards and balconies overlooking Central Park and the Cathedral. You can take a horse drawn carriage right at the front of the Hotel and tour the city around.
Experience the most unique lake island in the world from an unrivaled vantage-point: San Juan de la Isla - Nicaragua's most comfortable and authentic island lodge - located lake-front on Santo Domingo Beach. San Juan de la Isla enjoys stunning vistas of Isla Ometepe's towering volcanoes, the rugged, active Volcán Concepción and the misty, cloud forest wrapped Volcán Maderas. The volcano lodge's beach-front location is the ideal base for swimming in Lake Nicaragua's clean, warm waters, hiking inside nature reserves, mountain biking, horseback riding and volcano climbing. The understated, century-old Spanish colonial hacienda house has been faithfully restored and serves visitors as the lodge’s restaurant. Lodging is exclusive, limited to four colonial rooms, a new construction building of four rooms and porch, two independent bungalows and three log cabins set along the beach under swaying coconut palms.
Bob More ,
April 21, 2014
"Every detail was taken care of, and all connections were on time. We were extremely pleased, couldn't stop telling everyone about our great trip. Each room / hotel was better than the last. Wow great holiday!"
Steve Walling ,
January 20, 2014
"We are home safe and sound from the best vacation I can remember. It seemed seamless to us but I know that you worked very hard to make our experience so good.
The guides and drivers were always punctual and reliable. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and funny. They provided us with very helpful information and helped us work on expanding our Spanish. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and the rooms were very nice.
I especially appreciate our ability to update our plans while we were in Costa Rica. The zip lines were the highlight of our trip. I hate to think we almost missed out by not including it in our original plan.
You have made a friend and supporter for life. I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know going to Costa Rica.
Merrel Bowles ,
November 07, 2013
"I would highly recommend this company for overseas travel. We had personal drivers that spoke perfect English and were also very knowledgeable in conversation pertaining to their country. Drivers were always early and eager to please. Your wish was their command!!!Every tour included educated guides who knew how to make our experience fun and exciting! I loved having personal drivers and guides, as well as many inclusive meals. We will definitely use this company for future travels."
April 09, 2013
"Our Costa Rica trip was amazing. The whole family thinks its the best we've ever taken! Kensington did an excellent job of organizing everything. The two hotels they picked were amazing.
Arenal -- The Springs Resort & Spa was almost too good since as soon as the family saw it they wanted to cancel activities so they could take full advantage of all it offered. We ultimately did cancel the safari to give us a free day to spend a day at the spa, pools and Club Rio (riding the river in innertubes!). The activities Kensington setup were excellent and very adventurous. Our favorite was canyoneering (repelling), We were all terrified at the first drop-off! It's more thrilling the zip lining (also lots of fun) and river rafting (a blast as well).
Manuel Antonio -- The Preserve at Los Altos was very nice. It was like staying in a 3 bedroom apartment at a boutique hotel (same feel as Athenum in London but nicer). The drive to get there was a bit long but worth it when our driver made a surprise stop at the the "crodillio bridge". The tour through Manuel Antonio National Park is a must do for nature lovers (3 types of monkeys, sloths, etc). Our guide was excellent. If you go MA NP, try Kapi Kapi for dinner.
I'd highly recommend using Kensington (Brandi was our rep) for a Costa Rica trip. Thanks for hooking us up with them.
L Huber ,
April 03, 2013
We returned yesterday from our wonderful Costa Rican vacation and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We loved staying at the El Silencio (the kids would have liked to stay even longer so we could have taken some of the nature hikes). Being surrounded by the cloud forest was an amazing sensation that really helped us to feel that we were in a completely different world and was a perfect way to begin the trip. Maria Lucia was a very kind tour guide and showed us the all sites in a huge day (the waterfalls, Poas volcano, the coffee plantation & Sarchi). The staff at El Silencio was wonderful and Jeff and I very much enjoyed the food and the very elaborate wine tasting there.
In La Fortuna the activities ruled. We loved everything, the exhilarating waterfall rappelling, the zip lining (& tiger swing - the kids LOVED IT) the volcano hike and we had a FANTASTIC time on the river safari with Gerald and his friend Tom. Gerald was a great guide and was able to share many stories while letting us see the wildlife. We saw a spectacular Toucan flock and of course the monkeys were a huge hit. Ending up at the farm was a fun end note to the trip. Of course we enjoyed the hot springs at the Tabacon - they are pretty amazing. Jeff and I had a chance to have a massage at the Tabacon spa and it was spectacular. The service at the hotel was lovely and our room did have a beautiful view of the volcano. I think the hot springs & spa are far superior at the Tabacon.
Alex drove us from both El Silencio to La Fortuna and then from La Fortuna to Punta Islita (that is a lot of driving and he did a great job - he was so friendly and made the travelling very enjoyable). On the way to La Fortuna he made a point of showing us the Iguana restaurant and it was a great wayside stop for everyone.
Punta Islita was stunning. Our villa Ilan Ilan was ideal, the view and the setting were spectacular. The kids loved the pool (when they weren't swimming & playing in the ocean), Jeff loved being able to finally drive around a bit like a native (the villa came with a small 4 wheel car), and I enjoyed waking up every morning to see the sunrise over the cliffs at the ocean's edge, and hear the incredible variety of birds (and on the last day even the howler monkeys). We enjoyed so many of the activities the hotel had to offer. Andrey & Hector and the whole staff were so warm and hospitable. They really worked hard and made every effort to make our stay so much fun. Hector helped us plan some more zip lining, surf lessons, a dolphin sighting/fishing boat trip and a sunset horseback ride which was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Ronald picked us up and got us to the airport in plenty of time. Ronald was very interested in showing us the wildlife as we drove through the different areas and we really enjoyed that.
Everywhere we went the people were absolutely wonderful, kind, and proud to show us their country and it made our trip spectacular.
Erika, thank you for all you did to help make the trip such a huge success.
Brian Blades ,
April 24, 2013
"Very prompt at getting information back to us and very helpful with any changes we wanted.
This trip was as good as the last trip we did with Kensington, could'nt have been any better. Our guides were excellent, especially Gerald.
Stephen Strom ,
April 22, 2013
"The transfers went flawlessly; the guides were all superb (knowledgable; thoughtful; sensitive; responsive to our needs). The recommended hotels were, with one exception (see below), also first rate and well matched to our needs and temperaments.
Our thanks for providing 3 wonderful guides: Gary Ortiz (Antigua); Carlos Antonio Lopez (Tikal and Yaxha); and Israel Canto (Belize). All of them understood that we have ‘peculiar’ tastes (for example: photographing lichen covered tree trunks while the magnificent structures at Tikal were but meters away!). It is really critical that guides not try to make sure that we see every ‘important’ thing, but recognize instead that ‘importance’ is very much a personal thing.
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