World Trip 2012-13: Volcano Trail Tour Highlights

Tour Title: Volcano Trail Tour
Tour Company: G Adventures
Tour Leader: Gabo Quiros
Countries Visited: Gautemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Dates: 13 January 2013 to 29 January 2013.

G Adventure Tours
I took this trip as part of the Mexico and Central America tour between 15 December and 10 February 2013 which has four separate stages/tours:
1) Mexico Ancient Civilizations
2) Mayan Sun
3) Volcano Trail (this tour); and
4) Panama Experience

I took this trip as part of my 4.5 month World Trip during 2012-2013. I booked several other G Adventure Tours including the Patagonia and Antarctica in Depth tour between 29 October 2012 and 19 November 2012 which had two different stages/tours:

1) Patagonia Experience
2) Antarctica

And between 29 September 2012 to 12 October 2012 my first G Adventure Tour of this world trip:
1) Colours of Asia.

Tour Type
This tour is listed as one of G Adventures basic tour types titled YOLO – You Only Live Once. In short the hotels you stay at can be basic, normally won’t have air conditioning, might not have hot water. There is usually no included activities but the Tour Leader will have lots of recommendations and help you book them.

Included Activities
Orientation walk around Granada (by Tour Leader).

Accommodation and Transportation
The hotels were rated as basic but for the most part were very good. At Ometepe we stayed in a homestay for two nights which offered cold water showers and a multi share room in my case three in the room. Wifi was offered in most hotels.

All transportation was upgraded to private vehicles with small extra cost. The delay at Roatan Bay Islands meant we had to travel for 22 hours to Granada instead of stopping at Tegucigalpa. We were going to miss this stop anyway, ideally the tour would offer a flight to Granada and increase the price of the tour.

Tour members
There were 15 other travellers, the maximum allowed. Group members; Brigid Flynn, Daniel Opheim, Rianne de Groot, Rita Karlsen, Anna Furness, Jo Watson, Roman Buechler, Sylvia Stocker, Yasmin Ahmed, Laura Hadley, James Sahagian, Stephen Lancaster, Yomi Middelweerd, Robin Burton, and Naomi Pegel.

Rianne didn’t arrive until the Granada stage.

Tour Leader
Gabo Quiros was our tour leader for this 17 day tour. Gabo is very passionate about his job and a very quick talker. Gabo would hold regular 7.00 pm briefings on most days and provide lots of details. Gabo was big on learning what each individual wanted to get out of the tour.

Gabo had put together an activity book we called ‘The Kermit Book’ as he rated each activity with Kermit the Frog heads. The book contained Gabo’s comments on each activity and he included negative comments as well which helps build up creditability. An additional extra was Gabo’s book on local history. If someone showed and interest in the history book Gabo would offer some one on one advise.

In summary Gabo is very interested in an individuals experience and his entire approach is based on differentiated approaches ie he tailors his approach,if you are interested in ruins you here about them and possible activities if you aren’t then he doesn’t. Gabo can do this by investing time at the start of the tour for one on one discussions which pays off as the tour progressed.

Gabo also handled the bad weather that got us stuck on the Bay Islands for a extra 36 hours than planned. I know he went out of his way to minimise discomfort on transportation days also trying to find cheap upgrade options.

Highlights
There were lots of highlights of this tour including;
- The southern most Mayan Ruins at Copan
- The Hot Springs at Copan especially the ride back to town in the pickup watching the stars.
- Snorkelling at the Bay Islands and following a turtle underway! The wild weather the next two days was strangely good to wathch as well.
- The awesome Masaya Volcano.
- The carriage ride with Rianne around Granada.
- Zip-lining and flying like Superman in Monteverde
- White water rafting a grade 4 rapids and going into the water a few times.

But most importantly I saw a toucan in the wild!!!

This tour involves a lot of travel especially at the start so you need to be prepared for this. Near the end of the tour the available activities are centred on action and nature experiences. Costa Rica is very special for viewing wildlife in particular.

Note: USA currency can be used in most places. In Roatan and all of Costa Rica it seems to be preferred and at times is more costly to pay in the local currency so bring US dollars.

Facebook photos

1) Costa Rica Facebook Photos
2) Nicaragua Facebook Photos
3) Honduras Facebook Photos.

Volcano Trail Journals.

Day 109 – Antigua, Guatemala. Highlights: Meeting the new Tour Group.
Day 110 – Antigua to Copán, Honduras. Highlights: New country, Hot Springs.
Day 111 – Copán, Honduras. Highlights: Copan Ruins.
Day 112 – Copán to Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras. Highlights: Ferry trip to Roatan Bay Islands.
Day 113 – Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras. Highlights: Snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea.
Day 114 – Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras. Highlights: Wild weather.
Day 115 – Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras. Highlights: Worsening weather.
Day 116 – Roatan Bay Islands to Granada, Nicaragua. Highlights: 22 hours travelling to Granada.
Day 117 – Granada, Nicaragua. Highlights: Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya local market, Masaya Volcano National Park.
Day 118 – Granada to Ometepe, Nicaragua. Highlights: Carriage ride around Granada, Sunset at Ometepe.
Day 119 – Ometepe, Nicaragua. Highlights: Island Wildlife, Rock Statures, Thermal Springs.
Day 120 – Ometepe to Monteverde, Costa Rica. Highlights: Border Crossing, Toucan Sighting, Sunset in Monteverde.
Day 121 – Monteverde, Costa Rica. Highlights: Zip-Lining, Flying like Superman, Night Forest Walk.
Day 122 – Monteverde to La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Highlights: Lake Arenal crossing, Eating like the Locals.
Day 123 – La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Highlights: The Wildlife of Costa Rica.
Day 124 – La Fortuna to San Jose, Costa Rica. Highlights: White water rafting, Group farewell.

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