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Water transportation regularized in Río San Juan

Stephany Cuadra | Jul 28, 2016

Río San Juan at the entrance of Nene Lodge | Photographer: Seyla Obregón

All transport connections by river are available thanks to the rains.

The San Juan river, with an extension of 200 km in the South of Nicaragua, has recovered its average flow level thanks to the rains this July, allowing to regulate the transport from San Carlos to Greytown (known as San Juan de Nicaragua), confirmed to by Seyla Obregón manager at Nena Lodge & Tours and local tourism policy.

This year, in the month of January, began a severe drought. According to residents, there was no one like this for the last 30 or 40 years, as the river level had never dropped so much as on this occasion.

Drought repercussions

Río San Juan in El Castillo during the drought
According to Obregón, affectations were mainly reflected in transport. Such was the case from San Carlos to El Castillo, as it usually lasts three hours, but with the drought increased another hour. In the transfer to San Juan del Norte (in the Caribbean), the boats used to get stuck in the sand due to the shallowness of the river and likewise, affected engines.

Fishing also was affected by the increased temperature of the river and although no animals were killed, the production was reduced. Similarly, it affected operators tours and wildlife in general.

The Observing alligators offered was affected too. The population significantly reduced the hatching of the eggs, and alligators that should already be adults,are not seen more than two or none, Obregón said.

Current Schedules and connections

Transport is regularized and slow cargo boats are arriving the same day.

Río San Juan in El Castillo during raining

San Carlos - El Castillo Connection

The outputs are Monday through Saturday at 5:00 am, 5:15 am, 6:00 am, 6:15 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. With return at 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Sundays, departure times are the same, excluding those at 6:00 am and 6:15 am.

Return schedules to San Carlos Castle are at 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm.

In this connection, the slow boat tour is three hours and in fast an hour and 40 minutes.

El Castillo - Greytown Connection

Departure times are Tuesdays and Fridays at 6:00 am and return on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:00 am.

In this connection the tour is four hours in speedboats and 10 to 11 hours on slow boats.

Route from El Castillo to San Juan del Norte

This route was the most affected. Those most affected by the drought were Sábalos and El Raudal de Machuca (half an hour from El Castillo), which Obregon said to, parts were less than a meter deep. Currently it is already regularized.

On this route, it can be accessed the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve where Jogeny Reyes, Delegate of INTUR in Rio San Juan, reported that guide paths are offered in Bartola and camping in Base Town. In addition to bird watching, night tours or a ride to appreciate the production of chocolate.

Route from Granada to San Carlos

In previous seasons there was a route through Cocibolca Lake or Lake Nicaragua, which has an area of ​​8,264 km square and ran from the Municipal Port of Granada to San Carlos, with stops in Ometepe, San Miguelito and Morrito.

According to Obregon, the closure of this route affected all (tourists, vendors, tour operators). On the boat used to travel tourists and sellers from Ometepe to sell their products. This route, it is not available for more than a year ago, it was closed without explanation. Nor is there an official statement of why it stopped working, just rumors that the lake was drying up and because users preferred to travel by road from Granada.

Reyes told that a month ago to inspections were made in the lake and made a signaling pathway in transportation, but so far has not been discussed or made any official reopening.

Drought from a few months ago in Río San Juan