Indio Maiz Biological Reserve
The Indio Maíz Biological Reserve is found in the southeastern region of Nicaragua bordering the San Juan River and is considered to be one of the best preserved and basically unexplored reserves in the country. This well kept secret is about 640,000 acres or 3,180 km², making it the biggest lowland tropical rainforest in the Amazon with a large variety of rainforest animals. This magical Biological Reserve is made up of mangrove estuaries, lagoons where you can find the unusual Fishing Bulldog Bat, waterways that wind on endlessly. There are also beautiful postcard perfect Caribbean beaches and, of course, lowland forests.
The Indio Maíz Biological Reserve is so named, not only because of the intense research that takes place here by internationally acclaimed naturalists and scientists, but also because of the wealth of knowledge to still be revealed about the animals and plants that reside here - many of which have yet to be discovered. There are hundreds of varieties of beautifully colored birds such as toucans, macaws, parrots and the rare species of the "Royal Fly Catcher" - a bird-viewers dream.
Apart from the birds there are many other animals that inhabit the reserve. The mammals include pumas, jaguars, armadillos, sloths, raccoons, wild boar, the incredibly tame manatees and many other unusual animals. Of course a forest near the Amazon can't do with out different species of monkey, such as the noisy Howler Monkey, Spider Monkey and the White-face Monkey. You will also have to keep an eye open for snakes, iguanas, turtles and brightly colored poison dart frogs. The Royal Tarpon and Bull Shark, or fresh water shark as it is also known, inhabit the fresh and salt waters in the Indio Maíz Reserve.
Most of the Biological Center is out of bounds to tourists and no hiking is permitted in the areas that are accessible for obvious reasons. There are two areas of the reserve that are accessible to tourists through the Bartola River and the San Juan del Norte town. The Bartola River is close to the town of El Castillo, a place that is historically rich and from where you can hire a guide and make a daytrip into Indio- Maíz. The San Juan del Norte gives you admission to the Indio River where a lot of the unexplored areas of the reserve can be found.