Overview

The beautiful 170km-long Rio San Juan marks the border with Costa Rica and runs from Lake Nicaragua to the Caribbean Sea. Strategically important, it has a hectic history of disputes and attacks from outside Nicaragua and within. The remarkable fortress at El Castillo, built by the Spanish to repel pirates (although Horatio Nelson briefly held it after capture by stealth), bears witness to that. However it’s now a peaceful waterway passing through thick tropical jungle, where efforts are being made to encourage eco-tourism. Downstream from El Castillo is the primary rainforest of the Reserva Biológica Indio Maíiz, possibly the largest nature reserve in Central America.

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Holidays Rio San Juan

From expertly designed Private Journeys to trail-blazing Group Tours, browse our range of carefully crafted holidays.

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Group - Discovery

Nicaragua

Cotinga: Off the beaten track Nicaragua

18 days from £3,580pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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Private Journeys

Nicaragua

Signature Nicaragua: Fire, water and revolution

13 days from £2,850pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

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Private Journeys

Costa Rica / Nicaragua

Signature: Best of Costa Rica and Nicaragua

12 days from £3,250pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Granada Nicaragua

Private Journeys

Nicaragua / El Salvador

Undiscovered Nicaragua and El Salvador

19 days from £4,070pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Things to do

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Accommodation

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Where to go when - our guide to Rio San Juan

Rio San Juan

The weather in Rio San Juan is wide and varied

The Rio San Juan is 170 kms long and marks the border with Costa Rica. Passing through thick tropical jungle it was in the past strategically important and the fortress at El Castillo was built by the Spanish to repel pirates. Now efforts are being made to encourage eco-tourism and the area is home to one of the largest nature reserves in the region.

View our Rio San Juan weather guide

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Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Ben
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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