Itinerary Highlights
    • See sparkling bioluminescent plankton during a night kayak in Isla Jesusita
    • Marvel at the turquoise waters of Rio Celese and its waterfall in the Tenorio Volcano National Park
    • Stay on a private island on the calm shores of Lake Nicaragua
    • Take a private tour of the charming Nicaraguan city of Granada

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Small in size but rich in nature, Costa Rica and Nicaragua share many similarities. Their incredible biodiversity means both are home to hundreds of animal and plant species, some of which are unique to them. This 16-day trip takes you from Costa Rica's capital to Nicaragua's charming city of Granada, with plenty of ocean, rainforest, islands and volcanoes in between.

After landing in San José, you'll spend one night here before driving to the Nicoya Peninsula and Isla Jesusita. On this almost deserted private island, nature is king; during a night kayak, you'll see bioluminescent plankton lighting up the dark water. You'll then head to the small rural town of Bijagua, the perfect spot for exploring volcanoes and trails that lead to fincas, waterfalls and nature reserves.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

FLIGHT TO SAN JOSÉ

Your 16-day trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua begins with a 15-hour flight to Costa Rica's capital, San José. When you land, you'll be privately transferred to your hotel on the outskirts of the city where you'll spend one night. This simple yet elegant space is the perfect place to recover from your flight and start dreaming about the rest of your tip.

DAY 2

NIGHT KAYAK IN ISLA JESUSITA

Today the adventure really begins, so pick up your rental car and drive to the end of the Nicoya Peninsula, just over three-and-a-half hours away. Here, you'll board a boat that will transport you to the pristine paradise of Isla Jesusita. You'll spend two nights in a canvas lodge surrounded by sparkling water and the lush vegetation of an almost deserted island that's just waiting to be explored. This evening, you'll go on night kayaking trip to experience the magical natural phenomenon of bioluminescent plankton lighting up the ocean – this promises to be an experience you'll never forget.

DAY 3

LIVE THE ISLAND LIFE

Bathed in the beautiful waters of Paquera Bay, Isla Jesusita offers you the chance to experience all the joys of island life with nature as your only neighbour: take a boat trip to discover the Gulf of Nicoya's most beautiful beaches; visit a traditional finca to learn more about plantain and guava cultivation; grab your mask and snorkel and explore the seabed surrounding the island; sip a drink on your private terrace at sunset; enjoy a massage at the spa before a dip in the hot tub; and wake up early to explore the dense vegetation in search of endemic birds.

If you're interested in seeing more incredible wildlife, take a boat back to the mainland to visit the Curú Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation and protection of different animal species. Here, you can stroll along the trails, coming face to face with birds, reptiles and mammals.

DAY 4

DRIVE TO BIJAGUA

Today you'll return to the mainland by boat to collect your rental car and drive north towards Bijagua, about three-and-a-half hours away. As you approach, the Miravalles Volcano looms above you to your left, and Tenorio Volcano to your right. Your home for the next two nights is a lodge in the heart of a beautiful estate dotted with heliconias (a native flowering plant), fruit trees and two natural lagoons. This evening, take a dip in the jacuzzi and let yourself be lulled by the sounds of nocturnal nature waking for the night.

DAY 5

THE SURROUNDINGS OF BIJAGUA

Bijagua is a small, peaceful town where people make a living mainly through agriculture. Because of its exceptional natural setting, it's the perfect base for exploring Costa Rica's green landscapes. The nearby Tenorio Volcano National Park is not to be missed, where you can walk along one of the country's most beautiful trails between cloud forest, waterfalls and natural hot springs. You'll find the famous Rio Celeste here, which originates at the meeting point of two rivers and crosses volcanic hot springs before forming a magnificent waterfall, renowned for its otherworldly turquoise colour. Local legend has it that this is where God washed his paintbrush after painting the sky.

If you're interested in Costa Rica's abundant wildlife, go for a boat trip in the neighbouring Caño Negro Reserve, a refuge where you'll spot beautiful birds, reptiles and monkeys with the help of a guide. For unbeatable views, climb to the very top of the Tenorio Volcano.

DAY 6

NEXT STOP NICARAGUA

Today you'll say goodbye to Costa Rica and head north towards Nicaragua and the southern town of Popoyo, about four hours away. Your base for the next four nights is a refined contemporary hotel where every room has a view of the Pacific. Surfing is the name of the game here, but if that's not your thing you can spend your time taking long walks along the beach, lounging by the pool and enjoying a massage or yoga class. Tonight, enjoy dinner on the beach accompanied by a tropical cocktail.

DAYS 7 to 9

SURFING IN POPOYO

You have three full days to enjoy this incredible tropical ecosystem and the magnificent waves of the Pacific. While you're here, take a surfing lesson or simply hone your skills on the various waves which are suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers. In-between, take a dip in the natural hot springs at Playa Guasacate, or go hiking in the nearby nature reserve. When you're hungry, tuck into some ceviche or a wood-fired pizza at your hotel's restaurant. At sunset, don't miss a walk along the hillside to take in the spectacular colours of the sky.

DAY 10

JOURNEY TO ISLETAS

Hasta luego salt water, hello fresh water – today you're heading east to the tranquil shores of Lake Nicaragua, also called Cocibolca. From here, you'll head to the Isletas archipelago. Your accommodation is an eco-lodge on a private island that blends harmoniously into the lush surrounding nature. Days here mean cocktails by the swimming pool, massages at the spa, snacking on freshly picked tropical fruit, and showers under the stars.

DAY 11

EXPLORE ISLETAS

Today, you'll get to experience life in the heart of Isletas, a chain of 365 volcanic islets born of an eruption of the Mombacho volcano. The locals here are mainly fishing families, and nature has been given free rein to adorn the landscape with every shade of green. After breakfast to the sound of lapping waves, explore the neighbouring islets by kayak, enjoy a picnic in an intimate corner of the islet with a view of the lake, and take a sunset stroll beside the water. Along your way, keep your eyes peeled and your camera poised to catch the many magical moments here, whether it's the hesitant gait of an aquatic bird or the masterful net throwing of traditional fisherman.

DAY 12

JOURNEY TO GRANADA

Today you'll board the ferry back to the mainland and head to Granada, just a few minutes' drive away. After returning your rental car, you'll have three nights to spend in a charming hotel in the heart of the city. On the patio, there's a swimming pool that reflects the soothing green shapes of the surrounding palm trees. This is a wonderful urban retreat in which to spend your last few days in Nicaragua.

DAYS 13 & 14

EXPLORE GRANADA

Beautiful and full of history, both vibrant and peaceful, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is home to some incredible colonial architecture. The past is all around here thanks to the markers of Spanish occupation and the presence of artists who have taken up residence in Granada over the centuries. All this comes together on the shores of one of the largest lakes in Latin America, surrounded by thousand-year-old volcanoes.

During your final days in Nicaragua, we'll arrange for you to take a guided tour of 'La Gran Sultana' so you don't miss the highlights: the Xalteva and La Merced churches, the San Francisco Convent Museum, the cathedral, the market and the central park. A little outside of the centre, you can also visit the station and the Fort de la Pólvora.

You have the rest of your time here to spend at your leisure. Make sure you try some vigorón granadino, the city's signature dish made from cassava, fried pork and grated cabbage salad. A stone's throw from the cathedral, you'll find the lively street of Calzada, full of bars, restaurants and pop-up stages where musicians play into the night. If you like, we can also arrange for you to take a guided hike along the El Puma Trail on the Mombacho volcano.

DAYS 15 & 16

FLIGHT HOME

Today you'll head to Managua airport and board your return flight via the US. You'll spend the night on board and arrive back in the UK the following day.

A la carte

BIJAGUA - WALK ALONG THE SUSPENSION BRIDGES OF HELICONIA

The private reserve of Heliconia extends over nearly 250 acres in the heart of a tropical rainforest. Accompanied by a naturalist guide, you'll take to the suspension bridges strung through the canopy to get as close as possible to the incredible biodiversity of this region. Sloths, monkeys and birds live up high, while snakes and even tapirs weave between the trunks of the trees that can exceed 160ft in height. From certain spots, you can also enjoy incredible views of the Miravalles Volcano.

GRANADA - HIKE ON THE MOMBACHO VOLCANO

On the Mombacho Volcano, which has been silent since 1570, nature has reclaimed the land. The slopes are covered in a dense green carpet of tropical vegetation, and home to nearly 50 species of mammals, more than 170 species of birds and 750 different plant species. With a private guide leading the way, you can explore this incredible nature reserve and visit the laboratory that's located at the top of the volcano.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £4,900 to £6,000 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £5,200 per person.

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