The Juan Venado Island, or Isla Juan Venado as it is called in Spanish, is located just off the coast in front of the town Las Peñitas. The island south end is in front of Salinas Grandes town and beach. The island lies very close to the coast, and is practically nothing more than a thin, long trip of sand. The nature, however, is spectacular.
Between the island and the coast grows a mangrove forest, which houses tons of birds. Furthermore, crocodiles live in the water as well as lots of crabs and other crustaceans. It’s great to take a boat or kayak and cruise through the forest. There are small, curvy waterways you can browse through, with egrets and other birds around every corner.
You can get out of the boat and walk to the other side of the island. This takes maybe a minute as the island is very thin-shaped. On the other side, you will see the Pacific Ocean in all its glory. There are no houses or people living on the island, so you will practically have the whole gorgeous beach to yourself. At this same beach at the Juan Venado Island, Olive Ridley Turtles come to lay their eggs. They are most likely to come from roughly August to December, and the best time to spot them is at night. You can also set up a tent and camp at the island, which allows you to look for these spectacular animals at night. Tour operators can organize tents and guides to do this.
On the island you can visit the Palo de Oro Ecotourism Project, where a permanent sea turtle nursery is set, and several conservation task to protect local flora and fauna are developed. Palo de Oro also offer rustic cabins in front of the ocean, with restaurant and bar services available.
Las Peñitas is a small fishermen village. Local fishermen can be contacted to get a boat ride, and some tour operators and hotels also offer boat tours as well as kayak rentals. The price for a three hour boat trip is around US$55 for four people and US$75 for eight. Kayaks go for US$12 per person (half a day) and guide service is also available for US$10. Be sure to bring sun block and water, and try to go around sunrise or sunset, when the birds can be seen in large numbers.
Also, be sure to ask the guide, shipper, or fishermen about the tide. You can only freely move around in boat or kayak between the shore and the island at any time. However, locals always recommend that if visitors want to see animals it is better to do the trips when having a low tide.
As well, is available a Birdwatching tour, where visitants can observe at least 80 bird species. The tour includes specialized guide and all the necessary equipment. In addition, a visit to the black shells nursery is offered, including transport to Poneloya and black shell tasting for US$10 per person.
To get to Las Peñitas, you can take the bus from León (Sutiava Market). It takes about 30 minutes to get there. It's also possible to drive there yourself. There is a good, paved road from León that will take you in 20 minutes. Signs in León (saying Poneloya) will get you to Las Peñitas. The road is going straight to Poneloya (the town next to Las Peñitas), so pay attention when you see the sea and the settlements coming closer, because you will have to take a left right before Poneloya.
We have 11 related tour(s) available that can be booked online.
By: Volcano Adventure Nicaragua
By: Volcano Adventure Nicaragua
By: "El Perezoso" Agencia de Turismo Responsable