Rio San Juan Journals

El Castillo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

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A February 2001 trip to Rio San Juan by Tropic

El Cofalito Photo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua More Photos
Quote: El Castillo La Inmaculada Concepción was built in 1671 to protect Spanish dominated Rio San Juan from the transit of pirates from the East and the Atlantic. We were approaching from the West, down the river from Lake Nicaragua and experiencing the gradual changes along this historical tropical waterway.

El Castillo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

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Overview

Quote:
Departing Los Chiles by boat on the Rio Frio, we were greeted at the border by large colorful signs welcoming guests to Nicaragua. In the administrative town of San Carlos, our visas were quickly issued and so we decided to walk through the bustling market towards the restaurant El Mirador with its wonderful panoramic view of Lake Nicaragua and confluence of Rio Frio and Rio San Juan below. El Mirador is built on the site of the old town fort where some iron cannons still hold a silent vigil over the hectic town market below. The Rio San Juan begins with the swamplands at the outflow of Lake Nicaragua and gradually develops more jungle growth along its banks as it approaches the hills with ou...Read More

Albergue El Castillo

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Hotel

Quote:
The Albergue El Castillo was built as a hostel to provide safe and comfortable accommodation for vistors interested in the ecological and historical sights of this remote area. There are ten rooms each with two twin beds and shared bathrooms providing refreshing cold showers. The beautifully modern mountain hostel of wooden structure is designed to offer lots of fresh air and space having a two story construction with the bedrooms above and the large dining room and well stocked bar below. There is a long front balcony which overlooks the river and offers a good vantage point to watch the rolling tarpon in the water below or the fleeting birdlife among the surrounding gardens of fruit trees and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2001

Albergue El Castillo
El Castillo
Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

El Cofalito

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Restaurant

El Cofalito Photo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua
Quote:
Depending upon the time of the year, the fish is a good choice. Usually it is snook or white drum, fried whole and served with local vegetables. If the water in the Rio San Juan is high, there is a good chance that they are getting the giant river shrimp. These are a feast in themselves and are best described as giant crawfish. El Cofalito is situated at the edge of the Rio San Juan, overlooking the rapids and with a good view of the river and the village life passing by on the central walkway or park at the pier. It is best to reserve a table ahead and decide on the menu choice beforehand. I have also taken the opportunity to fish right off the dining table for very la...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 19, 2001

El Cofalito
El Castillo
Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

Rapids of El Castillo

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Attraction

Rapids of El Castillo Photo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua
Quote:
One can see the giant tarpon of over 80 lbs. travelling up the rapids and leaping over the rocks, seeking the channels leading to the upper pool and calm water. It is here that one can fish for the Tarpon, Snook or Drum with very little lure action and using 20 lb. line or tippet. The preferred time to fish the area is early in the morning or late in the evening. On reaching the upper pool of the rapids, the tarpon remain in the area for a while and can be seen rolling and feeding upon small baitfish. The snook prefer the deeper water and can best be hooked using white or even yellow bucktail jigs. For the Machaca fishing, the use of small poppers or surface lures cast near the shore a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2001

Rapids of El Castillo
El Castillo
Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

El Castillo

Attraction

Quote:
There are many jungle trails leading through dense rainforest. Many troops of howler monkeys and birds can be spotted under the jungle canopy. It is best to undertake these trips with a guide and begin in the early morning. Take rain gear, wear long pants and use comfortable hiking boots. Apply liberal ammounts of insect repellant on your body before putting on clothes. Take drinking water and salt tablets before undertaking the trek. On returning from the trip take a good shower using antibacterial soap and rub legs with some rubbing alcohol or alcohol gel.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 19, 2001

El Castillo
Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

Castillo La Inmaculada Concepción

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Attraction

Castillo La Inmaculada Concepción Photo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua
Quote:
If it were not for this fortress, this area would probably be English speaking now. Build in 1671, the fortress was established to protect the river route between the Atlantic and the Pacific from English pirates and invaders seeking to control the commerce and political life of the area. There is a very good informative museum at the fortress and the modest fee of $7 is well appreciated. Young Horatio Nelson, Captain Morgan, Clovis Vanderbilt, Samuel Clemens, William Walker and a host of 69ers to California left their mark here. There is also a great view of the Rio San Juan and the all important rapids that limited the transit up river.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2001

Castillo La Inmaculada Concepción

Rio San Juan, Nicaragua

Rio San Juan from San Carlos

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Story/Tip

San Carlos Photo, Rio San Juan, Nicaragua
Quote:
From the outflow of the great Lake Nicaragua, the Rio San Juan flows for 119 miles to the Caribbean and along its route is a historical thread that is rich in adventure and folklore. The dark water slowly flows past many small villages and offers a wealth of natural beauty for the traveller seeking the wildlife and sport that this tropical world offers in abundance.

About the Writer

Tropic

Tropic
Escazu, Costa Rica

Rio San Juan Tips & Stories

Rio San Juan from San Carlos