Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz

Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz, El Castillo: Address, Phone Number, Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz Reviews: 4.5/5

Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz

Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz
4.5
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The area
Address
Río San Juan San Juan del Norte, El Castillo 90000 Nicaragua
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4.5
135 reviews
Excellent
101
Very good
28
Average
5
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Utepil
Vuorela, Finland323 contributions
Nice experience
Dec 2020 • Friends
Half day tour with Juan. We were also fishing and then having a walking tour through the jungle. Amazing trees and bushes having medical substances important for locals who are living here.
Written December 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Salome Santos
London, United Kingdom5 contributions
Untouched Nature
Sep 2019
We travelled to Nicaragua as a couple in September 2019 and spent 3 nights in the Indio Maiz reserve. At the time we did not find a lot of information so I hope that this is helpful:

We travelled by car with a driver arranged via our lodge in the reserve (it was actually the cheapest, most convenient and fastest way). It takes around 5/6 hours from Managua to get to San Carlos and then another 2.5 hours by colectivo boat to get to El Castillo (the last town before the reserve). You should know the boat timetable in advance to save time in San Carlos. Give yourself 1 day for travel each way but make sure that you have at least 2 full days to explore this paradise.

You cannot stay in the reserve, so the closest place we found was Guacimo Eco Lodge (see separate review). It's totally immersed in the jungle and the scenery is breathtaking.

The goal was to explore the rich fauna and flora. We booked two boat trips with Juan Ardilla: full day and a night tour. You can contact him via facebook: search for Juan Ardilla (Juan Alberto Aguilar Gomez). Juan helped us with everything in advance. He an amazing guide. Very knowledgeable of plants, birds and reptiles (which are very abundant here). He takes you in a motor boat or canoe to explore the river and guides you through walks in the jungle. He also prepares local fish which he cooks in a fire he makes near the river banks while you refresh yourself with a swim. We saw alligators, frogs, basiliscus, spiders, snakes birds and a sloth.

Written June 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matt S
Toronto, Canada7 contributions
Juan Ardilla Tour on Rio San Juan
Jul 2019
I toured the Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz with Juan Ardilla and his associate Orlando. The morning consisted of a peaceful ride down the San Juan river to the reserve and a jungle hike. We saw three varieties of poison dart frogs, eagles, leaf cutter ants, and many types of birds. Orlando showed us plants and explained their medicinal and practical uses. He is incredibly knowledgeable in this area. After the hike we ventured further downstream to Rio Bartola for a swim and lunch. Basilisk lizards and iguanas were spotted along the way. We traveled up another river and were treated to great views of a troop of spider monkeys. We also saw capuchin and howler monkeys. The highlight of the day was when we spotted a jaguarundi relaxing in a tree!

We liked the trip so much we booked the caiman tour for that very night. Within 20 minutes of setting out, Juan left from the boat onto shore and produced a two meter caiman. He caught it with his bare hands! We had a close look at this formidable creature before it was carefully released back into the river. The view of the night sky, from the boat, was absolutely gorgeous.

Juan and Orlando are very friendly, knowledgable, and approachable. I highly recommend you book a tour with Ardillas Tours. You can feel the love they have for this beautiful region. The office is on the main street in El Castillo, just west of the dock. Juan can also be reached on the Ardillas Tour FB page.
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Manou
Utrecht, The Netherlands15 contributions
Beatiful jungle nature reserve!
Jul 2019 • Couples
Many animals, high biodiversity, really amazing jungle to hike and canoe! We saw a sloth, many frogs (toxic), many beatiful birds and all kinds of alligators, even crocodiles and caymans! And of course, always, the enjoyable and playfull monkeys over ypur head while swimming in a no-croco place!
Written July 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Louisa
4 contributions
Exciting Jungle tour and nightly boat trip
Jun 2019 • Friends
We (2 female backpackers) explored the reserve together with the guide juan ardillo and his daughter and in the evening searched for caimans and other animals in the dark on the river. Both tours were really exciting and absolutely recommendable! Juan and his daughter are super nice and know a lot about the area. (if you want to do the tour with juan, you just have to walk the "main street" in El castillo and at the end you will find the house of juan with a sign, so you can not miss it)
Written June 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vicki
Australia3 contributions
Juan Ardillo tour: highly recommended
Apr 2019 • Couples
Highly recommended! April 2019. As independent budget birdwatchers, we opted to do the 2 day 1 night tour. Juan offers many options. We found him to be reliable, cheery and honest. On the first day we departed at 6am - Juan paddled down the mighty San Juan River seeing numerous herons, jacanas, and other species. Howler monkeys, Green Basilisks and other 'Jesus Christ' lizards were a plenty. Reaching Indio Maiz headquarters we then paddled along the quieter Bartola River - so extremely picturesque and tranquil. So many Amazon and Belted Kingfishers! A three hour walk in Indio Maiz jungle we saw the most Poisonous Dart Frogs in our so far six week Central America trip: Green and Black and the Blue Jeans species. Juan cooked a wonderful bbq lunch on a sandy river bank. After that, two men collected us in a canoe and they paddled us upstream to the Sol y Luna cooperative community. A tent under cover with sheets, blankets, towels and soap; hammocks, showers and toilets. Covered platforms to sit and birdwatch - we saw numerous species in a two hour period the following day. Also a small restaurant. Our English speaking guide Catalino was friendly and informative. A river night tour revealed fireflies, numerous frogs, and bats. A chocolate tour was interesting the following day. Green and Scarlet Macaws were frequently seen and heard. Lunch at Sol y Luna was a small additional cost, then at 1pm we were taken back down the river - Juan was there to meet us. Highlights included all six Nicaraguan Kingfisher species including the American Pygmy Kingfisher. Contact Juan via Facebook, or if you arrive in El Castillo there is a sign on the wharf indicating where to walk (west along the main street). Juan requires a day or so notice to organise permits and provisions.
Written April 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rebecca
North Wales, UK38 contributions
My favourite part of travelling Nicaragua
Mar 2019 • Couples
We were debating travelling all the way to the Indio Maiz, after all its not the easiest place to get to! However, I’m so glad we did! We booked an overnight camping tour of the reserve with Juan Ardillas tours (find him on Facebook as Juan Alberto Arguilar Gomez) and it was fabulous! We saw so much wildlife, including an Osprey, crocodiles, frogs, and so many other beautiful birds. We also found footprints of puma and Bairds Tapir. Juan is a fearless and knowledgable guide and he even grabbed a Caiman right out of the water! He supplied great food for the trip, but I personally needed to bring snacks along too. Book with Juan, you won’t regret it!
Written March 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bat m
14 contributions
Great place to visit with a great guide
Mar 2019 • Couples
This is such a beautiful area! We went to El Castillo to do an overnight tour with local guide Juan Ardilla who we contacted through his Facebook page and it was fantastic. Juan gave us great advice on how to get to El Castillo and helped us find a nice place spend the night. The tour itself was fantastic! The canoe trip on the river, the walk through the reserve, fishing for dinner, sleeping in a hammock on an island in the river, the hike through the jungle the next day - it is hard to choose which part we liked best. Juan is amazing at spotting animals and is very knowledgeable. We were lucky enough to see two sloths, crocodiles, caimans, turtles, poisonous frogs, various lizards, a snake swimming the river, many many birds and more. It was simply amazing.
Written March 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lroschmann
Budapest, Hungary7 contributions
jaguars, jungle and fishing with monkeys
Mar 2018 • Friends
we had an amazing tour going with juan adillas tours. saw so many amazing animals and were lucky enough to see a baby jaguar in the night. the overnight camping on a small island was unreal as was the experiences of fishing with troops of monkeys swinging overhead. the guide was fearless and would catch anything he could to show us - from frogs to crocodiles.
Written November 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PilgrimWayfarer
USA20 contributions
Tour Through the Jungle
Nov 2017 • Friends
The boat ride from San Carlos to El Castillo can be on a "fast" boat or the "local" boat. The local makes frequent stops and is cheaper. However, neither is expensive. My guide was informative along the way. He spoke Spanish, English and is rather fluent in German. Nature lovers delight. While is El Castillo, I did a night tour of the river with two guides, one drives the boat while the other points out animal night life along the river. Stunning. Clothing should include rubber boots. Well worth the experience. Hotel accommodations excellent in the 3 hotels in which I have lodged. This is a "must see" activity for me but one must like hiking.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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