By boat or kayak, it’s your choice how you want to enjoy this natural reserve. In the San Juan Venado reserve, you will find a 22km long barrier island with pristine beaches, mangroves and a huge diversity of bird life, making it a bird watcher`s paradise!.
Because I’m living in Leon I had the opportunity to try both. Both ways were awesome, the reserve always give me something new to see!
If you don’t mind rowing cross-current for 3 hours and you have time, kayaking is your choice! Go at your own speed, stop wherever you want and work out that arms and abs (you will feel them at the end of the day for sure!).
I was lucky enough to experience this day with awesome friends and see some baby turtles on Palo de Oro beach. They were born just that morning and because of the protection laws, they had to be release that same night. The release process has to be without any help, the baby turtles have to be able to drag their belly to the water. Extremely cute!
Renting a boat give you the chance to go farther through the mangroves. It is drive by a local family. The boat is also a nice choice if you want to be comfortable and take pictures of everything.
The dad and son who drive us were really nice, they explained all the birds and local life. That was definitely a good extra for the 5 hours on the boat.
I couldn’t see cute turtles this time, but I was able to stop in other lonely beach and breath a lot of peace.
Kayak cost: US$15
Boat cost: Between US$40 to US$60, depending the group size
Where to rent: 300 meters East of Hotel Barca de Oro (Las Peñitas beach).
How to get there: From Leon take a bus at the Sutiava Market (El Mercadito) and finish in the last bus stop, from there walk 5 minutes on the beach.
Where to eat: Barca de Oro is a nice restaurant (also a hotel) with fish and vegetarian options in its menu. They also have a complicated parrot who sometimes love to pose for a good picture, and sometimes he will bite you.
I recommend the veggie quiche and the fish taco, yummy!