After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a leisurely two hour drive north through the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” the nickname given to Nicaragua because of its long history of seismic activity and the many lakes left in its wake. Arguably, the area’s most impressive natural sight is Masaya Volcano National Park, which features a massive crater lagoon, dense tropical vegetation and two towering volcanoes.
As you drive toward the rim of the still-active volcano, which most likely will be steaming and smoking, you will understand why the Spanish conquistadors called it the “mouth of hell” and erected a cross there to exorcise the demons inside. The crater and lava field below is quite the sight, and the landscape has changed little since the time when Nicaragua’s indigenous people conducted sacrifices there to avert more eruptions.
However, the scenery is vastly different in nearby Catarina on placid Apoyo Lagoon, which you will view from the scenic Catarina Overlook. Depending on the visibility, you might also catch sight of colonial Granada in the distance and massive Lake Nicaragua beyond. Feel free to peruse the unique market located at the overlook, where it's possible to purchase handmade leather products, beautiful embroidered clothing, delicate wood carvings, hand-painted ceramics and hundreds of other items representative of the country's unique and mysterious culture. Afterwards, you will drive through lush countryside and traditional villages on the return to the pier.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour includes approximately 75-minutes of easy to moderate guided walking/standing over mostly even surfaces, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during the stop at the Catarina Overlook. There may be some cobblestone surfaces and a few steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light clothing to include a sweater for the coach; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve walking over relatively level terrain, possibly some cobblestone, gravel, or a few steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended.