The San Juan River winds through dense rainforest of the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve.

©Philip Lee Harvey/Lonely Planet

The Río San Juan & Islas Solentiname

Perhaps Nicaragua's best kept secret and certainly one of its most unfairly overlooked regions, the steamy Río San Juan runs from Lago de Nicaragua into the Caribbean, forming the border with Costa Rica for much of its journey through the wilderness. The thick jungle here is a haven for migratory birds and dozens of animal species including jaguars, howler monkeys, alligators, sloths and fluorescent fingernail-sized tree frogs.


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