Hiking Tour Costa Rica & Nicaragua

Costa Rica - Nicaragua (14 days / 13 nts)  From $N/A


Day 1: San José - Zarcero - Zapote Hike - La Vieja - La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano
Reception by the tour guide and driver in the city hotel. After breakfast, we head towards the coffee plantations on the fertile slopes of the Poás volcano, making a short stop in Zarcero to visit the artistically designed gardens of the town church. Zarcero is located on the highest point of the mountain pass, between the central valley and the northern plains. Only a few kilometers north of Zarcero, we start today‘s hike at 1‘520m altitude. A country lane takes us through meadows and pastures and then 16km downhill through the jungle to the northern plains. The hike ends in the town of La Vieja at an altitude of 300m. On our way, we discover numerous look-out points over the volcanic Cordillera Central and the plains. Not surprisingly, the only village we encounter on our journey is named Buenavista (beautiful view). During the hike, we gain insight into the rural life of the Ticos and have time to get used to the tropical climate. Near La Vieja, we board our bus and drive back to La Fortuna at the foot of the active volcano Arenal. Settling into rooms at hotel Arenal Paraíso, where you may relax in the hotel‘s own hot springs in the evening. Dinner at the hotel‘s restaurant.

Included meals: lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel***(Hotel Arenal Paraíso, Superior or similar)

Day 2: Hiking to ¨Cerro Chato¨
Cerro Chato, also kindly known as the ¨ little brother ¨ from the Arenal Volcano is our destiny for today. We begin our hike at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, a completely land of farm where you will learn more about the agriculture and agricultural products of the region, such as macadamia nuts. Soon we will enter to the exuberant forest and climb up to the top of Cerro Chato. Right at the top, if we get some luck with the weather, we can see the crater and the lagoon from the Arenal. If the weather allows it, we will descend to the shore of the lagoon. The descent will take part at the other side of the mountain through the forest where you will see pasture land and lots of nature wonder sightseeing. Finally we will end our hiking in an ornamental plants garden. The hiking from today is to see our nature wonders, lushly cloud forest, agriculture and scenic beauty. Moreover, this hike demands physically condition since it takes around 6 km to complete the trail.(around 4 to 5 hours). Afterwards, we pass by a local local restaurant at La Fortuna for lunch (optional). Then, we will return back to the hotel and again you will have the opportunity to enjoy and relax at the resort‘s hot springs.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel***(Hotel Arenal Paraíso, Superior or similar)

Day 3: Hike at Arenal National Park - Bijagua
This morning we will hike at the Arenal Nationalpark, we will walk on the trails of ¨Las Coladas ¨and ¨La Ceiba ¨around 2 to 3 hours. This hike maintains overall on a ground level where we will have the opportunity to observe all diverse kind of flora and fauna (particularly heliconias) and also, tucans, monkeys and coatis. Our journey through this magical and tropical forest will lead us to an impressive kapok tree which is over 50 meters long and more than 100 years old. Last but not least, we will visit a lava field from 1992 and if the weather allows it we will have a spectacular view on lake Arenal. Afterwards, we will drive along the shore of the lake and watch the beauty of the landscape in our surroundings. Now we can finally understand the reasons why quite a lot of Europeans have come to live here... For lunch, we will visit the Swiss Franz Ulrich in his Swiss Cottage and Restaurant - Los Heroes, where a delicious lunch will be served. In the afternoon, we will continue our journey towards the north to reach our final destination, Bijagua where the next cozy hotel will be waiting for us.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel*** (Hotel Tenorio Lodge or similar)

Day 4: Hike Tenorio National park - Rio Celeste
Today‘s agenda features a very special highlight. Even though there are no changing rooms on location, uncomplicated guests should be sure to take bathing suits and towels along. We will hike through the Tenorio national park, in the midst of the Costa Rican jungle, along the banks of the extraordinary river Rio Celeste, which is fed by the streams =Roble‘ and =Buena Vista‘. We will hike at a slower pace today because our travel guide will give us a lot of interesting information about the jungle vegetation and point out some animals. We will encounter many types of birds and maybe even monkeys, sloths, coati-mundis and anteaters. Other jungle residents such as reptiles will be harder to come by, as they usually hide from hikers. You don‘t need to be afraid of the animals, but a certain level of respect is appropriate. The Rio Celeste is also quite spectacular. The meeting of two rivers colors the water a beautiful sky blue. The color contrast of the water and the rich green of the jungle is a popular motif for photos. (…) The hike continues to an idyllic waterfall. (…) At the park‘s exit, the bus waits to take us back to Bijagua for the night.

Included meals: Breakfast, boxlunch, dinner
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel*** (Hotel Tenorio Lodge or similar)

Day 5: Bijagua - Aguas Claras - Hiking in Colonia Blanca - Hacienda Guachipelin
After breakfast we drive to Aguas Claras where we turn into an unpaved road that leads us to the village of Colonia Blanca. Today‘s hike begins here at an altitude of 560m. A country lane takes us past several houses to the edge of the forest of the giant Rincón de la Vieja national park, which surrounds a volcano of the same name. After lunch, we hike slowly uphill through the forest to the Hacienda Santa María at 1‘000m. This is the highest point of our journey. On our way, we have to cross several streams. Our alert guide will be on the lookout for animals. The hike can be extended by up to 23km upon request. From the Hacienda Santa María, we travel downhill to the lodge where we will spend the night.

Included meals: Breakfast, boxlunch, dinner
Accommodation: Standard Class Hotel**(*) (Hacienda Logde Guachipelin, Superior rooms with A/C, or similar)

Day 6: Rincón de la Vieja National Park
In the morning we will hike around 3 hours on the trail Las Pailas in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Thanks to the near volcano, we also will find volcanic activity in the middle of the jungle. Hot springs, geysirs and boiling mud holes will convert our walk into the highlight of our roundtrip. During green season, we will also pass by a clear waterfall. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, we walk through Hacienda Guachipelin which is mostly covered by virgin forest. The trail goes through a natural paradise, sometimes a little uphill and sometimes downhill again, without much effort we will make it (in about 1 hour). Monkeys and various bird species can be watched from here. Nowadays, we recommend you to bring a bathing suit to enjoy the aim of ¨ Las Chorreadas¨ waterfall, a well deserved refreshment and relaxation. Later, we walk back to the Lodge. Dinner and overnight.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Standard Class Hotel**(*) (Hacienda Logde Guachipelin, Superior rooms with A/C, or similar)

Day 7: Rincón de la Vieja - Peñas Blancas - Sapoa - San Ramon Waterfall - Playa Santo
ORO Travel will pick you up at Hotel and drive to the border with Nicaragua. . After short immigration formalities, we will drive to the little port of San Jorge. From here you will take the ferry and cross the lake. In Moyogalpa, the principal city of the island our local transportation will be waiting for you and drive to Playa Santo Domingo, passing by the Legendary Charco Verde and colorful villages. 10 km – approx. 3 hours

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Standard Class Hotel**(*) (Hotel Villa Paraiso, or similar)

Day 8: Playa Santo Domingo - Ojo de Agua - Moyogalpa - Nature Reserve Mombacho - Tepeyac - Granada
In the early morning, we will hike towards to the island‘s second volcano Concepcion and pass Ojo de Agua a fresh pool of water in the middle of the island. A short drive takes us to the port of Moyogalpa for our ferry back to the mainland. From there our transport will bring us up to the Nature reserve volcano Mombacho 1221 meters above sea level. From here we will start our visit through the cloud forest, learning about the endemic vegetation of the area and will hike down through the tropical rainforest and coffee plantations. At a pre-arranged pick up point in Tepeyac at the foot of Mombacho, we will meet our driver and continue the short drive to the old colonial city Granada and our hotel for the night. 13 km – approx. 5 hours

Included meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel*** (Hotel Patio El Malinche, or similar)

Day 9: Granada - Masaya Volcano National Park - Chocoyero / El Brujo Natural Reserve  - Granada
Today we will drive to the Volcano Masaya National Park. Arrival at the entrance, we start by taking a look at the at visitor center where we will learn about volcanoes and seismology in Central America. From here, we take the path to ?Sendero Los Coyotes?, a 1.5 km trail where visitors can observe the moon-like lava formations, craters and variety of wildlife that includes coyotes. With some luck you may also watch numerous birds and even white faced Monkeys who live in the dry forest. We also take a walk on the trail ?El Comalito?, where a volcanic cove contains many fumaroles that emits vapor. After ending our tour in Masaya Volcano, we will drive to the 184-acre nature reserve Chocoyero/El Brujo that lies westside of the Masaya volcano, between Granada and Managua. Here, along with your local guide we go on different paths to explore the different forests of the reserve with lusting flora and fauna. We admire the two waterfalls of the reserve and watch the colorful green parakeets (Chocoyos) as they return in the evening to their nests (Not guarantee!). We return to Granada in the evening. 10 km – approx. 5 hours

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Comfort Class Hotel*** (Hotel Patio El Malinche, or similar)

Day 10: Granada - Nature Reserve Montibelli
We start early and drive to the private nature reserve Montibelli situated between 360-750 meters above sea level where we observe the abundant flora and fauna of the tropical dry forest with its many birds (among them parrots, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, trogons, and also Nicaragua is national bird, the Turquoise-browed Motmot), butterflies, other animals as well as the farming of shade grown coffee, lemons, pitahaya, plantains, pineapples and flor de Jamaica ending the hike with superb view of the surroundings like Mombacho, Volcano Masaya and the Nicaragua Lake. For lunch a freshly made local dish will be served at the Reserve. 7 km – approx. 3 hours (Paths Los Balcones + El Pochote + El Mirador)

Included meals: Continental breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Montibelli Reserve

Day 11: Montibelli - Leon Viejo - Nature Reserve Las Pilas / El Hoyo - León
After our breakfast we will leave Montibelli for a visit to the nature reserve and rural community Las Pilas/El Hoyo. One the way, we will have a stop in Leon Viejo, located on the foot of the Momotombo volcano and testimony of the colonial history of the country. During our walk in the area, we will firsthand experience the landscape shaped by volcanic activity, the rich nature and farming thriving in the volcanic soil enjoying the view of the continent‘s second youngest volcano Cerro Negro (the black hill) and finally passing by the Lagoon Asososca. We will board our transport for the short journey to León and our hotel. Approx. 10 km – approx. 4 hours – altitudes up to 1079 meters

Included meals: Continental breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Standard Class Hotel**(*) (Hotel Los Balcones, or similar)

Day 12: Leon - Nature Reserve El Arenal - Selva Negra
After breakfast we will drive to the Nature reserve El Arenal. Hiking through the Reserve we will observe its beautiful forested mountains and diverse wildlife with spectacular views and diverse flora and fauna for example monkeys and armadillos. Continuing to our next lodgings Selva Negra we follow a nature path. When arriving at our hotel a late lunch will be served. The rest of the day it is possible to learn more about the activities of this pioneer organic coffee, flower and livestock farm on a tour of the property. Depending on the season it will be possible to follow the coffee processing. 10 km – approx. 3 hours

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: Standard Class Hotel**(*) (Hotel Selva Negra, or similar)

Day 13: Selva Negra - Matagalpa - Managua
We leave Selva Negra in the morning and pass through the cloud forest and coffee bushes observing the varied vegetation and bird life. The hike ends at the side of the road Matagalpa-El Tuma. By car we travel downwards to the valley and city of Matagalpa for a lunch stop. There will be time for a short sightseeing before the journey to the capital Managua and our hotel close to the airport. 7 km – approx. 1 ½ hours.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch
Accommodation: First Class Hotel**** (Hotel Camino Real, or similar)

Day 14: Managua - Managua Airport
At the a prearranged hour we leave the hotel and drive to the airport to board our flight. Options for those who have a late flight : City Tour Managua + hike peninsula Chiltepe

Included meals: Buffet breakfast
Accommodation: None

- Transfers and transportation in comfortable vehicles with A/C or by boat, as per description.
CR: 1-6 pax minibus with 12 seats, 7-15 pax bus with 19-22 seats
NIC: 2-3 Pax in Minibus, 4-7/8 Pax in Hiace type for 16 passengers, 8/9-13/14 Pax in Sprinter type for 19 passengers. Note: On Ometepe island, most vehicles do not offer A/C.
- Overnights in the mentioned hotel categories in standard rooms with shower/toilet and local taxes
- Meals as per description (in CR incl. 1 non-alcoholic, typical dring (mostly a fruit juice). Additionally, in CR snacks, fruits and refreshments during the day; drinks during the hikes)
- English and/or German speaking tour guide in Costa Rica; English speaking tour guide in Nicaragua. Tour guides change per country. - Entrance fees for the mentioned excursions and activities
- Travel documentation with useful information (the actual travel program has to be provided by the tour operator)

Not included:
- Voluntary tips
- Personal expenses
- Extras in the hotels
- Additional meals and drinks
- Optional excursions
- Flights
- Border fees CR-NIC, currently USD 3 per person
- Tourist card entering NIC, currently USD 10 per person
- Airport tax MGA, currently USD 35 per person (generally already included in the flight ticket)