Bosawas Biosphere Reserve

If you are looking for a real adventure, with few amenities, few services, virgin nature is pure state and contact with indigenous communities, this is definitely your destination. Entering the heart of the Reserve requires being well prepared and knowing in advance the difficulties that can arise or the adversities that can be faced. There are some tour operators that offer tours of several days within the Reserve.

Bosawás was declared Natural Reserve in 1991

Bosawás was declared by Executive Decree 44-91, as a National Resources Reserve in 1991.

On 5 June 1992 in Managua, it was decreed as a priority area by the "Convention on Biodiversity and Protection of Priority Wilderness Areas in Central America" ​​signed by the presidents of Central America (except Belize)

Bosawas Biosphere World Unesco Reserve

In 1998 it became part of the Unesco World Biosphere Reserve Network. Sites declared as a Biosphere Reserve are "a sample of the planet's biodiversity and how man can inhabit it in a sustainable way. They are representative geographic areas of the diversity of habitats of the planet ". Bosawás was also decreed by Unesco in the same year Patrimony of the Humanity.

Bosawás Biosphere Reserve forms part of the Heart of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

The Bosawás Biosphere Reserve forms part of the Heart of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, along with the Reserve of the Man, Biosphere of the Río Plátano, TawahkaAsangni Reserve and Patuca National Park in Honduras.

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor "is a regional strategy for sustainable development, based on the conservation and proper use of the great biodiversity and wealth of natural resources that we possess" and includes the five southern states of Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas , Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Tabasco) and the seven Central American countries, made up of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.


Territorial Composition  of Bosawás

The Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, which represents 15% of the national territory, is composed of:

  • Bosawás Natural Reserve,
  • Cerro Kilambé Natural Reserve
  • Reserva Natural Peñas Blancas Massif
  • Reserva NaturalCerro Cola Blanca
  • Reserva Natural Banacruz
  • Cerro Saslaya National Park

Municipalities forming part of Bosawás Reserve

The Reserve is made up of the territories of the municipalities of Wiwilí, El Cuá and Bocay of the department of Jinotega, Wiwilí of the department of Nueva Segovia, Bonaza, Suina, Waslala and Waspan of the RAAN.

Name of Bosawás Rrserve

The name of BOSAWAS comes from the combination of the names of the river Bocay (BO), Cerro Saslaya (SA) and River Waspuk (WAS).

The Bosawás Biosphere Reserve is the second largest tropical rainforest on the American continent, after the Amazon Rainforest. In it we find the largest area of ​​tropical rainforest not yet intervened in Central America.


Extension of Bosawás Reserve:

With an extension of approximately 2,042,535.91 Has, in the Reserve two clearly differentiated zones are identified. The core area with an approximate area of 7,441 km², which is located in the South of the Reserve and extends through the Bocay River, Cerro Saslaya and Waspuk River.

The buffer zone, with an extension of more than 12,000 km², which extends in the territory of the municipalities of Waslala, Bonanza, Siuna, Waspan, Wiwilí, El Cuá and San José de Bocay. In this area are the 4 Natural Reserves of: Cerro Kilambé, between Wiwilí and Cuá Bocay, Peñas Blancas Massif in Cuá and San José de Bocay, Cerro Banacruz, between Bonanza and Siuna, Cerro Cola Blanca in Bonanza and Saslaya National Park in the core area of the municipality of Siuna.

Indigenous communities in Bosawás

In the Reserve there are 2 indigenous communities, the Miskito (MiskituIndianTasbaikaKum, KiplaSaitTasbaika, Li LamniTasbaikaKum) and the MayagnaMayagnaSauni As, MayagnaSauni Bu, MayagnaSauni Bas). The Miskitos live mainly on the banks of the Coco River, while the Mayagnas inhabit the central area of ​​the reserve and the shores of the Pis-Pis, Waspuk, Bocay and Laku rivers.

Birds and Fauna of Bosawás Reserve

The Reserve has identified 215 bird species, 25 species of mammals, 12 species of poisonous snakes, 11 species of fish and 200,000 species of insects. Among the animals we can see are toucans, quetzales, harpy eagles, pumas, jaguars and monkeys.

Twenty-two ecosystems, six forest types and 270 plant species have been identified.

RB Bosawás generates 26 million tonnes of oxygen per year that reach Europe and North America.


At present the Bosawás Reserve is facing an uncontrolled advance of destruction. According to a report by the German Agency for Sustainable Development in 2012, "every year 42,000 hectares of forest disappear and the forest has gone from more than one million 604 thousand hectares in 1987 to one million 039 thousand in 2010. In All the Reserve there are 6 Marena rangers.