Nicaragua walking tour vacation

“Our only two week walking vacation in Nicaragua, following a tailor made itinerary through cloud forest, rural villages and volcanic virtuosity. ”


Guided walking tours | Managua | Leon | Leon Viejo | Hike up Cerro Negro volcano | Masaya Volcano | Apoyo Lagoon | Granada | Las Isletas de Granada | Mombacho volcano | Hike through cloud forest | Lake Nicaragua | Ometepe Island | Hike to Maderas volcano crater | Nicaragua Pacific coast | San Juan del Sur | La Flor Wildlife Reserve

Departure information

Daily departures until October
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Nicaragua walking tour vacation


Nicaragua is one of the least visited countries in the Americas. This is a genuine pioneering destination. If you don’t mind patchy tourist infrastructure then you will be rewarded with a visit to a country yet to be spoiled by mass tourism.

Our tours are structured to create the least possible impact on local ecosystems. In Nicaragua you will generally be accompanied by a private guide which means more attention and therefore a richer overall experience. The guides we use for walks in the national parks are all trained naturalists and many live locally to the area. They are experts in the flora and fauna of the region and are incredibly passionate about passing on their knowledge, so clients have a greater understanding of local environment and the delicate balance of regional ecosystems.


This itinerary has been designed to show the amazing variety of Nicaragua. We also work hard to ensure that our vacations here are sustainable and that all communities we visit benefit from our presence. During your vacation you visit biological research stations and breeding programmes. You also spend time in the homes of artists and artisans. Your presence contributes to the welfare & continuance of all projects.

For almost 20 years World Vision has been working hand in hand with the local communities in Nicaragua’s Chorotega and Northern Huetar regions to promote sustainable development practices. Among the schemes they have initiated are: the Economic Development programme, which generates sources of employment and agricultural funding in rural areas; the Prevention, Emergency and Rehabilitation programme which works in the area of emergency prevention and offers relief and rehabilitation to victims of disaster; the Promotion of Justice programme, which helps to foster respect for the rights of children and women through better education.

Reviews of Nicaragua walking tour vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 06 May 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Wildlife encounters in the tropical forest - howler monkeys, a sloth, racoons and porcupines plus too many species of birds to name

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Noting a previous review and having had previous experience of the (lack of) service provides by US-based airlines we used Panama as the gateway to Central America. Options are KLM, Air France and Iberia. We used KLM who were very good. It makes the journey longer but is worth it.

There are legal money changers on street corners in Leon and Granada. These give a much better exchange rate than banks or the Cambio at the airport.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The impression we got is that the services used were all locally based/owned so the country benefited economically.

The reforestation project at Penas Blanas that we visited is a fascinating initiative and well worth supporting.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent hotels, good food and varied sightseeing ( wildlife, volcanoes and historic cities) The only thing missing is a bucket-list icon on the itinerary.

Logistically the tour was excellent - transfers went smoothly and the guides were likeable and knowledgeable

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Stephen,

Many thanks for taking the time to post a review of your recent Nicaragua vacation on the RT site. We're delighted to hear that you had such a good time.

While often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour to the south, we're huge fans of Nicaragua for its wildlife, history and culture, and it was great to hear that you were able to enjoy these aspects too. It's definitely true, as you indicate, that you have a very immersive experience when visiting - it's arguably the most culturally authentic of all our
destinations in Latin America. I'm pleased too that we were able to tailor your trip to include Penas Blancas, it's a beautiful part of the country with good work being done, as you say.

Thank you again for choosing to travel with us and share your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you on another trip to Latin America with us soon.

Best wishes,


Reviewed on 17 Dec 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The beauty of the country and the people. Some of the most warm and friendly people I have ever come across. Very safe in the areas we travelled and absolutely amazing art for very little money. Loved it!!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The only really extremely negative aspect of the trip was the experience with American Airlines, flying through Miami. Avoid this if humanly possible. People traveling to Nicaragua are either locals or family of locals bringing much desired American goods. Travelers pay for many large pieces of excess baggage. American does absolutely nothing to manage this and the result is many, many, many bags don't arrive with the flight. We were without our bags for one full week of our two week vacation and the "customer service" we received from American was dismal. We spent too many hours of our trip dealing with trying to recover our bags and failing that, shopping for things to hold us over.

I am told that the other airline, Continental, deals with this in a much more efficient and friendly way with much fewer lost bags and quicker recovery. None of the three of us traveling together received our bags, were treated rudely, given incorrect information, and ignored. If you must fly AA, bring everything you need on board with you and don't expect to get your checked bags! Also, the Customs at Managua airport leaves much to be desired, closing on Sundays and Vacations for persons claiming baggage arriving after they have.

The Ministry of Tourism should be given feedback that if Nicaragua is to become the next Costa Rica, Customs should increase their level of customer service. We BEGGED customs to let us get our bags on a day that they were closed for a vacation (six days after we arrived) because I had desperately needed medication in my bags. The begging fell on deaf ears, even though I, the customs agent and my bags were within 50 feet of one another. I spent serious money trying to get the medication I needed, and was not able to get the most critical things, as they simply were not available (insulin pump supplies).

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I do.

Read the operator's response here:

I would like to point out that the flights don't form a part of this package - the clients themselves chose to fly with American.

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