Rainforest to Cloud Forest
Nicaragua is one of our favorite places! Active volcanoes, a wild Pacific coast and Tropical Rainforests full of Birds and Monkeys and all sorts of interesting creatures. Granada is the oldest city in the Americas having been established in 1524. In Nicaragua we love taking the “chicken bus” because the locals are so very wonderful to spend time with.
This trip starts with 4 days on the Rio San Juan. We will be living in jungle huts overlooking the river. The Rio San Juan has a very high concentration of bird life and wild critters. Next we head back to Managua and visit two excellent nature reserves. The second half of the trip will be spent in the cloud forests and highlands north of Managua. There is a lot to see and do in Nicaragua!
Highlights: 1) Sitting on the porch of your jungle hut watching flotillas of Herons & Egrets drifting down the Rio San Juan. 2) Walking and exploring the mountain trails amongst beautiful tropical plants. 3) Hanging out with Howler Monkeys.
Printable Bird List
(This is a checklist of the birds that we have seen in Nicaragua)
February - Please contact us for dates.
8 Travelers plus guides
Rate per Person = $2,950 (based on double occupancy)
Rate for Single = $3,250
Inclusive: One round trip domestic flight, domestic transfers, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner on days 2 -14, scheduled group tours, entrance fees & Access America deluxe travel health insurance.
Exclusive: International airfare, $10 immigration fee, alcohol, personal expenses such as souvenirs, expenses relating to personal choices during free time, and tips for guides.
Day 1: Managua (fly day)
Arrival in Managua; we will try and coordinate our flights to arrive in Managua together. Flights usually arrive in the evening, so we will head directly to Las Mercedes Hotel for a relaxing evening among the pools and gardens.
Day 2: Rio San Juan (travel day)
We will wake early and take a flight (1 hour) to San Carlos, which is a small town on the southeast corner of Lake Nicaragua and the start of the Rio San Juan. From there we catch a boat for a 2 hour ride down river. We will see a lot of birds along the way. We will be staying at Sabalos Jungle Lodge.
Day 3: Rio San Juan (birding & adventure day)
The Sabalos Lodge is a sweet place; completely surrounded by nature with cabins directly overlooking the river. There are good walking paths for exploring the area and the neighboring village. There are kayaks at the Sabalos for exploring the rivers and plenty of hammocks. The trees are usually full of monkeys. They will sing you to sleep at night.
Day 4: Rio San Juan (birding & adventure day)
Day trip down river to visit El Castillo with its historic Spanish fort and just past there, Refugio Bartola & Indio-Maiz Preserve. This area is pristine and still very wild!!
Day 5: Rio San Juan (birding & adventure day)
Not far from Sabalos Lodge is Sabalos Village. It is about a 30 minute walk to town and there are a lot of birds to see along the way. This will be another great day to walk and explore the trails and roads of Sabalos.
Day 6: Managua (travel, culture & shopping day)
A boat ride up river, a plane ride to Managua and we will be back at Las Mercedes Hotel for the rest of the day.
Day 7: Managua (birding & adventure day)
There are two great birding areas just outside of Managua that we will visit today: Chocoyero - El Brujo Natural Reserve and Montibelli Private Natural Reserve
Day 8: Matagalpa (travel & adventure day)
It is a 3 hour bus ride to Matagalpa. Matagalpa is the coffee region of Nicaragua. From the town of Matagalpa it is a 20 minute taxi ride to Selva Negra
Day 9: Matagalpa (birding & adventure day)
There are numerous choices for activities in this area; hiking, birding, horseback riding, coffee plantation tours or just chillin’ by the pond. We will be staying at the Selva Negra Lodge and Coffee plantation.
Day 10: Jinotega El Jaguar (travel & adventure day)
Just north of Matagalpa is the town of Jinotega. Jinotega is at the edge of some of Nicaragua’s most beautiful misty cloud forest mountains. From Selva Negra to Jinotega is about a 45 minute bus ride. From Jinotega it is about a 1 hour car ride to the El Jaguar reserve
Day 11: Jinotega El Jaguar (birding & adventure day)
There are many beautiful trails and roads to walk at El Jaguar. 230 different species of birds have been identified at this location.
Day 12: Jinotega La Bastilla (birding & adventure day)
Today we will be moving to another part of the area. It is about a 2 hour car ride to La Bastilla Ecolodge This lodge is located about 4500 feet up in the Isabelia Mountain Range. It is a beautiful place to just to hang out.
Day 13: Jinotega La Bastilla (birding & adventure day)
La Bastilla is also a large coffee plantation and has a business and agriculture college. There is much to learn and see here. The cabins are on the mountain slopes with great views of the valley and a great place for spotting birds.
Day 14: Managua (travel & leisure day)
A 2.5 hour bus ride will get us back to Las Mercedes were we will spend our day relaxing among the gardens
Day 15: Fly Home (tears & smile day)
Flights usually leave in the morning, so getting to the airport and getting home is our only activity for the day.
Please note: The lodging described in this itinerary is always our first choice based on availability. If we must book with our second choice, the lodging type and style is comparable.
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