A Travellerspoint blog

Chilling on the Rio San Juan

San Carlos and El Castillo

sunny 29 °C

We arrived bright and early in San Carlos and organised our tickets to get down to El Castillo (only accessible by water). Despite many assurances to the contrary we triple checked about the buses at the bus station and discovered they were only running on Saturday, oh well.

The trip down the river was lovely and we arrived in El Castillo to discover some great cheap hostels with private rooms right on the water. The town was tiny and very easy to walk around and it was really lovely watching the water. We teamed up with some other English speakers to organise a tour into the nearby reserve. It was fantastic.
As we were signing in at the administration area we had howler monkeys hanging out just above us and saw a green and black dart frog which was a pretty cools start to our adventure. We saw caiman in the water and then arrived at our jumping off point to walk into the jungle. Our guide was great and explained the uses of the local plants and kept a keen eye out for local wildlife.
Matt spotted our first Blue Jeans or Strawberry Dart Frog, incredibly tiny bright blue and red frog. Very cute. We saw another one along the way as well as a troop of Cappuccino Monkeys and a big family of Spider Monkeys (my personal favourite). At the end we even made our way into a little stream off the main river to go swimming.
We headed back up the river, catching site of a toucan along the way and grabbed lunch with our fellow tourists. Later that afternoon we headed up to check out the old fort (built to stop pirates coming up from the Caribbean and sacking Granada, which seemed to happen with alarming regularity). The views were amazing and it was pretty interesting reading about the history of the pirates in the area.
The place we stayed with gorgeous, right on the water with a killer view. See what I mean...
The next day we hopped a boat back to San Carlos, and took up residence in what must have been the worst hotel we've experienced so far (mouse in the first room, and God knows what running around in the roof all night). Despite the shabby accommodations we really enjoyed San Carlos. They had food and music happening on the water each night and generally it was just a cool little spot. We jumped on a tour going out to the Solentiname Islands to round out our lake and river adventure. It was a nice day, checking out the islands, going for a swim or two and spotting howler monkeys from the boat.

Saturday we jumped up early to secure the last two seats on the local bus to Granada.

Posted by Addy21 05:38 Archived in Nicaragua

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