Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge, National Parks, Tourist Attractions

The Refugio de Vida Sivestre Los Guatuzos, or Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge, contains the best areas for viewing tropical fauna and flora in Nicaragua. The wildlife refuge protects 43,750 hectares of wetland and tropical wet forests located south of Lake Nicaragua and west of the San Juan River. It is also the only tropical wetland that is internationally recognized in Nicaragua and holds an abundance of wildlife.

You can view this impressive reserve by boat and discover the super rich bird life, monkey and reptile populations. The boats leave early and go up all the small rivers and canals contained in the Los Guatuzos. From there you can easily see different species of monkeys and sloths hanging off the various trees lining the waterways, as well as iguanas, agouti and caiman which are also common in the area. The most popular wildlife-viewing river is the Rio Papaturro, but there are eleven others that take you all over the reserve.

Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge is thought of as natural gold in the eyes of many Nicaraguan biologists due to the nesting sites of birds like the toucan and the great white egret which are found here. There are no less then 389 different species of birds that have been recorded and can be viewed between the months of February and April. This number does not include thousands of migratory species that visit this area. The Reserve is also known for its rich variety of flowers, trees and animals that are easily seen from the boat. Your excursion starts by first crossing the Great Lake Cocibolca and from there you will go up the Papaturro River.

Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuge contains high populations of caimans, crocodiles, jaguars, monkeys and feral pigs. Another aspect of Los Guatuzos that makes it so valued is that it is home to an ancient species of fish which is rare at the best of times. The Actractoseus tropicus, commonly known as a gaspar, has fangs and a snout that help it consume other species of fish as well as turtles and crabs.

If you are keen to stay for a couple of days in this paradise, you can lodge at the hotels found at the isolated Solentiname Archipelago of Lake Nicaragua where you will be looked after very well.

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