Cosigüina Wetlands Hiking Trail
The Cosigüina Wetlands are situated near the Cosigüina volcano forming the peninsula jutting out into the beautiful Gulf of Fonseca on Nicaragua’s Pacific Ocean coast. The wetlands are home to a diverse range of birds and animals, and are essential to the region’s ecosystem. As a rather remote destination, the Cosigüina Wetlands receive fewer visitors than some of Nicaragua’s other natural attractions, but for those who enjoy an off the beaten track adventure, this protected area has much to offer.
To encourage tourists to explore the wetlands, a trail has been constructed for easy access, and visitors will have the opportunity to view a variety of vegetation, birds and other animals along this route. At the beginning of the trail the vegetation consists mainly of short palm trees and as the trail continues the terrain becomes a network of streams and creeks – ideal for supporting mangrove trees. These hardy plants thrive in saline coastal waters and the sediment of wetland areas. Mangrove forests are able to tolerate wide changes in salinity, moisture and temperature as the tides go in and out, and fresh water from inland meets and mingles with sea water. The raised boardwalk-type trail leads visitors through this fascinating forest.
Along the trail is a lookout hut from which visitors can look down on hundreds of nesting egrets. In the early morning and late afternoon, the area is a hive of activity as the birds get ready to leave for a day’s foraging, or return to their nests at the end of the day. During the day, the nests are likely to be deserted as the egrets are out hunting for food. Egrets are migratory birds, and are generally only seen in Cosigüina Wetlands during the rainy season between July and December, as is the case with many other migratory bird species. However, there are a number of permanent feathered residents to be seen in the wetlands throughout the year. The Cosigüina Wetlands can also be explored on horseback, which can be arranged by most of the hotels around the Cosigüina volcano.