Life on the Water, Rio San Juan 5 Day Tour

 … a vivid perspective of the river people and the surrounding jungle, excellent for anyone who wants primitive adventure and has an appreciation for art, wildlife and lush virgin rainforests


Day 1

Morning 8am - Drive to San Carlos Rio San Juan

The road to San Carlos is the only way you can drive to the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.  This busy 2 lane road wanders through small villages and towns and is always full of people, pigs, chickens, horses and cows.  There is always something to see around every corner.


Afternoon 2pm - Private Boat to Mancarron Island and Check In Hotel Mancarron

Mancarron is one island in a chain of many, rich in history, biodiversity and local artisans.  It is located in the Solentiname Islands, a protected archipelago and National Monument, volcanic in origin.


Evening - Time on Your Own


Things to See and Do

We will experience roadside life of the locals, take a 1 hour boat ride in a “Panga” and visit local artisans.


Meals included today are dinner.


Day 2

Morning 9am - Explore Local Artisans and Solentiname Church

Solentiname Church is the only church for the chain of islands.  Ernesto Cardenal, the original priest is well recognized for his poetry and paintings and taught and encouraged many of the local artisans.


Afternoon - Boat Ride to San Fernando Island

San Fernando is one of the largest islands in the chain and recognized for its artists whose expertise is primitive landscape paintings.  These paintings range from small to very large, all of which can be rolled up and taken with you.


Evening - Time on Your Own


Things to See and Do

We will visit the local church and learn about its history and visit various artisans on two islands.


Meals included today are breakfast, lunch and dinner.




Day 3

Morning 8am - Hotel Check Out and Private Boat Ride to El Castillo

San Juan River is 192 kilometers long and the main waterway flowing out of Lake Nicaragua leading to the Caribbean.  There are no roads in or out of this area.  The river belongs to Nicaragua but for a significant portion borders Costa Rica.  The lush river banks are home to many villages and communities.  This three hour river cruise is a testament to the people’s endurance and life on the river.


Afternoon - Hotel Victoria Check In and El Castillo Fort History Tour

In the remote location of El Castillo, the “Fortress of the Immaculate Conception” was originally built and completed in 1675 to combat the pirates that used the river to get from the Caribbean to Granada.  This area is full of colorful history and today the fort is a museum visited by people all over the world.


Evening - Time on Your Own


Things to See and Do

We will discover the town of El Castillo and visit the Fort and learn about the frequent invasions and why a 19 year old woman named Rafaela Herrera was deemed a heroin and awarded a royal decree and granted a lifetime pension in 1781 by King Charles III of Spain.


Meals included today are breakfast.


Day 4

Morning 8am - Explore Indio Maiz Biological Reserve

Referred to as the “Gem” of Central American nature reserves, Indio Maiz is 4500 kilometers of flora and fauna.  Home to 400 species of birds, 200 species of reptiles and 4 species of wildcats.  There are alligators, sloths, manatees, pumas, poison dart frogs, the blue morph and too much more to mention in this amazingly beautiful untouched reserve.




Afternoon - Your Choice of More Time in the Reserve or Time on Your Own in El Castillo


Evening - Time on Your Own


Things to See and Do

We will take a 1 hour boat ride down Rio San Juan into a jungle reserve and see a variety of animals and plants.


Meals included today are breakfast and dinner.


Day 5

Morning - Hotel Check Out and Boat Ride to Mainland


Afternoon - Drive to final destination and Good Bye


Meals included today are breakfast.


Your Trip Includes

transport to and from airport or hotel, all admission costs, accommodation, boat fees, private guide, 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners


Cost of Your Tour

1 to 2 people - $2000 US in total

3 to 4 people - $3400 US in total

50 % deposit must be paid in advance in US dollars through Western Union and remaining will be collected during the tour.


Please Note – Although this tour has time limits and restrictions Julio Tours Nicaragua is committed to giving you an experience you will never forget.  We are always open to your suggestions and will do our very best to accommodate any special requests you have.  This is “your” tour and it is our honor to have you as our guest.


Option to Fly

If you prefer to fly into San Carlos, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for schedule and rates.