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NICARAGUA

Exploring Nicaragua: Colonial Towns to Countryside

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Nicaragua

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Natural History

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Road Scholar
Program #18125RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Mombacho Volcano is over 3,000 feet in elevation.

Itinerary for Mar 5 — Mar 11, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Holiday Inn Select Managua is part of the first world wide Hotel Chain (Intercontinental Hotel Group) that offers fully equipped hotels. Only 20 minutes away from Managua International Airport, this intelligent and ecological building fulfills the highest security standards.

Contact info:
Juan Pablo II Avenue
Managua, Nicaragua
phone: +505 255 6010
web: www.holidayinn.com.ni

Room amenities: High speed internet connection, digital security box, electronic locks, cable T.V., telephone, iron, ironing board.

Facility amenities: 24 hour room service, air conditioned interior public areas, dry cleaning, money exchange, wake up calls, swimming pool, shoe polishing, digital security box, gym.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: Subject to availability.
Please contact your program provider, Holbrook Travel, for additional information.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Tuesday, March 05 - Arrive to Managua.
Arrive To: Arrive in Managua.
Transfer to hotel.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3PM.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Select Managua

Type: Hotel

Description: This historical hotel in the heart of the magical city of Leon, is a true colonial jewel. San Francisco's Convent was the first and most ancient convent in Leon, with its church being founded in 1639 by the Reverend Fray Pedro de Zuniga. Because in the 1830's religious groups were expelled from Nicaragua, San Francisco’s Convent became the Intituto Nacional de Occidente. Now it stands completely refurbished in its original state. A true marvel of a hotel, the one to stay at in Leon.

Contact info:
Next to San Francisco's Church
Leon, 00000 Nicaragua
phone: +505-031-17053
Room amenities: 31 beautiful double rooms (each with two queen beds) and one suite (king size bed), all equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, hot water, international dial tone, internet access, 24 hr room service

Facility amenities: Laundry service, Full service restaurant and coffee shop, Beautiful garden and fountain, Elegant conference and event rooms accommodating up to 250 guests.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Two: Wednesday, March 06 - León - Las Huellas de Acahualinca & Histor...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Program Orientation.

Excursion to the archaeological footprint of Las Huellas de Acahualinca estimated to be over 7,000 years old. Site lecture: Evidence of Early Human Presence in Central America.

Many thousands of years ago, the soft ground near Lake Managua's southern shores captured impressions left behind by animals and Paleo-Indian humans. Over time, the mud and volcanic ash solidified, creating a permanent record of the people and animals who once roamed the area. The Museo Sitio Huellas de Acahualinca, located in the Acahualinca neighborhood, showcases the footprints found at the site and archaeological finds from other areas in Nicaragua.

Visit to the Plaza de Revolution, National Palace of Culture, the old and new Cathedrals, Old Somoza Bunker, and Sandino Statue.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer to Leon.

The liberal counterpart to conservative Granada, Leon is known as the intellectual and academic center of Nicaragua. The city's buildings serve as fine examples of Spanish colonial architecture; the Cathedral of the Assumption in particular. Despite Leon's importance as an industrial and commercial center, it is surrounded by lush natural beauty and is only 11 miles from the Pacific coast.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Lecture: Overview of Nicaragua.
Presentation of a poem by Ruben Dario.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Hotel El Convento

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This historical hotel in the heart of the magical city of Leon, is a true colonial jewel. San Francisco's Convent was the first and most ancient convent in Leon, with its church being founded in 1639 by the Reverend Fray Pedro de Zuniga. Because in the 1830's religious groups were expelled from Nicaragua, San Francisco’s Convent became the Intituto Nacional de Occidente. Now it stands completely refurbished in its original state. A true marvel of a hotel, the one to stay at in Leon.

Contact info:
Next to San Francisco's Church
Leon, 00000 Nicaragua
phone: +505-031-17053
Room amenities: 31 beautiful double rooms (each with two queen beds) and one suite (king size bed), all equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, hot water, international dial tone, internet access, 24 hr room service

Facility amenities: Laundry service, Full service restaurant and coffee shop, Beautiful garden and fountain, Elegant conference and event rooms accommodating up to 250 guests.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Thursday, March 07 - León – History of the Colonial City.
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Excursion to the Spanish colonial city of Leon.
Return to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at hotel.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Flor de Caña rum Distilery. Site lecture: The History of the Famous Pellas family.

The Pellas family has been producing Flor de Caña rum since the late 1800's. What began as a local family business grew in time into a powerful corporation and a provider of employment opportunities for the people of Nicaragua. The famous aged rum is made in Chichigalpa, northwest of Leon. Sugar cane is grown on the estate and milled locally for use in the company's modern distillery. In addition to creating a product that is much appreciated worldwide, the distillery has received much praise for its environmentally conscious practices, such as recycling and the use of biogas during production.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare in León.

Lodging: Hotel El Convento

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Hotel Café is located in Jinotega, 160km northeast from Managua. Coffee is the most important economical activity and the weather is quite warm from June to December. The mountains are always green with a wide variety of birds and animals. We offer tours to coffee states. The hotel is located in downtown in Jinotega. You can walk around the city safely, buy typical black ceramic, corn bread and a delicious cup of coffee.

Contact info:
Texaco gas station 1 Block East & 1/2 Block Nort
Jinotega, 0000 Nicaragua
phone: +505-782-2710
web: www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/HotelCaf-Jinotega-3560

Room amenities: The rooms are nicely decorated and have private bathrooms with warm water, cable TV, direct dial telephones and air conditioning.

Facility amenities: Laundry service, Internet connection, room service, conference room, bar and restaurant, money exchange and private parking. English spoken.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Friday, March 08 - Jinotega – Boilers of San Jacinto/Matagal...
Jinotega –
Boilers of San Jacinto/Matagalpa/Selva Negra Coffee Plantation.


Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Morning transfer to Jinotega.
En-route excursion to the mudpots of San Jacinto. An excellent place to explore the geothermal activity of the area, this reserve has exceptional boiling mud fumaroles and hot springs.

Visit to Matagalpa.

Situated along the Rio Grande, coffee farms surround the lofty village of Matagalpa in northern Nicaragua. In the mid 1800s, Ms. Katharina Braun Elster pioneered coffee production. Today, coffee is the mainstay of Matagalpa’s economy. Matagalpa is built on a hilly terrain that is surrounded by mountains and receives a higher average of rainfall each year, making the surrounding areas green and lush.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant in Matagalpa.

Afternoon: Field trip to Selva Negra gourmet coffee plantation.

This medium sized coffee farm, established by German immigrants in the late 1880’s, specializes in the production of shade grown Arabica coffee. This estate serves as an example of how sustainable practices can positively affect local communities and the environment.

Lecture: The History of Coffee Production in Nicaragua.

Arrive Jinotega and check into hotel.
Free time to rest before dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Evening: Enjoy some local entertainment at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Café

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Plaza Colon is located right in front of Parque Colón, known as Parque Central in the historical city of Granada. The hotel is set in an elegant antique colonial house that has been restored to its original style and architecture, with interior courtyards and balconies overlooking Central Park and the Cathedral. Granada has a cheerful night life full of bars and lounges; at the Hotel you can visit El Bar and enjoy your welcome cocktail “El Macua”, the national drink of Nicaragua. Right t the front of the Hotel you can take a horse drawn carriage and tour the city around. Don Simon Cafeteria, just aside from the Hotel, will offer you a taste of the best Nicaraguan coffee.

Contact info:
Front of Central Park
Granada, Nicaragua
phone: +50525528489
web: www.hotelplazacolon.com

Room amenities: 2 Queen beds, AC, hot water, cable TV, safety deposit, hair dryer, minibar, ceiling fan and telephone

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Saturday, March 09 - Granada – Masaya Volcano National Park/His...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Transfer to Masaya Volcano National Park with a pit stop en route.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to Masaya Volcano National Park with site lecture. The volcano is one of the most active in the country with gaping craters and a continuous stream of sulfurous gas visible from far away. The Chortegas, who most Masayan inhabitants today trace their ancestry back to, feared the volcano and understood the grumbling eruptions to be signs of anger that required sacrifices, often human.

Visit to Volcanic Interpretation Center.

Transfer to Granada. Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Lecture: The History of Granada. Afternoon exploration of the colonial center of Granada.

Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Granada is one of the oldest cities in Central America. Granada?s location on the shore of Lake Nicaragua has brought attention to the small colonial hamlet throughout the years. In the nineteenth century, Granada played host to the likes of William Walker and others intent on taking control of the nation. Decades later Granada seemed a perfect location for the terminus of the canal that would link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Today, its violent history has faded into the past and Granada offers its visitors copious amounts of charm and an excellent view of Central America's colonial past.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare in Granada.

Lodging: Plaza Colon Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Plaza Colon is located right in front of Parque Colón, known as Parque Central in the historical city of Granada. The hotel is set in an elegant antique colonial house that has been restored to its original style and architecture, with interior courtyards and balconies overlooking Central Park and the Cathedral. Granada has a cheerful night life full of bars and lounges; at the Hotel you can visit El Bar and enjoy your welcome cocktail “El Macua”, the national drink of Nicaragua. Right t the front of the Hotel you can take a horse drawn carriage and tour the city around. Don Simon Cafeteria, just aside from the Hotel, will offer you a taste of the best Nicaraguan coffee.

Contact info:
Front of Central Park
Granada, Nicaragua
phone: +50525528489
web: www.hotelplazacolon.com

Room amenities: 2 Queen beds, AC, hot water, cable TV, safety deposit, hair dryer, minibar, ceiling fan and telephone

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Sunday, March 10 - Granada - Mombacho Nature Reserve/Masaya Ma...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Mombacho Nature Reserve. Upon arrival at the park, board a four-wheel drive vehicle for the 25-30 minute journey to the top of the volcano.

This cloud forest reserve encompasses a large portion of the now dormant Mombacho Volcano. The park boasts a large collection of flowering plants including bromeliads and orchids, in addition to a variety of animal life. Well maintained trails wind along the volcano's slopes; home to over 500 howler monkeys. When cloud coverage is less dense, visitors are rewarded with spectacular views of Granada and Lake Nicaragua.

Site lecture: Geology and Natural History of Central America's Largest Lake.
Excursion to Catarina Outlook on Apoyo Lagoon.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Excursion to Masaya Market - home to some of the best craftsmen of Central America.

Masaya, also known as the “City of Flowers,” is Nicaragua’s folk culture and artisan center. Explore the colorful market and view the handicrafts from all over the country. Also visit a ceramic factory for a pottery demonstration to learn how the pottery found throughout the market is created.

Horse and carriage ride around downtown Granada.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at local restaurant.

Lodging: Plaza Colon Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seven: Monday, March 11 - Depart from Managua. Return to the U.S.
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (dependent on flight times).

Morning: Transfer from Granada to Managua's international airport.

Flight to the U.S.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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