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Nicaragua: Rio San Juan

The beautiful 170km-long Rio San Juan marks the border with Costa Rica and runs from Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea. Strategically important, it has a hectic history of disputes and attacks from outside Nicaragua and within. The remarkable fortress at El Castillo, built by the Spanish to repel pirates (although Horatio Nelson briefly held it after capture by stealth), bears witness to that. However it’s now a peaceful waterway passing through thick tropical jungle, where efforts are being made to encourage eco-tourism. Downstream from El Castillo is the primary rainforest of the Reserva Biológica Indio Maíiz, possibly the largest nature reserve in Central America.

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What our clients say

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What our experts say

For me this was the highlight of my trip to Nicaragua in 2014.  Taking a boat ride along the forest-fringed, wildlife rich  river San Juan and suddenly coming upon rapids, overlooked by the vast bulk of the Spanish fort once seized from the Spanish by Lord Nelson. What a shock! The little port-village of El Castillo beneath with its stilted-houses will inevitably lose some of its remote charm when projected roads and the new canal are completed. Go now to experience the rustic charm of this isolated corner of the country.    

Claire Milner

Claire Milner

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