Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters

8 days from $2,352 per person*
  • Visit local coffee farms and discover the process of making a great cup of coffee.
  • Shop for fresh ingredients at a local market for a private cooking class.
  • Roll your own cigar with an expert in Granada.
  • Interactive chocolate making workshop, using homegrown cacao beans.
  • Premium accommodations throughout.
Request a Quote

Experience and taste the direct link between culture and food in Nicaragua on a number of immersive experiences with a private guide.

Ready your palate and embark on a cultural and taste bud awakening journey through Nicaragua. In Leon, you'll be met by a private guide who will take you on a walking tour of one of Nicaragua's oldest cities, considered to be the country's historical, cultural, and religious capital. Watch as a local artist demonstrates refined techniques of creating various types of Nicaraguan handicrafts, and test your learnings at the end of the demonstration as you make a piece of your own. Enjoy private car service to an authentic Nicaraguan restaurant in town, where you'll have a traditional meal in a rustic, ambient setting. Head to Matagalpa, known locally as the "Pearl of the North", where you'll discover the town's unique appeal with a private guide, then visit local coffee farms where you'll learn the start-to-end process of making a great cup of coffee, and have a hands-on experience making a local dish. In Granada, meet your private guide and embark on an interactive chocolate making workshop, learning how to process organic cacao beans into a tasty treat. Under the guidance of a chef, set out for a local market to gather fresh ingredients for a cooking class, then learn to roll your very own cigar! What a way to experience this Central American gem. ... Show More »

Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Managua
    Managua
    • Transfer - Airport with Meet and Greet (30 mins) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Nicaragua - Welcome Package
  • Day 2 Managua to Leon
    Managua to Leon
    • Managua - Leon [1 hr, 30 mins] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Walking Tour of Leon (2.5 hrs) - Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 3 Leon
    Leon
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Workshop Arts & Traditions (3 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Dinner at El Sesteo - Vehicle/Meal
    Breakfast
  • Day 4 Leon to Matagalpa
    Leon to Matagalpa
    • Leon - Matagalpa [2.5 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day City Tour (2 hrs) - Guide
  • Day 5 Matagalpa
    Matagalpa
    • Tour - Private - San Ramon Coffee Experience (with Lunch) (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 6 Matagalpa to Granada
    Matagalpa to Granada
    • Matagalpa - Granada [3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Mombacho Nicaragua Libre Chocolate Workshop (2.5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 7 Granada
    Granada
    • Tour - Private - Market Visit and Cooking Class (with Lunch) (5 hrs) - Guide
    • Tour - Private - 1/2 Day Cigar Experience (1 hr) - Guide
  • Day 8 Granada
    Granada
    • Granada - Managua [1 hr] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
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Day 1: Managua

For your added comfort, an English-speaking assistant will be waiting for you outside of customs holding a sign with your name on it. This representative will help you to co-ordinate meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation in Managua. This transfer will take approximately 30 minutes. 

A welcome package containing a country map, 24/7 emergency contact information, a confirmed version of the program and other useful information will be waiting for you upon arrival to your first hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Real Intercontinental (4*)

The Real InterContinental Metrocentro is one of the finest hotels in Managua. This high-rise property provides guests with fantastic views, and is located right next to the Metrocentro shopping mall in the heart of Managua. All of the rooms are spacious and equipped with all modern conveniences such as A/C, cable TV, and private bathrooms.  Among the facilities are a swimming pool, computer center, translation services, and a gourmet restaurant and bar. The hotel also offers services including laundry cleaning, valet parking, Internet access, 24-hour front desk service, and private parking.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Managua
Managua
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Real Intercontinental
Hotel Real Intercontinental

Day 2: Managua - Leon

You will be picked up and privately transferred from Managua to Leon. The distance to Leon is roughly 53 miles, and the drive will take approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Along the way, you will make a brief stop at La Paz Centro to sample a local specialty, quesillo.

Explore the fascinating history of one of Nicaragua’s most influential cities by foot. Considered to be Nicaragua’s historical, cultural, and religious capital, Leon was dismantled, moved, and rebuilt due to volcanic activities, ransacked by pirates, and again rebuilt. It would go on to win in its struggle to be the most important city in Nicaragua against Managua, but would eventually give way to its southern neighbor. On this insightful walking tour, you will visit revolutionary murals, baroque and neoclassical churches and an art museum displaying works by internationally renowned artists. You will also visit a local market, colonial buildings, and Nicaragua’s first university. Finally, you will climb to the rooftop of Central America’s largest cathedral, registered on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, to enjoy the astonishing views over the city and surrounding Maribios Volcanic Chain.

Includes: Guide, entrance fees, beverage.

Accommodation: El Convento (4*)

Hotel El Convento is one of Leon's most historic places to stay. The hotel has been rebuilt on the grounds of the old San Francisco convent and features decor that speaks to its Spanish colonial past. With its magnificent inner courtyard garden and views of San Francisco Church, guests can expect to feel immersed in a local history that dates back to 1639. El Convento is also famous for its outstanding restaurant, El Victoriano. All rooms have air conditioning and complimentary cable TV, while Internet access, laundry service, a gym and 24-hour room service are also available (fees apply).

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Catedral de Leon
Catedral de Leon
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Convento
El Convento

Day 3: Leon

Learn how to create traditional Nicaraguan art in this unique and interactive cultural experience. Watch as a local, bilingual artist demonstrates age-old techniques of creating various types of Nicaraguan handicrafts, including native painting and sawdust carpeting. What is sawdust carpeting? During the Friday of Holy Week, residents of the neighborhood Sutiaba make religious murals out of colored sawdust. The designs are created free-hand and range from crude Jesus portraits to sweeping, sunset colored images of angels in flight. A procession bearing religious statues eventually walks across these passion carpets and wipes them out. The tradition is ancient and may have originated with laying carpets of flowers before local kings, although modern themes are biblically inspired. Today, you will try your hand at preparing a sawdust carpet before returning to your hotel.

Includes: Transportation, guide, material for arts and crafts.

Found along the central plaza in Leon, El Sesteo is considered to be one of the most authentic restaurants in town, offering traditional meals in a rustic, ambient setting. Your meal (one appetizer, one main dish, one non-alcoholic beverage), along with transportation to and from the restaurant is included.

Accommodation: El Convento (4*)
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Leon Workshop
Leon Workshop
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Sesteo
El Sesteo

Day 4: Leon - Matagalpa

Your English-speaking driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the cool hills Matagalpa. Along the way, you will stop at Sebaco to enjoy a local specialty - "guirilias" (maize tortillas with cream and cheese).

Exploring the "Pearl of the North," this guided tour gives you a strong impression of the local history and culture of this impressive city. You will begin your tour by visiting the site of the most ancient graves in town, learning about the indigenous tribes that settled the region long ago. You will then visit the house where Carlos Fonseca, founder of the Sandinista political party, was born and raised. After visiting a local coffee museum, you will walk into the historical center of the city and end up at the Guanaco farmer's market.  If you like, you may also visit the Castillo de Cacao, where some of Nicaragua's best chocolate is made from 100% organic cacao. From the roof of this ‘Cacao Castle,’ you will be able to enjoy spectacular views over the city and its surroundings.  This service includes transportation, guide, and entrance fees.

Accommodation: Montebrisa Boutique B & B (4*)

Montebrisa has been lovingly restored to preserve its art deco architectural roots while adding all of the comforts of the 21st century to create a boutique bed and breakfast that is truly unique in Nicaragua. Montebrisa is located in an urban oasis surrounded by lush tropical gardens with over 45 different ornamental species, 18 types of fruit trees, five types of precious woods, and over 300 coffee trees. The Apante Natural Reserve and El Calvario Park serve as a stunning backdrop. The hotel is conveniently located only three blocks from Matagalpa’s Cathedral and Central Park (Parque Morazán), as well as many cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect base to explore Nicaragua’s Northern Highlands.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Matagalpa
Matagalpa
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Montebrisa Boutique B & B
Montebrisa Boutique B & B

Day 5: Matagalpa

Coffee is the main export of Nicaragua and represents a social and economic system that involves much of the Nicaraguan population. During this tour, you will learn about the coffee making process and discover the many aspects that lie behind a great cup of coffee. Promoting rural community tourism, this unique journey provides you with an opportunity to experience the culture and daily life of the coffee producers. Featuring visits to local coffee farms, an interactive demonstration regarding the coffee making process, a hands-on activity where you will learn how to cook local dishes, and an inspired cultural event, this immersive tour is a must! 

Includes: Transportation, guide, entrance fees, lunch. 

Accommodation: Montebrisa Boutique B & B (4*)
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Coffee Beans
Coffee Beans

Day 6: Matagalpa - Granada

Your private driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Granada. Approximate travel time is three hours.

Nicaragua Libre is a small community situated near Mombacho volcano, and is managed by a cooperative of farmers that are members of the Union of Cooperative Agriculturalists, ‘UCA Tierra y Agua.' In Nicaragua Libre you will be welcomed into the community and participate in an interactive workshop where you will discover the ins and outs of artisanal chocolate making, using homegrown cacao beans. After learning about the chocolate making process and preparing your own batch, you will sample your wonderful creation before returning back to your hotel in Granada.

Includes: Transportation, guide, chocolate workshop.

Accommodation: El Respiro Ecolodge (4*)

El Respiro is located at the foot of the Mombacho in the hills above Granada. The lodge is built in a typical colonial style, with massive wood pillars, cane roof, and terra cotta tiles, to which are added elements of modernity including polished concrete, light fixtures, and stonework.  The lodge’s rooms come with a king-size canopy bed, a private terrace overlooking either Granada or the Mombacho volcano, a volcanic stone open-top shower, a double sink and a walk-in closet. Expect personalized care and attention, as the lodge has only three rooms.  Sustainability is taken seriously here; solar panels produce energy, hot water is produced by the lodge’s natural gas boiler, and filtered rainwater is used as a water supply. All organic waste is recycled into compost. All of their crops, fruits, vegetables, cereal are exclusively biological. On top of that, the lodge makes an effort to help with reforestation, having planted over 500 trees on the premises.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Nicaragua Libre
Nicaragua Libre
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Respiro Eco-Lodge
El Respiro Eco-Lodge

Day 7: Granada

During this tour, you will thrill your taste buds while learning about the preparation of delicious local plates. First, you will head to the local market in Granada to seek out different ingredients that will be used during your interactive culinary course. After touring the market, you are ready to start preparing your dishes! Under the guidance of a local cook, you will learn the tricks of the trade concerning Nicaraguan cuisine. Your class will include preparation of side dishes, a main course, a traditional Nicaraguan drink, and a lovely dessert. Once completed, it’s time to eat – bon appetite! 

Includes: Guide, lunch, wine.

The Granada Cigar Experience gives you an insight into the process of cigar making, from the leaf selection to rolling. After a visual demonstration, you will listen to a short seminar directed by the facilities master blender, and you will then have the opportunity to make your very own cigar. Why not try it out in the smoking lounge near the pool, while sipping a cocktail?  This private service includes bilingual guide, entrance fees, and a cigar.

Includes: Guide, entrance fees, cigar.

Accommodation: El Respiro Ecolodge (4*)
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Cooking Class
Cooking Class
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Cigar Experience
Cigar Experience

Day 8: Granada

You will be picked up by your driver and transfer from Granada to Managua via private vehicle. The approximate travel time is one hour.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Hotel Real Intercontinental (4*): Managua

The Real InterContinental Metrocentro is one of the finest hotels in Managua. This high-rise property provides guests with fantastic views, and is located right next to the Metrocentro shopping mall in the heart of Managua. All of the rooms are spacious and equipped with all modern conveniences such as A/C, cable TV, and private bathrooms.  Among the facilities are a swimming pool, computer center, translation services, and a gourmet restaurant and bar. The hotel also offers services including laundry cleaning, valet parking, Internet access, 24-hour front desk service, and private parking.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Real Intercontinental
Hotel Real Intercontinental

El Convento (4*): Leon

Hotel El Convento is one of Leon's most historic places to stay. The hotel has been rebuilt on the grounds of the old San Francisco convent and features decor that speaks to its Spanish colonial past. With its magnificent inner courtyard garden and views of San Francisco Church, guests can expect to feel immersed in a local history that dates back to 1639. El Convento is also famous for its outstanding restaurant, El Victoriano. All rooms have air conditioning and complimentary cable TV, while Internet access, laundry service, a gym and 24-hour room service are also available (fees apply).

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Convento
El Convento

Montebrisa Boutique B & B (4*): Matagalpa

Montebrisa has been lovingly restored to preserve its art deco architectural roots while adding all of the comforts of the 21st century to create a boutique bed and breakfast that is truly unique in Nicaragua. Montebrisa is located in an urban oasis surrounded by lush tropical gardens with over 45 different ornamental species, 18 types of fruit trees, five types of precious woods, and over 300 coffee trees. The Apante Natural Reserve and El Calvario Park serve as a stunning backdrop. The hotel is conveniently located only three blocks from Matagalpa’s Cathedral and Central Park (Parque Morazán), as well as many cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect base to explore Nicaragua’s Northern Highlands.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Montebrisa Boutique B & B
Montebrisa Boutique B & B

El Respiro Ecolodge (4*): Granada

El Respiro is located at the foot of the Mombacho in the hills above Granada. The lodge is built in a typical colonial style, with massive wood pillars, cane roof, and terra cotta tiles, to which are added elements of modernity including polished concrete, light fixtures, and stonework.  The lodge’s rooms come with a king-size canopy bed, a private terrace overlooking either Granada or the Mombacho volcano, a volcanic stone open-top shower, a double sink and a walk-in closet. Expect personalized care and attention, as the lodge has only three rooms.  Sustainability is taken seriously here; solar panels produce energy, hot water is produced by the lodge’s natural gas boiler, and filtered rainwater is used as a water supply. All organic waste is recycled into compost. All of their crops, fruits, vegetables, cereal are exclusively biological. On top of that, the lodge makes an effort to help with reforestation, having planted over 500 trees on the premises.

Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Respiro Eco-Lodge
El Respiro Eco-Lodge
Culinary Delights & Cultural Encounters Tours 2017 - 2018 -  El Respiro Eco-Lodge Farm
El Respiro Eco-Lodge Farm

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Robert Riordan — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    The guides were key. Very knowledgeable and fun. They were very attuned to the level of exertion we could handle. Thanks to your eagle-eyed guides, we saw such a diversity of plants, birds and animals -- which we could never have spotted on our own. Great memories!

  • Angela Watson — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    We had a wonderful time on our trip to Costa Rica. Our guides Francisco and Bernie both exceeded our expectations. They were able to answer any question we had on subjects that ranged from culture and customs to environment, ecology and much more. During our afternoons in the rainforest we were able to see a multitude of birds, two toed and three toed sloths, Congo and Capuchin monkeys, eyelash vipers, and all of the rainforest scenery. We came away with an understanding of the forest and its inhabitants and real respect for our guides who work hard to preserve the natural beauty of their country through preservation and ensuring responsible tourism. We couldn't be happier with any portion of our trip. It really was wonderful.

  • Alicia H. — August 10, 2016 — Central America

    The guides in Arenal and Manuel Antonio were excellent and the Pacuare river rafting excursion in Arenal was awesome. It was an excellent break from winter in February!

  • Kay W. — June 15, 2016 — Central America

    All of the drivers arrived early. Vans were very nice. Drivers were courteous. Tours were great.

  • Alice H. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    The guide in Monteverde was excellent!!!!

  • Amy G. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    I've already passed on the name of my trip planner to friends that are looking to go to Costa Rica. Working with Brandi was invaluable.

  • Kristen E. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    Everyone was amazing! We were able to do local activities with our tour guides and they were all very accommodating and great.

  • Margaret H. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    Beautiful hotels with very friendly helpful staff, and very passionate guides keen to show off their heritage to us, of which they are rightly proud. I think having higher end hotels pays off in terms of personal attention and there was nothing I would have changed. At the Turtle Inn we felt like part of a family which was pretty special. I'd do it all again!

  • Collin B. — May 18, 2016 — Central America

    Our trip went extremely well. Everything from pick-ups to transfers to accommodations and tours went as smooth as silk. Everybody was prompt and courteous and very friendly. Small changes while in country were happily accommodated. We would highly recommend Kensington Tours to our friends and family.

  • Doug N. — May 18, 2016 — Central America

    Thanks to all the in country staff for helping me to change one activity just a few days prior to the event. I would also recommend all of my guides, but especially Marcela in Monteverde and Barbara in Manuel Antonio.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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