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Journey 2: Sábalos-El Castillo

Department: Rio San Juan

Municipality: El Castillo

Type: Kayaking

Distance: 14 km
Duration: 2½ hours



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During this relatively short leg paddlers can enter tributary rivers (like the Poco Sol River) to practice birdwatching or to observe the more natural settings in these rivers (although they generally border mostly farmland). The paddle to El Castillo is a short one, and this could also be done in one day from San Carlos, for more experienced paddlers.

The El Castillo fortress was not built at this site without a reason: the strongest rapids of the San Juan river are situated exactly below the village. This is a point of attention when kayaking. In general, the river's current posseses little risk. If anything, the current makes paddling lighter. However, at some points rocks that are lined up next to each other form rapids, which do pose a risk of collapsing with the kayak. Besides being very impractical and risking losing luggage, one can also get seriously injured when hitting the rocks.

Avoiding a collapse in one of the rapids is therefore very important. The El Castillo rapids, however, can fortunately be easily avoided. The village's wharf is conveniently located some 50 meters upstream from these rapids. Docking at this wharf is an easy escape. For paddlers who continue downstream, it is recommended to unload all luggage, and hire skilled village boys to kayak down the river.

Other Journeys

This activity is one of the many kayak journeys that can be undertaken in the San Juan River. It could be a great daytrip, or this could be part of a multiday journey. To learn more about the kayak journeys at the San Juan River, use the menu to the right.

You can read more about kayak options at the San Juan River here.