- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Isla Donald Guevara
Also known as Isla la Venada, or “La Donald,” Isla Donald Guevara’s namesake was martyred alongside his compañero Elvis Chavarría. La Venada is home to Rudolfo Arellano, one of the original artists from the islands. His family has a total of seven artists now who exhibit their work at the gallery and family house on the south side of the island.
Mancarroncito is the most well preserved, wild, and least inhabited of the main islands. Its steep, thickly vegetated hills rise to a 100-meter peak. The newly opened Estación Biológica is run by a local NGO, Fundación del Río, and offers lodging for up to 12 people at $21 per person including three meals and guide services around the reserve. Make reservations in advance by contacting Fundación del Río in San Carlos (tel. 505/2583-0035, fdrio [at] turbonett [dot] com [dot] ni).
Zapote and Zapotillo
Zapote and Zapotillo are the two closest islands to the mainland and are both owned by APDS, which has essentially decided to leave them alone. Zapote is a key nesting area for a variety of birds and turns into a whitewashed, foul-smelling squawk-fest in March and April, when some 10,000 breeding pairs build nests there. Observe the reproductive mayhem from your boat only, as landing there disturbs the birds. Smaller Zapotillo has less bird activity and a more sordid history, involving a fruit farm, an orphanage for boys, and a pedophile Evangelist priest who was eventually chased into Costa Rica, barely escaping with his life.
El Padre and la Atravesada
Located just off the western tip of La Elvis, El Padre island became a howler monkey sanctuary when a single breeding pair introduced in the 1980s subsequently reproduced into a family of some 50 members. Isla la Atravesada, just off La Elvis and to the east of Isla el Padre, is owned by a North American but inhabited by Solentiname’s densest crocodile populations.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition