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About San Juan Del Sur

You cannot miss the main attraction of Nicaragua's newest cruise call San Juan del Sur - the pure white sand beach stretches for more than two miles. It is perfect for swimming or for just admiring from one of the cafes along the front.

The views are equally spectacular over to the mountains and forests which are the backdrop to this ultra laid-back town (and former pirate haunt) on Nicaragua's Pacific coast, just 15 miles from the border with Costa Rica.

Although there are the ruins of the William Walker fortress to visit, this is a place really made just for chilling out. For sightseeing, you need to take the tour to Granada, one of the country's most important cities.

On the shores of 92-mile long Lake Nicaragua and overlooked by the Mombacho volcano, Granada was founded by the conquistadors in 1524 making it the country's oldest Spanish city. Nicknamed "La Gran Sultana" (the Great Sultan) after its Moorish namesake in Spain, its colonial style cathedral and plaza plus a lovely park (Colon) make it a hugely enjoyable place to walk.

 

Shore excursions in San Juan Del Sur

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Amayo Hacienda

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 5 hours

Step back in time and visit an authentic Nicaraguan Hacienda, meet the Barrios family and listen to enchanting Latin melodies.

Start this half day excursion with a short transfer through lush tropical landscape, and relax whilst your guide points out areas of interest and tells stories of its mysterious past.

Amayo Hacienda is a gorgeous, family-owned estate located on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. Meet the charming Barrios family who will graciously open their home to you and regale you with the estate's colourful history. Indulge in a tour of the stunning grounds, relax on a hammock or dance to the Latin rhythms of an authentic Nicaraguan band. You could even try your hand at a milking contest! After you’ve worked up an appetite, sit down to a traditional Nicaraguan lunch served in a festive style.

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits as you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in Lake Nicaragua, the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world. Have your cameras handy to photograph the awe inspiring twin volcanoes, Maderas and Concepcion, which rise majestically out of the lake to form the island of Ometepe in the distance.

Though Maderas is dormant, a plume of smoke can sometimes be seen rising from the active Concepcion. The rich, fertile eco-system of this gorgeous blue lake and its volcanoes is home to many rare and exotic species of plants and animals, including the freshwater shark which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Essential information

This tour involves approximately 1 hour of walking, some of which is at your own leisure during free time. There are some uneven surfaces including steps. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Colourful Granada

Activity highRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 6 hours

An opportunity to discover the colonial and historic city of Granada.

Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Granada flourishes as the main colonial city of Nicaragua. It is still a thriving port and community set amidst a striking landscape. Today, Granada is Nicaragua’s 3rd largest city with a population of over 120,000.

Upon arrival, you’ll head to a local hotel to enjoy a soft drink refreshment, before taking a short guided walk of the main plaza. You’ll have the chance to admire the ornate Cathedral, The Culture House and many of the colonial houses that make Granada Central America’s new hotspot.

The City Square is located near to the Central Park and you’ll find a pottery exhibition, famous Nicaraguan embroidery and local crafts. The Square is an ideal place to wander and shop for souvenirs and local knick-knacks.

To round off your visit to Granada, you’ll rejoin your guide and enjoy a short walk to view the San Francisco Convent, before returning to San Juan del Sur. En route, you’ll catch a glimpse of the impressive Mombacho Volcano and Lake Nicaragua.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves approximately 2 hours’ walking, some of which is at your own leisure during free time. There are some uneven and cobbled surfaces including steps. Flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Transfer time to and from Granada is around 1¾ hours.

Essence of Nicaragua

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Enjoy the sights of Masaya Volcano, the local market and the historical city of Granada.

Sit back and enjoy the scenic drive en route to the Mayasa National Park. You’ll have an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the imposing and active Masaya Volcano. As you stand at the edge of the immense crater, marvel at Mother Nature at work.

Browse the collection of crafts and souvenirs at the Masaya Market and shop for wonderful, locally crafted items including ceramics, leather and unique pieces of art.

At a restaurant in Masaya, savour a local-style buffet lunch, accompanied by soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Afterwards, you’ll head to Granada to enjoy a guided tour. The Conquistador Hernandez de Cordoba founded Granada in 1524 and it was the first city to be established on the American continent. Spanish churches and convents, such as the San Francisco Convent, remain in Granada, surviving many wars and invasions.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves a considerable amount of walking and passengers are advised to watch their step as streets are constructed of large cobbles. There are steps to negotiate at the Convent and, although there are no steps at the Volcano, the ground is uneven. Comfortable, flat shoes are recommended. The San Francisco Convent may ask for $1 or $2 for taking photos or video. Transfer time to Masaya and from Grenada is around 1¾ hours each way.

Glimpse of Nicaragua

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

For a leisurely insight into Nicaragua, this little tour invites you to discover the delights of nearby Rivas.

Just 45 minutes from San Juan del Sur is the historical town of Rivas. Its entire eastern sector is bordered by Lake Nicaragua. The Lake is the 10th largest in the world and home to rare freshwater sharks.

On arrival in Rivas, your guide will tell you the history of the town, which traces back to 606 A.D., when various indigenous tribes gathered and settled in the area. The Spaniards first visited in 1522, creating an interesting mixture of Creole, Indian, Mulatto and Spanish culture. You will have the opportunity to see Rivas’ first Catholic Church, built in 1607.

After your time in Rivas, you’ll head to a viewpoint to see Ometepe Island. Ometepe comes from the Nahuatl word ‘ometepetl’ meaning ‘Two Hills’. The island has 2 majestic volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas, which give it its distinctive look.

During your tour a complimentary soft drink and fruits will be served.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. This tour involves limited walking, however there are some steps to negotiate at the Rivas Church and at the viewpoint, as well as onto and off of the coach. Views of the volcano are dependent on cloud cover.

Granada All Day Explorer

Activity mediumMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Become immersed with some of the best sights in Granada and enjoy a look around a local handicraft market

Sitting in the shadow of the Mombacho Volcano on the edge of Lake Nicaragua, the city of Granada has an incredibly picturesque location. Colonial churches, narrow streets and Spanish-style homes in pastel colours make the city a delight to explore.

Embark on a fascinating walking tour of this charming city, passing by the famous Convent of San Francisco, with its impressive collection of sculptures. Learn of the civil wars, which nearly destroyed Granada, and the restoration plans to return the city to its original grandeur.

Relax on a boat ride around some of the hundreds of small islands which dot Lake Nicaragua, formed following the last mighty eruption of Mount Mombacho. Admire the incredible scenery and local wildlife as you pass by.

During your tour a local-style luncheon which will be served in a restaurant in Granada.

Afterwards, you’ll continue to the handicraft market in Masaya, where you’ll have approximately 1½ hours to explore independently. A huge collection of artwork, crafts, souvenirs and other colourful pieces will tempt you.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach,by boat and on foot. Guests are advised that there will be approximately 2½ hours’ walking during this tour. The drive to and from Granada is approximately 1¾ hours.

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