|GOLD RUSH IN NICARAGUA: RIO SAN JUAN, LAKE NICARAGUA AND GRANADA|
|The river and lake you are about to paddle was once traveled by famous explorers and naturalists as Diego de Machuca and Thomas Belt, describing the ever present spectacular flora and fauna. The same area was used by (mainly) British pirates as an assault route to ransack Granada city in the 17th and 18th centuries. Well known filibusters like Francis Drake, William Dampier, John Davis, Alexander Esquemelin and Raveneau de Lussan ventured into this isolated region. In the 19th century Mark Twain wrote about his journey on the river and Lake Nicaragua, traveling to California during the gold rush. Your naturalist bilingual guide provides a unique insight, exploring the river by kayak you learn to spot rare species of birds, reptiles and mammals. You will be amazed to approach a sunken steamship by kayak, partially overgrown by lush jungle, and to discover the remnants of dredge that Cornelius Vanderbilt used in his attempt to engineer an interoceanic channel. Apart from your naturalist guide, a local logistics specialist will join your party, setting up camp and cooking traditional meal, always one step ahead.
|1||Mar 1, 2020||Managua||Hotel Real Intercontinental Metrocentro|
|2||Mar 2, 2020||Sabalos||Hotel Sabalos|
|3||Mar 3, 2020||Rio San Juan||Guacimo Lodge|
|4||Mar 4, 2020||Boca de San Carlos||Campsite|
|5||Mar 5, 2020||Sarapiqui||Campsite|
|6||Mar 6, 2020||El Jobo||Campsite|
|7||Mar 7, 2020||San Juan del Norte||Rio Indio Ecolodge|
|8||Mar 8, 2020||San Juan del Norte||Rio Indio Ecolodge|
|9||Mar 9, 2020||El Castillo||Hotel Victoria|
|10||Mar 10, 2020||Granada||Hotel Plaza Colón|
|11||Mar 11, 2020||Las Isletas||Jicaro Island Ecolodge|
Mar 01, 2020
Welcome to Nicaragua|---
Welcome to Nicaragua! Your expedition leader welcomes you at the airport, for your transfer to your hotel, where you spend the first night with all the comfort you can expect in a capital city. The following day adventure will start, your guide and his assistant will take you back in time to Spanish colonial times, British pirate invasions, and the American Gold Rush.
Managua Airport - Managua
- Distance: 15 km.
- Road is in very good condition.
Average travel time: 25 minutes
Destination Info: Managua
Managua is the capital of Nicaragua, home to almost two million inhabitants and is easily the largest city in Nicaragua. The city has a lot to offer its visitors: theatres, restaurants, clubs, bars, and cinemas, to name a few. The hotel infrastructure and service levels are on a par of what you would expect in any capital city. At Roberto Huembes market, you can experience an authentic Nicaraguan street market and find high quality handicraft. Just outside Managua, the Montibelli bird and butterfly reserve and the Chocoyero nature reserve provide the perfect environment for birdwatchers, hikers and nature enthusiasts.
Hotel Real Intercontinental Metrocentro
The Real InterContinental Metrocentro Hotel offers elegant rooms in one of the finest hotels in Managua. The building is one of the few high buildings in the capital city, and is located right next to the Metrocentro shopping mall, in the heart of Managua. The 157 rooms are spacious and equipped with all modern conveniences such as A/C, cable TV and private bathrooms. Among the facilities are a swimming pool, computer center, translation services, gourmet restaurant and bar. The hotel also offers services like car rental, laundry and valet service, internet access, 24-hours front desk, and private parking.
Rooms: Double Room - Standard
Mar 02, 2020
Travel to Rio San Juan|B-D
Today, you take a ground transfer to San Carlos from Managua. Once in San Carlos you are transferred to the harbour to take the public boat to the small riverside town of Sabalos. You stay at a nearby jungle lodge, where you will enjoy wildlife.
Managua - San Carlos
- Distance: 293 km.
- Road is in good condition.
Average travel time: 5:00h
- Boat : 13:00 - San Carlos - Sabalos Average travel time: 2:00h
Destination Info: Rio San Juan
The San Juan River springs from the immense Lake Nicaragua and runs roughly 200 kilometers before connecting with the Caribbean Sea. Halfway down the river the enormous Indo-Maíz Biosphere Reserve gives visitors the opportunity to see hundreds of different bird species, including toucans, eagles, herons, egrets, and cormorants. Caimans, turtles, monkeys, and tropical frogs are also abundant. Visitors can easily access the area from both Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
The Rio San Juan is the perfect destination for the true adventurer and nature lover and Sabalos Lodge offers the perfect setting from which to explore the beauty of the Nicaraguan wilderness along the Rio San Juan. The area surrounding the lodge is incredibly diverse and home to howler and white-faced monkeys, a large number of birds, varieties of mammals, and many species of reptiles. Guests are encouraged to take a dip in the crystal clear water deep within the rainforest, hike various trails located within the private nature reserve, or relax in one of the riverfront hammocks.
Sabalos Lodge offers individually designed riverside cabins, all with in room bathrooms and spectacular views of the San Juan River. The lodge practices true ecotourism and runs on solar energy and hydro electrical power. The well-equipped restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and specializes in fresh fish from the river. Various hikes can be easily undertaken, using horse or by foot on one of the several trails in the private natural reserve. The hotel also has kayaks for rent for the more adventurous traveler.
Rooms: Single Room - Standard, Double Room - Cabaña
Mar 03, 2020
Kayaking to Guácimo Lodge via El Castillo Fortress|BLD
Today your kayak adventure starts with a 16 kilometre, five hour paddle to Guacimo Lodge, located on the edge of the Indio Maíz Biosphere Reserve. En route, halfway, you visit the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception, located on the southern bank of the San Juan River. El Castillo was built along the San Juan River in order to defend against pirate attacks upon the colonial town of Granada.
Destination Info: Bartola
Bartola community is located 190 km away from Lake Nicaragua on route to the caribbean coast, it hosts a river that takes the same name of the community and is tributary of San Juan River. The area is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, also a protected area.
13:30 Bartola - Kayak to El Castillo and Bartola
Continue your kayak trip to Refugio Bartola, located in the surrounding of Indio Maíz Biosphere Reserve, passing through El Castillo, you will kayak a total of . Once you approach to Bartola, you would be in an exclusive point to observe birds in platforms in the rainforest, besides the flora and fauna along Bartola river.
Guácimo Lodge is the latest sample of sustainable architecture and practices in Rio San Juan. This jungle lodge is located on the banks of the river, providing guests a respectful environment to connect with the nature. The lodge has a total of eight rooms and is located in Bartola, about one kilometer away from Indio Maíz biosphere reserve. The hotel has a pool area with yoga deck, and an on-site restaurant, with an amazing view. Excursions to El Castillo town, a working cacao farm, and of course to the Indio Maiz reserve, can be pre-booked.
Rooms: Double Room - River view Bungalow, Single Room - River view bungalow
Mar 04, 2020
Rainforest kayaking: sunken steamship, Machuca rapids, San Carlos river delta|BLD
After a hearty breakfast with a view your naturalist guide introduces you to his operations assistant, who will join the team to travel ahead, paving the river as it were, setting up campsites and cooking local fare. Today you will first enter the biosphere reserve, paddle around a half-sunken steamboat from the 19th century, and challenge the white waters of the Machuca rapid. You continue kayaking down river to Boca de San Carlos Delta, altogether for about 8 hours, around 38 kilometres downstream. Overnight at a campsite at the park rangers station. Enjoy late afternoon admiring flora and fauna at the river delta.
07:30 Bartola - Kayak to Boca de San Carlos
Continue to Boca de San Carlos, you immerse into the Indio Maíz Reserve kayaking about 38 kilometres to the site where the San Carlos river joins San Juan river; composed by a rainforest in the Nicaraguan side. They journey for this day will take you across some rapids and you will see some remains of history as a steamboat from the 19th century.
In this area is also possible to observe crocodiles in the sandbanks.
Mar 05, 2020
Kayaking to Sarapiquí river delta|BLD
After breakfast at the riverfront campsite you prepare for an early start of another full day of your private kayak expedition, this time all the way to the Sarapiquí river delta, approximately 8 hours of kayaking, for 44 kilometres. You paddle through the heart of the Indio Maiz Biosphere Reserve, dense tropical rainforest where the only signs of human civilization can be seen on the Costa Rican side of the river. You enjoy the surrounding wildlife as your naturalist guide introduces you to the many species that you encounter. Overnight at a camp-site at the Sarapiquí river delta, exclusively prepared for you.
07:30 Costa Rica - Kayak to Sarapiquí
Delight with a 44 kilometre kayak till Sarapiquí River, which comes from the center of Costa Rica, where the Turrialba mountains are located. It is also the place were William Walker hide after running away from Granada and grouped with the filibusters.
The area is composed by a dense tropical rainforest and is great for bird watch species of scarlet tanager, osprey, king vulture, belted kingfisher and rainbow-billed toucan.
Campsite at Sarapiqui
Mar 06, 2020
Kayaking to El Jobo community|BLD
Waking up with a cacophony of birdsongs, your breakfast is prepared at your riverfront campsite. Next you gear up for a 6 hour and 32 kilometre kayak trip to the community of El Jobo, consisting of no more then a dozen of small houses. On the way you pass by many untouched river islands, and make a stop at the park rangers station of Delta, for a hot beverage and a chat. Your campsite will be set up at El Jobo, where some fresh local produce will enrich tonights dinner. You will have late afternoon at leisure to physically and mentally prepare yourself for the final stretch of the kayak expedition, the following day.
07:30 Kayak to El Jobo
El Jobo is a small local community founded by people that were refugees during the civil war in Nicaragua, who were relocated from Costa Rica to Rio San Juan in the Nicaraguan side.
Today the 32 Kilometre kayak takes you to river islands and across the tropical rainforest, you also visit the local rangers station for a chat with the locals.
Campsite at El Jobo Community
Mar 07, 2020
Kayaking the final stretch, where the river meets the Caribbean Sea |BLD
After breakfast in the community you get ready for the last leg of your expedition, which runs through the Caribbean lowlands surrounding the river, a different ecosystem with surprising flora and fauna, and a rich history. The river looses much of it´s strength as you approach the Caribbean sea, this stretch still takes around 5 hours, being only 18 kilometres. Before arriving at your comfortable resort, Rio Indio Lodge, you cross several lagoons with manatees and parts of the abandoned canal that was constricted by Cornelius Vanderbilt at the times of the gold rush. After a well deserved hot shower and afternoon tea at your private deck clients and crew get together to celebrate with an evening storytelling at the lodge, of course with a wonderful meal.
Destination Info: San Juan del Norte
San Juan del Norte, also known as Greytown, is located on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The city has always been a point of interest for a canal and by foreign settlers. The town was founded by the Spanish in 1539. This was only the beginning of a multi-ethnic occupation. Around the mid 1800´s, the town became a transport terminus between key American cities and Nicaragua. In 1854, the towns prosperity came to a halt when the U.S. burned it, in retaliation to confrontation between the townspeople and American citizens.
San Juan del Norte today is great to visit for a bit of history - the city is home to some of the oldest populations in all of Nicaragua. Be sure to visit the Laguna Azul for a refreshing swim.
07:30 Rio San Juan - Kayak to San Juan de Nicaragua
Kayak for about 18 kilometre to San Juan de Nicaragua, still located in the Indio Maíz Nature Reserve, you can see the place where the interoceanic canal was meant to be constructed by the famous Cornelius Vanderbilt. The area is an excellent place to bird watch and observe sloths.
Greytown was known to be the most important port city of Central America till the beginning of the XX century. It was also a protectorate of Great Britain, and a main trading route with the access to new Spains viceroyalty.
Rio Indio Ecolodge
Rio Indio Lodge is by far the most luxurious hotel in the Rio San Juan region. Located on the banks of the Rio San Juan, Rio Indio Lodge is an eco-lodge with all of the comforts of a luxury hotel.
From the lodge, guests have easy access to the Indio-Maiz Nature Reserve, the Blue Lagoon, the Caribbean Sea, and the town of San Juan. Located just minutes from the Costa Rican border, the lodge is surrounded by virgin forest, abundant wildlife, and some of the best fishing. Upon arrival, guests can arrange a variety of activities including birding, fly fishing, and kayaking.
The lodge was carefully constructed to blend in with its natural surroundings. Elevated walkways connect the 24 cottages with the main lodge, restaurant, bar, and swimming pool area. Each of the cabins come fully furnished with hardwood furniture and equipped with private baths with hot water.
Rooms: Double Room - with Fullboard, Single Room - Single Room (guide) - with Fullboard
Mar 08, 2020
Day at leisure, kayaking or touring from Rio Indio Lodge|BLD
Today you can either relax at the jungle resort and work on your expedition journal, enjoy the pool and surrounding wildlife, or to get your muscles stretched again for a kayak tour on the lagoon to spot rare species of flora and fauna with you naturalist guide. You can also explore the village of San Juan de Nicaragua, or Old Greytown with its ancient cemetery with impressive 18th- and 19th century graves.
Rio Indio Ecolodge
Mar 09, 2020
Day at leisure in El Castillo|BL-
After breakfast, board the boat that takes you to El Castillo, after crossing back the Indio Maíz Nature Reserve. Today, you can visit the town on your own with your naturalist guide.
- Boat : 07:15 - San Juan de Nicaragua - San Carlos Average travel time: 7:00h
Destination Info: El Castillo
Originally built to protect Lake Nicaragua and its port from English pirates, El Castillo, Fortress of the Immaculate Conception is located on the shores of Rio San Juan in the south of the country.
The site is full of interesting history and is open to general public. It also houses a small museum which tells the fortress´ intriguing history and where you can visualize the past. The town adjoining the fortress goes by the same name and is charming with its cobblestone streets and laidback atmosphere. The surrounding area is home to a big biodiversity.
Hotel Victoria is a nice hotel with clean, spacious rooms with wooden interiors, with Air-Conditioning and hot water showers. Other amenities include cable TV, wireless internet and laundry service. The Doña Victoria restaurant offers fish, freshly caught in the San Juan River, as well as their specialty, the Giant River Shrimp.
The friendly staff offers excellent service, but English is not spoken.
Rooms: Double Room - Standard, Single Room - Standard
Mar 10, 2020
Travel to mainland Nicaragua, transfer to colonial Granada|BL-
After breakfast, you are transferred to San Carlos port where you and your guide take a boat to Puerto Colón port in mainland Nicaragua. Your driver will then transfer you to the colonial town of Granada. Upon arrival your guide will explore the old town with you, getting back in the footprints of the buccaneers that travelled up San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua. Overnight at in one of the best boutique hotels of Granada, situated at a prime historic location.
El Castillo - San Carlos (Public Boat Fast)
- Distance: 50 km.
- Road is in average condition.
Average travel time: 2:30h
San Carlos - Puerto Colón
- Distance: 50 km.
- Road is in good condition.
Average travel time: 2:00h
Puerto Colón - Granada
- Distance: 155 km.
- Road is in average condition.
Average travel time: 2:50h
Destination Info: Granada
Granada or the "Gran Sultana" is one of Latin America's most beautiful colonial cities. This ancient town founded in 1524 on the shores of vast Lake Nicaragua is full of history and Spanish colonial charm and is famed as one of the oldest European settlements in the western hemisphere. The city's precious architecture and history is unforgettable as is lodging in a beautifully restored colonial home at one of its fine hotels, allowing visitors to enjoy its timeless beauty and quiet charm. Granada is also a great base to visit pristine nature reserves, active- and dormant volcanoes, and the artisan villages in the region.
14:30 Granada - Stroll in Colonial Granada
An interesting walking tour around the Colonial Granada,one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, founded by the Spanish in 1524. A must visit destination for every tourist due to its historical, cultural and nature richness. The excursion includes the visit of emblematic sites as for example San Francisco Convent, founded in 1529 and La Merced church, where you will be able to climb to the bell tower; a stroll around the famous La Calzada street and an entertaining visit to Doña Elba Cigars to learn about the cigar making process. End the tour at the social center Tío Antonio, an initiative to create employment for people with disabilities, that hosts a coffee shop runned by deaf people, where you will as well be able to learn the hammock making process.
Hotel Plaza Colón
Hotel Plaza Colon is a beautifully refurbished colonial house overlooking Central Park. It combines modern amenities with the old colonial architecture of the restored building. All rooms have air-conditioning, cable TV, fans, and an internet connection and minibar. Some of the rooms have a large terrace which offers great views of the park and the colorful cathedral. Other rooms have small windows in the large wooden colonial doors, a feature in compliance with traditional Spanish-colonial architecture. Right outside the hotel, guests can observe the daily life in Granada or hop on a horse-drawn carriage. At the evergreen patio located in one of the hotels beautiful internal courtyards, guests can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Rooms: Double Room - with balcony
Mar 11, 2020
Kayaking to San Pablo Fortress - afternoon at leisure at Jicaro Ecolodge|BLD
After breakfast in a colonial setting you leave for the nearby Las Isletas archipelago of 360 islands in Lake Nicaragua. During a kayak tour you visit the last line of defense against pirate invasions in Granada, the San Pablo Fortress. With a little help from your private guide you have now revisited the entire route of the buccaneers, from the Caribbean Sea, over Lake Nicaragua, to colonial Granada; the oldest colonial city on mainland Latin America (1524). Around lunchtime you travel by boat to Jicaro Island Ecolodge, a world-class ecolodge located on one a private island of the Las Isletas archipelago. Afternoon at leisure, dinner and overnight at Jicaro Ecolodge.
Ext. Marina Cocibolca
- Distance: 5 km.
- Road is in good condition.
Average travel time: 10 minutes
- Boat : 11:00 - Granada´s Asese Port - Jicaro Island
Destination Info: Las Isletas
Located in Lake Nicaragua, a compact 354 island archipelago formed around a peninsula, products of a pre-historic eruption of the nearby Mombacho Volcano. Most are inhabited and home to a mixture of humble fishermen and some of Nicaragua's most wealthy families who have vacation homes there. In the last decade some of the islets have been transformed to private island resorts and eco-lodges. The flora and fauna of the archipelago is remarkable, and best observed from a private deck, by motorboat, or by kayak slowly paddling around the islands.
08:00 Granada - Las Isletas Kayak Adventure (Private)
As you navigate through the calm waters with your guide, be sure to keep an eye out for many species of birds and other wildlife that inhabit the lake and its surroundings. You'll also pass by local fishing communities and observe their daily island life. Paddle straight into the quiet canals where we find yourself surrounded by a lush vegetation with kingfishers, white and grey heron's and white throated magpie-jays.
Jicaro Island Ecolodge
Jicaro Island Eco-lodge is Nicaragua's most upscale nature resort located on a private island in Lake Nicaragua. The luxury eco-resort seems to blend right into the natural beauty that surrounds it. Guests stay in one of nine private casitas overlooking the lake. Each one has a canopy bed, private bathroom and veranda. Immerse yourself in a magical island experience filled with peace, tranquility and access to a wide variety of tours and activities. Both the casitas and the furniture are locally made with Rainforest Alliance certified wood. While at the lodge you can choose to relax and indulge in the jungle-like surroundings at the pool, do a yoga class, or have a massage in an open-air treatment room. The food is amazing and so are general services levels, and the lake views.
Rooms: Double Room - Bungalow
Mar 12, 2020
Your private kayak expedition is done, share your experience!|B--
Transfer from to the International Airport. End of your private expedition. Have a good flight back home or extend your stay in Nicaragua.
- Boat : Jicaro Island - Granada´s Asese Port Average travel time: 10 minutes
Granada - Managua Airport
- Distance: 51 km.
- Road is in very good condition.
Average travel time: 1:00h
In this reservations you traveled 619 km approximately. This produces 60.48 kg de C02. It takes 3.98 trees to compensate for the environment impact.
Our sustainable suppliers
Water Refill Point
- Hotel Plaza Colón : In support of our sustainability program and joint effort to ban single-use plastics, this accommodation hosts a water refill point. Our customers are given a personal aluminum bottle, to use throughout their tour.
Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Hotel Plaza Colón
: Certified by Rainforest Alliance. Hotel Plaza Colón sponsors an environmental education program in a local public school in Granada (Escuela Dezamber) by giving recycling stations and trees plantations, also with MONISA company, as we provided 1000 trees to be planted at the bottom of Mombacho Volcano ; their guests can also buy our pre-made backpacks equipped with school supplies for donation to this school. Hotel Plaza Colon sell souvenirs made by local cooperatives like UP Nicaragua, The Jicaro Project, Corazon contento, COOSMECH, Empowerment Nicaragua, (artisans and a school for children with disabilities).
They have a focus on buying all local produce, employing local tradesmen and providing internship opportunities, implementing recycling, executing water and electricity conservation programs.
Community based tourism
- Jicaro Island Ecolodge : Hiring of a local staff is essential to the success of the lodge. We want to spread the potential wealth that tourism brings to Nicaragua by hiring locals as employees, subcontracting services locally and buying and producing locally.
- Hotel Victoria : The energy that supplies the room for the lights comes from solar panels.
Nature Conservation Project
- Hotel Sabalos : ecotourism, certified by ICV Initiative Centro America Verde by FODESTUR and INTUR
- Jicaro Island Ecolodge
: Harmony with nature and the local community were a key consideration in the development of Jicaro Island Ecolodge. The hotel was built with minimum impact to the island and with very careful planning in terms of water supply, waste water treatment and electricity usage. The team in charge of the management of Jicaro has a 12 year track record running ecolodges and sustainable hotels in Costa Rica and has brought this accumulated know how to Nicaragua.
To know more about our sustainable policy, we invite you to visit our website: www.vapues.com
|Minimum: 2 + 1 TL pax|
|Valid for 2020 except Easter Week and Christmas & New Years Period|
|Net rate per person: US$4,365.00|
|Single room supplement: US $ 395.00|
Note: This is just a quotation and suggested program. If at time of booking quoted hotels are not available, similar hotels will be booked and price is subject to change. All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.
- Meet & greet
- Information package with maps and a detailed itinerary
- Reusable bottle
- Lodgement at hotels as mentioned or similar
- Lunch on indicated days
- Dinner on indicated days
- Private Transfers with snack
- English speaking guide from Day 1 till Day 12
- Entrance fees
- VAT / taxes
- International flights
- Meals other than mentioned
- Migration fees
- Personal expenses
- Optional tours/activities
- Tips nor porters
Contact details Vapues ToursRestaurante Don Parrillón 1c. Este,
1/2 c. norte, casa # 45
Tel: (+505) 2270-1936
Emergency number 24/7
Tel : (+505) 7872 0076