Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

What is the perfect Nicaragua itinerary for families?

The “ perfect Nicaragua itinerary ” largely depends on who you are, what your interests are, and how much time you have available.

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Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Iglesia La Merced in Granada

 

Who is this Nicaragua itinerary for?

Our experience traveling in Nicaragua is with toddlers and smaller kids, and we feel that these itinerary suggestions would be appropriate up to approximately 10-years-old.

After kids are approximately 10-years-old there are number of adrenaline filled activities that might be suitable for the daredevil tween or teen, but are unlikely to be suitable for a younger child. Check out our recommendations in our post “Adrenaline Filled Activities in Nicaragua For Active Families.”

Nicaragua is the land of lakes and volcanoes and you should definitely see some while you are there.  It also has some of the most incomparable colonial cities in the world, in Leon and Granada.  By combining lakes, volcanoes, and colonial cities you end up with a top itinerary that can be tailored for families.

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

 

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

 

Nicaragua also has some great surf beaches and fantastic coastline.   While it’s always enjoyable to spend a few days by the beach, this is the thing that we have removed from the itinerary first.  Perhaps it is that we have spent a lot of time at beaches in Asia and the Pacific and have pretty high expectations, but it is also because the volcanoes and colonial cities are not seen in many other places and we feel that you should see unique things first!  There are is so much do to and a Nicaragua itinerary for families is jam-packed with adventure.

 

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
View of Concepcion volcano from Maderas , Ometepe Island

 

Our unspoken assumption for travel with kids in any place or country include:

  • Make sure you allow time in your itinerary for arriving and departing in the country.  We always plan nothing for the first day after we fly in.
  • Kids need downtime in order to not become anxious or stressed (which translates as tantrums, bad tempers, or unwillingness to do things)!  This not only helps them adjust to their new surroundings but also helps ease the effects of jet lag.  See our post Jet Lag With Toddlers: How To Deal With It.
  • We generally follow a one day activities/one day rest pattern; or alternatively do half day activities each day.   Particularly in tropical countries consider getting an early start and being inside in air conditioning in the heat of the day.

 

10 Day Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

 

Day 1:  Arrival Day  – transfer directly from Managua airport to Granada.  It is only a 45 minute drive and most Granada hotels will arrange someone to pick you up at the airport and transfer you.

 

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
A pool is vital for kids in Nicaragua, this is the Hotel Real La Merced
Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Breakfast room at Hotel Real La Merced

 

Day 2:  Rest & Orientation –  We would plan to do very little this day as even a shorter flight (5-6 hours) comes with 3 hours at the airport and the associated last minute packing up and getting out the door.  This is a long and stressful day for most kids.   Walk down to the Parque Central and La Calzada street for your evening meal.  We’d recommend getting a hotel with a pool and hanging out with the kids.  Don’t venture out in the middle of the day, especially in the hotter months.

Days 3-6

We would plan full days or larger outings to 2-3 of the following places:

Also, have a look at our post 11 Great Things In Granada With Kids.  There are a lot of other activities included here, but these are shorter, approximately 1-2 hour in duration that could be included around the other bigger activities.

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
View of Laguna Apoyo from Catarina
Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Day trip to the Isletas outside of Granada

Days 7-9

There are two locations that we recommend for these days.

You need to decide what you would prefer to see and experience:

 

Lakes and Volcanoes

Visiting Ometepe Island with its twin volcanoes.

This option includes 1 day travel to Ometepe Island, then 2 full days on the island.  With an exciting Ferry ride included in this trip, there is an adventurous feeling here.

We wouldn’t swim in the lake but loved the Natural Water Pools at Ojo Del Agua.   With kids we would also spend a day on a Finca learning about coffee, riding horses, nature trails, or doing some kayaking.  Some of the hotels also include playground equipment.

We have admired Hostel Finca Magdalena for some time and plan to visit during our next Ometepe Trip.

Check the latest prices and more information.

We loved our stay at Totoco Eco Lodge, and LOVE their philosophy.  They offer a great range of activities, the only downside would be their distance from the lake (which we wouldn’t swim in anyways).

Check the latest prices and more information.

We stayed in Charco Verde which had some play equipment on the lake’s edge.

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Play equipment on Ometepe Island
Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Taking the Ferry to Ometepe Island

Pacific Beaches

In comparison to beaches around the world, Nicaragua’s Pacific beaches are an excellent surf destination but, for family travel, they might not be as easy or as idyllic as other parts of the world.

We have stayed at the Barcelo Montelimar resort (Nicaragua’s aging but still popular beach resort) and we didn’t enter the water with our toddler but still had fun on the sand and pools.

Check the latest prices and more information.

San Jan Del Sur is the most famous beach destination,  awesome for parties, sunsets and some good surf beaches to the north.  It still  has a Nicaragua vibe (which is a little different than some of the expat enclaves to the south in Costa Rica), but is not necessarily a kids destination.  There are a couple of resorts out of town, that are suitable for kids with families, but these are in a higher price bracket and a more “resort” experience – not connected with the local people.

Pelican Eyes might have kids club, we are not sure.

Check the latest prices and more information.

Mango Rosa is always popular.  They have 2 and 3 bedroom chalets which would be great for families.  Again, they are not connected with the local people.

Check the latest prices and more information.

Morgan’s Rock, exceptional crafted experiences that provides everything you need – including a kids program – for a luxury price tag.  This is by far the best option for a family looking for a typical “resort” experience while on holidays.

Check the latest prices and more information.

We have heard good things about the village of Las Salinas and the beach at Popoyo, about an hour north of San Juan del Sur, and plan to visit during our next visit to Nicaragua.

 

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
San Juan del Sur

 

Day 10: Departure Day

Allow 3 hours from the Pacific beaches to the Managua airport or even more time from Ometepe Island (as you need to catch the ferry across).

 

Nicaragua Itinerary For Families
Sunset on Ometepe

What if you have more time in Nicaragua?

If you have more time we would add any of these to your Nicaragua itinerary:

  1. Add the Colonial city of Leon for 2 days. We would add this to the beginning of the itinerary,  so that you would fly in and travel directly there (it is about 2 hours driving vs 45 minutes to Granada)
  2. Add extra time in Granada – maybe one more day.
  3. If you have 4 more days we would add a trip to the Corn Islands to the end of your itinerary. A little Caribbean paradise is the perfect way to round out your holiday!

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Nicaragua Itinerary For Families

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9 comments

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  • What a great post – especially considering how long it will take to recover after the trip there. I would love to go and visit a volcano, must look at your other post too as my youngest is 9 this year. #familytraveltips

  • This sounds like a great trip with young kids. I definitely agree about having some down time to adjust schedules. The lakes and volcanoes look so beautiful!

  • Sounds like a great itinerary that allows you to see a lot of Nicaragua without getting worn out! As and when I go, I’d love to tack the Corn Islands on to this trip, I’ve heard really good things about them.

  • My son’s not a fan of beaches, especially when it’s not possible to go in the water, so even though they sound amazing we’d probably opt for mountains and volcanoes. I’ve never seen a volano – I’m dying to do it! #familytraveltips

  • Wow, such a comprehensive itinerary. Useful to know little tips like the fact that you wouldn’t swim in the lake as well. It looks like a beautiful place to visit and plenty to enjoy there as a family. Thanks for linking up to #familytraveltips.
    Nat.x

  • I’ve not travelled to this part of the world, but it’s definitely on my wish list. The volcanoes would be a HUGE hit with my eldest! It looks like a wonderful place to explore and a very handy itinerary to boot! ‪#familytraveltips‬

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