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Solentiname & Rio San Juan Nicaragua Explorer

10 day quietwater lodge based trip meeting in San Carlos Nicaragua meeting on:

2013 Departures

Dec 22-29
Feb 2-9
March 9-16
April 13-20


Trip Price: $2175.00
Requested Single Supplement: $450.00
Private Bath: all nights

Trip Notes
Day by Day Itinerary
Solentiname & Rio San Juan Nicaragua Explorer

Questions
jim@battenkill.com

 

Solentiname & Rio San Juan Nicaragua Explorer

The Artists of Solentiname
and the Rio San Juan

A short flight from Managua to San Carlos brings us to the start of our journey. San Carlos is a bustling town and the gateway to the Rio San Juan region. From the waterfront pier we can see the Solentiname islands in the distance. Another boat trip on the lake brings us to our destination, the Archipelago de Solentiname – a designated national monument and a truly magical place. The community is spread out among the islands and we will discover its history and artist colony over the next few days.

We settle into Albergue Celentiname, where Maria Guevara has been running a lodge for over 18 years. She is one of the original painters on the islands and is happy to share her story and the history of life in Solentiname. We will explore the islands by canoe and foot. Paddling along the shore line lets us soak in our surroundings and is an excellent way to birdwatch. The community of painters and artisans is very open and friendly. They enjoy visiting with travelers and sharing their stories. In addition to the art on the islands we will also have time to explore petroglyphs and pre-columbian sites. A visit to Los Guatuzos is also planned. This is a wonderful wildlife refuge along the rio Papaturro where the wildlife is abundant including monkeys, iguanas, turtles, herons, egrets only to name a few.

After a short stay in Solentiname we return to San Carlos and begin our journey down the rio San Juan. The San Juan forms the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The whole area is considered a tropical rain forest and the bio diversity is spectacular. Along the river we will see a wide variety of bird species including chestnut toucans, boat-billed herons, great egrets and white ibis.

We will spend two evenings in El Castillo. This riverside village has a long history of pirates and battles between the English and Spanish. Much of this history is beautifully displayed in the ruins of the hillside castle that stands as a sentry over the town. The only access to El Castillo is by water so the village is bustling with boatman selling their wares and fisherman coming and going.

From El Castillo we will have paddling choices on several of the many nearby tributaries. These small rivers are ideal for paddling, offering solitude, lush vegetation and excellent birding. Sitting on the deck of the hotel overlooking the river is the perfect way to end the day.

We continue down the river from El Castillo to our final lodging at Refugio Bartola. This is a small research center located along the quiet Bartola river and Si a la Paz national park. During our two days here we will have time to become totally immersed in this special place. Footpaths lead us through some of the last remaining primary forest in Nicaragua. The forest canopy is teeming with life. Birds and mammals make their home high in the canopy as vines and lianas stretch to the forest floor. Bromeliads and orchids add a splash of color to the dark greens of the rainforest foliage.

Our journey ends as it began traveling back up the rio San Juan to the rio Frio and the village of Los Chiles. As we travel back to San Jose for our final evening we will reflect on our sojourn to this special corner of Nicaragua, where the artist, with simple brush strokes, can portray the simplicity of nature and people living in harmony.



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