Insider's Guide to Guanacaste and Northwest

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 33 Reviews

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  • Location:Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • Duration:16 hours (approx.)

Nicaragua Day Trip: Catarina, Masaya Volcano and Granada from Guanacaste

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Nicaragua on this full-day trip to Catarina, Masaya Volcano and Granada with a knowledgeable guide. Learn about the cultural influences, natural landscapes and colonial architecture of this colorful country as you admire volcanic features from Catarina viewpoint, visit the Catalina, travel by horse-drawn carriage through Granada and enjoy some time at Masaya Volcano National Park.


  • 16-hour tour of Nicaraguan attractions from Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • See Apoyo Lagoon and Mombacho Volcano from Catarina viewpoint
  • Visit El Mercado de Artesanías (the craft market) in Catarina
  • Visit Masaya Volcano National Park
  • Take a ‘volanta’ (horse-drawn carriage) along cobblestone streets in Granada
  • Learn about Nicaragua’s unique geology, culture and colonial history
  • Typical Costa Rican breakfast and Nicaraguan lunch included

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Nicaragua Day Trip: Catarina, Masaya Volcano and Granada from Guanacaste

Visit the Colonial City of Granada

After pickup from your hotel in Guanacaste, enjoy a typical Costa Rican breakfast at Rest Toro Negro (or similar) in Liberia, located in the northwest region of the country. Then, re-board your coach to cross the border into Nicaragua.

First, stop at Catarina viewpoint, one of the highest hills surrounding the Apoyo Lagoon. Look out across the water to adjacent Lake Nicaragua and admire Mombacho Volcano, which borders the lake.

Next, head to the Catarina Craft Market. It’s an interesting place to search for souvenirs, including textile and ceramic handicrafts along with goods made of leather and wood.

Continue to Granada, established in 1524, and hop inside a volanta for a 45-minute horse-drawn carriage ride. Learn about the city’s colonial history and architecture as you pass the colorful homes and squares along the palm-lined streets. Pass attractions such as Parque Central, a central park popular with local residents, and admire the 12 stained-glass windows of Granada Cathedral, housed within its borders.

Next, enjoy a leisurely a la carte lunch at Rest El Mariscazo (or similar) before heading to Masaya Volcano National Park, Nicaragua's first and largest National Park. You will be able to see the active volcano and the sulfuric smoke fumes spewing from its main crater, Santiago. You will have a chance to take pictures and enjoy the beautiful views of the whole area.

Your tour ends with transport back to your hotel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Customer Reviews

Jeannine C
United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

I was charged twice for the horse and buggy ride. However paying the extra 5 dollars didn't matter the excursion it self was wonderful.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

The highlight in my 7 days' holiday in Costa Rico.

Brian, the tour guide, is very nice and knowledgeable. Overall it's a safe, well organized trip.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

A long but good day, very reliable pick up with good driver and excellent tour guide. Breakfast and lunch were both better than expected and the sights were well worth the money. Very enjoyable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Brian our guide was outstanding. Especially enjoyed Granada. Horse carriage ride, lunch, and souvenir shopping on the square were highpoints. Catarina scenic views were nice, and souvenir shopping at the local market was best on our trip. Masaya Volcano was picturesque. Breakfast in Liberia was delicious. Only negative is border crossing to/ from Nicaragua. Long wait and redundant checks by health and customs personnel Use the bathroom in CR as it is free. Will cost you $1-$5 to go in Nicaragua while you clear customs. Souvenir sellers in Nicaragua Customs Stop are aggressive.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This tour was truly more than what my best friend and I expected. Very organized and full a little surprises. Loved our tour guide Marco. He was very knowledgable and friendly. great trip!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Long but amazing an very instructive trip to Nicaragua. Nicaragua is a beautiful an safe country. Beautiful nature - Lake Nicaragua and Masaya Volcano. Nice old town Granada with lot of old buildings. We could have more time to discover Granada. Lunch was tasty. I would highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

The tour company was not as stated with Viator and the tour was slightly different than as described on the Viator site. However, the tour was excellent and the company that handled the tour did an outstanding job.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

Really great experience going to Nicaragua. I took two kids and felt very safe. Harold, our guide was knowledgeable about the country. Viewpoint from Catarina was beautiful. Taking a boat ride in Lake Nicaragua was fun and we got to feed monkeys. We enjoyed going to the volcano in Masaya National Park. We did not ride in a carriage in Granada or go to to San Juan del Sur. I agree with one of the other reviewers that the description did not fit what we did. However, we did go to Granada and go inside a church that was getting ready for the Easter holiday and it was beautiful. We walked around the square. Really enjoyed this tour.

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Tour code: 3171DAYNGA


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