Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve, National Parks, Tourist Attractions

Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve is an important protected area in Nicaragua. It forms part of the country's national park system and is well-known as a vital coastal wetland region. The stunning Juan Venado Island is situated near the fascinating city of León to the south of the beaches of Las Peñitas and Poneloya. As such, it is convenient to reach and is frequently included in tours of the area. This marvelous natural area of Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve is well worth a visit.

Nicaragua’s island of Juan Venado is considered a barrier island. It measures 22km in length and has a width of 0.5km, totaling 2.934 hectares. It stands out as a thin strip near the coast of Nicaragua. The island’s altitude is no higher than 25m. Juan Venado Island falls under the jurisdiction of León municipality. However, it has been put under the care of an NGO. Separating the coast from the island is an ecologically important mangrove forest or swamp. This marvelous biological zone provides the ideal home for an abundance of animal life – particularly marine creatures. The edge of the Juan Venado Island that faces into the Pacific ocean possesses a fine estuary and is also a vital nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. These amazing reptiles come to the small island every year between August and December to lay their eggs. Special eco-tours are usually organized at this time of year for visitors to Nicaragua to view this marvelous event. The estuary of Isla Juan Venado is itself home to a diversity of organisms including water birds, the cayman, crocodiles, iguanas, crustaceans and more. Motorboats and kayaks are a popular form of transport when exploring the waters surrounding Juan Venado Island. Bird watching enthusiasts will find the island a real treat as it is home to 106 bird species.

Isla Juan Venado Nature Reserve has no people residing in it, so visitors to the island will be enveloped in solitude and the beauty of nature. Whether you simply wish to relax on a boat as it winds its way through the mangroves or prefer to be more active with surfing or swimming, the nature reserve of Juan Venado Island is a remarkable adventure. Although some believe more can be done to promote this exceptional protected area, you will still find many tour operators offering unique journeys to Juan Venado Island.

back to National parks