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Lake Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua is Latin America’s second largest freshwater lake after Titicaca in South America and the tenth largest in the world. This incredible body of water covers an area the size of Puerto Rico on the Caribbean (8000 square kilometers/ 3000 square miles). Lake Nicaragua shelters more than 400 formidable islands including “Ometepe”, a twin volcanic island with rich archaeological heritage as well as great biodiversity of natural resources.

Lake Nicaragua or Lake Cocibolca was an important commercial route during the pre-Hispanic conquest. Admired by its huge size, the first Spanish conquistadores named it “the fresh water sea”, as their perception was of the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Nicaragua’s natural drainage, San Juan River, was discovered under the adventurous expedition of the Spanish men, Alfonso Calero and Diego Machuca in 1539. This significant discovery certainly changed the history of Nicaragua. Lake Nicaragua along with San Juan River created the most important trade path during the colonial era, bringing hundreds of brigs carrying in and out goods to Spain and other recent-established Spanish colonies in the “New World”. This flourishing commerce attracted the English, French and Dutch pirates, who navigated their vessels on Lake Nicaragua during the XVII and XVIII century to ransack the colonial cities of Granada and Leon.

Moreover, Lake Nicaragua was also used as a major passage by thousands of Americans and Europeans who were lured by the gold discovered in California in 1849. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt operated the “Accessory Transit Company”, whose steamers crossed for almost twenty years. In addition, the American filibuster “William Walker” and his troops surprised the “Conservative” forces of Granada in 1855 by taking the city early in the morning after navigating on Lake Nicaragua the night before. Mr. Walker set Granada on fire to its foundation a year later. Also at the end of the XIX century “Lake Nicaragua” was once taken into great consideration as part of a water canal that would link the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Nowadays Lake Nicaragua remains as a potential important water reservoir to provide drinking water and irrigation source for productive rural communities. Its water is abundant of all different kind of freshwater fish such as “Guapotes”, “Mojarras”, “Tilapias”, “Machacas”, “Gaspar” and a type of shark that amazingly adjust its anatomy to both, salty and freshwater. The “Bullshark” swims up the San Juan River from the Caribbean reaching the freshwater of Lake Nicaragua.

Birdwatching • Flora and Fauna Observation • Kayaking • Swimming • Fresh Water Fishing

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