8 days from $2,592 per person*
  • Hike, swim, and enjoy a farm-fresh meal in the Somoto Canyon.
  • Private guided tour of the rarely visited Zapatera Island, containing some of Nicaragua's most important pre-Columbian sites.
  • Visit a local artist and sculptor who hasn't left his family farm in over a decade.
  • Swim in the fresh pool of water beneath the Estanzuela Waterfall.
  • Thoughtful range of accommodations including overnight camping in the Somoto Canyon.
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Venture off the beaten path and discover untamed Nicaragua in a way few travelers have experienced before you.

For those looking to explore beyond the tourist trail, you've come to the right place. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city-life, you'll head to the Somoto Canyon for a guided camping experience in a very stripped-down, back-to-basics outdoor camp setting where you'll rappel, hike and swim, in the canyon, and even enjoy farm-fresh meals and an evening bonfire. Upon exiting the canyon, head to Esteli, a mountainous area with vast nature reserves of waterfalls and cloud forest. Hike inward to the Estanzuela Waterfall and take a refreshing swim at the pool beneath its falls. Make your way to a local family farm, where you'll have a chance to meet Alberto, a passionate artist and sculptor who hasn't left the farm property for over a decade. Your private guide will take you to Zapatera Island, which you may find you have all to yourself upon arrival, as it's rarely visited by tourists. A number of important pre-Columbian archaeological sites will be explored, and you'll hike with your guide to a scenic lookout with picturesque views of Lake Nicaragua and Mombacho Volcano. Continue to Laguna de Apoyo where you'll have an open itinerary to fill with as much or as little of the possible hiking, swimming and exploring as you desire, though relaxing in the serene jungle environment is often reward enough. Blaze your own trails on this Nicaragua exploration.

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 More »

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 Somoto
    Managua to Somoto
    • Transfer - Private - Managua - Somoto [3 hrs 15 mins] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
    • Hiking and Swimming in Somoto Canyon
  • Day 3 Somoto to Esteli
    Somoto to Esteli
    • Farm-Fresh Breakfast in Somoto Canyon
    • Transfer - Private - Somoto - Esteli [1 hr] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
  • Day 4 Esteli
    Esteli
    • Tour - Private - Tisey Nature Reserve and Jalacate (5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 5 Esteli to Zapatera Island
    Esteli to Zapatera Island
    • Transfer - Private - Esteli - Zapatera Island [3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Ferry(3)
    • Tour - Private - Zapatera Island Tour (with Lunch) (6 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 6 Las Isletas de Granada to Laguna de Apoyo
    Las Isletas de Granada to Laguna de Apoyo
    • Transfer - Private - Las Isletas de Granada - Laguna de Apoyo [1 hr, 20 mins] - Vehicle/Driver(3)
    • At Leisure
  • Day 7 Laguna de Apoyo
    Laguna de Apoyo
    • Pacaya Lodge and Spa Activities (Not Included)
  • Day 8 Laguna de Apoyo
    Laguna de Apoyo
    • Transfer - Private - Laguna de Apoyo - Managua [45 mins] - 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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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.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Managua
Managua
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Real Intercontinental
Hotel Real Intercontinental

Day 2: Managua - Somoto

You will be picked up at your hotel to begin your private transfer from Managua to Somoto. This transfer will take approximately three hours and 15 minutes.

Upon arrival to the entrance of the Somoto Canyon System - the source of the river Coco (the longest river in Central America) - you will begin your adventure by rappelling off a 90-foot cliff (optional) from where you can observe gorgeous views of the canyon below. Next, you will hike on the river-shore and swim through the canyon, surrounded by impressive rock formations and caves, some of the oldest in Central America. Afterward, you will enjoy a boxed lunch before participating in a canyon hike that will end with you arriving at your prearranged campsite. After enjoying the sunset, relax and enjoy an evening bonfire and dinner at a local farm.

Includes: Transportation, guide, equipment, lunch, dinner.

Accommodation: Somoto Outdoor Camp

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city-life, the tranquil Somoto Outdoor Camp houses you in heart of the wild. With a private tent, a separate eco-latrine, and 24-hour security, you will have everything you need to enjoy your time in the canyon. The camp does not have running water, however, bottled water is available on-site for guests. As well, the nearby farm has running water for bathing. The camp is not electrified, however, guests will be provided with flashlights and are encouraged to bring any additional equipment they may wish to have. Each tent is equipped with one double mattress and two sleeping bags.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Somoto Canyon
Somoto Canyon

Day 3: Somoto - Esteli

After sunrise, wake to the sounds of nature before heading to a local farm to enjoy a fresh breakfast where you will learn more about country life in Nicaragua. After breakfast, a brief hike will deliver you to the entrance of the Somoto Canyon system. Upon exiting the canyon, a private vehicle and driver will transfer you to your next destination, Esteli, a mountainous area with vast nature reserves of waterfalls and cloud forest.

Includes: Transportation, guide, equipment.

Enjoy a transfer from Somoto to Esteli with a private car and driver. Total travel time for this transfer is approximately one hour.

Accommodation: Marduk Gardens Hotel (3*)

Away from the noisy urban areas and far from typical tourist spots is Marduk Gardens Boutique Hotel. Located near Esteli, at the top of the reserve El Tisey Estanzuela, the hotel has three luxuriously decorated cabins in vintage style, each including a bedroom, a living room, a balcony, and a bathroom with hot water. The hotel has a small onsite restaurant, extensive gardens, and various trails to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Esteli
Esteli
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Marduk Gardens Hotel
Marduk Gardens Hotel

Day 4: Esteli

After being picked up at your hotel in Estelí, you will be transferred to the Tisey Nature Reserve to reach the Estanzuela Waterfall. During a 20 minute walk down the fairly steep path to the waterfall, you are surrounded by trees and farmland. Nearing the waterfall, you will hear the rumble of the 45-foot high falls, whose overall size depends on the time of year. After the hike, you are welcomed to take a refreshing swim in the pool beneath the waterfall. Afterward, you will journey back to the top of the trail, take a break to enjoy a refreshment and to view the local artisan marble sculptures.

Your next stop is Finca El Jalacate, a farm owned by five brothers and a sister. One of the brothers, Alberto, is rather eccentric. While his brothers work the land, Alberto works on his impressive collection of rock-sculptures, carved out of a hill at the family property. Alberto has a vivid imagination and likes to depict important and current affairs with a dose of artistic freedom and has not left the farm for over a decade. This self-made artist works with very basic tools and has managed to cut a genuinely impressive series of statues. Alberto is always glad to receive visitors and show them around on the farm. Apart from the sculptures, guests can marvel at the stunning views of the surroundings.

Includes: Transportation, guide, entrance fees.

Accommodation: Marduk Gardens Hotel (3*)
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Finca el Jalacate Carvings
Finca el Jalacate Carvings

Day 5: Esteli - Zapatera Island

Enjoy a private transfer to the pier at Las Isletas de Granada. The transfer will take approximately three hours. Upon arrival to the pier you will board a shared ferry to Zapatera Island where a private vehicle will be waiting to deliver you to your hotel.

Zapatera Island is the second largest island in Lake Nicaragua, after Ometepe, and contains some of the most important pre-Columbian sites in Nicaragua. Despite its natural richness and archaeological importance, the island is not frequently visited by tourists; it is not uncommon for guests to have the island to themselves.

Your tour begins with a short hike to a hill where you will enjoy panoramic views of the island, Lake Nicaragua and Mombacho Volcano. After enjoying lunch at a beachfront restaurant, you will board a boat and navigate to Isla El Muerto where you will explore the ruins of a sacred site founded by a mysterious ancient civilization.

Includes: Transportation, guide, entrance fees and lunch.

Accommodation: Hotel Bahia Zapatera (3*)

Hotel Bahía Zapatera is located on Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua; only a short boat ride away from Granada. The hotel is situated with a view of the lake and is the ideal getaway for those who want some peace and quiet, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The hotel offers tasty food and beautiful lodgings, each with a private bathroom and fan.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Zapatera Shoreline
Zapatera Shoreline
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Bahia Zapatera
Hotel Bahia Zapatera

Day 6: Las Isletas de Granada - Laguna de Apoyo

Enjoy a private transfer from Las Isletas de Granada (Marina Cocibolca) to Laguna de Apoyo. The transfer will take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The beautiful Laguna de Apoyo, located between Granada and Masaya, was formed thousands of years ago – the result of a violent volcanic explosion. Declared a natural reserve in 1991, the lagoon is said to be the cleanest of all fresh water lakes in Nicaragua. Here you can relax at the shore of the lake, swim or kayak the warm waters, or walk along nature trails to encounter monkeys, hummingbirds, toucans and many more endemic species in their natural home, the wild. Horticulturists and plant enthusiasts alike will also find themselves in paradise, with countless flowers, plants, herbs, shrubs and trees dotting the landscape. Gorgeous and nearly pristine, Laguna de Apoyo should be included on every trip to Nicaragua.

Accommodation: Pacaya Lodge and Spa (4*)

Situated on the rim of the Laguna de Apoyo crater, Pacaya Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Each room has a glorious view of the jungle canopy and Crater Lake, with Granada and Lake Nicaragua just visible in the distance. The lodge and guest rooms feature furniture, art, and decor created by local artists and artisans, blending a distinctly local feel with the lodge’s warm, contemporary design. With ingredients fresh from the organic garden or sourced from local farmers, Pacaya offers memorable and unique culinary experiences in an open-air restaurant and bar. Inspired by traditional Nicaraguan favorites, the menu features a modern take on local staples. The on-site spa offers a range of massage, facial and body treatments. Other amenities include a yoga deck, a floating deck for private meals, paddle-boards, an infinity pool, wireless internet and a private balcony with hammocks.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Laguna de Apoyo
Laguna de Apoyo
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Pacaya Lodge and Spa
Pacaya Lodge and Spa

Day 7: Laguna de Apoyo

There is no shortage of both exciting and relaxing activities to participate in while staying at Pacaya Lodge and Spa. With available tours of Isla Omepete, Volcan Masaya, among many others (optional), you have the ability to prepare an action-packed day that will take you to many unique and exciting hot-spots. Pacaya Lodge and Spa also offers guests complimentary shuttles to Apoyo Lagoon, the deepest lagoon in Central America (and home to four endemic species of fish) where you can hike, swim, scuba or snorkel. For guests wishing to enjoy a quieter experience, consider arranging a Chef's Table special meal, prepared by the renowned Chef Bismark Hernandez (reservation required in advance), basking in the sun, or delighting in invigorating spa treatments. The choice is yours!

Accommodation: Pacaya Lodge and Spa (4*)
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Relaxing near Pacaya Lodge
Relaxing near Pacaya Lodge

Day 8: Laguna de Apoyo

Enjoy a private transfer from Laguna de Apoyo to Managua. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.

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.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Real Intercontinental
Hotel Real Intercontinental

Somoto Outdoor Camp: Somoto

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city-life, the tranquil Somoto Outdoor Camp houses you in heart of the wild. With a private tent, a separate eco-latrine, and 24-hour security, you will have everything you need to enjoy your time in the canyon. The camp does not have running water, however, bottled water is available on-site for guests. As well, the nearby farm has running water for bathing. The camp is not electrified, however, guests will be provided with flashlights and are encouraged to bring any additional equipment they may wish to have. Each tent is equipped with one double mattress and two sleeping bags.

Marduk Gardens Hotel (3*): Esteli

Away from the noisy urban areas and far from typical tourist spots is Marduk Gardens Boutique Hotel. Located near Esteli, at the top of the reserve El Tisey Estanzuela, the hotel has three luxuriously decorated cabins in vintage style, each including a bedroom, a living room, a balcony, and a bathroom with hot water. The hotel has a small onsite restaurant, extensive gardens, and various trails to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Marduk Gardens Hotel
Marduk Gardens Hotel

Hotel Bahia Zapatera (3*): Zapatera Island

Hotel Bahía Zapatera is located on Isla Zapatera in Lake Nicaragua; only a short boat ride away from Granada. The hotel is situated with a view of the lake and is the ideal getaway for those who want some peace and quiet, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The hotel offers tasty food and beautiful lodgings, each with a private bathroom and fan.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel Bahia Zapatera
Hotel Bahia Zapatera

Pacaya Lodge and Spa (4*): Laguna de Apoyo

Situated on the rim of the Laguna de Apoyo crater, Pacaya Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Each room has a glorious view of the jungle canopy and Crater Lake, with Granada and Lake Nicaragua just visible in the distance. The lodge and guest rooms feature furniture, art, and decor created by local artists and artisans, blending a distinctly local feel with the lodge’s warm, contemporary design. With ingredients fresh from the organic garden or sourced from local farmers, Pacaya offers memorable and unique culinary experiences in an open-air restaurant and bar. Inspired by traditional Nicaraguan favorites, the menu features a modern take on local staples. The on-site spa offers a range of massage, facial and body treatments. Other amenities include a yoga deck, a floating deck for private meals, paddle-boards, an infinity pool, wireless internet and a private balcony with hammocks.

Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Pacaya Lodge and Spa
Pacaya Lodge and Spa
Nicaragua's Roads Less Traveled Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Pacaya Lodge and Spa Grounds
Pacaya Lodge and Spa Grounds

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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