Arrive at Managua, Nicaragua, airport pick up and transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure and overnight.
In morning, drive to Playa Peñitas, here, we will take a boat tour of Juan Venado Natural Reserve, an incredible mangrove sanctuary, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including 106 bird species, Caymans, crocodiles, iguanas, crustaceans and several species of sea turtles. Continue to Leon arriving around noon; At 2:00 PM, we will enjoy a city tour of Leon, explore the rich cultural and political history of one of Nicaragua’s oldest and most influential cities, much of its charm lies in the narrow colonial streets, museums, restaurants and cafes. In this guided walking tour, you will visit revolutionary murals, baroque and neoclassical churches including the Basilica de la Asuncion, surprisingly interesting Museum of Legends, arts and poetry and the Museum of Art Ortiz Gurdian, in addition, you will get to climb the rooftop of Central America’s largest cathedral and enjoy the amazing views over the city and surrounding Maribios Volcanic Chain; evening at leisure and overnight.
Early morning, depart for Granada, in route driving tour of the capital Managua and Masaya Volcano National Park, arriving at Granada at noon, in the afternoon enjoy a carriage / walking tour of Granada, Granada is considered to be one of the oldest colonial cities in the Western hemisphere. On this guided walking tour, you will explore the San Francisco Church and neighboring San Francisco Convent built in 1529. Now functioning as a museum, the Convent is home to an impressive collection of pre-Columbian art. Continue on to the beautiful Merced Church where you will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the bell tower and take in spectacular views over the city, Lake Nicaragua, and Mombacho volcano; evening free. Overnight at Granada.
Today we will enjoy a hiking tour of Mombacho volcano and Natural reserve, departing at 8:00 AM, we will reach the summit in about an hour, Mombacho is truly one of the most imposing attractions of the country. The Volcano Natural Reserve is covered by exuberant nature, typical of the tropical rain forest and a singular dwarf forest where you will admire the flora and fauna as well as the majestic crater at an altitude of 1,345 meters above sea level, then, we will enter to Costa Rican territory, ending our day at Liberia, the second largest city in the country, where we will spend the night.
Granada to Liberia, Costa Rica
After breakfast, we will drive to Monteverde natural reserve, here, we will take the sky tram / sky walk, spectacular combination of suspension bridges with easy and well maintained walking trails built in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and above the tropical forest canopy, enjoy the natural surroundings and relax. overnight at Monteverde.
We will drive to the town of La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, near Arenal Vocano National Park, we will take an informative, beautiful walk, you’ll learn about the behemoth Arenal Volcano, the secondary and primary tropical forest surrounding it and the interesting wildlife of the area. Once we finish the walk, we’ll head to a view point to see more of this famous volcano (note that the volcano has not been very active in the last few months but you can hear the volcano and often see flumes of gases), we will also visit La Fortuna waterfall before returning to town, late afternoon we will relax at the hot springs, overnight at La Fortuna.
Today, we are on our way to San Jose, Costa Rica, we will have a chance to admire the beautiful scenery, arriving around noon, in the afternoon, we will take a city tour of San Jose, the tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of San José. It begins with an orientation and drive through the beautiful Sabana Park. Next, visit the historic National Theater. Completed in 1897, the theater is a masterpiece in art and architecture. Afterwards we will visit one of the many unique museums of Costa Rica. We will continue heading to the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court and various sites of interest. A brief stop will be made in a beautiful art craft shopping store allowing you to browse through it before returning to your hotel, overnight at San Jose.
In the morning, we will take the Pan-American Highway South, to start ascending the large “Iztaru”. The winding road travels through fertile lands cultivated with all kinds of vegetables as we observe a lovely panoramic view. At the top of the Irazu volcano you can observe the main craters and on a clear day both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen. As we descend to the city of Cartago we will stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica which according to religious custom is a peregrination site for many believers. return to San Jose midafternoon for overnight.
At 8:00 AM, we will drive you to the airport to catch your regional flight to Panama City, AV699, departing at 10:50 AM and arriving at 1:00 PM, upon arrival transfer to your hotel, overnight at Panama City.
Drive to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. From here we take a boat across Gatun Lake in the canal, passing gigantic cargo ships in route – an astonishing contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to spot Green iguana and Three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, Crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock bass, Snail kite and Keel-billed toucan among other wildlife. We will return to the Hotel midafternoon, evening at leisure, overnight at Panama City.
At 8:00 AM, we will enjoy a city tour, including, Panama Canal Miraflores locks, The Casco Antiguo district as well as those sites, streets and places of interest, travel back in time as you visit France Plaza, Las Bovedas, and the Flat Arch; next, we will head to Amador Causeway, a man made connection of three islands, a bustling tourist attraction, where you will have a breathtaking view of the city and have time to purchase from handicrafts to electronics in Duty Free stores; we will head to your hotel around noon, rest of the day at leisure, overnight at Panama City.
Travel to Madden Lake and board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) to travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village of Embera Drua. The boat journey takes us through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park and along the Chagres River, we may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas and kingfishers among otherspecies. At the Embera village we learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature, and have the chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a picnic lunch we visit the nearby waterfall where we can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading back to Panama City for overnight.
Charges river & Embera village
At 8:30am, we depart to Portobelo, founded in 1597 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1980. It is located on a bay and is considered the most important and rich fortification of the colonial times. The canons, showing the importance of this defensive structure, can still be seen at the fort. The church ‘San Felipe de Portobelo’ is home to the Black Christ, patron saint of the region. The museum holds the general information of the colonial time. Today Portobelo has more than 3.000 inhabitants descendent from Afro-Caribbean slaves, which allows the visitor to experience the colorful lifestyle and, in the summer, the conga music in the central square at the old customs house. After lunch we take a 45 min. ride into the city of Colón, founded in 1853, with its many preserved historic features of Afro-Antillean culture, and take a brief tour of the Washington Walkway and the Central Ave., which in the Guinness Book of Records is considered the longest park in Latin America. At 4:30pm we head to the train station of Colón, from where we travel for about 1 hour alongside the canal through the heart of ‘Soberania National Park’, arriving in Panama City late afternoon. Pick and transfer to the hotel.
At the appropriate time, transfer to the Panama City’s International airport.