Coffee, Cigars & Rum in the Highlands

  • Trip Type
  • Cultural
  • Length
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • When to Go
  • Year-Round

  • Taste the irresistible flavors of Nicaragua’s north

    Northern Nicaragua exudes both rustic beauty and serene elegance in nearly every respect. Vibrant character and culture, and warm, welcoming people with a special connection to the land they live and work on. Get a taste for Nicaragua with a cultural odyssey through spectacular terrains, while you learn about some of the country’s most important export products – coffee, cigars, and rum. For experienced cigar aficionados and recreational cigar lovers alike, there is plenty to discover, as you wind your way through majestic mountains, beautiful highlands carpeted in tobacco and coffee plantations, and charming colonial cities. By journey’s end, we guarantee you’ll feel a deep connection to this remote corner of the globe.

    Trip Highlights

    lush mountains & charming colonial cities • fair trade coffee farm tours & tasting in Matagalpa • tobacco farm tours • cigar factory tours & cigar rolling in Estelí • rum factory & tasting • historical walking tour of León

    Full Package per person from:

    $1,100.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $1,275.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: Managua to Matagalpa - Arrival

      Upon your arrival in Managua, you'll be met by your driver and transported to your stylish digs for the night at Hotel Contempo, a unique and luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of the city's thriving business district. Get out and explore nearby art galleries, shopping centers, and Los Robles Park, or instead, kick back and relax to prep for an action-packed day tomorrow.

    • Day 2: Matagalpa - Local coffee and mind-blowing vistas

      After breakfast, start your trek two and a half hours north through Nicaragua's lush green mountains to discover the city of Matagalpa, at the center of the country's very active coffee scene. Visit La Corona, a Fair Trade coffee farm where you will participate in the harvesting, pulping, washing, and fermentation of coffee beans. After lunch, you'll head to the dry mill to experience a cupping and tasting session in the lab. In the evening, set out to experience Nicaragua's best steak, served at Las Praderas restaurant on the far side of the river, and then spend your evening at the luxe Montebrisa Boutique B&B, a locally owned urban oasis surrounded by tropical gardens and a private coffee farm with over 300 coffee plants.

    • Day 3: Matagalpa to Estelí - Discover the history of the cigar industry in Nicaragua; explore a tobacco plantation

      This morning, transfer through the central highlands to the bustling city of Estelí, the largest in Nicaragua's north. Cigar manufacturing is the biggest employer in the region, and the city is surrounded by plantations, complete with large sheds in which tobacco is dried and fermented. Visit a local plantation and factory this morning, and learn the history of the cigar and tobacco industry in the country. See firsthand how plants are grown, leaves cured, and transported, and experience the selection process, when the best sheets of tobacco are chosen for export and use in other products. Then, follow as the stacks of cured tobacco are distributed and transferred to local cigar factories.

      In the afternoon, tour Joya de Nicaragua’s factory before you check into the beautiful Hotel Cuallitlan bed and breakfast, in the center of Estelí.

    • Day 4: Estelí - Subculture Studios, murals & the art of cigar rolling

      After breakfast, set out to tour more cigar factories, where you'll have the opportunity to try your hand at cigar rolling, and smoke a couple of different cigars. In the afternoon, discover the city of Estelí with a guided tour to discover the mural artwork found throughout the city, and visit Subculture Studios, Drew Estate's art studio and gallery, where artisans create modern cigar cases, ashtrays, and other cigar-related artwork.

    • Day 5: Estelí to León - Private tour of the big factories: Padrón, Joya de Nicaragua, and Drew Estates

      This morning, discover two more cigar factories, Tabacalera Placencia, and Tabacalera My Father Cigars. Then, take a transfer through the volcano-spotted flatlands that surround the colonial León, where you'll check into your charming, comfortable room at Hotel Flor de Sarta to unwind and relax for the evening.

    • Day 6: León - Nicaragua's award winning rum, from sugarcane to snifter

      Today, you'll discover the history and production of Nicaragua’s super premium rum at the Flor de Caña factory. Taste the distilling process from beginning to end, savoring the sum in six different stages as it progressed from raw material to the final, finished product.

    • Day 7: León to Managua - Experience colonial splendor and learn the history of the nation's cultural capital

      After breakfast, discover one of Nicaragua's best kept secrets - the colonial city of León. Take a guided walking tour of the city, the political and intellectual center of the country. Visit the impressive Cathedral of León, pass through art galleries and museums, and feel transported back in time as you wander the charming cobblestone streets and imagine what life may have been like in colonial times. Then, transfer south to Managua for the night.

    • Day 8: Managua - Departure

      Transfer to the airport from your hotel to catch your international flight home. Adios!

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    We'll give you everything you need, everything you want, and a few little surprises to make your trip extra special. We've got you covered, from start to finish. Unique, unforgettable destinations; private tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations and new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; perfect romantic touches; blissful relaxation; and a feeling of total freedom. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy an unparalleled, hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup

    • All hotel accommodation

    • Meals as indicated

    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide

    • All special events and tours

    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off

    • All baggage transportation

    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Nicaragua.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • All visitors are required to purchase a tourist card for USD $10, payable in US currently only.

    • All departure taxes are included in the cost of airfare.

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.

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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Nicaragua’s international airport: Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua (airport code: MAN). Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Managua from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.

    When you arrive in MAN, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your first destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

    Ready to book, or just want to get more information? Let's get started! Fill out the form below, and we will send you a no-obligation quote.

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