Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve

Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve, Ticuantepe: Address, Phone Number, Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve

Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

36 reviews
Very good

Oregon, WI10 contributions
Feb 2020
If you are near by, stop at the reserve for a few hours. We had multiple guides, Allen and two trainees, as well as Eduardo, from Montibelli. A lot of birds in few hours...
Get there before dusk or near sunrise to catch the roosting parakeets (we missed them).
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elizabeth Winterbourne
San Diego, CA22 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
My husband and I fell completely in love with the Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve. Unfortunately, we came late in the day, due to a thunderstorm holding us up. But, the hour and a half we spent here was well worth it.

This place is the epitome of what one would picture given the term "cloud forest". As a photographer, I had a field day here! Next time we come to Nicaragua, we're planning on spending a whole day here.

There are multiple trails here at the reserve. Since we were short on time, we took the one directly to the wall that's the nesting area of the chocoyero (AKA: parakeets). They were coming back to their nests for the end of the day, and we got to see them just before it got dark. This trail isn’t very difficult at all, though it is, of course, hot and humid. It’s an easy to easy/intermediate hike; most people should be able to handle it without difficulty.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you allot plenty of time here. 1-2 hours doesn't do it justice. If you're coming out this way, plan at least a half-day. The drive out to the reserve is bumpy & long, but well worth it!
Written October 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Albuquerque, NM6,443 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
Chocoyero is not far from Managua, but we decided to spend one night in a log cabin that they rented out for just $20. We did not expect very much, felt it would be good to support a local ecotourism cooperative, and came prepared for any circumstance. We were glad we tried the place out because we had much fun.

There were two log cabins over a bit steep climb from the reception area. The cabins were solar powered and had some light all night. They have removed (or not replaced) bulbs from the bathroom and the porch. I have the feeling that these cabins are hardly rented out and therefore they do not have much incentive to maintain them. The floor was not 100% clean, and the faucet in the sink gave only a trickle of water although the shower worked fine. There must be some junk in the drain because water did not flow after a shower. Water was freezing cold. The bed was rather sturdy (with a small mosquito net attached, though there were no mosquitoes inside that night) and they even provided some linen and a towel. There was a leaning chair, a small cabinet with drawers, and a small table inside the cabin. We even saw a hammock that can be hanged, but we did not see any hooks anywhere to hang it.

The reception area is maintained by the members of one family (or the extended family) and they lived down there close to the reception area. So, local food could be ordered if you so wished. We had come prepared with our camping gear, some food and even camping chairs. So, we could make ourselves quite comfortable on the cabin porch.

Towards the sunset it was so nice to hear bird songs from all different directions and a concert of howler monkeys faraway. There also were fireflies in the bush lighting up the dark evening. Then there was a short shower to cool down the temperature. When darkness fell all sounds, except those of crickets’, abated. It was so nice to have the feeling of being in a forest so close to the capital city.We had a peaceful sleep and woke up ready for our early morning 3-hour hike.

It would have been nicer if the local cooperative could maintain these cabins, but since we had everything we wanted we had a very nice evening in the bush. It really beats listening to loud music and fireworks in Managua.
Written May 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle35 contributions
Jun 2016 • Friends
I have visited this reserve many times over the years as it is very close to my pineapple farm. The 7 kilometer drive from the Carretera Concha to the park winds through some beautiful farmland. The road is part adoquine in the steep parts so even a small passenger car can make the drive. The best time to arrive is late afternoon. Hire a guide. They are a good value and will definitely enrich your experience. The walk from the parking lot to the waterfall and cliffs where all the chocoyeros roost is not strenuous and takes about 45 minutes with your guide often stopping to point out the plants and wildlife. The waterfall itself does not have a large volume of water but has a fair amount of vertical. The cliffs are impressive and there are hundreds of chocoyeros occupying the small caves. It is a very enchanting experience. The walk back to the parking lot is only 20 minutes max. On the drive back there are some nice Ranchos, like Don Pancho, to stop and enjoy a nice Nica meal. There is a new and very nice El Pipe Quesillos restaurant 400 meters from the stop light in Ticuantepe.
Written September 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sugar Land, TX295 contributions
Feb 2014 • Couples
I posted our Chocoyero experience on my blog, but here's a rundown:

Hubby & I were in Managua when a former firefighter from Canada talked us into joining her in Chocoyero for a couple of days or so. A local taxi took us on a jarring, pothole-filled ride up, maybe an hour. We're the only overnight guests in the 455 acre forest. After a steep three tiered climb, we took the bungalow and Gerda had the bunkhouse. Our cabin light blew out twice, so we used headlamps. We had cold water, so there was no wasting of time in the shower. Gerda had light, but just a trickle of a shower. With the two screen-less windows shut at night, it was pitch dark. The cabin could have used a really, really good cleaning, but since the reserve is operated by (wilderness) men, that's not going to happen. You need to understand, too, that they are volunteers who get paid ONLY when visitors come. Life in the forest is hard. (Tour companies bring in daytime visitors and that's different.)
The hammock was pretty. I asked and they climbed up, wrapped and tied the ends. Alan's our guide for the morning, evening and 5-hour hikes. He went home each night after our dinner and two others kept watch overnight. Alan's English was good enough that we communicated reasonably well. Each day, Alan's mother would cook our meals. Each and every meal had beans, rice and plantains, the local staples. Breakfast would include a couple of boiled eggs. Dinner would have a small piece of meat added. The only thing that would change would be the plantains ... boiled, crispy, mashed, etc. After Alan took us to meet his mother so we could thank her for the meals, we realized how much effort it took to provide extra items like eggs and meat that are costly and probably difficult to get in the jungle-like forest.
Chocoyero is named after the green Pacific Parakeets that populate the forest. Each morning and evening, Alan would lead us to the waterfall(s) to be amazed at the hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of chirping birds roosting in holes in the limestone walls. We peeked in a few holes after the birds had left and there were crickets too. Alan was so dedicated to making sure we saw the beauty of his forest. I think of it as a jungle, with long, trailing vines and lush foliage. He had a book of birds that was consulted frequently. We saw howler monkeys, an owl eye butterfly, birds, a young owl and so many interesting plants and insects that make up the teeming life of the woodlands!
My husband and Gerda went on a 5-hour hike with Alan and his father. It was a pretty steep and active hike as they strung rope from tree to tree. I was told L. slipped at times and would swing in space before getting his footing. There was an even steeper trail up, but L. didn't think he could hike it, so they came back in 5 instead of 6 hours. He dragged in, bruised and bleeding. Gerda bounced in, all dimpled smiles and full of energy. Me? I'd swung in the hammock until I was motion sick, climbed down and sat in the rocker writing in my journal. Later, walked down to work on a puzzle and charge my phone.
Gerda was taking a 2-week bike tour through Central America later in the week and had brought school supplies for the tour's charity. Instead, we threw in a donation and took all the supplies down the road to the elementary school outside the reserve. Gerda also passed out Canadian flag pins!
If you have the chance, please visit Chocoyero. You'll need to contact the reserve as early as possible if you plan to stay there. It may take some time for them to email you back, but it's worth it. You'll learn a lot with Alan and you'll be helping a country that can use all the help it can get!
Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA141 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
We found out about this place from the owner of our hotel in Granada, and were so thankful we did. Located far off the beaten path, near Managua, Chocoyero is absolutely stunning. The main road in was inaccessible, so we took entirely back country roads through stunning countryside and quaint little villages tucked away in the jungle. Warning! Its best in a four wheel drive, but our unsuspecting driver did manage in his little Toyota four door sedan.

So, the reason to make the journey? Every late afternoon, some 800 parakeets (like medium sized green parrots) return to a cliffside to roost for the night. Overall, there is a beautiful half hour hike both in and out through dense jungle with the reward of the cliffside and waterfall at the end. The entire time the chatter of parrots and other animals is amazing to listen to.

Make sure to wear proper shoes and either be covered properly or have something to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

This really was one of our favorite little adventures. We left Granada about 3:00 since it takes a good hour or so to get there, but 4-5pm is the perfect time to see the action.
Written July 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lesley S
Managua, Nicaragua166 contributions
Dec 2016 • Couples
If you’re familiar with outdoor activities and outings in Central America, it will be no surprise to you that you have to take a dirt road with many ruts in it to get to this natural reserve. I was pleasantly surprised at how far down the road there were pavers, however, as I expected the whole 7 km to be dirt. It’s bumpy at times, and it takes a while to drive down if you’re being careful with your car, but that comes with the territory. Once you get closer, the pineapple farms and the scenery really are beautiful.

Some reviewers said that they had trouble finding it because they took a wrong turn here or there. I will say, once you turn off the main road in Ticuantepe, there are several signs with the green chocoyero bird on it that help you know where to turn for a while. After that, the Waze app was super helpful, if you have internet on your phone. I made sure to turn on the navigation from the Waze app before I lost good cell service and the app knew every tiny fork and turn in the road that we needed to take.

Upon arrival, we signed in as guests and paid C$180 cordobas (about 6 dollars) for two of us to enter and to have a guide, Alan. It seems like we may have gotten that price because we speak Spanish. They told us that tours in English cost more.
We took the easier trail to go right up to the El Brujo cascade. It’s a small place and not strenuous at all, you’d be fine without a guide. But with a guide, you get so much more interesting information, and he really knows where to point things out to you. Also, this is not a business but just something they try to keep open for the public. The guides do not get paid if no one comes, so it’s nice to hire them as well to keep the place open.

We saw an older monkey in a tree, as well as two big groundhog looking animals… Alan tried to explain to us what it was, but we didn’t know the word in Spanish and he didn’t know it in English. We said “It’s like a big rat without a tail!”. Ha. You can hear lots of the other monkeys, we unfortunately didn’t see them. Other than that, the trail felt kind of like we were back home in Virginia. Nothing too exciting, but there are some really cool kinds of trees that I’d never seen before with massive roots.
We did get to see some of the chocoyeros (green parakeets) at the wall of their caves beside the cascade. So neat how they fly in pairs. We only saw a few because we only stayed until 4:30pm, but you could hear that they were all starting to come in. Wish we could have stayed longer to see them in droves! We really just didn’t want to drive back on the dirt road in the dark, though. Our car isn’t very tall.
For a nice half-day trip, I’d recommend going here. Especially if you live in Managua, this is a great place to cool down. We were standing by the cascade and we actually felt chilly!

Note: there is some kind of really big leafed plant that they pointed out to us that can prick you and give you a rash. Have someone point it out to you so you don’t touch it!
Written January 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tessenderlo, Belgium88 contributions
Nov 2015
We were going to spend the night at the reserve and see the parrots come back in the early evening as well as watch them leave just after sunrise. We decided to just get there early and not spend the night. We found a cab driver that would take us there and wait for us and bring us back to Managua. This worked out well. We stayed at the reserve and walked from around 5 in the morning until 11. It is less than an hour by taxi (40 minutes) from Managua but give yourself an hour if the driver has not been there before as the taxi driver will have to ask directions several times. Plus once on the 7 km dirt road you do not always make the correct turn and you will have to turn back.

So get there before 5! The parrots will not wait for your! Once there, pay to enter and to get a guide for a few cordoba/dollars. With the guide you will get a great many details as you see the parrots awaken, fly to a set of trees and then come back to the wall before they all leave for the day to go find food. Pretty impressive. Also, ask to continue to follow the path so that you walk in a circle back to the entrance. This will provide you with an opportunity to see other birds and monkeys. We saw both types of monkeys that reside in that area along with the national bird. If you are there at the right time of the year the guide can show you the red eyed green frog of which so many pictures have been taken.

We took one other walk to a look out point on a rough trail. It was basically straight up the hillside. Steep but nice as we got to see a family, with children, of Howler monkeys.

We have been in many places to hear the Howler monkeys awaken. Until we were here, we had not realized that all the other times, we were on flat topography. On this walk into the woods, you walk down a valley between fairly steep cliffs. For our family, it was pretty incredible to hear the monkeys wake up just after 5 in the morning and you could hear their calls coming from afar up and down valleys and ridges like a wave coming over you. Left to right above your head and back and forth like "the wave" at football stadiums. It was both eerie and incredible at the same time. Fifteen very cool minutes that i will never forget.

Real nice. Not overly expensive, even with taxi. Worth the effort!
Written December 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gulf shores292 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
My wife and I visited in September 2013. The attractions at the Reserve are the Green Parakeets and the Red Eyed Frogs. The Green Parakeets nest in the wall adjacent to the waterfall. The ride into the Reserve is bumpy but there are things to see going in along the way (mostly farms). The hike to the waterfall is nice maybe 40 minutes. We went in the middle of the day. The Parakeets leave in the morning and return at night. Even though it was the middle of the day there were still maybe 15 pairs flying around and nesting in the walls. Great to see. We looked for the Red Eyed Frog by the Reserve entrance. We did not see any frogs but saw their eggs. It is worth a try because the frogs are very colorful. A nice half day visit.
Written October 22, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Holly W
Dallas, TX197 contributions
Mar 2017 • Couples
El Chocoyero is a nature preserve that is home to thousands of different animals. Hire a guide, they will definitely enrich the experience. Our guide would spot birds or animals and even took great pictures of them when we may have missed them otherwise. Seeing the green parakeets flying in was awesome. While we were there they actually fought off a hawk! Definitely a hidden gem in Nicaragua!
Written May 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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