Explore. Discover. Create.

Combining the Art of Photography & Adventure Travel

Explore unspoiled Nicaragua on this one-of-a-kind photography excursion. Discover the warm, hospitable culture within a landscape shaped by volcanoes & cloud forests, lakes & oceans, village life & Spanish colonial splendor. Create dynamic memorable images by participating in a rewarding variety of immersion experiences.

My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe and my camera is my passport. 

Steve McCurry

What kind of photographer is this tour for?

Best exposures

You like a rich variety of subjects, from seascapes to volcanic rain forests, rural villages and Spanish colonial architecture. You want excursions timed for best light shooting, naturally.  

Dynamic stories

You enjoy getting up-close and personal for compelling photojournalism. You're excited to capture the heart warming story of a Canadian women's volunteer house build project.

New friends

You love to explore, but photography is often a solitary activity. You know great things happen with a small group united by a love of photography, natural beauty and unique travel experiences.   

Our adventure base: a little resort with a big impact

In 2006 a Canadian school teacher was hiking in Nicaragua and when his travels brought him to the north Pacific Coast, he knew he had found the place of his dreams. 

Fast forward 10 years and his vision has evolved to become a provider of quality vacation experiences for travelers of all ages and types, and for creating sustainable social change within the  villages surrounding the resort.     

Marine life revitalization is one of many exciting projects sponsored by Monty's Beach Lodge.

Tour Highlights

Day 1 - 7: Monty's Beach Lodge Seven nights accommodation, three generous meals per day and bottled water

Experience a diverse mangrove estuary reserve  Guided kayak tour of Padre Ramos Estuary, Central America's largest mangrove forest; two options: sunrise or sunset paddle

Get up-close and personal with a sea turtle conservation project  Monty's Beach Lodge is committed to bringing back the sea turtle populations in the North Pacific through the operation of a small hatchery located on a secluded peninsula. Enjoy a full half day at the hatchery where you will learn about this project and participate in the release of newly hatched baby sea turtles. 

Philanthropy in action: a photojournalism opportunity Our small group of photographers are invited to document a unique Canadian initiative called Ten Women Strong. This project involves much needed relocation of low-income families into new, safe and adequate housing. Our role is to capture the story in images of Canadian volunteers as they make progress on their house building project. 

Relax, rewind, review Throughout the tour there will be photography workshops focusing on specific techniques relevant to the wide variety of photographic experiences of your tour. This is an opportunity to relax and join in master-mind discussions, where learning is guaranteed to be informative and fun.   

Day Trip: Canyon de Somoto Reserve Guided hike and rafting excursion in a five million year old river canyon.  Nicaragua has 78 protected areas; this spectacular mountain gorge is one of them.   An unmissable experience. Source: Lonely Planet 2016

Cultural Immersion Monty's Beach Lodge is set among three small villages on an unbroken stretch of gorgeous Pacific coastline. The daily flow of local village life provides great subject variety for photographers, from fishermen setting their boats out to sea on the evening tide, youth practicing their surfing skills and much more.

Day 8-10: Spanish colonial splendor in Granada, the crown jewel of Central America Two full days in and around this beautiful city established in 1527, from the comfort of a charming boutique hotel.   

Guided walking photo tour of the city, finishing off with views of the sun setting over Logo (Lake) de Nicaragua from the bell tower of one of the oldest cathedrals.

Day trip: Reserva Natural Volcan Mombacho 4x4 vehicles bring us up the steep sides of this volcano to the 1100m level, where we begin our guided hike into a rare and lush eco-system called a Cloud Rain Forest. The jungle canopy is home to three types of monkeys, 163 types of birds and over 100 types of orchids. Panoramic views of nearby Granada and a deep volcanic lake are possible at a variety of vantage points as we ascend the slope.    

Our last evening in Nicaragua will be a hosted farewell supper, relaxing in the charming ambience of old world colonial grandeur. 

I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.

Trent Parke


Is it safe to travel in Nicaragua?

While it is true this country has a colourful and turbulent political past, it has had a stable and democratically elected government for more than three decades. It is also enjoying a rise in popularity as a tourist destination because of the country's protected natural beauty. 

Nicaragua has one of the lowest crime rates in Central America.  Source:  Lonely Planet Guide Book 2016

It is practical to remember that we are considered wealthy by third world standards and common sense is as applicable here as it is anywhere: pay attention to personal items, stay in small groups and be aware of what is going on around you. 

We will be spending most of our time at Monty's Beach Lodge which has a security guard on duty every day from late afternoon until morning; the resort owners trust the people in their rural community, however they also choose to send a clear message that their guests are not a target for theft, either by locals or other tourists in the area. Prevention insures a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. 

How about diseases common in the tropics? Will I need to get shots? 

Most areas of Nicaragua are classified as safe by the Red Cross and other tourist/travel alert organizations.  Some of the remote mountainous areas and parts of the Caribbean coast have had outbreaks of malaria, but the areas we will be traveling in have no reported problems for many years. 

What is included in the tour?

From the moment you arrive in Managua's modern airport all the details are taken care of by your tour hosts, including quality accommodations, meals and bottled water, transportation, all excursion and reserve/park user fees and expert bilingual guides. 

What is not included in the tour?   

Airfare (we can recommend a knowledgeable travel agent for best flight options); $10 tourist card required by all visitors (available in-flight prior to landing and must be returned on departure from the country); alcoholic beverages 

Who is this tour best suited for?

Photographers of all skill levels will benefit from the wide variety of experiences of this tour, which promises opportunity to capture stunning images in the field and hone your skills at the same time. Average physical fitness abilities are required for the many outdoor activities.   

What do I need to bring? A recommended gear list, an introductory guide to Nicaragua and photography workshop materials will be provided to registered participants.

Nicaragua Photography Tour 2017: Price and travel dates

$2,800 USD per person; November 7-17, 2017

Note: This is a small group tour with a maximum of eight people. 

I'm interested! How do I find out more?

We can be reached by email or phone; please see contact details below.    

About your tour leader

Cheryl has been combining the art of photography and travel adventure for more than two decades; she loves to do in-depth research necessary to put together a dynamic itinerary. Her passion for genuine stories and experiences are a major criterion. Equally important is that tourism dollars directly benefit small local business and people. Her travel adventures are a balance of both exploration and relaxation. This will be her second trek to Nicaragua.  

Photo:  Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Adventurers wanted!

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Email: tours@sweetlifeportraits.ca

Phone: 778-241-3414

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