Backroads of Central America
Backroads of Central America information and booking
Connect with your hosts in an Ometepe homestay experience, laugh with the locals during a chicken bus journey, bliss out on a remote stretch of Nicaraguan beach, stroll through Antigua's colonial streets, explore Mayan ruins.
Tour description provided by G Adventures
Take the road less travelled through Central America with other travellers your own age – so you can be sure to get down with other adventurers that’ll keep up. This is one of our most exciting trips, filled with breathtaking scenery – from tropical rainforests alive with jungle melodies to colonial cities bouncing to a decidedly more human beat. You'll blaze your own path as you discover a region of volcanoes, craters, beaches, and lush forests. Sticking to budget accommodation and public transport will keep costs down and keep you rooted in local life.
- Day 1
- Arrive at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums and an ornate National Theatre. Enjoy the view of the surrounding lush mountains from the downtown streets, head to the central plaza, shop for souvenirs and pass the time people-watching. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
- Day 2
- La Fortuna, the town near the Arenal Volcano, is an excellent base for adventure. Hike the area’s nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall, or join a canopy tour and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Take an unforgettable night hike around the foot of the volcano, accompanied by a soundtrack of monkeys and the rumblings of the volcano. Other optional activities include: full-day Class III & IV white water rafting on the Balsa or Toro Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. After a long day of exploring, the Baldi Hot Springs might just be the answer for your tired muscles. Soak in one of the natural thermal baths and hope the clouds part long enough for a glimpse of Arenal´s slopes. Transport: Local bus (5.00 hour(s), 150km)
- Day 3
- Free day to get the adrenaline pumping with rafting and other outdoor pursuits or one of many other optional activities. Additional Notes: If you have pre-booked the Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle, today's the day for two of the activities. Choose from canyoneering and ONE of the following: stand-up paddle boarding, half-day hike, Venado caving or kayaking. Your CEO will give you details on what to bring and pick-up time(s).
- Day 4
- Costa Rica is a natural gem because of its breathtaking flora and fauna. Travelling into the cool cloud forest of Monteverde, appreciate how lush ecosystems truly are works of art. Take time to bird watch, ride a horse, mountain bike, or zip line over the forest canopy. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s)) Boat (1.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
- Day 5
- Opt to visit a cloud forest reserve, fly through the jungle canopy via zipline or tour a coffee plantation. Additional Notes: If you have pre-booked the Costa Rica Adrenaline Bundle, today's the day for ziplining. Your CEO will inform you on pick-up time and what to bring.
- Day 6 (1D)
- From the town of San Jorge, we cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to arrive at Ometepe Island. The group will be split up amongst different families who will host you in their homes. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the home. Explore the island, pass plantain plantations and other small villages, to get a chance to see how rural Nicaraguans live. Enjoy a challenge? Hike Concepción Volcano. If not, check out the pre-Columbian petroglyphs, try the Tarzan swing at a nearby jungle swimming hole, or enjoy the beach. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Nicaragua - Costa Rica) Puesta del Sol Homestay Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 190km) Local bus (1.00 hour(s)) Local bus (0.25 hour(s)) Ferry (1.50 hour(s), 10km)
- Day 7 (1B, 1D)
- Full day on the island to spend time with your homestay hosts and enjoy optional activities such as hiking and swimming. Included Activities: Puesta del Sol Homestay
- Day 8 (1B)
- Nicaragua has flourished in the past few years and boasts both incredibly friendly people as well as impressive natural beauty. Granada’s colonial charm is complimented by the surrounding active volcanoes and lakes, making day trips a fun and easy option. Walking is probably the easiest way to see all the sights of Granada, your Chief Experience Officer will give you an initial orientation walk in the city, after which you will have plenty of time to explore in more depth. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s)) Ferry (1.50 hour(s), 10km) Local bus (0.25 hour(s)) Local bus (2.00 hour(s), 75km)
- Day 9
- For a relaxing afternoon, spend a couple of hours in a boat touring some of the 350+ ¨Isletas¨ or little islands found near Granada in Lake Nicaragua. Other optional activities include visiting the nearby extinct Mombacho Volcano, now shrouded in vegetation, or Masaya Volcano National Park, which is home to an active volcano. Granada is located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua and has a long park ideal for strolling. The nearby markets of Masaya house vendors selling great Nicaraguan handicrafts such as hammocks, pottery, and paintings.
- Day 10
- Enjoy a couple of days of relaxation on a remote northern beach on Nicaragua's Pacific coast. Surfing, swimming and beach lounging await. Opt to hike Cerro Negro or check out the city of León. Additional Notes: Our accommodation is right on the beach and has an attached bar and restaurant. There's not much on our stretch of beach, but that's part of the beauty of Nicaragua's northern Pacific coast. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 150km)
- Day 11
- Spend your day enjoying the coast. Opt to explore the city of Leon or hike Cerro Negro.
- Day 12
- After a long day of travel via bus, boat and van, arrive to El Salvador's colonial town of Suchitoto. Don't forget to try the delicious pupusas, a local Salvadorian specialty. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Nicaragua - El Salvador) Transport: Walking (0.50 hour(s)) Boat (0.25 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s)) Boat (3.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
- Day 13
- Travel to the 'Route of Flowers' region with its quaint Salvadorian towns and talented artisans. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 120km)
- Day 14
- Day hikes, a coffee tour and shopping are some of many options for your time here. Hike El Impossible National Park, swim in the pools of Atzumpa, check out some of the other nearby quaint towns or just explore tiny Ataco. This is a coffee producing region of El Salvador, so be sure to sample some delicious coffee in a local café.
- Day 15
- Travel into Honduras and opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Copán. The Mayan ruins of Copán are fascinating, beautiful and unique among Mayan cities. The colonial highland town of Copán Ruinas is a charming and relaxing place. Opt to explore the nearby hills on horseback and check out some lesser known Mayan sites along the way. Prefer birds? Check out a local private macaw reserve that is also home to a large variety of other birds on the property. If neither of those appeal, journey to some local hot springs for a relaxing soak. Included Activities: Border Crossing (El Salvador - Guatemala) Border Crossing (Guatemala-Honduras) Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 400km)
- Day 16
- Free time in Copan to enjoy optional activities.
- Day 17
- After a long travel day arrive to Antigua, where you can stretch your legs during an orientation walk with your CEO. Enjoy the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additional Notes: This tour arrives to Antigua in the early evening. If you are interested in exploring the city and its nearby attractions, it is recommended you book additional post-trip accommodation nights. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Honduras - Guatemala) Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 200km)
- Day 18
- Depart at any time. Additional Notes: There is much to see and do in this picturesque town. If you have time, opt to extend your trip to explore more of Guatemala. Included Activities: Departure Day