Best of Rio San Juan Nicaragua

Rio San Juan (San Juan River) is one of the great off the map destinations in Nicaragua. The river the flows from Lake Nicaragua to the caribbean coastline is a 45 minute flight from Managua or a 14 hour ferry ride from Granada, the Rio San Juan is located in the middle of a beautiful Nicaraguan rain forest jungle.  

 Best of Nicaragua Rio San Juan

Maybe you won’t believe us on the beauty of this river but would you believe it if Mark Twain said it.  On one of his trips Mark Twain traveled down the Rio San Juan in 1866 and these were his words to describe what he saw.

“Dark grottos, fairy festoons, tunnels, temples, columns, pillars, towers, pilasters, terraces, pyramids, mounds, domes, walls, in endless confusion of vine-work — no shape known to architecture unimitated — and all so webbed together that short distances within are only gained by glimpses. Monkeys here and there; birds warbling; gorgeous plumaged birds on the wing,Paradiseitself, the imperial realm of beauty — nothing to wish for to make it perfect” – Mark Twain

The river runs from southernmost edge of Lake Nicaragua and runs all way to theCaribbean Sea.  Even though the tourism infrastructure is still getting going the history to this river dates back hundreds of years.  Pirates would make their way down the river to ransack towns as they made their way towards Granada.  The little town of El Castillo has an old fortress that was used in defense of these pirates coming through.  Before the Panama Canal came to be, Nicaragua was the preferred choice for a bridge between the Atlantic and the Pacific.  The canal would have gone through the Rio San Juan but ultimately politics helped derail that option.  That would have been a big boost to the Nicaraguan economy but by failing to get the canal it has helped maintain keep the rain forest from being over run with commercialization.

The Rio San Juan is home to an abundant and flourishing wildlife.  There are hundreds of species of birds.  The river itself is home to wide variety of fish, amphibians, and reptiles.  This is definitely the ideal tourist destination for a nature lover.  There are a number of small hotels along the river for visitors to stay.  These small hotels are definitely recommended over the ones located in San Carlos or at El Castillo.  Most of these hotels have a wide variety of fun nature activities for guests to enjoy. Whether it is bird watching, fishing, kayaking or hiking there is much to do.  If you do have a few days to spare definitely take advantage of experiencing a different region of Nicaragua like Rio San Juan.

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  1. San Juan River Guide says:

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