Granada at Sunset

Highlights of Nicaragua

13 days
from
£2,079
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 13 reviews >
Trip code: 
AUL
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture & Discovery Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Colonial and revolutionary history, lakes and volcanoes, cigars and rum, are why Nicaragua oozes with charm.

From the twin peaks of Ometepe Island to the ashen slopes of Cerro Negro Volcano, the ‘Land of Lakes and Volcanoes’ is a great way to experience Central America's landscape and escape the crowds. Travel through misty cloud forest, full of birds, wildlife and the sweet smell of orchids, and to isolated Pacific beaches where nesting Olive Ridley turtles arrive en masse (in season - July to January). We also have time to enjoy the rustic, charming cities of colonial Granada and revolutionary Leon.

Highlights

  • The rustic charm of colonial Granada and revolutionary Leon
  • Walk through the cloud forest at Mombacho Volcano
  • The rising peaks of Ometepe Island
  • The ashen surface of Cerro Negro Volcano
  • Nesting Olive Ridley turtles at La Flor Reserve (July to January)

Key information

  • 6 nights comfortable hotels and 5 nights standard hotels in a variety of colonial and modern properties, all with en suite rooms
  • Travel by private minibus and 4WD
  • Boat and local ferries used

What's included

  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Managua; to Granada.

    Those on group flights will arrive in the evening and be transferred (40 minutes) from the airport to the beautiful colonial city of Granada. Located on the shore of Lake Nicaragua, Granada is Nicaragua's fourth largest city, with a rich heritage and culture.

    Accommodation: Hotel con Corazon or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Granada walking tour; boat tour of Las Isletas.

    After breakfast we venture into Granada for a walking tour taking in the cobbled streets and striking colonial buildings. Our city tour will include the main cathedral and markets as well as the beautiful San Francisco Church, from which we’ll have an exceptional view of the city. Granada is highly regarded for its traditional craftsmanship and manufacturing of local products. Spend the early afternoon wondering the quant streets and exploring the local markets. Or if chocolate is your go to then spend the afternoon learning about the history of cocoa and how to make your very own chocolate bar in Granada’s chocolate museum.

    In the late afternoon we take a peaceful boat tour around Las Isletas, a cluster of islands within Lake Nicaragua. These volcanic islands were created when Mombacho Volcano erupted more than twenty thousand years ago. They are now a haven for wildlife and some are now permanently inhabited by people living in private residences alongside restaurants and guesthouses.

    Accommodation: Hotel con Corazon or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Mombacho Volcano walk; visit Las Flores coffee plantation.

    We start early to visit the Mombacho Volcano Reserve. The last eruption of Mombacho was over five hundred years ago and now the slopes are covered with pristine cloud forest where a wide array of unique, and in some cases endemic, species can be found. We'll walk through the forest on well-marked trails to the summit of the volcano, from where there are remarkable views of Granada and Lake Nicaragua. This is a moderate hike although it can be slippery in places.

    On the slopes half way up the volcano is Las Flores café farm, our destination for this afternoon. After lunch at the farm, we take a guided tour to watch the process of producing sustainably harvested shade grown coffee. All of the coffee produced by Las Flores is certified by the Rainforest Alliance - after our tour we'll have the opportunity to taste the different varieties of coffee and buy some as a souvenir.

    Accommodation: Hotel con Corazon or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit Laguna de Apoyo.

    In the morning we head to the enchanted Laguna de Apoyo. The Laguna de Apoyo was created over 20,000 years ago when a giant volcano imploded, creating a huge crater which filled with water. It is one of Nicaragua’s most stunning natural wonders. The rest of the day is free to spend swimming, kayaking or relaxing in the warm clear waters of this crater lagoon.

    In 2017 there is the option at dusk to head up to the crater of the very active Masay Volcano where we can see the glow from lava in the crater as night falls. This excursion is included in the 2018 itinerary.

    Accommodation: Hotel con Corazon or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To San Juan del Sur; optional visit to nesting turtles (in season).

    This morning you are free to relax and enjoy Granada at your own pace. In the late morning we transfer to the charming seaside town of San Juan del Sur, about two hours south west of Granada. This sleepy fishing community is nestled within a tranquil bay overlooking the Pacific Ocean. To the north and south of San Juan del Sur there are pristine beaches and wonderful calm bays for swimming. There are also some great surfing beaches in the area.

    During turtle nesting season (July to January), there will be an optional 4WD excursion to visit La Flor Reserve in the evening. La Flor is a protected nesting ground for endangered sea turtles such as the Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtle. Covering more than 3,000 hectares, nesting turtles visit the shores of this reserve to lay their eggs. Leatherback turtles tend to arrive alone whereas Olive Ridley turtles arrive en masse - a spectacular sight! These tend to be tied into the phases of the moon but as this is nature it is unpredictable.

    Accommodation: Hotel Victoriano or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day for optional excursions.

    Today is free for you to enjoy the Pacific beaches of the San Juan region. We offer a number of optional excursions to help you explore the area, including fishing and sailing.

    Accommodation: Hotel Victoriano or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Ometepe Island.

    We transfer to Rivas where we board a ferry for the one-hour journey across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe Island. The volcanoes of Concepion and Maderas characterise Ometepe, their majestic peaks connected by a small strip of land to make an hourglass shaped island. Ometepe means 'two peaks' in the traditional náhuatl language spoken by indigenous ancestors. At 276 square kilometres, it is home to a vibrant population, many who survive principally by farming and fishing. Ometepe has a rich archaeological background due to the mix of tribes and cultures that inhabited the island, with petroglphys found in some parts. This afternoon we visit the museum of Ometepe then enjoy a late afternoon stroll through the Charcoverde area, looking at the wildlife and beautiful landscape of the area.

    Accommodation: Finca San Juan dela Isla or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Hike to Maderas Volcano.

    Today we hike through agricultural land and cloud forest within the Maderas Volcano Reserve to a lookout point from where there are spectacular views over the lake and the island. Please be aware that the trails here can be muddy and aren't always well maintained. On return we pass through Ojas de Agua, small natural spring pools perfect for swimming and relaxing after the morning hike.

    Accommodation: Finca San Juan dela Isla or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Depart Ometepe; visit Masaya market and Los Pueblos Blancos; to León.

    This morning we depart the island of Ometepe and move onward to the colonial city of Leon, visiting the Masaya market and the charming white towns of Los Pueblos Blancos on route. At the market, one of Nicaragua's greatest, you'll be able to find a wealth of traditional Nicaraguan handicrafts and foods from all over the country.

    Our next stop will be the town of San Juan De Oriente, which is famous for its tradition of pottery making. We visit the home and workshop of one the town’s greatest potters to learn about and watch the process of traditional pottery making and we each have the opportunity to try it for ourselves. We continue onwards to the colonial town of Leon for the evening.

    Accommodation: La Perla Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Morning city tour; afternoon optional hike on Telica volcano.

    León’s history will be brought to life this morning as we take a walking tour around the centre, visiting the cathedral (recently classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), art galleries, street murals, a museum dedicated to the famous poet Ruben Dario and the site where the brutal dictator Somoza was shot. After lunch in the Central Park, the afternoon can be spent relaxing or exploring this colonial city.

    For a more active afternoon the optional tour of an off road drive to the active Telica volcano, a 45 minute hike goes to the summit of the crater for sunset over the Pacific Ocean. After a hike back down the volcano we enjoy a local dinner in a small community of houses situated on the side of the volcano. This is a real chance to interact with the local culture of Nicaragua.

    Accommodation: La Perla Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Explore Cerro Negro Volcano; to Managua.

    We leave early this morning to explore one of León's greatest attractions - the Cerro Negro Volcano, Central America's youngest active volcano, where we hike to the summit (approx. 45 minutes) and peer straight into the crater. Cerro Negro is part of the Maribios volcanic chain and from the summit there are incredible panoramic views of the chain as well as León in the distance. On a very clear day the view extends to the Pacific Ocean. From here we return to León for lunch.

    In the afternoon we say goodbye to León and head on to Managua. En route we stop to try a Nicaraguan delicacy called a Quesillo, a local soft cheese wrapped in a corn tortilla topped with cream and pickled onion - try it! Once in Managua we will visit some interesting spots of Nicaragua's capital then we'll head out for a farewell meal.

    Accommodation: Los Pinos or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    End Managua.

    Those on group flights will depart today for Managua International Airport. Land-only passengers, the trip ends after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nicaragua

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Nicaragua without a visa - there is a charge of USD10 on entry for a tourist card.

Vaccinations

Nicaragua

No vaccinations are compulsory, but vaccination against typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A are recommended.

The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your doctor or travel health clinic.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

 

Eating and Drinking

Food is included as per the day to day descriptions on the itinerary.

Nicaraguan cuisine tends to be dominated by meat (principally beef) accompanied with rice and beans, a staple dish known as gallo pinto and found throughout the country. Hotel breakfasts are usually buffet style and consist of fruit, cereals, eggs, toast, gallo pinto, juice and tea/coffee. Vegetarians are generally well catered for although please be sure to advise us of any specific dietary requirements before departure.

Weather

Summer in Nicaragua falls between November and May and along the Pacific coast this is the best time to visit. Between May and November it is common to experience rain for a couple of hours every afternoon (September and October are the wettest months) along with higher levels of humidity, although the forests tend to bloom at this time. The temperature on the pacific coast of Nicaragua ranges from 23° C to 34° C with an average of 27° C .

Granada

Granada

Is this trip for you?

Most of the driving distances are short, but some of the roads can be of poor quality which may occasionally result in slower driving times than expected. There are several walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve rough paths or slippery trails. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last no longer than two to three hours. Nicaragua can be hot and humid throughout the year.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

You will spend 11 nights in a variety of colonial and modern properties. 6 nights will be spent in comfortable hotels and 5 in standard hotels, all rooms have en suite facilities.

We will stay in a variety of colonial and modern properties, all with en suite facilities. Some of the accommodation highlights will include: a boutique hacienda style hotel with wonderful views of Ometepe lake, a refurbished colonial building in the centre of Granada and a Victorian style hotel built during the early 1900’s overlooking the San Juan bay. All hotels have wifi and some have pools.

Single accommodation is available on this trip for a supplement, starting from £215 depending on season and availability.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Tamsin Harris

    Amazing adventure

    Such an interesting trip with a bit of something for everyone. This was more relaxed than some trips that I have done, with no really long drives which was great. The wildlife was amazing and if you enjoy a volcano then this is definitely the trip for you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the volcanoes were so different, but so amazing in their own ways. Climbing Telica and seeing a truly active volcano was awe inspiring and running down Cuerro Negro was great fun! Going to see the turtles nesting was brilliant and although there were not many turtles about, sitting under the stars and seeing the Milky Way in full glory was incredible enough anyway.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan was incredible, he was so passionate about his country and had lots of interesting stories to tell. As mentioned in previous reviews, his howler monkey impressions have to be heard to be believed! Juan has a real interest in wildlife and spotted so many things that I would have simply missed without him. He did everything that he could to make our trip enjoyable for everyone and was always smiling, funny and helpful. The trip was very organised and he made sure that everyone was clear about what was needed for each day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you take a water bottle to fill, it is so easy in all the hotels. Do the additional trip to Telica, it really is worth it. If travelling in August make sure that you have taken a good waterproof, we did have some very heavy downpours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go now before everyone else in the world discovers this hidden gem!
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Irene Fritschi Nelin

    Highlights of Nicaragua - lives up to its name

    This is a fantastic trip that truly covers the Highlights of the country: volcanos ( from extinct, dormant to recently become active again), birds, other wildlife, tropical forests, colonial towns and friendly people who had to overcome a, at times, violent history. The itinerary is laid out in such a way that the driving distances are never very long. I don't want to discourage people from visiting Costa Rica, but if you prefer travel destinations where the tourism infrastructure has not yet taken over all the sites, Nicaragua is right for you.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The stay on Ometepe Island, at the Finca San Juan, was definitely the highlight for me. We only had to step outside our bungalow to marvel at the birdlife and, with a bit of luck, some howler monkeys. On the hike up Maderas Volcano, we were immersed in the smells and sounds of a tropical forest and rewarded with a spectacular view over the island and Lake Nicaragua.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan is simply an outstanding guide. Hi is friendly, outgoing, a good communicator and very organized. He arranged a night time visit to a volcano that had just recently become active again, something that was not on the itinerary. He also has a passion and knowledge of the country's birds and plants that goes beyond what one can expect on a 'general interest' trip. He handled every situation with intelligence, maturity and diplomacy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I spent less money on food and drinks than what the trip notes suggest. Filtered water was provided throughout the trip and it was safe to drink the wonderful fresh fruit juices, even with the ice cubes. Don't expect too much from the market in Masaya. The trip notes overstate the quality and variety of the handicrafts. Be prepared to eat a lot of rice and beans and plantains - that is just part of travelling.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I hope Exodus will change the hotel in Leon as that was the only disappointing accommodation. A slightly larger van would have made the drives for our group of 13 more comfortable.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Gary Cox

    Fantastico,Fantastico,Fantastico.

    What a stunning,happy,and vibrant country.The adventure from start to finish was a revalation,i can not speak too highly of this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Descending down Cerro Negro,being in the cloud forest,and basically just breathing in Nicaragua.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan was superb on every level,passionate about Nicaragua,and extraordinary passionate about making sure everyone had a great time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Tear up your guide books,and enjoy the rollercoaster that is Nicaragua!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just go!!!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Jean Wilson

    Highlights og Nicaragua

    This varied holiday included enough relaxation time and organised time tobe perfect. The guide JUAN was excellent. He could answer all the questions without too much detail but with sufficient to be informative but not teacherish. There was not too much traveling in one go. The trip accommodated those who were interested in the workings of the country, those who had come for the volcanos and those who just like to travel. The trip to the local village was a nice touch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the inside of a volcano - the crater and seeing the tiny turtle poke its head out of the sand for the first time.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. he had an easy manner and had obviously researched everywhere thoroughly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a torch.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this holiday.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Gillian Blackgrove

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NICARAGUA

    A wonderfully exotic trip - fabulous wildlife and amazing volcanoes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip up Telica volcano - the bumpy, hilarious four wheel drive climb up and around the volcano to the tree line. the friendly family we visited, the climb to the precipitous rim, sunset and the slightly scary descent in the dark and the excellent family food provided on our return.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan is a brilliant guide who knows when to let you rest and when to keep the pace up. His knowledge of his country and the wildlife is excellent. He is sociable and gels the group together well. One of the best guides I have had on a Exodus trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect humidity - cotton might be better than the t shirt material I took. Expect rain - though we were only in rain on the turtle beach or when travelling or asleep. It does usually rain - hard at times - in August. We had no mosquito issues [though some were bitten by some sort of bug] and most of the group didn't bother with malaria tablets A torch - or even a head torch - is a must. A pair of long [light] trousers is needed for Cerro Negro, but other than then and the turtle beach I didn't use mine - too hot! Dollars are changed into the local cordobas and when you spend in dollars they give you change in cordobas, so keep an eye on how many cordobas you have as it is difficult to change them back With the volcano ascents, I would consider this more a moderate trip than leisurely

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think the trip is brilliant - if you are weighing up Costa Rica vs Nicaragua, choose Nicaragua - far more "raw" and exotic and excellently organised. Comfy hotels and good roads and stunning scenery and wildlife. You won't regret it
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    Stunning Nicaragua

    What an amazing holiday! Nicaragua is an absolutely stunning country, all lush green forests, dramatic volcanoes and seemingly endless lakes. Granada and Leon are colourful and vibrant yet surprisingly laidback and relaxed. More wildlife than you can shake a stick at. Is there anything nicer than sitting in a rocking chair on your verandah watching the fireflies? The pace of the holiday was perfect. Plenty of activity everyday, whether that's exploring a city, walking up a volcano or swimming in the Pacific, but it never felt overwhelming. No ridiculously long drives and the roads are mostly fine. The only criticism I would have is that it isn't long enough. We could definitely have had an extra couple of days in Leon at the end.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think going up Cerro Negro on our last full day. Mombacho and Maderas were both great - despite doing Maderas in the rain and essentially sliding back down in the mud. But Cerro Negro was exactly what I thought going up a volcano would be like. Black lava rocks, steaming crater, sulphorous fumes, it had it all. The views were just breathtaking, very much worth the 5:30am get up! And then coming back down in what felt like an almost vertical skid down the world's biggest sand dune. So much fun. Easily the most fun way to clean your boots, and get a very interesting volcanic-ash tide-line round your leg!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cannot find a single fault with Juan or Erlon. They were very definitely a partnership and they worked wonderfully together. Juan is so knowledgeable and passionate about his country it's infectious. There didn't seem to be anything he didn't know, so we spent a lot of time trying to find questions he couldn't answer! Honestly, it's worth going to Nicaragua just to hear Juan's howler monkey call! And despite having been leading tours in Nicaragua for 10 years he was still incredibly excited to find a stick insect on our night walk! He and Erlon managed everything so smoothly and effortlessly. We always knew exactly what we were doing, when and what we needed to wear and bring with us. It was delightful being able to switch my brain off for a while and let them manage everything for me. It was a bit of a shock having to go back to the real world of looking after myself!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a water bottle. There is free purified water in all the hotels. Remember a torch. I didn't and I had to borrow one from a companion. You'll need it for the turtles and the night walk.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go! Just go to Nicaragua. It is a truly wonderful country and is as yet relatively undiscovered so now is the perfect time to travel there.
  • Reviewed November 2014

    Highlights of Nicaragua

    A well organised trip led by a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, Juan, and his helpful driver Erlan. The starting point of Granada was a wonderful introduction to this country. The Hotel Con Corazon is welcoming and comfortable, the city is colourful and friendly and not too busy with traffic. The coastal town of San Juan del Sur is geared up for surfers but made for a pleasant enough stop. Sadly the turtles decided to give the beach of La Flor Reserve a miss the evening we were there! Onwards to Ometepe Island which is home to an interesting archaeological museum as well as 2 volcanoes. The hike up Maderas volcano was enjoyable, the downpour of rain made the downward hike challenging but fun. The city of Leon was much busier than Granada but the central park area is a nice place to people watch and has an interesting cathedral, a couple of museums and a big market. The Museum of Tradition and Legends is a bit wacky - and well worth a visit. Cerro Negro was my favourite part of the trip. The hike up this active volcano which last erupted in 1999 is on a rocky trail and offers fabulous views in all directions. Looking into the crater you see steam and smoke fumes emanating, scuff up the ground a cm or so and you can feel the heat. And then the descent is much fun - you can walk or run down the slope depending on how brave you feel! The Nicaraguans are very friendly and welcoming and at no point did I feel at all unsafe. Our guide and driver were a delight to be with and are clearly very proud of their beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The hike up and the run down Cerro Negro The beautiful smiling children walking home from school in their smart uniforms on Ometepe Island

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous - couldn't have asked for a more enthusiastic and knowledgeable leader, always smiling

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go before it becomes a better known tourist destination

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The country is quite poor and I would love to see more tourist dollars spent there to boost the economy. All of the group commented on how clean it was there. There's almost no litter around in the streets. The hotels, restaurants and bars were also spotless.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Teresa Carroll

    Highlights of Nicaragua

    This was a wonderful holiday. Nicaragua is a developing country with a fascinating history and is really worth a visit. The itinerary felt carefully planned so we got an insight into the history and natural beauty of the country and at the same time, the impact of it's developing tourist industry. San Juan del Sur is a small seaside town which seems primarily aimed at young surfers from the US; Ometepe Island hosts a beautiful Eco resort on the shores of Lake Nicaragua where you can take in the wonder of the natural world alongside Nicaraguans going about their daily lives. Juan and Erlon (our guide and driver) were so friendly and knowledgeable and obviously so proud of their country - it was a pleasure to have them lead us in the trip - always accommodating and pointing out wildlife and sights that we would have definitely missed had we not been with them. Thank you to both of you! I would definitely recommend a trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many - the sight of so many volcanoes (some of them obviously active) against the skyline has to be one. Watching a Ridley back turtle lay her eggs on a beach - close to midnight with the lightening flashing in the sky lighting up the volcano. Visiting the museum of the revolution in Leon and then sheltering from the torrential downpour (the only one we had) and watching a group of over excited dogs run round and round the plaza.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan was brilliant - so knowledgeable and thoughtful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring along plenty of insect repellant - there are mosquitoes but the repellant works!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fabulous trip!
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Sharon Ebbs

    Highlights of Nicaragua

    This was a trip with great variety - a mixture of beautiful nature, culture and history. The island of Ometepe is exquisite - has a feeling of tranquility and there are opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty. The first hotel at Granada gives 100% of their profits to educational projects and is a very welcoming place.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The knowledge of the guides about nature is amazing. They would see something along the roadside and stop to show us; or on a leaf as we walked past - a tree frog, a brown vine snake...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan is a great ambassador for his country. He and the bus driver Erlon go out of their way to provide for the group. Nothing is too much trouble. Juan is extremely knowledgeable, especially about nature. Both are very flexible and give excellent advice. Juan is very environmentally aware. Top quality people - both of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is called leisurely but you need to be aware that some of the walks are steep. Water is available for free at every hotel. Many meals are included on this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Make sure you go to the local place for food at the last venue - it is more authentic than the more ex pat style restaurants which you go to for the rest of the trip.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous

    HIGHLIGHTS OF NICARAGUA

    Stunning scenery, volcanoes galore, amazing wildlife and glorious sun. A truly memorable adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It felt as if there was an inspirational moment every day.  The walk on Maderas volcano was breathtaking (in more ways than one).  Once we had reached the viewpoint the vista of Concepion volcano was wonderful.Seeing turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on La Flor beach will be a lasting memory of the trip.  The starlight night, the moon slowing sinking behind the horizon and the sparkling plankton all added to the experience. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Juan enthusiasm for his country was infectious.  Nothing seemed to be too much trouble.  It anyone said "I wonder if we could do......." Juan would organise it so people could do what had been suggested if they wished.  Throughout Juan ensured that our visit benefitted the local community whilst not having a negative impact on the environment.  Never had a group leader who was so passionate about the environment from encouaging the group to fill up water bottles in hotels (to reduce waste generated) to picking up any litter he encountered on walks.  On top of all this he had a cracking sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now.  Nicaragua is still developing as a tourist destination ensuring that places you visit are not over run with people.  However there is a good infrastructure.Take a water bottle.  Ample places to top up with purified water for free as well as reducing plastic waste.  A headtorch also comes in handy for the turtle watching. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was one of the best Exodus trips I have been on for sustainability.  We stayed in hotels where the profits were used to promote the rights and wellbeing of disadvantaged sections of the local community.  

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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