It sometimes feels that the thick jungle looming on the edges of Boca de Sábalos is about to reclaim this muddy, dusty town set at the confluence of the Río San Juan and Río Sábalos (Tarpon River). And therein lies its appeal. When you lounge on the terrace of your hotel, lodge or guesthouse at sunset, you’ll watch birds fish and ride end-of-the-day thermals as you hear that familiar, primordial roar of the howler monkeys in the distance.
Río Sábalos effectively splits the town in half, with the inexpensive hospedajes and main road on one side, and a smaller community, threaded by a slender footpath past rustic homes and gardens, on the other. It costs two córdobas (US$0.06) to cross the canal in the dugout canoe that goes back and forth.