Birding the Cloud Forest of Nicaragua

Beautiful Rainforests, Cloud Forests and Volcanoes
Birding, Hiking, Wandering, Exploring
Gallo Pinto and Toña
Ring of Fire
Nicaragua is one of our favorite places to visit; active volcanoes, a wild Pacific Coast, tropical rainforests, and beautiful mountain cloud forests full of birds, monkeys, and all sorts of interesting critters. Granada is the oldest city in the Americas having been established in 1524.  We offer five trips to different destinations in Nicaragua, most trips are 10-days and our Nicaragua Rainforest Tour is 14-days. All trips offer great opportunities for birding, hiking and relaxing. We are also happy to offer these trips by special request and private tours. 

If birding is your desire, in Nicaragua we can bird constantly. If you choose, you can join us for daily birding marathons from sun-up to check the early birds to well after dark in search of nightjars and owls. We usually see about 200 different species of birds on the "Cloud Forest" tour, this and our "Rainforest" tour are the best tours for birding.  But if you would like to travel to Nicaragua for the love of nature and culture, you will also have many options for activities every day. We can cater each day for your perfect trip. 

The “Cloud Forest” tour travels to places that are remote and pristine with beautiful nature and the places we stay at are isolated and we eat our meals at the lodges where we are staying. We really get to know the wonderful staff and local nature guides at these places. All of the lodges have hiking trails. The Cloud Forest tour is in the mountains of Nicaragua, which is also the coffee growing area of Matagalpa. You will see and learn about the ecology of the cloud forest and learn about the shade grown sustainable coffee plantation. You will find out that some of the coffee that you have been drinking comes from Matagalpa, Nicaragua. The elevation of this area is from about 2,500 – 5,700 feet. The lodges we stay at are at about 3,500 feet. Managua will have hot temperatures of 90 degrees, but in the cloud forest it will stay much cooler and will be in the low 60's at night. And we rarely see mosquitos!

  • Travel Dates: November 11 - 20, 2021 and special requested dates
  • Group Size: 2 - 6 travelers plus guides
  • Trip Length: 10 days
  • Rates: Rate per person = $3,650 ($800 charge for single occupancy)
  • Rates include: Domestic transfers, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, scheduled group tours, park entrance fees and basic travel insurance.
  • Not included: International airfare, customs & immigration fees and visas, alcohol, trip cancellation insurance.
  • Adventure level: Moderate, please check the “Welcome” page for definition

Reservations during Covid-19: Until we know we can definitely travel, we can "pencil" you in without a deposit. Deposit and/or balance required when travel restrictions are completely lifted, and safe travel resumes.  We expect to make this decision by August 1, 2021.

Special offer:  Included with your trip (one per room) is a copy of the field guide “Birds of Nicaragua” second edition by Lilliana Chavarria-Duriaux, et al. You will receive this when you reserve your trip so you will have time to study and know the beautiful birds of Nicaragua. 

Check the Nicaragua Cloud Forest page for a detailed itinerary

Map of the travel route here:  Nicaragua Map (opens a new page)

More photos can be found here:  Photo Gallery (opens new page)

A few details about Nature, Culture and Economy
Nicaragua is nearly the size of the state of Washington and has a population of six million. It is the largest country in Central America and is bordered to the north by Honduras, to south by Costa Rica, to the east by the tranquil calm Caribbean seacoast and to the west by the strong waves of the Pacific Ocean.  One fifth of the country is designated as a protected national park or reserve and the whole country is located within the tropic zone. So if you love traveling amongst abundant pristine nature, Nicaragua is a wonderful option and has a lot to offer. For birders, there are over 700 different species of birds to find and observe. 
Western Nicaragua is located along the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and has forty volcanoes within in its borders, many of which are still active. A visit to the top of the Mombacho Volcano offers great views of the Pacific lowlands and Lake Nicaragua. You can walk the trails at the edge of the crater and see and smell the beautiful tropical plants and flowers as hummingbirds zip past you. Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Central America and is home to a population of fresh water “bull sharks” with lengths up to eight feet. I have gone swimming in the lake many times and I will admit it makes me a little nervous. Along the west coast you will find migrating whales and if you time it right, you can watch thousands of Olive Ridley Turtles come ashore in mass to lay eggs.
The rainforest of the Atlantic lowlands along the 120 mile long Rio San Juan River is spectacular. Most of the Rio San Juan is the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. There are no roads, only boats to get you up and down the river. In addition to an abundance of birds, amphibians and reptiles, you will find three species of monkeys. In the Sabalos area, the Howler monkeys will sit in the trees above your jungle cabin and through the night they howl and call. It is an amazing experience to be awakened in the middle of the night to the songs of the midnight jungle. Any visit to the Atlantic lowlands should include a day or more at the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. The rainforest here is pristine and abundant with magnificent trees and a wide range of wildlife. 
The stunning central highlands of Nicaragua rise to elevations of 5,900 feet in the cloud forest, which is also the coffee growing region. In some areas this is more of a deciduous dry forest with a thin understory. The Peñas Blancas Massif is part of the huge Bosawas Biosphere Reserve and here the rainy season is longer and wetter and so you will find amazing waterfalls and tranquility. This area has just recently opened up to tourism due to better road construction and there are already several eco-lodges and educational centers here. It is definitely worth a visit if you travel to Nicaragua.
I first traveled to Nicaragua in 2005. I knew very little Spanish and it was the local people who showed tremendous kindness in helping me as I traveled through the country. The people I met were proud of their communities and eager to show me the beauty of their land. They always fed me well and gave me great advice, although much communication was done via drawing pictures as I stumbled through my Spanish phrase book.  The people of Nicaragua, also called “Nicas”, are a diverse group. The population is a mix between Spanish and indigenous people. Spanish is the main language, but there are four indigenous languages which are still spoken. Along the Caribbean coast, many Afro-Nicaraguans speak English as their first language. In the late 1800’s many immigrants from Germany and The Netherlands settled in Nicaragua. 
Baseball: Unlike most Latin America countries where soccer is the dominate sport, Nicaraguans love American-style baseball. It is the country’s most popular sport and 12 major league baseball players in the U.S. have come from Nicaragua.
Nicaragua’s main industry is agriculture with the main exports being coffee, bananas and sugar cane. Logging is declining due to increased environmental concerns about destruction of the rain forests. Plans to construct a canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are "sometimes" in motion with a Chinese company as the contractor, it is very controversial. Tourism has become the second largest industry and increases every year (pre-pandemic). The increase in tourism has also brought more foreign investment to the country. One thing I love about Nicaragua is that the tourist infrastructure is still developing. You can visit Nicaragua and still feel the culture and its natural beauty. Nicaragua is a wonderful place to visit.
Nicaragua Cloud Forest Photo Gallery
  • Reservations during Covid-19: Until we know we can definitely travel, we can "pencil" you in without a deposit. Deposit and/or balance required when travel restrictions are completely lifted, and safe travel resumes.  We expect to make this decision by August 1, 2021.

2021 and 2022 Schedule

Colombia Andes: October 21 - 30, 2021
Nicaragua Cloud Forest: November 11 - 20, 2021
Panama: December 1 - 10, 2021 (tentative)
Stockholm: December 20 - 27, 2021
Estonia: December 30, 2021 - January 6, 2022
Rocky Mountain National Park: January 15 - March 30, 2022 (snowshoeing and ski tours)
France Brittany: April 10 - 19, 2022
Iceland Southwest: May 11 - 20, 2022 (4 spots left)
Iceland Northeast: May 20 - 31, 2022 (trip is booked, we recommend the Westfjords trip)
Iceland Westfjords: June 1 - 10, 2022 (5 spots left)
Japan: October 18 - 27, 2022
Taiwan: November 1 - 10, 2022
Taiwan Taroko Gorge: November 10 - 13, 2022

5-day and 10-day tours in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana and Washington
Your World Traveling Guides
Kaiyote & Ed
We look forward to meeting and showing you all the great birds and wildlife and adventures that can be found around the world, the United States and in Washington state. Call us anytime! See you soon!
Kaiyote Tours +1 970-556-6103