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NICARAGUA CONNOISSEUR (11 Days/10 Nights)

Managua, Leon, Granada, Ometepe Island and Morgan's Rock
See prices

Day 1: Arrive Managua
A Nicaragua Expeditions guide and driver will pick you up outside the baggage claim and immigration area at the international airport and take you to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel Los Robles. (No meals.)

Day 2: Managua / Leon
Morning city tour of Managua by bus. The reason to start with a tour of Managua is that it will put everything else you will experience in the context of Nicaragua's fascinating history. Despite centuries of conflict and violence that goes back to the arrival of the Spaniards and continued virtually without pause until 1990, the Nicaraguan people have made a lasting commitment to peace, as symbolized by a cement wall, which we will visit, where literarily thousands of guns have been buried.

You will visit the city's Arab-style Cathedral, built in 1995 to replace the one destroyed after the devastating 1972 earthquake, which claimed more than 10,000 lives and left many more homeless. Also see the monument to Augusto Sandino, a peasant leader who later inspired the Sandinistas. The monument is located on a hill with good views of both the old and new Managua. It was here that Anastasio Somoza ordered Sandino shot in 1934. The huge black statue of Sandino in silhouette, which dominates the hill, can be seen from nearly every part of the city. After lunch drive to Leon with your guide, stopping en route to visit the the ruins of Leon Viejo. Overnight at Hotel El Convento. (B,L)

Day 3: Leon
In the morning explore Leon with your guide. Begin at the steps of the Leon Cathedral, the city’s largest church (and the largest in Central America), founded in 1747 and containing masterpiece religious art. If you are lucky during your visit, the three-ton bell, dedicated to 19th century Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario (whose tomb is also in the church), may be rung by hand. Leon has 13 churches, some of them connected by underground tunnels. These tunnels were used as escape routes in case of pirate attack. Although no longer accessible, the blocked entryways can be seen in the Cathedral’s crypts. In the afternoon see the geysers of San Jacinto. Overnight at Hotel El Convento. (B,L)

Day 4: Leon / Granada
After breakfast drive to the town of Masaya with your guide to visit the markets where Nicaraguan crafts (and most everything else) are sold. Then on to the “Pueblos Blancos,” the cradle of Nicaragua’s craft tradition. Mid to late afternoon in Granada. Overnight at Casona de los Estrada. (B,L)

Day 5: Granada

Morning horse-drawn carriage tour of Granada with your guide. Granada is at once both the oldest city on the continent and the most developed tourist destination in Nicaragua. Founded in 1524, it has been the stronghold of Nicaragua's landed aristocracy and, after independence from Spain in 1821, the country’s conservative center. Because of its wealth, Granada was repeatedly attacked by French and English pirates in the 1600s. You will visit several sites, including the San Francisco Convent, where an archeological museum is housed, the railway station (no longer working) and La Polvorera Fort, built in 1748 to store the city’s gunpowder. The fort later served as Somoza’s political prison. Afternoon boat tour of Lake Nicaragua. Overnight at Casona de los Estradas. (B,L)

Day 6: Granada
Morning visit with your guide to Mombacho Volcano. Afternoon free to explore Granada on your own. Overnight at Casona de los Estrada. (B,L)

Day 7: Granada / Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Lodge
Early morning departure with your guide for the drive to the ferry to Ometepe Island (2 hour-drive and 1 hour on ferry). All day to explore Ometepe. In 1867 Mark Twain described Ometepe this way: “Out of the midst of the beautiful Lake Nicaragua spring two magnificent pyramids, clad in the softest and richest green, all flecked with shadow and sunshine, whose summits pierce the billowy clouds.'' You're likely to find the description fitting as your ferry approaches the island. Return on the ferry and drive to Morgan’s Rock (about 1-1/2 hours). Overnight at Morgans’s Rock Hacienda & Lodge. (B,L,D)

Days 8-10: Morgan's Rock
Days at leisure or participating in optional activities (at additional cost), which include: nature walks, horseback riding, mountain biking and visits to the Hacienda's working farm, reforestation project and traditional sugar mill. Nights at Morgan's Rock. (B,L,D)

Day 11: Departure
Drive to the airport for your return flight. (B)


NICARAGUA CONNOISSEUR
2009-2010 Prices (US$)

Prices are per person and subject to change without notice.
Prices in effect at the time of deposit will be honored.

Valid May 16 to Oct. 31, 2009
 
 Adult
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
US$2,531
$404
3 participants in dbl occ
US$2,257
$404
4 participants in dbl occ
US$2,117
$404
Valid Nov. 1 to Dec. 14, 2009
 
 Adult
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
US$2,687
$443
3 participants in dbl occ
US$2,413
$443
4 participants in dbl occ
US$2,273
$443
Valid Dec. 15, 2009 to Jan. 5, 2010
 
 Adult
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
US$2,835
$499
3 participants in dbl occ
US$2,561
$499
4 participants in dbl occ
US$2,421
$499
Valid Jan. 6 to May 15, 2010
 
 Adult
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
 $2,687
$496
3 participants in dbl occ
$2,413
$496
4 participants in dbl occ
$2,273
$496
Valid May 16 to Oct. 31, 2010
 
 Adult
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$2,531
$457

3 participants in dbl occ

$2,257
$457

4 participants in dbl occ

$2,117
$457

Childrens' prices:
If sharing a room with two adults, children 0 to 5 years old, receive a 50% discount and from 6-10 years, a 25% discount applies. Children older than 10 years pay adult rates.

Tour prices include:
Accommodations as featured in the itinerary. Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner). All land transportation. Taxes and entrance fees. (Hotel taxes, entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking are included unless otherwise specified.) Tax increases or new taxes charged for services that were not taxed in the past may occasion a surcharge. Tours as specified in the itinerary. The services of a professional, bilingual guide days 1-7.

Not included:
Costs of obtaining passports, visas or tourist cards (tourist cards US$5 per person). Excess baggage fees; personal expenses such as room service, beverages and laundry; gratuities to tour escorts, guides or drivers; personal communications charges; international airfare and airport departure taxes; tax increases or new taxes charged for services that were not taxed at the time the booking was made; excess mileage carried out at the request of the client; sightseeing or meals not specified in the itinerary; personal trip cancellation insurance coverage (strongly recommended).