Isla San Juan Venado: Natural reserve in Nicaragua

By boat or kayak, it’s your choice of how do you want to enjoy this natural reserve in Nicaragua.

In the San Juan Venado reserve, you will find a 22km long barrier island with pristine beaches, mangroves and a huge diversity of birdlife, making it a bird watcher’s paradise.

Because I’m living in Leon I had the opportunity to try both. The reserve always gives you something new to see.

Explore the reserve by kayak 

If you don’t mind rowing cross-current for 3 hours and you have time, this is the best choice.

Your own speed, stop wherever you want and work that arms and abs (you will feel them at the end of the day).

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 protection, they had to be released that same night. The process has to be without any help, the baby turtles had to be able to drag their belly to the water. Extremely cute!

Active volcan in Ometepe island in Nicaragua
What to do in Ometepe Island?

Rent a boat to explore further

Renting a boat gives you the chance to go farther through the mangroves.

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 on a lonely beach and breath a lot of peace.

Cost information

Kayak cost: US$15
Boat cost: Between US$40 to US$60, depending on the group
Where to rent: 300 meters East of Hotel Barca de Oro (Las Peñitas beach).
How to get to San Juan Venado: From Leon take a bus at the Sutiava Market (El Mercadito) and finish at 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 on its menu. They also have a complicated parrot who sometimes loves to pose for a good picture. I recommend the veggie quiche and the fish taco.

Have you been to this natural reserve? Do you prefer a kayak or boat? Leave a comment


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Isla San Juan Venado Leon | Travel to Nicaragua | #Nicaragua

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