Beautiful El Castillo
The small town of El Castillo is located in Rio San Juan and was established in the 1700’s. The most popular attraction to the town is the El Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepciòn de Maria (Fortress of Immaculate Conception) or El Morro. It is the reason the town was established, as El Morro is a massive, looming fortress that was originally built by the Spanish to defend the land against raiding pirates and any other threat against them. Due to its location, El Castillo is one of the most tranquil and peaceful sights in Nicaragua. A boat service will have to transport visitors to Rio San Juan, down the Lake Nicaragua. The fort was therefore built on a very strategically located piece of land. Invaders would have to sail upstream and the waters of Raudal el Diablo is known for its sharks and crocodiles.
A visit to El Castillo is recommended not only for its spectacular fort, which has been renovated into a museum and library, but for its tranquil lifestyle. The town is inhabited by a friendly, peace loving community and the area does not have cars or modern tarred roads. Locals can be seen fishing in the river or laboring on their farms. Some also work at the local sawmill or palm oil factory and recent years have seen many take on employment at the new resort which is located not far from the town. Visitors that want to stay the night can find accommodation at the hotel which is constructed from wood. Even though most of the areas in Nicaragua have suffered deforestation, El Castillo is a beautiful town, surrounded by breathtaking views and landscapes. It is also steeped in history and speaking to locals and guides could turn up a few very interesting stories and legendary tales of bravery and survival.
Watching locals go about their daily lives and visiting the fort are not the only attractions here. El Castillo is one of the most visited sights in Nicaragua and therefore caters for visitors and tourists. The Indio Maiz Biological Reserve is home to a remaining rainforest and has a healthy population of tapirs and monkeys that inhabit the reserve. Boat trips and fishing trips are available. For those that are more interested in the nature on land, hiking trails and guided hiking trips can also be arranged. Horses can be hired from the locals while wildlife tours to the surrounding areas are also available. Visitors that are interested in El Castillo are advised to inquire about transport to and from Rio San Juan well in advance, as boats only run on certain days.