Day 1: Depart Miami, FL / Arrive Managua, Nicaragua
You’ll meet your SWIM guide at Managua International airport and begin your Nicaraguan adventure with a short ride into downtown Managua to check into your room. Get to know your fellow travelers at the pool while you enjoy a BBQ dinner and get briefed on your service project and tour itinerary before sleeping off any unwanted jetlag. Dinner included.
Day 2: Scenic Drive to project site & Nighttime Sea Turtle Patrol
You’ll begin your first full day with a scenic drive through rural Nicaragua to the main project site in Estero Padre Ramos. As this will be your home base for the duration of the trip, you’ll have time to explore the grounds and get settled before taking a brief Sea Turtle Orientation class to prepare you for your hands on service work. At night, you’ll put your new knowledge to work on the beach to monitor for nesting and hatchling activity for Hawksbill and Olive Ridley sea turtles. All meals included.
Day 3: Mangrove Tour & Reforestation Project
Your third day will be spent exploring the mangrove forests of Estero Padre Ramos Reserve. Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems, having more than 35% of the world’s mangroves are already gone. The main threats to the mangrove forest in Nicaragua include deforestation for shrimp aquaculture and harvesting for wood, cooking and construction. You’ll spend the last half of your day planting mangroves in a restoration effort to keep the mangroves healthy and thriving in the preserve. You’ll have the option to conduct your second night patrol after a well-deserved hot Nicaraguan dinner. All meals included.
Marine Debris project, Women’s Weaving Cooperative, In-water Sea Turtle Monitoring & Night Patrols
Days 4-6 will be spent mostly offshore as you assist local biologists with the in-water monitoring of hawksbill sea turtles. After a boat ride into the Gulf of Fonseca, you’ll begin to gain insight into residency times, growth rates and dietary requirements of hawksbills, as well as connectivity between nesting and foraging areas by taking part in a long-term research study. During your time on dry land, you’ll assist local community members with marine debris removal and participate in a repurposing workshop with plastic bags imparted by Women’s Weaving Cooperative. All meals included.
Day 7: Cosigüina Volcano Hike & Hot Springs
The sounds of the native wildlife in Cosiguina Volcano Natural Reserve will greet you as we trek through some of the country’s most pristine natural areas on a full-day excursion into the forest. Once the tallest volcano in Nicaragua, Cosiguina once stood 3000m high before its final eruption in 1835 and now serves as an iconic natural feature of the region. The rare dry tropical forest, home to one of the continent’s last sustainable populations of huge red macaws, as well as pumas and spider monkeys, gives way to natural hot springs where you will spend your afternoon relaxing like a local. All meals included.
Day 8: Kayaking in Estero Padre Ramos Natural Reserve
A hot, fresh breakfast will start off your last day right before heading out into Estero Padre Natural Reserve for a morning paddle before your free afternoon to relax. Then, you’ll enjoy a beachside bonfire and local cuisine for your last night. All meals included.
Day 9: Depart Managua, Nicaragua/ Arrive Miami, FL