Tonight it's time to meet your group leader and check out the colonial cobbled streets of Antigua where you can soak up the Spanish architecture, explore vibrant markets and heritage museums and make sure to try tasty local treats like tamales and pepian. Arrive early and make the most of hiring a bike and exploring the lush mountain slopes that form a permanent backdrop to this awesome city. If you have the chance to try some of the optional activities then you'll really be able to get further under the skin of Central America with tours of nut plantations and chocolate museums always proving really popular.
Today you make your way across the border into El Salvador and head south to Suchitoto, a reminder of El Salvador's historical past. A beautiful town with painted houses and cobbled streets, it's a world away from the modern country which El Salvador is today. The town overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande, also known as Lago Suchitlan, a reservoir which is a haven for migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks. The following day is free for optional activities such as boat or kayaking trips on Lago Suchitlan or forest hiking.
Heading south today, you pass through the nation's capital San Salvador, and head for the beautiful beaches of El Tunco. Here you'll find a rare side to El Salvador, a place so laid-back and relaxed you'll never want to leave! Grab a fresh fruit smoothie, try the street food (especially a pupusa) and make sure you head to Monkey La La for a drink at sunset, for the perfect end to this awesome day.
El Cuco is a beach town with dark sand, lined with vendor huts, delicious seafood restaurants and surrounding palms. Take time to enjoy the beach away from the crowds and see a different side to El Salvador. Kayak among the mangroves, give surfing a go, or just relax in a hammock. This is beach life at its best!
Today take a journey through the Gulf of Fonseca, with a short stop at one of the islands where you can have lunch and relax before continuing to the Nicaraguan side at Potosi. Once you've had your passports checked you take a minivan to Granada. Nicaragua is a beautiful place and for many people it becomes their favourite country in Central America with its friendly people and impressive natural beauty. The country has flourished in recent years and is an incredibly vibrant and unique country.People think that Granada will be the highlight of their Nicaragua adventure but Leon challenges your expectations. This city is buzzing with energy and with its faded decadence and crumbling buildings you are sure to fall in love with this city. Spend time walking around exploring the ornate churches, people watching from the street cafes, eating good food and enjoying the nightlife.
Oozing with colonial charm, Granada is the oldest city of the 'New World', having been founded in 1524. The city resides on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and its appearance is a mixture of Moorish and Andalusian. Wander the cobblestone streets surrounded by colourful buildings and bargain hard in the markets. The surrounding countryside includes active volcanoes and lakes so you can hike, cruise and explore the neighbouring landscapes. Choose to tour the islets of Lake Nicaragua by boat or alternatively take a day trip out to Mombacho or Masaya Volcano National Park to get up close to some steaming giants. There really is so much to do, you won't know where to start!
Next stop is the agricultural island of Ometepe which sits in the largest lake in Central America - Lake Nicaragua. This is a simply breathtaking experience and will bring you closer to the wildlife and volcanic landscapes of this remarkable country. If you can't get enough of that volcanic stuff then there are more optional hikes available up the side of both Maderas and Concepcion. After all that huffing and puffing, a trip to the Ojo de Agua springs is the place to be after a hard day exploring!
Wave farewell to the monkeys and beaches of Ometepe Island as you continue your travels south to the lush green cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. This is home to hundreds of species of plants, birds and mammals which means that however you choose to explore - by foot, bike or zip line - you'll be in for a really wild time. There are so many additional ways to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of Monteverde and from cloud forest walks to night-time nature rambles, this is an exciting and captivating area of Costa Rica. From coffee and chocolates to butterflies and insects - you name it and you'll have the opportunity to discover more.
Monkeys, lakes and volcanoes - oh my! This is what the active Arenal Volcano is all about. This is pretty much an adventure playground for big kids and if you're interested in hiking an active volcano or canyoneering then where better to give it a go than here? This is also the perfect place to rest your bones in the hot springs and relax. Costa Rica has it all!
Do you know the way to San Jose? You most certainly do! Take your time to relax and explore amongst the artisan markets and cultural museums of Costa Rica's capital city. Gold, handicrafts and seafood are all on offer on your final day in Central America and as you bid adios to San Jose don’t forget to finally get round to sending those postcards!