Rio San Juan Nicaragua

Rio San Juan Nicaragua

Rio San Juan is the most southern department of Central Nicaragua, bordering Costa Rica and one of the most beautiful places in Central America and the World. It is the perfect place to know the extensive flora and fauna of Nicaragua.

The municipalities of the Río San Juan department are: Morrito, El Almendro, San Miguelito, San Carlos, El Castillo and San Juan del Norte.

San Carlos being its departmental head. It is the youngest department of Nicaragua, since it was a disaggregation of the department of Chontales decreed in the year 1949.

There are three distinct areas in the region. The interior, the coast of the Lake and the area of ​​the river.

In the interior we find a more Chontaleño environment, dedicated to livestock and agriculture.

In the zone of the coast of the lake, with the towns of Morrito, San Miguelito, San Carlos, Solentiname and the Guatusos, we find an infinity of activities focused on the lake, especially in the port of San Miguelito, San Carlos, Solentiname and Los Guatusos .

Finally, the south / river area offers activities related to nature, transportation and water sports. Starting from San Carlos, El Castillo and San Juan del Norte. Ending in the Indian-Corn reserve.

Through its rivers, which connect Lake Cocibolca with the Atlantic Ocean, you can navigate and enjoy a lot of aquatic activities related to nature.

History Rio San Juan

In the past it was a highly strategic point since it allowed the communication of the coastal zone with the interior zone.

It was part of the Gold Route and was testimony to numerous pirate attacks and incursions of British and Spanish troops.

San Carlos is the perfect place from which to mobilize to the rest of the department.

In San Carlos we can visit its fortress built by the Spanish to defend against the continuous attacks.

We can enjoy its gastronomic delights on the banks of the River in its restaurants and dining rooms of the Malecón.

A highly recommended visit is to visit the Esperanza Verde Nature Reserve which is located inside Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge, the first RAMSAR site in the country. Both are part of the Río San Juan Biosphere Reserve.

From there we will be able to visit the archipelago of the Solentiname Islands, decreed National Monument and that is also integrated within the Río San Juan Biosphere Reserve.

Solentiname is the perfect place to find peace and tranquility, to have a direct contact with nature in the wild

And where to know the work of innumerable artists who are dedicated to primitivist painting.

In the municipality of the Castle you can visit The Castle of the Immaculate Conception, built by the Spanish settlers in 1675.

Part of the Indio Maíz Reserve is within the territory of this municipality.

In the coastal town of San Juan del Norte you can visit the ruins of Greytown.

It is also a border point of interest that has aroused several conflicts between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, from San Carlos we will be able to travel to Los Chiles (Costa Rica) and vice versa.

It is an excellent place to start the Nicaraguan route or finish it.

Tourism is well developed throughout the Rio San Juan and we will easily find the services we need,

As well as boat rental, transportation, kayaks, water activities, walks, hotels, restaurants, etc.

In the last decades, ecological tourism has been promoted, seeking the development of economic alternatives for

The local population in the tourism sector but are in balance with the environment.

* Telephone numbers of interest *

San Carlos

  • Mayor´s Office 25830230
  • Hospital 25830244
  • Firefigthers 25830149
  • National Police 25830301
  • Customs 25830261
  • Port Company 25830256
  • La Costeña (Airline) 25830397


  • Mayor´s Office 25528805
  • Health Center 25528806
  • National Police 25528797


Managua to San Carlos en Carro: About 300 Kms of travel are completed in about 4 to 5 hours. The recent improvements of asphalt make it comfortable and an opportunity to know the beautiful landscapes of the region of Chontales and San Juan river. There is a parking service on the dock of San Carlos.

By plane:

There is a daily trip to San Carlos from the airport of Managua with departure at 13h and lasts about 45 minutes operated by the airline La Costeña.


The national port company offers services from Granada to San Carlos on Monday and Thursday at 2:00 pm, stopping at the island of Ometepe, Morritos and San Miguelito and arriving at the destination at 5:00 am. It is a journey from 15h to 16h of approximate duration. For more information visit

From the chiles (COSTA RICA):

If you leave from Los Chiles in Costa Rica, you must take a boat that leaves from the village pier once you have sealed the exit in your passport. Costa Rican Customs is very close to the pier and the approximate duration of the trip is one hour.

Departure times for boats Los Chiles (Costa Rica) - San Carlos: 5:20 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 3:30 pm. Please check possible schedule changes.

Upon arrival in San Carlos, the boat will leave you directly in Customs to carry out an agile process of sealing entry in Nicaragua. The pier of San Carlos is located a few meters from the Customs building.