Overview & Highlights
We’ve picked the best natural highlights of two friendly neighbouring republics: discover them on an adventurous holiday with river trips, lake ferries, volcano visits and an island stay. Wildlife abounds in luscious tropical landscapes.
These two central American neighbours have a lot in common: rugged volcanoes and fertile landscapes, luscious rainforests, prolific wildlife and a friendly, relaxed tropical vibe.
But there are big differences too: the heritage of Nicaragua’s colonial and revolutionary history is still very much in evidence, while Costa Rica has become one of the world’s top eco-destinations and hub of active adventures. On this holiday we introduce you to the best highlights of both countries.
We’ve put together a range of adventurous yet undemanding experiences which include a tropical river trip and an island stay on Lake Nicaragua, you get to peer down into an active volcanic crater, clamber over a Spanish colonial fortress once besieged by Nelson, and go spotting exotic birds and spider monkeys swinging through trees where iguanas laze. You’ll be staying in independent simple and hospitable lodges and small hotels carefully selected to complement a holiday where you’ll come to know and love the gentle pace of life. If you've time to linger longer, both nations offer palm-flecked Caribbean and Pacific beaches which invite relaxation.
- Arenal: Sky Tram and hanging bridges
- Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve
- Rio San Juan: Nature trail in Indo Maiz rainforest reserve
- Granada: Guided city tour and las Isletas boat trip
- Granada: Night-time visit to Masaya volcano crater
- Ometepe Island: Guided cultural and landscapes tour
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Transfer to your hotel in central San José.
Transfer to lodge close to Arenal lake and volcano.
The Skytram and Hanging bridges in Arenal Volcano National Park.
Optional opportunity to luxuriate in natural hot springs at Ecotermales
Visit Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve; boat on Rio San Juan to El Castillo, Nicaragua. Night-time caiman spotting.
Jungle nature trail in Indio Maíz reserve; guided discovery of the fortress.
Boat to the port of San Carlos; by road to Granada.
City tour and boat trip on Lake Nicaragua to las Isletas.
Night-time visit to active Masaya volcano’s crater.
Transfer to Ometepe Island on Lake Nicaragua.
Guided tour of the island’s cultural and natural top sights.
Ferry to the mainland and transfer to Managua airport for international flight.
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.
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
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.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Sally Dodge - Travel Expert
A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.
Alex Walker - Travel Expert
Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert
Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert
After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!