Rio Istián

Spend a nice morning kayaking along the coast of Ometepe Island in lake Nicaragua until you reach the mouth of the Rio Istián. The river and swamp lands run across the center of the isthmus nearly cutting the island in two. The Río Istián area is a swampy terrain on the western side of the isthmus between Maderas and Concepción. It is only accessible by water and is a perfect spot to see all kinds of wildlife as it is a refugee to various species like birds, turtles, caimans, butterflies, etc. 

Rio Istián is teaming with wildlife, and the constant backdrop of the two volcanoes make for a spectacular adventure. Quietly cruising down the river, you can expect to see caiman alligators sunning themselves on the banks, white faced capuchin and howler monkeys in the trees, and an large variety of birds (around 40 different species have been counted on the isthmus). There is no better way to take in some of the islands diverse wildlife!

Expect to spend around 3 hours or more exploring this beautiful estuary. Morning trips are recommended (before the wind picks up on the lake) and it is also the best time for wildlife spotting.

Expect to pay around US$25 or less per person, and guide is recommended although not required. Most of the kayak companies for the Rio Istián are located near the town of Mérida and it is best to have a reservation. You should bring about 2 liters of water and a snack. It is absolutely necessary to bring a hat, sun block or a long sleeve shirt and sun glasses, mosquito repellent.