Colonial Fortresses

The discovery of the drain opened a new era of dynamic exchange and trade between South America and Spain. San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua were the cardinal bridges this natural link between two worlds.

This event triggered – among others – and constant bloody battles between Iberian and British for supremacy of the road, pirate attacks colonial cities, forcing Spain to build a network of forts along the Rio San Juan and Lake Nicaragua for his defense. Our program takes us from the FORTRESSES of the Colonial City of Granada and proud to trace the sea of fresh water into the magical and magnetic Rio San Juan where we will visit the two last bastions of the Spanish crown in Nicaragua.

Where to go

MANAGUA – GRANADA

Departure from Managua to Granada, city founded in 1524 on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Granada was the soul and nerve of the route of the drainage. It was the port where were landed the goods and treasures from Peru to then shipped to Spain and vice versa. Lunch at Port Asesse from where we take a ride and explore the archipelago of islets, consisting of approximately 360 islands of volcanic origin. Arrival on the island of St. Paul and travel small fort built in the colonial period to defend the city from pirate raids. It is a building stone and mortar, or mud brick paneled, with two side steps by which it reaches a small roof terrace with sweeping views to the east of the vast lake. Back to Granada, dinner and overnight.

GRANADA – SAN CARLOS

Breakfast and tour of the main points of the city such as San Francisco Convent and its Museum of Pre-Columbian statuary, church Xalteva central plaza, ending in the strength of gunpowder. The current weapons museum was opened in 1749, was used as a warehouse to collect gunpowder – hence the name – later became the center of cantonment and city jail. Then, lunch, transfer to the pier to take the regular boat to the ecological capital of Nicaragua: San Carlos. Night on the ship.

SAN CARLOS - ISLA EL CHICHICASTE – SAN CARLOS

Arrival in San Carlos around 05:00 AM at the dock and transfer to hotel, after a little rest departure by boat for a tour in the wetlands that are part of the reserve of Guatuzos. Wildlife observation and arrival to the island for lunch and share a local family. Back to San Carlos for the visit of the city that including the hidden neighborhood and Fort San Carlos Borromeo.

SAN CARLOS – EL CASTILLO

Breakfast and departure to El Castillo. You will be delighted watching the scenes that nature provides, flocks of birds, the mighty jungle expression, children swimming, women washing below the shade of a tree, men rowing in search of good fishing from their canoes. Arrival at hotel. Lunch. City tour of El Castillo including the Immaculate Conception Forteress which takes its name from the historic monument from a high hill that protects both entrances to the San Juan River. The fort is part of the system of fortifications built in colonial times to protect and control the trade route known as the Desaguadero. The monument is a museum in which objects are seen pre-Columbian era and the eighteenth century. Night trip to observe caimans accompanied by a local expert. Accommodation and dinner.

EL CASTILLO – BARTOLA

Breakfast and departure to Bartola Refuge located 6 miles downstream, precisely at the confluence of the Río Bartola and San Juan River. Here begins the great Indio Maiz Biological Reserve. Canoe trip on the River Bartola to penetrate in the buffer zone of the Reserve. Lunch, dinner and accommodation included. In the evening we will have an interesting exhibition of natural history in which we learn of the different uses of plants of this beautiful forest.

BARTOLA – SAN CARLOS – MANAGUA

Breakfast and departure to San Carlos. Reception at the pier and transfer to airport for your flight to Managua.