Lake Nicaragua has more than 40 different fish species – the most famous being freshwater shark, which reached the lake from the Caribbean. However, there have been only two recorded shark deaths since 1890, while hunting has drastically reduced their population.
Nicaragua – Been There

Every paradise has its serpent

Photo by Ton Koene

Nicaragua – Been There Every paradise has its serpent

The glory of Lake Nicaragua reveals itself on an early morning boat ride.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

Once off-shore, a cool breeze off the water and from the moving boat is a pleasant relief from the heat of the day in Nicaragua. Scores of islands of all sizes provide shade for a wide range of houses at every income level from rustic charm to jaw-dropping wealth. Larger islands have tennis courts and boat lifts; a deserted one is defaced by “For Sale” signs painted on the rocks.

One island is a refuge for several monkeys, rescued by a vet from owners whose orphan pets outgrew their welcome. A local restaurant delivers fruit every morning but they are obviously also used to being fed by passing boats, judging by the welcome they give. A particularly cheeky one jumps onboard with her tiny infant and rummages through bags looking for treats. She grabs a tree branch to jump back onshore after a polite telling off from my boatman.

I stop at “Pirate Island” for a fresh juice and to spend some time wondering why I do not give it all up for a life on Lake Nicaragua, the kind of idle thought we all have when we stumble on an idyllic place. I wonder how much that “For Sale” island might be. Then a motorboat roars by, its owner rudely ignoring a wave of welcome from several hands, and I realize that every paradise will have its serpents.

nicaragua26

Lake Nicaragua is the largest in Central America, with many hundreds of islands and a shoreline more than 400km long. It has become a popular destination for birdwatching, hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, fishing and swimming. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon 5D-III

Aperture
ƒ/18
Exposure
1/200
ISO
400
Focal
24 mm

Lake Nicaragua is the largest in Central America, with many hundreds of islands and a shoreline more than 400km long. It has become a popular destination for birdwatching, hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, fishing and swimming.

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