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Hidden Secrets of Central America





HONDURAS - EL SALVADOR - NICARAGUA

19 Days / 18 Nights

These three treasures of Central America will certainly make you discover the hidden ancestral secrets of pre-Columbian cultures, subdued by the swords of the Spanish conquerors. The rich indigenous heritage is reflected today in traditions and customs that have been kept alive over the centuries. Incredible landscapes of active volcanoes, extensive low-flat lands, lush mountain ranges, rolling hills and vast fresh water lakes, will also reveal the marvels of Central America’s countryside and its diverse geography. At the same time you will undeniably feel back in time while strolling through the splendidly preserved Spanish colonial cities such as Suchitoto, Granada, Leon and Comayagua; with their colorful home facades, old baroque cathedrals, historical monuments, arched porticos, narrow streets, and many more rich architectural details. In addition Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua possess within natural protected areas an abundant biodiversity of hundreds of species of tropical birds, endemic plants and flowers, plentiful wildlife, lush cloud forests, and unexpected nature surprises. During your trip you will instantly recognize the great sense of humor of the Central American people as well as their welcoming and approaching personality. Being the least known and least visited countries in Central America, true authenticity is conserved.

Day 1: Tuesday: Arrival San Pedro Sula

Arrival at San Pedro Sula International Airport and private transfer to your hotel.

Day 2: Wednesday: San Pedro Sula City Tour – Copan

After breakfast, we will depart for a city tour of the economic capital of the country and one of the fastest growing cities in Central America. Our route will then lead westward to the Honduran Highland of the Copan area. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the little village of Copan, noted for the excellent hand rolled cigars produced by Flor de Copán…

Day 3: Thursday: Copan – Copan Ruins – Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve

This morning will be dedicated to visit of one of the most impressive Mayan ruins. Here we will learn about the Mayan civilization and culture, their evolution, history, Mayan hieroglyphs and monuments. In the afternoon we will drive to the Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve. There are many different activities to do in the park such as visit the natural coffee roasting house, swim in the natural bathing pool and hike on different trails…

Day 4: Friday: Copan – La Palma – San Salvador

Today you leave Honduras and head for El Salvador. Enjoy a scenic drive and a stop in the village of La Palma, surrounded by verdant mountains and known for its famous handicraft and paintings…

Day 5: Saturday: San Salvador – Puerto Libertad – Lago Coatepeque– Santa Ana

We will begin the day with a city tour of San Salvador, the capital and business metropolis of the country. We will visit the most important monuments, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Gerardo Barrios and La Puerta del Diabolo. Continuing on, we will drive to the Pacific Ocean first to Puerto Libertad and along the coast. We will have lunch at the edge of the crater lagoon of Coatepeque, a volcanic lagoon, enjoy a delicious fish…

Day 6: Sunday: Tazumal – San Andres – Joya de Ceren – San Salvador – Managua

Today we will visit the most significant pre-Hispanic sites of El Salvador, showing us the archeological evidence of the Olmec, Maya, Lenca and Pipil cultural groups. First we will visit the “Tazumal”, the country’s oldest settlement, then the San Andres Park, a religious ceremonial center, and finish with the famous excavation of “Joya de Cerén” - one of the most well preserved sites…

Day 7: Monday: Managua – León Viejo – Juan Venado Reserve – Las Peñitas – León

After breakfast we will drive to “Loma de Tiscapa”, a small volcanic hill where Somoza’s presidential house was strategically situated. Afterwards we will drive along Lake Managua towards the ruins of “León Viejo”, the first capital of Nicaragua which succumbed to the violent eruption of Momotombo volcano and a destructive earthquake. Then we will drive to the Pacific coast and will embark a boat to visit the Reserve of Juan Venado, famous for its mangroves and wildlife…

Day 8: Tuesday: León City Tour – Cerro Negro Volcano – León

This morning, we will begin with visiting the old Cathedral “La Asuncion”, considered the largest in Central America and sheltering the remains of Nicaragua’s greatest poet “Ruben Dario”. We will also ascend to the roof of the temple to enjoy spectacular views of the city. Then we will visit the museum of Ruben Dario as well as the art museum of Ortiz-Gurdian Foundation. As we walk through the city we still can see some of the old revolutionaries murals painted during the civil war. In the afternoon, we will travel 25 kms east from Leon to reach the base of “Cerro Negro”…

Day 9: Wednesday: León – San Jacinto Hot Springs – Estelí: Cigar Factory – Selva Negra

After breakfast we will drive to San Jacinto Hot Springs, a unique phenomenon of this volcanic region where internal vents eject hot gasses, water and mud. Afterwards we will drive from the volcanic fertile soils of the Nicaraguan pacific basin to the north central region of Estelí, known for its top quality cigars. Here we will learn about the painstaking process of selecting the best tobacco leaves, drying, rolling and packing. Then we will drive back to the highlands of Matagalpa, also known as the coffee hub. After checking into our rooms at Selva Negra Lodge…

Day 10: Thursday: Selva Negra – Masaya Volcano National Park – “Verbenas” – Granada

This morning after breakfast we will drive through the “Selva Negra” farm to learn very important facts about the sustainability of the farm. After this interesting experience, we will drive to Matagalpa and visit a small chocolate factory producing 100% Nicaraguan chocolate. Here you will learn about the history of the cocoa bean, varieties, roasting, grinding and mixing. Then we will drive to Masaya’s Volcano National Park, a great opportunity to discover one of the most impressive active volcanoes in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”…

Day 11: Friday: Granada – San Juan de Oriente – Catarina – Masaya Market – Las Isletas

After breakfast we will begin a city tour of the oldest colonial settlement in the Americas. We will visit the historical building of Convent San Francisco housing the local museum of Granada, displaying the most important pre-Hispanic totem collection in Nicaragua. We will also visit the historical center of the city where we can see the Bishop Palace, Cathedral, Palace of Culture, City Hall and other remarkable monuments. Then we will drive to the “Pueblos Blancos”, where we will visit the colorful town of San Juan de Oriente, renowned by its high quality pottery. Afterwards we will drive to a view point where we can enjoy breathtaking views of “Lake Apoyo”, known as the largest and deepest volcanic Crater Lake in the country…

Day 12: Saturday: San Jorge – Moyogalpa – Charco Verde – Playa Santo Domingo

After breakfast we will drive south on the Pan-American highway, passing by several sugarcane and rice fields, as well as banana plantations, papaya, water melon and passion fruit. Then we will reach the small town of San Jorge where we take the ferry to navigate on the great Lake Nicaragua to the volcanic island of Ometepe…

Day 13: Sunday: Playa Santo Domingo – Moyogalpa – San Jorge – San Juan del Sur

This morning we leave the hotel and drive back to Moyogalpa to take the ferry to San Jorge.  Back on the mainland, we will head further South on the Pan-American Highway to San Juan del Sur, a famous vacation town for the Nicaraguans...

Day 14: Monday: San Juan del Sur – Jinotega

Today we head back to the north of the country, into the mountainous region of Nicaragua. On this drive you will see as well as feel a completely different climate considering that this drive is going from the beaches of San Juan all the way to the mountains of Jinotega. The city of Jinotega is located at an elevation of about 1,000 meters, in a valley surrounded by spectacular mountains…

Day 15: Tuesday: Lago Apanás – San Rafael del Norte – Las Manos – Santa Lucia

From Jinotega, we will drive further to the north, passing Lago de Apanás and San Rafael del Norte before we reach the border town of Las Manos. After fast immigration formalities, we will continue our drive through the mountains of Honduras and reach the famous region of Valle de Angeles also called the Switzerland of Honduras…

Day 16: Wednesday: Valle de Angeles – Tegucigalpa – Comayagua – Lago Yojoa

After breakfast, we will drive to the capital city of Honduras: Tegucigalpa, where we will visit its main attractions such as the center of town, which features fine churches and other interesting buildings. The cathedral of St. Michael Archangel anchors the central park; the Los Dolores church is the most beautiful; and the San Francisco church is the oldest building of any type in the city, probably dating from 1590. From Tegucigalpa we drive to Comayagua which is the former capital of Honduras…

Day 17: Thursday: Lago Yojoa – Pulhapansak – Lancetilla Gardens – Tela

We will leave the highland and drive to the Caribbean lowland. Before arriving in Tela, we will visit Lago Yojoa, which is the largest lake in Honduras. Offering various activities from fishing to water sports, it is surrounded by Santa Barbara and Cerro Azul mountains with chances for bird watching and hiking. After Lago Yojoa we will see the beautiful natural Pulpahansak waterfall. Then continuing on is the Lancetilla Gardens, the second largest tropical botanical garden in the world…

Day 18: Friday: Tela – National Park Punta Sal – Tela

We start by boat to the National Park Punta Sal, where we might see howler monkeys and possibly dolphins on the way to the islands. There are various hikes that communicate isolated beaches where you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters or relax in the white sand. The biodiversity of the mangrove swamp gives you a peak of what a real paradise this place is…

Day 19: Saturday: Transfer San Pedro Sula

In the morning transfer to the International Airport in San Pedro Sula for your flight back home or to enjoy an extension on one of the island destinations…

Activities
• Birdwatching
• Hiking
• Rural Life
• Colonial History
• Handicrafts
• Traditions & Legends
• Pre-Columbian Heritage
• Religious Events
• Food
• Poetry and Literature

Do not forget
• Bathing Suit
• Comfortable Shoes
• Cash Money
• Light Clothing
• Sun Protection
• Insect Repellant
• Camera

Difficulty Level: 2

Local Information

Currency: U$1 x C$ 30.43
Temperature:
Local Time:

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