10 Of The Most Amazing Tours In Nicaragua - Updated 2024

Best tours in Nicaragua
| 8 min read

Nicaragua, a volcanic, tropical jewel that sits between the crystal Caribbean Sea and wild North Pacific Ocean; between the crystal clear beaches and palm tree lined paths, is a land dotted with volcanoes, natural springs, colonial towns, wild rain-forests and sensational scenery. Best of all this magical land still remains relatively untouched compared to its neighbor to the south, Costa Rica - where throngs of tourists flock, making Nicaragua as friendly to your pocket as the locals are to tourists.

It can be difficult to know where to start with a country so diverse in activities, so we here at Trip101 have shortlisted 10 of the most outstanding adventures to have in Nicaragua to ensure that your trip is one to remember for a lifetime, to paraphrase Jack Kerouac - “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn volcano”.

1. Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve - hike up a volcano then zip line down (from 134.11 USD Per Person)

The Mombacho Cloud Forest, here we go Follow @Nicaraguaduck and visit NicaraguaBirdHunting.com for exciting sporting adventures • #NicaraguaBirdHunting by visitnicaragua

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The cloudforest of superb Mombacho volcano. Hiking... Zip-lining... Coffee tours...

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Imagine climbing an active volcano, where you are led by an expert local guide through thick flora and fauna of the beautiful Nicaraguan landscape on an adventure of a lifetime; above you Howler monkeys leap from the forest canopy - keep your ears open to hear them call to each other in the rainforest heights. The hike takes you 2.5 km (1.5 miles) up from Granada, the view isn’t one to be missed once you reach the top with views over Lad Isletas, Lake Nicaragua and the beautiful colonial town of Granada.

If climbing an active volcano doesn’t pump your adrenaline enough, then you’re in luck, shortly after you arrive back on sea level you’re whisked away in the comfort of a minivan to a ziplining course, where you can fly down over the thick vegetation, coffee plantations, Lake Nicaragua and Granada.

Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve

Price: from 134.11 USD Per Person

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2. Hike the incredible Concepcion Volcano (from USD 105.0)

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A trip to Isla de Ometepe is an absolute must for anyone wishing to visit Nicaragua; the Volcanic Island sits in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and is a haven of ecotourism and adventure. This tour offers you a once in a lifetime experience to hike up one of Nicaragua’s most impressive volcanoes with an expert guide through the most amazing rain-forest; Howler monkeys swing from the treetops, their haunting calls echoing through the canopy, reptiles scurry at your feet as you swing, clamber and climb your way through one of the most epic adventures of your life.

This adventure isn’t for the faint of heart, but it will give you memories which will stay with you for a lifetime. The ten hour hike takes you high above the lapping water of Lake Nicaragua; the forest canopy covers you from most of the unforgiving Nicaraguan sun; occasionally giving way to steep drops allowing you to gaze over the banana plantations and ecolodges below you. The hike turns into more of a climb as you near the top of the volcano, as tough as it is the end result will be worth it as you end up gazing over smoke emerging from the crater.

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Concepción Volcano Hike at Ometepe Island

Duration: 10 hours

3. Luxury lagoon adventure from Managua (from 125.99 USD Per Person)

Imagine, crystal clear crater water surrounded by tropical forests which are inhabited by howler monkeys, toucans and hummingbirds, with each slight gust of wind from the lagoon the surrounding forests come alive with scurrying feet and whistles from the treetops. This full day tour takes you to a little bit of paradise within the Nicaraguan landscape, Apoyo Lagoon is the perfect spot for swimming in the warm waters enriched by the volcanic minerals or if you have more energy, you can hire kayaks at your own cost and explore the lagoon.

The whistle clear air, broken only by sounds of the lapping water and native wildlife, makes this the perfect respite for travelers looking to relax from the adventurous landscape of Nicaragua; grab a tube, a cup of coffee or a cerveza and enjoy this special day in amazing surroundings.

Apoyo Lagoon Adventure from Managua

Price: from 125.99 USD Per Person

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4. Bioluminescent Kayak Adventure from San Juan (from 106 USD Per Person)

best tours in nicaragua | bioluminescent kayak adventure from san juan
Source: instagram

Kayaking is a fun adventure in its own right, but kayaking in the dark along one of the world’s only bioluminescent bays, the water sparkling underneath every stroke of your oar? Now that’s what we here at Trip101 call an adventure worth experiencing. This tour takes you on an adventure through the natural phenomenon of the glowing waters near the surfing town San Juan; the sparkle of the ocean only mirrored by the bright stars above you as you partake in a four hour kayak and swim.

This is set to be one of the most magical experiences of your life; it is recommended that you take a go pro attached to a headpiece or your chest so that you can film this once in a lifetime experience as the ocean glows beneath your boat.

Bioluminescent Kayak Adventure from San Juan

Price: from 106 USD Per Person

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5. Volcanoes, colonial towns, lagoons, oh my! (from 170 USD Per Person)

Catedrál de Granada, Nicaragua
Source: Photo by user Carlos Adampol Ga... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you have some time during your stay in Costa Rica then take a full day out to explore its northern neighbor more thoroughly. During this one day tour you get your chance to experience some of Nicaragua’s stunning aesthetics - from the beautiful Apoyo Lagoon to watching the rumbles and smoke emerging from the ever active Masaya Volcano National Park, to the bustling streets of El Mercado de Artesanías (the craft market) in Catarina; where you’ll be able to purchase authentic Nicaraguan goods - in doing so, helping the communities grow and support themselves.

As the day winds down after a delicious Nicaraguan Lunch (Gallo Pinto and tostones, are the best), you get to have a chance to visit the charming Colonial Granada where you can ride in a traditional horse driven carriage through the cobbled streets, looking at the colorful buildings, thinking to yourself - when can I come back?

Nicaragua Day Trip: Catarina, Masaya Volcano and Granada from Guanacaste

Price: from 170 USD Per Person

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6. Find your inner Attenborough at El Chocoyero El Brujo Nature Reserve Tour (from USD 110.0)

Why go to expensive Costa Rica to get your natural history fix, neighboring Nicaragua has a plethora of amazing natural surroundings for you to explore; from tropical jungles to waterfalls that plummet to the earth from the heavens, El Chocoyero El Brujo National Park is the place to start your adventure into the world of forging new landscapes; luckily for you Viator offers a small tour group into this diverse landscape ready for you to explore.

This small group tour takes you through the beautiful landscape of El Chocoyero, a minibus of no more than ten keen nature enthusiasts are driven through this amazing nature reserve, which was originally created to safeguard almost one third of Managua’s water supply. Explore the nature reserve’s impressive waterfalls on an informative trek where you will get your chance to learn about the surrounding environment, the animals that inhabit it as well as the local flora and fauna as you get a chance to channel your inner David Attenborough.

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El Chocoyero El Brujo Nature Reserve Small-Group Half-Day Tour

Duration: 3 to 5 hours

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7. Discover Nicaragua in one amazing day (from USD 230.0)

Don’t think you can experience the highlights of a country in one day? Well Viator has taken this misconception and spun it on its head with this amazing full day tour of Nicaragua from your accommodation in Costa Rica. With expert guides taking you on this one day mega-tour you can rest assured that they will take care of your passport and paperwork going through the border (make sure that you bring evidence of your outgoing flight from Costa Rica for your return).

The adventure starts as soon as you touch base in the beautiful Nicaragua; you’re whisked off to one of the country’s most beautiful dormant volcanic lookout points, where you get to see the country which you’ll be exploring for the day including the colorful Granada and mesmerizing Lake Nicaragua. After a hearty Nicaraguan lunch you are whisked off to the active Masaya Volcano; you will have your chance to stand next to the crater and experience the bubbling and deep rumble of the lava and the gasses. As the day winds down you are taken to Colonial Granada; the Central American city that amazes travelers at every turn, with its colorful colonial buildings lining cobblestone streets. As the sun begins to sink under the Nicaraguan sky you swap the colorful buildings of Granada for the colorful skies on Lake Nicaragua, as you sit back and watch the sky change color on the evening of your one day tour of this amazing country.

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Costa Rica to Nicaragua Full-Day Tour with Masaya Crater

Duration: 15 hours

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8. Nicaraguan cigar lovers tour (from USD 145.0)

We here at Trip101 don’t praise smoking, what we do praise however, is celebrating cultures from around the globe. Now, any trip to Central America would be lost without a cigar lovers tour to see one of the country’s most profitable exports being produced by a local cigar factory, including the entire process behind making these Central American icons, from the farming to the wrapping of the cigars.

This roundtrip informative tour includes a chance to explore the town’s natural tobacco source as well as enjoy a delicious Nicaraguan lunch; you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be picked up from your accommodation and dropped off post tour, allowing you to enjoy your day.

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Cigar Lovers Tour from Managua

Duration: 6 hours

9. Coffee lovers tour of a lifetime (from USD 195.0)

Central American coffee has arguably got to be some of the best around, you can’t be in the country long before you’re passed a steaming cup of Nicaragua’s finest Heritage. The coffee culture in Nicaragua sustains a wide population of the country through plantations and farming, there are more than 40,000 coffee farms and plantations dotted around the country, which help to sustain families and communities throughout this diverse and beautiful country.

Take your chance to explore some of Nicaragua’s rich caffeinated culture with this full day tour of the Sela Negra Coffee Estate and Ecolodge, witnessing the process that goes into the making of your favorite pick-me-up. This wonderful tour finishes with a three hour hike around the coffee plantation grounds where you get to soak in the atmosphere that goes into creating your favorite blend. Your morning cup of coffee will never taste the same after this.

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Coffee Lovers Tour from Managua

Duration: 7 hours

10. Somoto Canyon Day Trip from Managua (from USD 177.0)

SomotoCanyon 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user BluesyPete used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Discovered only 13 years ago by a group of international scientists, this tour takes you to one of the most recently discovered natural wonders in Nicaragua, the Somoto Canyon, which had previously spent thirteen million years only known by locals to the area. Somoto Canyon is now a National Treasure, that attracts adventure seekers with its wide range of thrilling activities, from canyoning, horse riding, boating or swimming through the turquoise waters that flow through the canyon feeding the tropical surroundings.

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Managua to Somoto Canyon Full-Day Guided Excursion with Lunch

Duration: 12 hours

Love Nicaragua

Located in the throbbing heart of Central America, Nicaragua holds everything that anyone could ever want in a country; from the adventurous volcanic landscape in the depths of the rainforest to the pristine lined beaches. Nicaragua is shaking off its troubled past and has become a Mecca for travelers seeking an ‘off the beaten path’ trip to a country that is truly beautiful; the food here is fresh, delicious and cheap; the locals are warm, friendly and accommodating and the adventures are endless. Your trip here will be sure to be remembered for years to come.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Meet Hannah, a 33-year-old globetrotter currently residing in the UK. Over the past six years, she has embarked on extensive explorations around the world. From kayaking alongside sharks to...Read more

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