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NICARAGUA HISTORY & CULTURE (7 Days/6 Nights)
Managua, Granada, Masaya, Morgan’s Rock
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Description: Begin with a city tour of Managua. Then depart to Granada, perhaps the country’s most charming colonial city. With your guide visit on foot and in horse-drawn carriage some of the city’s historic sites. Visit the Masaya crafts market and the “pueblos blancos” to watch local artisans at work before ending the trip at Morgan’s Rock. This is a unique ecolodge and farm where you will have two full days to relax on the beach or your villa’s terrace, or participate in optional activities (at additional cost).

Meal codes=(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner.

Day 1: Arrive Managua (No meals.)
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 in Managua. Overnight at Hotel Siminole.

Day 2: Managua / Granada (B,L)
Morning 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.

Then visit the Palacio de Arte y Cultura and the malecon, with its restaurants and bars fronting Lake Managua. There will be a stop for a Nicaraguan-style lunch before driving with your guide to Granada (1 ½-hour drive). Overnight at Hotel Plaza Colon.

Day 3: Granada (B,L)
Morning guided tour of Granada on foot and in horse drawn carriage. 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.

With your guide you will walk to the central plaza to visit the Cathedral of Granada and see other historic sites such as the house whereWilliam Walker orchestrated the destruction of the city in 1856. Walker, an American filibuster (person who invades or aids in a revolution in another country in order to gain money and power), had himself elected President of Nicaragua. His presidency lasted only a few months, partly due to his military success, which provoked strong responses from Costa Rica and other nations countering U.S. expansionism. By mid-1857 he surrendered to the U.S. and returned home to be recognized as an American hero.

After a stop at the Convento San Francisco, where an archeological museum is housed, you will continue to explore the city with your guide by horse drawn carriage, the traditional means of transport. You'll visit the railway station (no longer working) and La Polvera Fort, built in 1748 to store the city's gunpowder. The fort later served as Somoza's political prison.

Your carriage will leave you at the dock on Lake Nicaragua, where you will board a small boat headed to the nearby Isletas, 365 small islands where many of Granada's wealthy families maintain weekend homes. Observe caiman, turtles, Ringed Kingfisher, Neotropic Cormaran and other species. Return to Granada. Overnight at Hotel Plaza Colon.

Day 4: Masaya and Pueblos Blancos / Morgan's Rock (B,L,D)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart 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 "white towns" of Katarina and San Juan del Oriente, the heart and soul of Nicaraguan arts and crafts. You will visit local artisans their shops and see how they transform clay into pieces of art. In Katarina, artisans are specialized in woodcarving and furniture making, and several plant stores on the main street display an interesting variety of indigenous plants. After lunch continue to Morgan's Rock (approximately 2 ½-hour drive). Overnight at Morgans's Rock Hacienda & Lodge.

Days 5-6: Morgan's Rock (B,L,D)

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. Overnight at Morgans's Rock Hacienda & Lodge.

Day 7: Morgan's Rock / Managua Airport (B)
Depart from Morgan's Rock to the Managua International Airport (about 3 hours).

NICARAGUA HISTORY & CULTURE (7 Days/6 Nights)
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
 
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$1,530
$316
3 participants in dbl occ
$1,357
$315
4 participants in dbl occ
$1,310
$317
Valid Nov. 1 to Dec. 14, 2009
 
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$1,647
$355
3 participants in dbl occ
$1,474
$354
4 participants in dbl occ
$1,427
$356
Valid Dec. 15, 2009 to Jan. 5, 2010
 
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$1,758
$358
3 participants in dbl occ
$1,585
$357
4 participants in dbl occ
$1,538
$359
Valid Jan. 6 to May 15, 2010
 
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$1,654
$395
3 participants in dbl occ
$1,481
$394
4 participants in dbl occ
$1,434
$395
Valid May 16 to Oct. 31, 2010
 
 Sngl Sup.
1-2 participants in double occupancy
$1,537
$356
3 participants in dbl occ
$1,364
$355
4 participants in dbl occ
$1,317
$356

Included:
Accommodations and meals as featured 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 1-4.

Not included:
Costs of obtaining passports, visas or tourist cards (tourist cards US$5.00 per person as of Aug 7, 2005). 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 ($32.00/person); 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).