Sacred Earth Travel - Sustainable Nature and Adventure Travel


Self-Drive: Best of Nicaragua

This 14 day self-drive itinerary has been carefully designed to present you with the best selection of what Nicaragua has to offer. You will experience the nature and culture of different regions, dramatic volcanoes and pleasant rural idylls, mountains, islands, colonial towns - on both, dirt road, or the Pan-American Highway. Even though most of the roads are in good condition, we recommend using a 4x4 vehicle at any time of the year. On Ometepe Island or by the Apoyo Laguna, some places can be difficult to reach in a normal passenger car. During the rainy season, from the beginning of May to the end of October, a 4X4 vehicle is essential.

LeonDay 1: Managua – Transfer to Hotel

You will be met at Managua airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will receive your travel documentation at the front desk. The rest of the day is at your disposal to rest and enjoy the facilities offered by the hotel and recover from your journey, or to explore Managua.
Accommodations: Hotel Camino Real *** (*) / Hotel Casa Naranja *** (*)(Boutique Hotel)
Included meals: none

Day 2: Managua – León Viejo - León

Breakfast. Around 8:30am a representative of the rent the car rental company will pick you up at your hotel. After completing the paperwork formalities you will be ready to start on your self-drive adventure. Head north, along Lake Managua, taking in the impressive views of Momotombo volcano. Along the way you have the option to visit León Viejo, the first City built in Nicaragua which was abandoned by its inhabitants few year later. When you reach the city of León, we suggest checking into your hotel room and and taking a stroll to explore the colonial city on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Austria** (*) / Hotel El Convento ***(*)
Total distance in Km: 100km
Approximate driving time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Included meals: Breakfast

Cerro Negro

Day 3: León – Cerro Negro – Las Peñitas - León

Drive around León first to one of the youngest volcanoes in Latin America: Cerro Negro. You can hike up the flanks of the 'black mountain' (medium to good physical condition required) for some great views of the surroundings. The crater is also impressive with its fumaroles and geological formation. After gliding down the volcanic sand of the Cerro continue to driving to the Pacific coast. Maybe stop for a visit at the resort town of 'Las Peñitas' and sample some fresh red snaper at one of the beach restaurant. Return to León for overnight.
Accommodations: Hotel Austria / Hotel El Convento
Total distance in Km: 75km
Approximate driving time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 4: León – Hervideros San Jacinto – Matagalpa – Selva Negra

Make the most of your day by starting early. Your drive leads you to the hot springs of San Jacinto, which are testimony of strong volcanic activity in the region. As you will continue driving, your route will take you from the tropical dry area into the mixed vegetation zone of Nicaragua's mountain range. The town of Matagalpa is one of the biggest centers for coffee and you will see numerous coffee processing facilities. The road winds uphill, reaching your next destination, the resort of Selva Negra. We recommend going for a walk on one of the many trails of the resort.
Accommodations: Hotel/Lodge Selva Negra*(*) Standard Room / Bungalow
Total distance in Km: 180km
Approximate driving time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Included meals: Breakfast


Day 5: Selva Negra – Masaya Volcano National Park – Reserva Montibeli

Feel free to visit the farm on your own, observing the rural life of the area. During your drive back to the Pacific area, you will notice the climate changing. En route to your next destination, visit Masaya volcano National Park. From the craters edge you will observe the fumes rising from Santiago crater. Continue on a country road to reach your lodge, which is located in the private Reserve of Montibeli. Here you can take a nice walk into the forest, observing the local bird life.
Accommodations: Montibeli Lodge
Total distance in Km: 240km
Approximate driving time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Reseva Montibeli – Masaya Markets - Granada

After breakfast explore the trails some more before starting your drive to the south. Along the route you can stop at the town of Masaya and visit one of its markets. The town is famous for its arts and crafts and the markets are a great place to shop for them. On the way to the colonial city of Granada, you can also visit Catarina, one of the 'Pueblo blanco”' and enjoy your first view of the volcanic lagoon from the top. Arrival in Granada
Accommodations: Hotel Alhambra ** (*) / Hotel Plaza Colon*** (*)
Total distance in Km: 90km
Approximate driving time: 2 hours
Included meals: Montibeli Breakfast

Day 7: Free day in Granada

Today you have the chance to explore Granada, one of the oldest colonial towns of the Americas. Explore the architecture and monuments of the historic district of Granada on foot, or by horse carriage. Or drive to the beautiful Laguna de Apoyo and enjoy a delicious meal served in one of the many little restaurants along the shore; here you can also take a cooling dip in the clear waters of the lagoon.
Accommodations: Hotel Alhambra / Hotel Plaza Colon
Total distance in Km: 30km
Approximate driving time: 45 minutes
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Free day in Granada

Granada is charming and intersting city and you will be glad to have a full day to explore it at your leisure. Or, you might like to take a little cruise to visit 'the Isletas' or Mombacho Cloud Forest, an eroded volcano covered with beautiful orchids, bromeliads, ferns, lichens and all kinds of different tropical plants. Mombacho cloudforest reserve is one of 76 protected areas of Nicaragua.
Accommodations: Hotel Alhambra / Hotel Plaza Colon.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Granada – San Jorge – Moyogalpa – Playa Santo Domingo

Follow the famous Pan-American Highway to the little port of San Jorge, located on the shores of the great Nicaragua Lake. The ferry will take you (and your vehicle) to the island of Ometepe. During your drive on the island to Playa Santo Domingo, you will pass several colorful villages, as well as Altagracia.
Accommodations: Hotel Villa Paraiso**(*)(Standard room) / Lake View Cabin
Total distance in Km: 115km
Approximate driving time: 3 hours
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Playa Santo Domingo – Madera’s Volcano

MaderasExplore the area of Madera’s volcano, passing by the small villages of Baldüe and San Ramon. The route around the volcano is passable during the dry season. You can observe the local people going about their daily business or just relax at your hotel and go for a swim.
Accommodations Hotel Villa Paraiso (Standard Room / Lake View Cabin)
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Playa Santo Domingo – Moyogalpa – San Jorge – San Juan del Sur

Start early in the morning and drive along Concepción volcano to reach Moyogalpa, the principal town of the island. From there, you will take the ferry back to the mainland and drive to the famous resort town of San Juan del Sur. Take a look around the town and enjoy some succulent fish at one of the numerous restaurants along the beach promenade, you can drive further north to one of the beaches on the Pacific Ocean like Playa Marsella or Playa Majagual. Return to San Juan del Sur.
Accommodations Hotel Posada Azul***
Total distance in Km: 65km
Approximate driving time: 2 hours
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 12 : San Juan del Sur - Playa del Coco – Playa La Flor – El Ostional – San Juan del Sur

Today, take a drive to the Natural Reserve of Playa La Flor, located a few kilometers from Playa del Coco. La Flor is famous as a nesting site for sea turtles. During the rainy season, from July to December you can observe the 'arribada', when great numbers of sea turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs. The reserve protects rare tropical dry forest and its inhabitants. If you wish, continue to the small town of El Ostional before returning to San Juan del Sur.
Accommodations: Hotel Posada Azul
Total distance in Km: 50km
Approximate driving time: 3 hours
Included meals: Full Breakfast

San Juan del SurDay 13: San Juan del Sur – Tola - Punta Teonoste

Today your drive will take you along the coast, passing the towns of Rivas, Tola and Salinas. The route passes through scenic rural countryside. Your charming lodging is located at Punta Teonoste, just on the edge of the ocean, on an unspoiled beach with magnificent clear water. You have the whole day to relax, or visit 'Chacocente Reserve', which is located 20 minutes away from Teonoste.
Accommodations at Punta Teonoste Resort
Total distance in Km: 85km
Approximate driving time: 2 hours
Included meal today: Breakfast

Day 14: Punta Teonoste – Managua

Today you will start on your drive back to the capital. Take any route you like - either passing through the impressive landscapes around La Concepción or on a less travelled road of the region.
Total distance in Km: 130km
Included meal today: Breakfast
Approximate driving time: 2h30min
Departure: Tour starts daily

Note: It’s possible to plan a drive on last day, to another destination, instead of Managua. Please consult us about any extra drop off charge.

Our service includes:

Services not included:


Accommodation Rates in US$ per Pers. from 2 Pax

Rates valid to Oct 31, 2018
standard superior
Double US$ US$
Single US$ US$

Twin Bed Supplement (Two Beds): US$15.00/Pers. Hotel rates can increase during peak season (Christmas, New Year, Holy Week)

Alamo Rental car rates (13 days)

  All Year
Toyota Prado – 4x4 Jeep
for 5/6 Pers.

Extra service:

Extra Insurance: is available and can be bookdirectly at the rent-a-car delivery or, of course,pre-booked at no extra charge:

If you get the C.D.W. (Collision Damage Waiver) its lost responsibility by damages of our vehicles will be limited. In case of accident, the maximum deductible by direct damage to the rented vehicle will be of $ 800.00 for 4x4 and SUV, OF $500.00 for Sedan. In case of partial or total theft the deductible is 20% of the vehicle value. Nevertheless, C.D.W. it will be annulled if the vehicle is surrounded in anyone of the "violations and described prohibitions of use" in the rent contract. In Nicaragua this insurance is obligatory to less than the client has a credit card that allows declining it.
Glass, tires and radio are excluded from coverage
Deductibles: In Nicaragua in the case of trucks 4x4 and SUV deductible is $ 800 and for Sedan cars is $500. In case of partial or total theft deductible is 20% of value of the vehicle

Insurance Notes:

Pick-up / Drop Off extra charges:
Peñas Blancas (border to Costa Rica ): US$15.00
Montelimar: US$35.00
Managua Airport: US$12.50 (one time payment)
El Guasaule (Frontier to Honduras ): US$65.00
General note: All rates mentioned above are quoted with Budget Rent-a-car. In case of non availability we will requested a quote from another company, which may change the overall rate.

For further information and booking inquiries please send us and e-mail.