Welcome to Southwestern Nicaragua


No trip to the southwest would be complete without a few days on Isla de Ometepe. The island itself is shaped like an infinity symbol, with bookend volcanoes dominating either side of a secluded universe where you'll discover waterfalls, wildlife, lost coves and enchanted forests. There's kayaking, swimming, hiking and biking, and many travelers extend their stay as they dive into paradise, lost in the quiet spots and friendly traveler encampments that define this island escape.


Top experiences in Southwestern Nicaragua

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Starting at $32.49

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Southwestern Nicaragua activities

$55 Tours & Sightseeing

Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of San Juan del Sur

Your half-day tour starts in the morning just yards from the San Juan del Sur port, where you will meet your guide and learn a little about the history of this colorful beach town. See a hotel that used to be the beach house of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and then travel a short distance by air-conditioned minivan to a local church, where you'll hear about the revolution that overthrew Somoza in 1979. Enter the church for a look around before heading up to the statue of Cristo de la Misericordia, overlooking the bay, and listen to a story about a local man who made a deal with God. This part of the tour requires a reasonable level of fitness, as you'll climb nearly 100 stairs. The tour will spend 45-minutes here, so there's no rush, and bottled water is provided. Next, move out of town to Las Nubes Adventure Park, where you will take a 15-minute, 1.5-mile (2.5-km) ATV (all-terrain vehicle) ride up through the forest, stopping on the way to look for sloths and birds of prey. Once you reach the top of the hill, you have a choice of views and activities: on one side, you can admire a beautiful view of the Pacific, and on the other, take in an even more spectacular view of Lake Nicaragua and the island of Ometepe with its twin volcanoes. Spend about an hour here, during which you can relax with a cold drink, maybe try some Nicaraguan rum or beer (at own expense) and use the high-speed Wi-Fi to share your photos, if you wish. If you're feeling adventurous, perhaps try some of the park's other activities, such as the canopy tour or the Tarzan swing (at own expense). When time is up, go back down the hill by ATV, and head to Restaurante Vivian, San Juan's best beach-side restaurant, for a free cocktail or Nicaraguan rum. You can then choose to stay and enjoy their all-day Happy Hour or head back to the port, either on foot (a 10 minute stroll along the beach) or in the free shuttle provided. Canopy upgrade: If you select the canopy option when booking, your experience at the adventure park is enhanced with a canopy tour that includes 10 platforms, seven ziplines, and one inclined rappel.

$80 Shore Excursions

Full-Day Small-Group Shore Excursion from San Juan del Sur

This small group tour starts at 9 am at the cruise port in San Juan del Sur and takes you on a scenic drive through Southern Nicaragua, passing by Lake Nicaragua before arriving at Laguna de Apoyo lookout in the charming town of Catarina. There, you can see the beautiful lagoon that has formed in the crater of a dormant volcano. Then, following a short drive, you will arrive at the active Masaya volcano, where you can look into the crater and see the lava below. You'll be driven all the way to the edge of the crater, so there will be no walking required. Your next stop will take place at the nearby Masaya Artisanal Market, for a chance to see high-quality Nicaraguan handicrafts and to purchase a few souvenirs (at own expense). Finally, you'll head to the colonial city of Granada, where your guide will show you around the historic center, which includes highlights such as the Convent of San Francisco and the beautiful cathedral. You will have the chance to purchase lunch (at own expense) on the famous Calle La Calzada, before making the journey back to San Juan del Sur.

$94.77 Private & Custom Tours

Granada Colonial City, Isletas from Port of San Juan del Sur

The transport and guide will be waiting at the Port of San Juan del Sur to take you to the colonial city of Granada, founded in 1524 by conquistador Hernández de Cordoba, is the oldest city in the western hemisphere of the Americas. Unlike other cities that claim the same distinction, the city of Granada was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon, and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain. Granada is also known as La Gran Sultana, in reflection of its Moorish and Andalusian appearance. On this excursion, you will visit the cultural center Casa de los Tres Mundos and the Museum of San Francisco Convent, known for its collection of pre-Columbian statutes and pottery. During the tour you will have the chance to see the colorful market, the charming streets and the beautiful churches and monuments. Then you'll embark on a boat tour of Granada's famous Isletas, an archipelago formed by an ancient volcanic explosion, just off the shore of Lake Nicaragua.

$50 Day Trips & Excursions

Isletas de Granada Day Trip from San Juan del Sur

Venture to a place that is like no other. The Islets of Granada are located in Lake Nicaragua, just southeast of the city of Granada in Nicaragua. The islets are a group of 365 small islands scattered about the Asese Peninsula. The islets are of volcanic origin, they were formed when the Mombacho Volcano blew much of its ashes into the lake thousands of years ago, thereby creating the archipelago. Most of islets are covered with vegetation and rich bird life. The fort of San Pablo is located on the islets in Lake Nicaragua and was built is order to protect the city of Granada from Pirates in the 18th century.This 6-hour day trip starts with hotel pick at San Juan Del Sur. Once you arrive at Lake Nicaragua, you will go on a boat ride with a guide around the islets. Afterwards, you will go to San Pablo Fort and then you will stop at one of the islands where you will be served a traditional lunch. You will then have time to swim or canoe from island to island. Lastly, you will visit Monkey Island where you will be able to meet several friendly monkeys before returning to San Juan del Sur.

$99 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Trip to Ometepe Island

San Jorge port in Rivas has been used for many years and is a key place and connection from Mainland and the island. The ferry across Lake Nicaragua will give you the opportunity to see both volcanoes up close and the feel the magnitude of Lake Nicaragua.You will visit Ojo de Agua in Ometepe where you will be able to relax by the natural spring, lay on a hammock, swim or enjoy the wild life. You will also visit Playa Santo Domingo, a beach located between both volcanoes, a great beach to swim and also enjoy local restaurants.Then visit Charco Verde, also called Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon). It is closed off from the lake by only a thin strip of land. The lagoon provides a shelter place for many birds. Punta Jesús María is the most western point of Ometepe. A narrow strip of sand stretches out into Lake Nicaragua, where you can walk on this strip of sand, with water splashing in from both the left and the right. Upon your return to the mainland, your driver will take you back to your original departure point.

$137 Transfers & Ground Transport

One-Way Private Transfer from San Juan del Sur to Managua

You will be picked up at your hotel in San Juan del Sur city and will be driven to your hotel in Managua. The transfer time is approximately 2.5 hours, depending on hotel location in Managua and traffic conditions.