Indio Maíz

Two miles downstream of El Castillo you enter the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, home to impressive flora and spectacular wildlife: jaguars, tapirs, sloths, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and iguanas all live in the vast jungle, as do countless species of birds among which macaws, toucans and parrots.


The river itself is the habitat of otters, crocodiles and the manatee, the somewhat odd-looking aquatic mammal sometimes referred to as sea cow. The well kept hiking trails of Bartola reveal some of the mysteries of this impressive Biological Corridor of Central America.  




Belt, The Naturalist in Nicaragua, 2004, 3: 69


"Discover the incredible biodiversity of the Indio-Maíz Biological Reserve, as described by pioneering naturalist Thomas Belt during his 19th century journey.


We saw many tall graceful palms and tree ferns, but most of the trees were dicotyledons. Amongst these the mahogany (Swietonia mahogani) and the cedar (Cedrela odorata) are now rare near the river, but a few such trees were pointed out to me. High up in one tree, underneath which we passed, were seated some of the black congo monkeys (Mycetes palliatus) which at times, especially before rain and at nightfall, make a fearful howling, though not so loud as the Brazilian species. Screaming macaws, in their gorgeous livery of blue, yellow, and scarlet, occasionally flew overhead, and tanagers and toucans were not uncommon"

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