Tours & Activities around Lake Nicaragua and Granada
Jicaro is a place where you can find the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration. After a day of lounging in your private hammock or indulging in a rejuvenating massage in our wellness center, you might want to adventure out on one of our signature tours. Our tours offer varied activities ranging from easy to challenging, and are all accompanied by a private guide who will teach you about local flora and fauna, as well as Nicaraguan history, culture and day-to-day living.
1. Plantations, Tropical Forest & Hot Springs
Depart after breakfast and take a short boat ride to the foot of the Mombacho Volcano, which can be seen from the island. Take a 2 hours hike from the Calera farm through plantain and stretches of tropical dry forests where you can observe the local flora and fauna. Our expert guide will interpret not only the forest but also the cultural implications of farming on Mombacho, which dates back to colonial times. At the end of the hike you’ll enjoy a picnic and you can jump into the hot spring in the shore of the lake. Then Kayak on the water way for about 30 until to get the boat back to the hotel. This is a nice experience that you cannot miss while you stay at Jicaro Island Ecolodge.
Places to Visit: La Calera Natural Reserve, Plantain grows and Hot Spring Waterways.
2. Sunrise or Sunset Kayaking
Yes, we are on an island, and the best way to get around is in a kayak. Paddle out in our kayaks and explore the wonderful ecosystem that surrounds our Eco lodge. Our experienced guide will help you learn about the natural history of the islands, their importance and the theory of how they were formed according to scientific and ancient knowledge. At some point we will pass by a narrow canal in between islands where water lilies are abundant. These floating plants are part of a special ecosystem that provides food and nesting for different birds. Therefore, you will be able to observe different kinds of shore birds (we recommend you bring binoculars). Keep your eyes open; lake turtles can sometimes be seen at island shores!
Places to Visit: Canals in between the "Isletas".
3. Bird Watching Tour
Awaken to a fresh breeze of the island winds or enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets, late in the afternoon before dusk, and join us in this kayaking trip to discover where birds live, nest and visit our lake. The tour starts by exploring the islands nearby and then heads to the peninsula to continue the search. You might find interesting birds like Montezuma’s Oropendula, Ringed Kingfisher, Purple Gallinule, and Northern Jacana amongst many others. Our guide will help you to identify all the birds observed in the tour. Don’t forget to bring the bird flash card from your casita and your binoculars; if you don’t have your own ask for them at the reception.
Places to Visit: Island waterways.
View Bird List here.
4. Isletas Boat Tour
Would you like to explore more than one hundred islands in three hours? Come and join us in this relaxing and unique tour where you can appreciate many beautiful islands and pristine landscapes. For this tour we pack a cooler with drinks that you can enjoy whilst observing the views. Towels will be available in the boat if you want to jump out and take a swim in the fresh and warm water of our big lake.
Places to Visit: Islands around Asese Peninsula, The old Fortress.
5. Canopy Tour
Have you ever wondered what a bird feels like when it flies over the canopy? Take part in this exceptional adventure and find out. Leave in the morning or afternoon in a boat to the main port, where our car will take you to Canopy Miravalles located just 25 minutes away. Once you get there, the experienced guides will prepare your harnesses for this ride. Follow their instructions and slide down in the first of eleven cables. Once you feel confident, ask the guides for tricks like zipping upside down or flying like superman!
Duration: Approx. 2 hours.
6. Full Day Mombacho and Canopy
If you feel adventurous and want to do something harder than the rest of our tours, this is the tour for you! Spend the day in Mombacho natural reserve and take a 2 ½ hike up and down hill. Climb to “La Roca” Lookout to appreciate one of the most beautiful views of Granada’s Islands, Zapatera and the volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua. Feel the breeze, enjoy nature and make sure to take a break, enjoy a hearty picnic lunch and get ready for your next adventure… The zip line tour, let go and fly over the canopy trees using the 11 platforms for over 20 meters.
Places to Visit: Mombacho Biological Station, Crater or Tigrillo trails and Canopy Tour at Mombacho.
7. Artisanal Fishing
During your stay at Jicaro you will notice fishermen in their wooden boats using fishing lines or nets to catch fish. Have you ever imagined yourself in such boat fishing in this mystical way? If your answer is yes, we invite you to be part of this unique experience where you’ll learn diverse techniques used in the artisanal fishing. You’ll float around the beautiful “isletas” in search of the perfect fish and learning from your captain about life on these little islands. If you catch a good fish like tilapia, snook or rainbow bass, you can bring it back home to the lodge and our Chef will be glad to prepare it for you.
Places to Visit: Unexplored fishing spots near the island
8. Volcán Mombacho (cloud forest)
Leave the hotel after breakfast and take a walk in the Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve. Take a ride from Granada to the foot of Mombacho Volcano in a 4x4 vehicle to start the adventure. Then stop on the half way in a coffee farm to enjoy a cup of coffee. Once at the top of the volcano, visit the biological station to gather information about this cloud forest. Walk into the forest on “El Crater, Tigrillo or Puma Trail” and observe dense vegetation where trees are covered by many kinds of plants like orchids and bromeliads. On the trail there is a great view of Lake Nicaragua and the island why don’t you try to point out which one is our island!. Our guide will lead you through the trail and will help you to identify the flora and Fauna.
Places to Visit: Mombacho Biological Station, El Crater 1 ½ Km, Tigrillo 2 ½ km or Puma trail 4 km.
9. Granada City Tour
Join us in exploring and discovering the famous city of Granada, established in 1524 by the Spaniard Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, the oldest colonial city on mainland America and considered one of the prettiest cities in Latin America. We will visit relevant sites and colonial buildings as well as the San Francisco Museum, which preserves some of the most interesting indigenous ceramic and statue collections. Our guide will take you into the past to learn about all the issues that involved Granada’s development since the pre-Columbian period. You will hear stories about real pirates and their adventures and also civil war stories that tell of the city being burned to ashes, sacked and destroyed several times.
Places to Visit: La Pólvora Fortress, Las Mercedes Church, Municipal Market, San Francisco Church and Museum, Central park.
10. Classic Masaya and Catarina
This is an unforgettable day in rural Nicaragua. We begin the day by visiting the Masaya Volcano National Park, with the stunning and active Santiago crater. It’s one of the few places in the world where such an active volcano can be observed up close. We will also visit the ecological museum, where our tour guide will explain about various themes in geology, history, volcanology and ecology. Next, we will visit Nicaragua's most popular open-air handcraft market located in Masaya, where Nicaraguan crafts can be purchased. We will then drive to Catarina, one of the famous traditional towns where ornamental plants and flowers are grown. Here, you will enjoy impressive panoramic views over the Apoyo Lagoon and surrounding region. Before returning to your departure point, we’ll pass by San Juan de Oriente and observe artisans making their famous and beautiful pottery.
Duration: Approx. 6 hours.
11. Horseback Riding
Depart after breakfast and take a short boat ride to the foot of the Mombacho Volcano, which can be seen from the island. Take a 1 and ½ hour horseback riding from the Calera farm through plantain, cacao, coffee and citrus fruit plantations, through stretches of tropical forests where you can observe the local flora and fauna. Our expert guide will interpret not only the forest but also the cultural implications of farming on Mombacho, which dates back to colonial times. At a spectacular viewpoint at the top, you’ll enjoy a picnic and have a relaxing swim in the hot spring before heading back down to the shores of the lake.. This tour is unique and an absolute must to cultivate a sense of place during your stay at Jicaro.
Places to Visit: La Calera Natural Reserve, Calera´s Casa Hacienda, Hot Spring
12. Masaya Volcano, Handicraft Market & Apoyo Lagoon
If you want to see one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua. Nothing better than visiting Masaya Volcano National Park, with the amazing and active Santiago crater. It’s one of the few places in the world where such an active volcano can be observed up close. We will also visit the ecological museum. Next, we will visit Nicaragua's most popular open-air handcraft market located in Masaya, where Nicaraguan crafts can be purchased. After that you will visit to the Apoyo lagoon natural reserve considers one of the places with the cleanest and dippiest water in Nicaragua. There you can jump into the warm water and have a relaxing swim.
Places to Visit: Masaya National Park and Museum, Masaya handicraft market, Apoyo lagoon Natural Reserve, Lunch at La Abuela.
13. Sustainability Tour
Did you ever wonder what’s going on behind the curtains of an eco-lodge? How is the water from the lake processed into a drinkable freshwater resource? What happens to the grey water; where does it go to? And where do the leftovers from our meals end up? If you are interested in these kind of questions, please join our sustainability tour over the island, where you will get exclusive insights into everything that’s happening in the background. You will be able to excess some of the staff only areas and will see and hear about processes that you probably did not even notice before.
For further insights into our sustainability efforts, we can also arrange trips for you to our neighbouring islands where we are involved in projects, such as the generation of biogas and the support of an impoverished, local elementary school.
Option 1: Tour over the island 30 minutes (sustainability tour). Option 2: Tour to the pig farm: 30 minutes. Option 3: Tour to the school: 1 hour.
Other activities: We invited you to paddle out in one of our kayak and explore the wonderful ecosystem that surrounds the Ecolodge. Most recommended hours are before 10 am or after 4 pm
14. Romantic Dinner on Floating Deck
Explore a new experience with your partner and end your day with a candlelight dinner on the lake atop our floating deck. A romantic option that could definitely be one of the highlights of your stay at Jicaro.
Dinner includes private service, 3 course dinner for you and your partner and a bottle of house wine.