We have two great trips planned for 2018:
The following trip is CONFIRMED for July. It is a 10 day cruise called “The Cradle of Civilization” on the Oceania Riviera to Israel, Cyprus, and the Greek Islands. Our grandson will be celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem and you are all invited to the event (tentatively scheduled for the Western Wall). The space for the cruise is already getting tight so please let me know if you are interested. Below is the itinerary:
Itinerary = Anchor Port
DAY PORT ARRIVE DEPART Jul 12 Thu Athens (Piraeus), Greece Embark 1 PM 6 PM Jul 13 Fri Heraklion (Crete), Greece 8 AM 6 PM Jul 14 Sat Cruising the Mediterranean Sea Jul 15 Sun Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel 6 AM 8 PM Jul 16 Mon Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel 8 AM Jul 17 Tue Jerusalem (Haifa), Israel 8 PM Jul 18 Wed Limassol, Cyprus 8 AM 5 PM Jul 19 Thu Rhodes, Greece 10 AM 7 PM Jul 20 Fri Patmos, Greece 8 AM 6 PM Jul 21 Sat Santorini, Greece 8 AM 6 PM Jul 22 Sun Athens (Piraeus), Greece Disembark 8 AMNote: There is an option for a tour package to Egypt and Jordan prior to the cruise.
Location: Begins and ends at Managua International Airport.
Visits: Masaya and Mombacho; colonial cities of León, Granada and Ometepe Island.
Duration: 07 days / 06 nights.
With this tour, you will explore some of the most interesting places of Nicaragua, that despite its proximity, show very different ecosystems. You will also discover the charming colonial cities of Leon and Granada.
DAY 01 Airport – Managua
Greeting to your arrival at the airport. Check in at the hotel in Managua.
DAY 02 Managua – Leon – Managua
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the colonial city of Leon, founded in 1610. The city functioned as capital of the country on multiple occasions after the independence in 1821, alternating the title with Granada, until Managua was declared the only and permanent capital of Nicaragua.
We will visit the Cathedral of Leon, one of the most beautiful temples of the continent and the biggest one in Central America, recently declared as a World Heritage Site. This temple is the resting place of great Nicaraguans like Ruben Dario and Salomon de la Selva.
Then we will visit Ortiz Gurdian Art Gallery where you will find an interesting collection that includes works from noted Nicaraguan artists as well as renowned international artists like Picasso, Chagall, Miró; and Latin American masters like Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando Botero and Roberto Matta. We will also go to Ruben Dario Museum, located in the house where the great poet lived during 14 years. Come back to Managua.
DAY 03 Managua – Masaya Volcano National Park – Catarina – Granada
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Granada. On our way, we will visit Masaya Volcano National Park, where a paved road takes us to the edge of the active Santiago crater.
We will continue to Catarina, a popular artisan’s town that stands out for the gardens with ornamental plants and for its incredible viewpoint from where you can see Apoyo Lagoon, Mombacho Volcano and Granada. Finally, we will arrive in Granada, the oldest colonial city in the western hemisphere of the Americas that still remains in its original place of construction. The city was founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Cocibolca. In Granada, we will visit the museum at San Francisco Convent, which houses an important collection of historical artifacts and paintings, like the 28 pre-Columbian statues from Zapatera Island, dating from the years 800 to 1200 AD. Then, you will have the chance to enjoy the city from a different perspective at the top of the bell tower of La Merced Church. During the city tour, you will get to see Calle Atravesada, Xalteva Church, the Cathedral and the Church of Guad– Apoyo Lagoon – Granada
DAY 04 Granada Islets– Apoyo Lagoon – Granada
Breakfast at the hotel. We will start the day with a boat tour of Granada’s famous Isletas, an archipelago of more than 360 islets formed by an ancient volcanic explosion, just off the shore of Lake Cocibolca. While you listen to your guide’s commentary about the history of Lake Cocibolca, admire views of Mombacho Volcano and keep an eye out for native birds like tanagers, hawks, jays and warblers.
Afterwards, we will continue to Apoyo lagoon, an ancient crater lake located in the dry tropical forest of Nicaragua, which is home to Howler monkeys and a variety of tropical birds. Here you can swim or kayak on the pristine waters of the lagoon. Whatever you choose, there is no doubt you will enjoy the tranquility of a very special place. Transfer back to Granada at the end of the day.
DAY 05 Granada – Mombacho – Ometepe
Breakfast at the hotel. Early transfer to Ometepe Island. On our way, we will visit Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve. We will drive from the tropical dry forest region, through coffee farms and into the cloud forest humid conditions. Arriving at the top, we will take the 01 Km trail, along which we will observe an unusual collection of orchids, ferns and butterflies.
We will continue to San Jorge to take the ferry to Ometepe Island. Once we arrive in Ometepe, we will visit El Ceibo Museums, which houses an archeology collection and a numismatic room. Transfer to the hotel.
DAY 06 Ometepe Island – Granada
Breakfast at the hotel. You have three choices:
|Hike to Maderas Volcano: 8-hour hike with a high level of difficulty as the humidity transforms the trail into a muddy and slippery path. We will arrive to the lagoon located in the extinct crater of the volcano. The views during the hike are limited as you pass through the misty forest, with tree branches covered with bromeliads and lichens. You will hear birds and howler monkeys hiding in the vast forest.|
|Kayaking at Rio Istiam: The Istiam River is a sanctuary of migratory birds and herons. The kayak tour takes about three hours and can be done both in the morning (for a better chance of watching caimans) and in the afternoon (to enjoy a great sunset). During the tour you can enjoy exuberant flora and impressive fauna such as howler monkeys, hundreds of birds and caimans. In addition, you will have beautiful views of the two volcanoes of the island.|
|San Ramon waterfall & Ojo de Agua: San Ramon is a gorgeous 50-meter waterfall on the southern slope of Maderas volcano. A clearly marked trail takes you through dense jungle, passing by old trees covered in moss, vines and bromeliads. You might see howler monkeys, birds, butterflies and other insects. Upon reaching the waterfall you can take a swim in the small natural pool of the waterfall. Then, we will continue to Ojo de Agua, two natural swimming pools filled with thermal spring water from an underground well.|
In the afternoon return to Granada
DAY 07 Granada – Airport
Transfer to Managua International Airport according to your flight’s departure time. We recommend being at the airport 02 hours earlier.