Back Roads of Central America: Craters & Community Guesthouses
SAVE UP TO 30% on this tour

Take the road less travelled through Central America with other travellers your own age — so you can be sure to get down with other adventurers that’ll keep up. This is one of our most exciting trips, filled with breathtaking scenery — from tropical rainforests alive with jungle melodies to colonial cities bouncing to a decidedly more human beat. You'll blaze your own path as you discover a region of volcanoes, craters, beaches, and lush forests. Sticking to budget accommodation and public transport will keep costs down and keep you rooted in local life.

  • Duration: 18 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Supplier Tour ID: CRSG/134079
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: San José, Costa Rica
  • Finishes: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
  • Age requirement: 18 - 39
You will Visit
  • San José
  • La Fortuna
  • Monteverde
  • Isla de Ometepe
  • Granada
  • Poneloya
  • Cerro Verde
  • Suchitoto
  • Copán
  • Antigua Guatemala



Day 1: San José

Arrive at any time.
Arrive at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the CEO (Chief Experience Officer) and the other group members.

Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums and an ornate National Theatre. Enjoy the view of the surrounding lush mountains from the downtown streets, head to the central plaza, shop for souvenirs and pass the time people-watching.


Day 2: San José/La Fortuna

Options abound—soak in Arenal's hot springs or get the adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or waterfall rappelling.
La Fortuna, the town near the Arenal Volcano, is an excellent base for adventure. Hike the area's nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall, or join a canopy tour and catch a bird's eye view of the forest greenery. Take an unforgettable night hike around the foot of the volcano, accompanied by a soundtrack of monkeys and the rumblings of the volcano.

Other optional activities include: full-day Class III & IV white water rafting on the Balsa or Toro Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders' paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents.

After a long day of exploring, the Baldi Hot Springs might just be the answer for your tired muscles. Soak in one of the natural thermal baths and hope the clouds part long enough for a glimpse of Arenal´s slopes.


Day 3: La Fortuna

Free day to get the adrenaline pumping with rafting and other outdoor pursuits or one of many other optional activities.


Day 4: La Fortuna/Monteverde

Travel from La Fortuna to Monteverde by boat and van and enjoy gorgeous scenery along the way.
Costa Rica is a natural gem because of its breathtaking flora and fauna. Travelling into the cool cloud forest of Monteverde, appreciate how lush ecosystems truly are works of art. Take time to bird watch, ride a horse, mountain bike, or zip line over the forest canopy.


Day 5: Monteverde

Opt to visit a cloud forest reserve, fly through the jungle canopy via zipline or tour a coffee plantation.


Day 6: Monteverde/Isla de Ometepe

Get to know local friends during a two-night community guesthouse stay on Ometepe Island. Test out some language skills, opt to climb a volcano, or visit the local swimming hole.
From the town of San Jorge, we cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to arrive at Ometepe Island. The group will be split up amongst different families who will host you in their homes. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the home.

Explore the island, pass plantain plantations and other small villages, to get a chance to see how rural Nicaraguans live. Enjoy a challenge? Hike Concepción Volcano. If not, check out the pre-Columbian petroglyphs, try the Tarzan swing at a nearby jungle swimming hole, or enjoy the beach.


Day 7: Isla de Ometepe

Full day on the island to spend time with your hosts and enjoy optional activities such as hiking and swimming.


Day 8: Isla de Ometepe/Granada

See Granada's colourful colonial buildings on an orientation walk. Enjoy a Big Night Out with the group.
Nicaragua has flourished in the past few years and boasts both incredibly friendly people as well as impressive natural beauty. Granada's colonial charm is complimented by the surrounding active volcanoes and lakes, making day trips a fun and easy option.

Walking is probably the easiest way to see all the sights of Granada, your Chief Experience Officer will give you an initial orientation walk in the city, after which you will have plenty of time to explore in more depth.


Day 9: Granada

Take advantage of a free day to explore Granada or kayak the isletas in Lake Nicaragua.
For a relaxing afternoon, spend a couple of hours in a boat touring some of the 350+ ¨Isletas¨ or little islands found near Granada in Lake Nicaragua.

Other optional activities include visiting the nearby extinct Mombacho Volcano, now shrouded in vegetation. Granada is located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua and has a long park ideal for strolling. The nearby markets of Masaya house vendors selling great Nicaraguan handicrafts such as hammocks, pottery, and paintings.


Day 10: Granada/Poneloya

Arrive in the afternoon to relax on a remote northern beach on Nicaragua's Pacific coast. Surfing, swimming and beach lounging await.


Day 11: Poneloya

Spend your day enjoying the coast. Opt to explore the city of Leon or hit the beach.


Day 12: Poneloya/Cerro Verde

After a long day of travel via bus, boat, and private vehicle, arrive to El Salvador's Cerro Verde National Park, home of the famous trio of volcanos, Cerro Verde, Izalco, and Santa Ana.


Day 13: Cerro Verde

Spend a free day in Cerro Verde at leisure. Opt to hike up to the edge of Santa Ana's Volcano crater for some more spectacular views. Or choose to take a dip in Lake Coatepeque, there are many ways to keep busy in one of El Salvador's most beautiful national parks.


Day 14: Cerro Verde/Suchitoto

In the morning enjoy a guided tour in Cerro Verde National Park taking in the lush surroundings. Travel to El Salvador's colonial town of Suchitoto. Don't forget to try the delicious pupusas, a local Salvadorian specialty.


Day 15: Suchitoto/Copán

Watch diverse landscapes pass by as we travel through 3 countries in one day en route to Copán.


Day 16: Copán

Enjoy a free day in Copán. Opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Copán or explore the colonial highland town on horseback and check out some lesser known Mayan sites along the way, or journey to some local hot springs for a relaxing soak.


Day 17: Copán/Antigua Guatemala

Cross into Guatemala. Enjoy an orientation walk to explore the colonial city of Antigua.
After a long travel day arrive to Antigua, where you can stretch your legs during an orientation walk with your CEO. Enjoy the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Day 18: Antigua Guatemala

Depart at any time.

    • Your G for Good Moment: Puesta del Sol Community Guesthouse Stay, Isla de Ometepe Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna Your Discover Moment: Monteverde Your Big Night Out Moment: Granada Your Discover Moment: Granada
    • Orientation walk around Granada and Antigua
    • Beach time in Poneloya
    • Free time in La Fortuna, Monteverde, Ometepe, and Granada
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Simple hotels/hostels (13 nts, most multi-share), beach hostel (2 nts, multi-share), community guesthouse (2 nts)
    • 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    • Public bus, boat, private vehicle, taxi, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
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Tour Highlights:
  • Connect with local hosts in a G Adventures-supported community guesthouse project
  • Laugh with the locals during a chicken bus journey
  • Bliss out on a remote stretch of Nicaraguan beach
  • Stroll through Antigua's colonial streets
  • Explore Mayan ruins.