Saturday, April 14, 2018

Las Isletas

Exploring Nicaragua

As a change of pace, we booked a morning tour with Tierra Tours in Granada.  A driver picked us up at our hotel and took us to the marina where we boarded a boat for a relaxing two hour journey around Las Isletas.  These tiny islands make up an archipelago along the edge of Lake Nicaragua. 
They were formed 10,000 years ago when the Mombacho Volcano erupted.  Many of them are wild and uninhabited.  Some have beautiful vacation homes on them.  Some have monkeys swinging in the trees and exotic birds flying over the canopy.  Some house local fishermen.  It is truly a storybook place.

My travel buddy kept saying, "I feel like I'm on that boat safari ride in Disneyland."

We had a few National Geographic moments when we pulled up under the hanging nests of the exotic Oropendolas.  Then again at two different isletas where we saw howler monkeys, playful capuchins and spider monkeys.
Montezuma Oropendolas

Howler Monkeys

Spider Monkey

Capuchin Monkey

We stopped at a small islet not far from Granada that housed a castillo.  This fort was built to protect the city from pirates, although I'm not sure how effective it was.  Granada had been raided many times in a two hundred year period by such rapscallions as Henry Morgan and William Walker.

It was nice to get out and stretch our legs.  There were beautiful views of the city, the volcano and the lake from the fort's ramparts.

Our tour, however, was over far too soon.  I could have kept going all day.  With 365 of these diminutive islands to explore, two hours (sigh) was simply not enough. 

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