Paddling the Rio San Juan Source to Sea

The Rio san Juan is an absolutely gorgeous river running some 210 km from the southern end of Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea. It cuts through the second largest rain forest north of the Amazon, and you will be amazed by the wildlife and peoples living along its shores.

Nicaragua, an undiscovered gem for Kayakers

This country is at the beginning stages of developing a tourist economy. For now, no McDonald’s, no Walmarts. Just some of the most friendly people on Earth. Our tour will paddle a truly endangered river. The Chinese have contracted with Nicaragua to build a new “Panama” type canal using the Rio San Juan as one of the major backbones of the project. We may well be along the last people to see this unspoiled wilderness.

This Kayaking Tour requires no special ability, (other than knowing how to swim). We will be paddling in both open and protected waters so you should be physically fit and able to perform a moderate amount of exertion with relative ease.

Exploring with Earth and Water Adventures Kayaking Tours is the best way to go on an adventure. We keep our tours small so they become more of a bunch of friends having an adventure instead of a group of tourists just sightseeing. Everything we do is carefully curated so you can make memories that will last a lifetime.

Typical Itinerary:

This is a general description of the excitement you will experience each day on our Nicaragua Kayaking Tour. Be aware that the specific days may switch around based on weather, or to optimize the logistics.

Getting There

You will fly into the modern international airport in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city. After clearing customs and immigration (there is a US $10 entry fee that must be paid in cash), you will be met by a Earth and Water Adventures Kayaking Tour representative. From there we’ll board our charter van to take us to the old colonial city of Granada. Once checked into your room we will meet for a group dinner, get to know your fellow explorers and discuss the weeks itinerary in detail. Afterward we’ll walk the old city and see the sights.

Don’t Know Where I’ll Go When the Volcano Blows

After breakfast at the hotel, we will strap on our hiking shoes and visit Mt. Mombacho. This volcano exploded in the late 1500’s and three island sized boulders into Lake Nicaragua some five miles away. In fact, many people now live on this islets!. The volcano erupted again in December 2015. Today the mountain is quite and shrouded in a beautiful rain forest. Lunch will be a packed lunch eaten on the mountain, and dinner will be in one of the many fine restaurants in Granada.

Let’s go exploring

Up and out early to catch our private shuttle to the town of San Carlos. After lunch in this port town we’ll catch an express boat down river to El Castillo and explore its castle. Yes, I said castle, that wasn’t a typo. Our local guide will share the history and show us many of the natural beauty of its surrounding area.

Day One – Paddling Our Kayaks

The first day of kayaking as we head down the river toward Bartola. This is a public reserve where the Indio Maiz begins. Along the way we’ll be watching for sloths, caymans, monkeys, toucans, and maybe even the elusive jaguar. We will even see an old shipwreck from the old gold rush days. We will take some time for a refreshing dip in the pristine waters. That night, camp will be on the riverbank and we’ll enjoy the sounds of nature and see a canopy of stars like you’ve never seen.

Day Two – Paddling Our Kayaks

Bocas San Carlos is our desination for today. There we’ll stretch our legs and hike the and the local rain forest to some awesome waterfalls. Tonight we will be camping again on the water’s edge.

Day Three – Paddling Our Kayaks

The Rio San Juan is a fairly fast river and today will have us floating down past Saripiqui and on to the delta region of the Somoza area. We’ll pass the Somoza farms and stay the night with a local family in Jobo.

Day Four – Paddling Our Kayaks

Today will be the last day of kayaking. You’ll paddle through the delta to end up at the Caribbean Coast. Around mid-afternoon We will make a small ocean crossing, to arrive at San Juan de Nicaragua. Tonight we will relax at the Rio Indio Lodge.

The Rio Indio

You can spend today exploring the small town of San Juan de Nicaragua, or stay at the lodge and explore some of their many nature trails, or just relax and bask in under the Nicaraguan sun.

Getting home, or staying longer

After a relaxing morning we will take the local water taxi for the local flight back to Managua. We will stay for the night in town and fly out on Monday morning. Unfortunately, our flight from San Juan de Nicaragua arrives late in Manuga, and most flights bound for the US have left. Choosing to fly out on Sunday night will mean long lay-overs in either Costa Rica or Panama. So, best to enjoy a relaxing Sunday evening meal and a good night’s sleep in our comfortable Managua hotel.

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