Nicaragua Family Travel

There are so many reasons to explore Nicaragua but the one most often overlooked – it’s a hop, skip and a jump from the USA! Nicaragua is blessed with two of the most charming and well-preserved colonial towns in Central America, Granada and León. Nicaragua boasts five of the most famous surf beaches in the world and nineteen active volcanoes, many of which you can climb and/or sand board! Almost one-fifth of Nicaragua’s land mass is protected in national parks or nature reserves so there is a lot of nature and very few humans! Nicaragua is host to many spectacular, off the beaten track luxury resorts – which translates to; you can play hard then be treated like a king or queen!

So if you are clamoring for spectacularly preserved colonial cities, hiking or sand boarding on volcanoes, surfing or just hanging out on remote beaches, climbing through canyons that were just discovered within the last 15 years, watching monkeys bolt through the trees while you kayak on a freshwater lake, and unplug in a spectacular cottage at the end of your day, then Nicaragua is the place you want to be! Come join us for a rich cultural experience and exciting adventure in Nicaragua!

Our Favorite Activities:

Cooking class and market – Granada
Learn to prepare your very own masterpieces on this family-focused culinary expereince! Alongside a local culinary expert, you will first visit the local market in Granada to find and purchase fresh ingredients for use in the kitchen. Explore the marketplace as a family, bonding as you gain insights into the rich tradition of Nicaraguan cuisine at this colorful bazaar. After going to the market, you will be introduced to an expert local chef who will provide a comprehensive cooking demonstration, sharing techniques and methods to ensure the whole family is able to prepare incredible Nicaraguan dishes. Enjoy your home cooked meal and leave with all the amazing recipes. ¡Buen provecho!

Chocolate workshop – Granada
At the ChocoMuseo you will learn everything there is to know about chocolate and cacao. After exploring the museum, you and your family will participate in a museum-led workshop where participants prepare handmade chocolate from 100% Nicaraguan organic cacao beans. This one and a half hour workshop covers the entire chocolate making process, starting from the cocoa bean and ending with your very own handmade bar of chocolate. The preparation of cocoa-based beverages is also detailed in the workshop, including how to prepare the ancient Maya drink. This unique and enjoyable experience offers families the opportunity to accomplish an activity together as a team while learning about cultural heritage in a very positive and joyful way, all with the promise of delicious chocolate to wrap up your day.

San Jacinto Mud Fields & Tortilla Workshop – San Jacinto, León
Approximately 20 kilometers from the colonial city of León are the boiling volcanic mud fields of San Jacinto. You get to scout out the ‘breathing holes’ for nearby volcanoes – which is fascinating to see up close and personal. Then you’ll go to a local home where you will participate in a local tortilla-making workshop. The tortilla is one of the most popular and important parts of Nicaraguan cuisine, a staple in the everyday diet of nearly all who live here. You will be involved in the process of tortilla making, starting with nothing but a dough ball to shape into a tasty flatbread. Assist local cooks in charge of the kitchen, as aromatic tortillas are made fresh on a woodstove. When they are cooled off, enjoy an incredible Nicaraguan tortilla alongside a light breakfast prepared just for you and your family. Nothing brings families together quite like good cuisine, and this tour features some of the best traditional foods the country has to offer.

Sand boarding Cerro Negro – Cerro Negro Volcano, León
Cerro Negro is the youngest volcano in Central America (formed in 1850) as well as one of the most active ones. Only about 712 meters above sea level, do not be fooled by the seemingly small size of the volcano, the ascent is steep and tough. The unique topography allows for a thrilling sand boarding experience where you will speed to the bottom, gliding over dark volcanic sand on your carefully designed sand-surfing board.

It is about a one-hour hike to the top of the Cerro Negro to begin sand boarding but you get to learn about the history of the volcano and its features on the way up. I promise it’s worth the effort! Once at the top, instructions are given, you don your protective equipment and begin the descent. Exciting, educational, and capped off with a thrilling sand boarding experience few will ever know, this expereince brings families together, encouraging them to conquer fears, provide support and to cheer in celebration upon completion of this adrenaline-fueled activity.

Masaya Volcano Twilight Tour – Masaya Volcano, Masaya
Masaya Volcano National Park is located half an hour from the capital city of Managua and is one of the most popular volcanoes in the Pacific region of Nicaragua due to its constant activity. Seeing the volcano up close and personal is a unique opportunity. How many people do you know that have watching as boiling lava roils below inside the volcano crater? It’s pretty cool!

Monimbó Family Visit – Masaya
This full day tour will get families closer to the cultural heritage of Nicaragua and an impressive active volcano. Masaya Volcano is considered one of the most active volcanoes in Central America so to see it up close and personal is quite a thrill. You are driven to the peak of the volcano where you can shimmy up to the edge and peek inside at the boiling hot red lava. After you get your fill of boiling lava, you will visit with a local family who makes the elaborately woven hammocks Nicaragua is famous for. While you and your family visit with the locals, some typical dances are performed with marimba and local instruments. The visit allows your family a more complete picture of Nicaragua’s varied landscapes and its colorful culture.

Kayak Istián River – Altagracia, Ometepe Island
Istián River is located in the region of Altagraciain Ometepe Island. This natural hidden spot is a sanctuary for resident and migratory birds and provides some of the most amazing views in Nicaragua. Three to four hours in a kayak will allow you to fully explore the entire length of the river right up to the point of exit into magnificent Lake Nicaragua. You will likely encounter many tropical birds, reptiles, monkeys and breathtaking views of Ometepe’s volcanoes, a true jewel of the region! This kayak adventure will definitely connect you all with the stunning local habitat.

Turtle Nesting – La Flor Beach, Rivas *Depending on the season 

Visit the most famous beach south of San Juan del Sur; La Flor. A protected wildlife reserve due to the annual mass migration of Olive Ridley turtles, which occurs every year between August and January. Thousands of turtles arrive on certain nights to lay eggs on this particular beach. Approximately 50 days later, thousands of these eggs hatch and baby turtles begin the harrowing journey to the ocean. Both the egg laying and the hatching are incredibly unique events and can be witnessed in person at La Flor beach. A one of a kind experience!

Surfing – near San Juan del Sur
Nicaragua ranks among the best in Central America for surfing beaches. The trade winds blow over Lake Managua and into the Pacific giving Nic’s southwest coast the most spectacular winds that in turn create beautiful waves! If you’re a novice there are many places to take lessons. If you’re an old hand at surfing, you’ll be thrilled to ride the waves in Nicaragua!

When you are ready to explore Nicaragua with your family, feel free to schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with me at I’d LOVE to help!

Bambi Wineland is the mother of two internationally adopted children, a traveler, and the Founder and CEO of Motherland Travel. Motherland Travel began by designing Heritage Journeys for families with internationally adopted children. The emphasis of those Heritage Journeys has always been on deepening family connections, building self-esteem and cultivating pride in a family’s multi-cultural heritage. Motherland Travel also uses the philosophies of transformative Travel for designing family trips with purpose – building rich connections, with each other and the world! Read more about her here >>

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