This is one of the most exciting routes in Central America. Visit 5 countries to enjoy nature adventures, leisure and to explore the towns and the cities.
Start in San Jose with a visit to some of the museums and markets, where you can buy local food and authentic craftwork pieces and make friends with the locals. The next day head to La Fortuna, which offers many options for active leisure, including hikes to the Volcano Arenal, mountain bike rides, kayaking, exploring caves and enjoying bathing in hot springs. Then head to Monteverde or the "Green Mountain" – the village for an optional rainforest hikes, zipline canopy tour or visit to the coffee plantations.
Then cross the biggest lake in Central America, the Lake Nicaragua, by ferry form San Jorge to arrive to Ometepe Island and spend two nights there. The group will be split up amongst different families. Enjoy the local cuisine, hikes to a volcano, find out about rural life in Nicaragua or simply relax at the beach. Then head to the colonial Granada. Hike, cruise, or just explore the city's markets and museums. Stroll on the promenade Centro Turistica down by Lake Nicaragua, which is the home for freshwater sharks, visit to a cathedral, the colourful market or the Convento de San Francisco Cultural Center to view ancient archaeological objects, old photos and paintings. Optional activities include a scenic boat trip or guided kayak excursion among the 365 little islands of the Lake Nicaragua.
The next two days enjoy leisure at remote beaches – swim, surf, relax, take your time to hike the volcano Cerro Negro or check out the city of León. Your accommodation is right on the beach and has an attached bar and restaurant. Then take a longer transfer to the colonial town of Suchitoto on the edge of an impressive artificial lake. Hike a short distance to the waterfall Los Tercios or take an option to visit to Cinquera, a nearby town that was destroyed during the civil war and is now rebuilding. Don't forget to eat the delicious pupusas - traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla stuffed with blend of cheese, pork meat and beans.
Then travel the Ruta de las Flores - area with its quaint Salvadorian towns and many artisans. It leads upwards the Apaneca-Ilamatepec Mountain (2365 m) and you can enjoy pleasant climate while stopping by culturally diverse villages - Nahuizalco, Salcoatitan, Juayua, Apaneca and Concepción de Ataco. Enjoy a coffee tour, visit to the traditional textile factories do some shopping and try excellent food. Then cross the border into Honduras and head to Copán for an optional visit to the Mayan ruins of Copán that are fascinating, beautiful and unique among Mayan cities. Enjoy hikes and soak into the hot springs. Enjoy a guided tour in Antigua and an overnight stay in the final part of the tour. The former capital of Guatemala, Antigua, was significantly destroyed during the earthquakes in 1717 and later again in 50 years; therefore the government decided to move the capital to the valley of Shrine – where the present city of Guatemala is. Antigua was partially renewed and is interesting to walk or explore it in mountain bike rides.