Overview & Highlights
Nicaragua and El Salvador are off the beaten track, with fairly rudimentary infrastructure but as such they offer a rewarding experience akin to what travellers enjoyed in other parts of the continent decades ago.
- Granada: Guided city tour and Masaya volcano
- El Castillo: Caiman-spotting by night
- El Castillo: Hike in Indo Maíz Biosphere Reserve
- El Castillo: Kayaking on Rio San Juan
- El Castillo: Guided tour of the fortress
- Perquín: El Mazote and Museo de la Revolución
- Suchitito: Walking tour
- EL Imposible National park: hiking
Nicaragua has been developing a discreet, eco-friendly approach to tourism for some years while El Salvador now presents its Mayan sites, colonial cities, delightful rural drives and the El Imposible National Park. On this holiday you'll be among the first to discover their natural beauty and unpretentious charm. The people of both countries are among the most hospitable in Latin America.
The two newcomers on the radar of adventurous travellers, Nicaragua and El Salvador, share gorgeous landscapes of volcanoes, lakes, palm-fringed beaches, fertile slopes smothered in coffee bushes, and a diversity of flora and fauna. Both have only relatively recently emerged from a period of political turbulence: the impressive level of reconciliation between formerly warring factions has resulted in the creation of two of perhaps the most appealing and friendly countries on the continent. They cannot be compared with the big hitters of Mexico, Peru and Brazil in terms of mind-boggling attractions but their scantily populated rural landscapers of chains of volcanoes, coffee plantations, lakes and remote rivers combine to create a captivating destination.
Arrive in the colonial city of Granada and transfer to your hotel.
Guided city tour and visit to Masaya volcano.
Fly to San Carlos; travel by boat along Rio San Juan to El Castillo.
Hike in Indo Maíz Biosphere Reserve; river kayaking; guided fortress tour.
Return by boat to San Carlos, continue to Ometepe Island.
At leisure to cycle, hike, ride a horse or sit on the beach.
By ferry to the mainland, drive to León.
At leisure in this University city.
Road transfer to Perquín, El Salvador.
Visit el Mazote and Museo de la Revolución.
By road to Suchitoto.
Walking tour of Suchitoto.
Drive along Ruta de las Flores to Ataco.
Trekking in El Imposible National Park.
By road to Costa del Sol on the coast.
At leisure on the coast.
Transfer to San Salvador airport for international flight home.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Nicaragua / Granada
Hotel Patio del Malinche
El Salvador / Gulf of Fonseca and Eastern El Salvador
El Salvador / Suchitoto
La Posada de Suchitlan
El Salvador / Ruta de las Flores
Quinta El Carmen and La Casona
El Salvador / Pacific Coast
Nicaragua / Ometepe Island
Hotel Villa Paraiso
Nicaragua / Rio San Juan
Luna del Rio
Nicaragua / Rio San Juan
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Cuba is a very diverse country and fulfilled our expectations. Parakeet is an adventure rather than a holiday so go with an open mind and immerse your self in the Cuban way. Colour, music and smiles more than make up for what some people may find frustrating if comparing Cuba to life in the UK.GW, BIrmingham
"Walking up to and then seeing Machu Picchu for the first time, visiting the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca , All of the Galapagos Islands visited but in particular swimming with a sea lion and seeing a Galapagos penquin up close and personal!"NHH, West Byfleet
This was my first trip with JLA. It was recommended by friends and as I have such a keen interest in Latin America I wanted to travel with experts like you. I am impressed by your itineraries, ethos and quality of guides. I look forward to travelling with you again in the near future.JR, London
Ever since hearing of Tierra del Fuego when I was a child of 8, I have longed to visit. The 'Land of Fire' sounded so magical. Now at 74, I have achieved a lifelong ambition and have had a holiday of a lifetime having visited the'End of the Earth' in a catamaran whilst travelling eastwards in the Beagle Channel to view the penguins and other wild life. Everyone in Chile, Argentina and during my brief visit to Brazil were very friendly and accommodating. The local transport provided was fine and allowed us to view the local scenery at close hand with adequate stops...All in all a brilliant holiday. Thank you.RH, Macclesfield
Looking over Machu Picchu from a high point on the site, Watching the stars from the hot spring baths in Colca, the alpacas, drinking pisco sours!HS, Borehamwood
Alcion was an excellent trip with a superb tour leader who enabled us to to understand and appreciate each country and place we visited even though packing in six countries. A great way to see and experience Central America.AME, Cardiff
The amazing scenery - every kilometre of the Carretera Austral, every turning, offers stunning views which never cease to surprise...I am impressed with the way it is possible to combine group tours with individual travel and with the flexibility available on the tours to meet individual needs. I find the whole booking experience from enquiry to final plans, very easy with great response from your office. The tour leaders are absolutely brilliant at what they do - I am in awe of their multiple skills!SC, Penryn
Having travelled with a number of different companies in the past, I was really impressed with the depth of knowledge and professionalism of JLA and the opportunity to trial to a part of Peru not usually visited by many tourists.
I would highly recommend this tour. The itinerary was very well chosen and we felt we saw as much as we could hope for in the time provided. The tour leader was highly professional and experienced, had excellent knowledge of the countries we visited and was available 24/7 for anything we needed. The local guides were excellent too and each gave us a special insight into the area we were visiting.MC, Australia
"I was particularly impressed with the scenery in Bolivia. I had expected the salt flats but the rest of the country was a real bonus. On the optional excursions, I particularly enjoyed Chacaltaya and the star gazing in San Pedro."GP, Northwich
Most memorable experience/aspect of your trip? "There are several - riding in different types of transportation i.e. coco cabs, bike taxi, American Chevy etc. The plantation walk in Vinales, meals arranged by the tour leader in paradors and the knowledge of the local guides."MR, Broxbourne
The variety of places that we visited. I enjoyed every place we visited. Food was good. Colourful towns. Friendly people. Beautiful scenery.JLK, Kenley
Seeing the people on the Uros islands demonstrate how they cook, the amazing Iguassu Falls, seeing a toucan close up (at Iguassu), all the different Inca sites, seeing the traditional dress and witches market in La Paz, the herbal drinks being explained in Asuncion, sunset on sugarloaf mountain and chilling out on Ilha grande.PW, Leatherhead
The Central American trip was excellent - really interesting to see the contrast in the countries. Could have spent longer in each country, but then that would have made the trip much longer!PG, Winchester
It was a fantastic trip. There is an obvious division in Cuba between those who come into contact with tourists and those who don't and so, like a magnet around iron filings our very presence distorts and changes what we see. This is perhaps more the case in Cuba than elsewhere but as more people visit I hope this will reduce. It is, for the moment, part of the character of the country and part of the experience. I really can't fault the organisation of the trip and would just like to say again that our guide was fantastic at bringing the history and culture of Cuba alive for everyone.RN, London
We had an amazing time in Colombia. The itinerary was fantastic, covering nearly everything we wanted to see. Our tour leader did a great job in making the tour run smoothly and contributing to our experience. I would thoroughly recommend Colombia and JLA.IR, London
Jacana was a fascinating, very well organised 3 week tour through Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Lima taking in the highlights of each country. Every day gave us a new experience which will stay in our memories for a long time to come.VT, London
Seeing South America (Chile and Argentina) with JLA was great....a fun group and it was a wonderful way to see the best sights in some astonishing places. The people we met were great, food was excellent and some of the views!PR, Cardiff
We enjoyed an excellent tour with a special tour leader. We chose this tour because it took us to a lot of places we had dreampt of visiting and it certainly lived up to expectations. We expected to do a significant amount of walking and enjoyed all the walks that were offered. For us the balance between walking and other activities was ideal.CHJ, Aberdeen
Reaching the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain and seeing views that will live with me for the rest of my life ... wow! This was a very special moment.PB, Wareham
The overall experience was friendly and efficient, seeing the most amazing places from high up in the desert to the wilds of Patagonia.CB, Beckenham
Overall an absolutely fantastic holiday. Arranged at last minute, there is no way that we would have been able to organise something like this on our own. Everything ran smoothly, the group leader was extremely helpful and the group got on very well together, in spite of a large age range. Thanks very much!RB, Kettering
We cannot pick out one most memorable part of our trip as every day provided us with a new and exciting experience. We saw and experienced things we had only dreamed of, some of which had been in our dreams for over 48 years.TC, Hayle
A well planned trip covering all the highlights we wanted to see.
A great trip, thoroughly enjoyed by a good group (of 8) that gelled well. We saw so much, did so much and and our expectations were well exceeded.GP, Woking
"Cuba exceeded my expectations : it is beautiful architecturally and naturally, fascinating historically, politically and economically and so full of life. Thanks to JLA for letting me get under the skin of Cuba just a little."HF, London
Overall, the holiday was excellent. As a single traveller, it was great that the group - a mixture of couples, pairs and singles got on very well together, which added to the enjoyment. The specialist guides were very good especially our guide at Cusco, Machu Picchu and Pisac.PW, Beaconsfield
Amazingly the trip was everything I had hoped it would be. Having wanted to go to Patagonia since I can remember, and having the opportunity arise fairly last minute, choosing JLA was a good decision! Great itinerary and good organisation left me to enjoy the experience!JA, Sutton
It was, in short, an unqualified success in all important ways. The local guides set a remarkably high standard in being knowledgeable, articulate and generally helpful, two or three of them outstandingly so. None of the hotels was less than comfortable and/or notable for its outlook and general amenities; those in Nicaragua and El Salvador were probably the best, while the Guatemalan and Belizean accommodation was betrayed only at times, mainly by the food it served. We took away an enormous variety of impressions, ranging from the sense of insecurity and awe created by all those volcanoes; through the surprise at the comparative sophistication and well-being superficially apparent in El Salvador and the interest in seeing potters, weavers, farmers and conservationists at work; to the ultimate satisfaction experienced through that artful blend of the natural with the man-made worlds characterising the Mayan sites of Guatemala and Honduras, most notably at Copán and Tikal which were the obvious highlights of the tour.TD, Oxford
The bright colours of the towns and cities, buildings, fruit and vegetables, flowers and trees!CS, Guildford
I can't think of anything to improve on the itinerary. As I had an extra five nights at the beginning and three nights at the end, I was able to do many extra things and visit many extra places, which I'm really glad I did.JC, Birmingham
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.