1 domestic flight; 7 road journeys; 5 river and lake boat journeys
In general you will be staying in small, mid-range hotels with reasonable facilities. Some are family run and offer a friendly and homely welcome. The range of properties is such however that you stay in all of a restored convent, colonial house, a coffee estate and beachside cabins.
Breakfast daily, lunch days 2, 15; full board days 3,4.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• 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.
Summary of nights
19 days, 18 nights: Granada 2; El Castillo 2; Ometepe 3; León 2; Perquín 2; Suchitoto 2; Ataco 2; Costa del Sol 3.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities.
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in Nicaragua is the córdoba, in El Salvador the US dollar.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday price, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in Managua airport, and in Granada and León: taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip and in the more upmarket shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, or the phone line to the bank may be down, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. You should authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited.
In el Salvador you can obtain US dollar cash with a card in banks and may be able to obtain cash advances via the few ATMs in larger towns. Tourist-focused services in Nicaragua also accept US dollars cash while small outlets will charge in córdobas.
We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of dollar notes (no more than is covered by your insurance). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused.
Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
Generally this holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit travellers who accept the sometimes uncertain and rudimentary nature of travel to remote places. There are a few days where you spend most of the time travelling.
If you have a disability which we should be aware of, please contact us.
This itinerary takes you to tropical climes where the sun is strong and temperatures high – often over 30°C. Those travelling between May and October should encounter higher temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity. The ‘official’ rainy season is May to October.
Clothing and special equipment
Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. A waterproof jacket is also necessary. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitos may be lurking. Sandals are a good informal option for evenings. Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying sunblock, guidebook, water and any extra layers.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Central America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with a different nationality should refer to our Briefing Dossier and check with the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan consulates.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to, or via, the USA you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be applied for by you personally.
Passports must also be digital e-passports with an embedded chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.