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For something truly different during your time in Costa Rica, discover the attractions of neighboring Nicaragua on this full-day sightseeing tour. Venture north from Guanacaste to experience Nicaragua’s natural beauty, including views of Apoyo Lagoon from Catarina viewpoint and the chance to watch an active crater in Masaya Volcano National Park. Enjoy a traditional lunch in Granada and explore the cobblestone streets of this charming colonial town.


  • 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

Venture into Costa Rica’s neighbor to the north with a packed full-day tour of Nicaragua from Guanacaste. The day begins with early morning pickup from your hotel in an air-conditioned coach, and then a hearty Costa Rican breakfast in Liberia. Continue on to the Nicaraguan border, where your guide will assist you with all border-crossing procedures. 

After another 2 hours on the road, hop off the coach at the hilltop Catarina viewpoint for spectacular perspective of the nearby Apoyo Lagoon and the larger Lake Nicaragua. You’ll also see the lakeside Mombacho Volcano.  

In the neighboring town of Catarina, visit the local craft market where you can browse handmade textiles and goods made from leather, wood and ceramic. It’s a great place to purchase a unique souvenir to take home. 

Journey on to the charming colonial town of Granada. Founded in 1524, it was named after the ancient Spanish city and has been called the ‘Paris of Central America.’ You can opt for a 45-minute ride through the town’s palm-lined avenues on a horse-drawn carriage (own expense), or explore the colorful streets and colonial architecture on your own. Admire attractions like Granada Cathedral and the popular Parque Central as you learn about the history and culture of this historic city.

Rest your feet and refuel with lunch at Rest El Mariscazo (or similar) in Granada, where you can sample Nicaraguan cuisine. Next, continue on to Masaya Volcano National Park. Take in the impressive sight of the park’s active volcano, which regularly emits sulfuric smoke, and keep your camera ready for shots of the beautiful surrounding landscape.

After your full day, sit back and relax on the approximately 3-hour return drive to Guanacaste, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Customer Reviews

Jeff B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This is an excellent trip as long as you know what you are in for, so please read the description! It is a full 16 hours from start to finish, but it was one of our highlights for our trip to Costa Rica! The guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and had made the border crossing multiple times so he knew how to make it as quick and painless as possible. You will spend a lot of time in the bus but each stop and each tour was unique and exciting. Highly recommend this tour if you can handle sitting for long periods of time. It was a great way to see the country both Costa Rica and Nicaragua and experience a bit of the local cuisine and shopping! I would not recommend it for children as it was a long, long day! As long as you have an adventurous spirit, this is very worthwhile!

Tina R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

This tour was very interesting. Our bilingual tour guide was very educated and professional and provided us with information about the country, volcanos, and the culture on our way to Nicaragua, which made the bus ride seem shorter than it was. The food was good, especially the lunch. Communication leading up to the day of the trip was also very good. This tour was worth the price we paid and we would highly recommend this tour. Kenny and Tina Robertson of Kansas

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.

Robin W

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.

Joshua C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was amazing!

Claudia D

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!

Yalila M

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.

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