Are we in physical condition to walk 3.200 meters? That was the first thing I asked the guide before starting our journey in the Wildlife Refuge Chocoyero-El Brujo, a nature reserve which is situated in the municipality of Ticuantepe, about 30 kilometers from Managua.
Jose Santos Valle, ranger of the reserve and who accompanied us on this adventure, reports that this place was declared a protected area on June 23, 1993 and was later elevated to the status of a wildlife refuge in 2004.
According to Valle, this retreat is considered the largest reservoir of fresh water in Managua.Its two waterfalls: La Bruja and The Chocoyero, supply drinking water to several communities in Ticuantepe. At more than 20 meters of height, these waterfalls are among the main attractions of the area.
As we move forward, the guide told us that in the reserve have been identified 186 species of birds, 44 are migratory and come from the United States and Canada, the others are local. The most predominant species is the Pacific Parakeet, known as chocoyo, hence the place be called “Chocoyero”.
During the tour it is common to hear the sound of the howler monkeys, which easily can be seen in a trail dedicated to the sighting of this species. Here we have identified 56 types of mammals, most breed are white-faced monkeys, raccoons, squirrels, anteaters, guatusos, peccaries, deer, armadillos, among other species.
Interested: Gallery Chocoyero
The lizards, iguanas, lizards and snakes are among the 33 species of reptiles have been discovered at the shelter. There are also 11 types of amphibians, including the green frog red eye, known as Agalychnis callidryas.
This sanctuary is also home to 163 species of trees and shrubs. The most prevalent are: guayabón, medlar, fig tree, ficus elastic or rubber tree, black and royal cedar chilamate. The guide emphasizes that they are protecting and playing for your kind does not go away and for wildlife to feed on their fruits and roots infiltrate water into the aquifer.
After walking 1.800 meters, in an area with irregular surface: flat and outstanding parts, we have come to the El Brujo waterfall. The ranger says it has that name because a hundred years ago, when it was first discovered, the locals did not know exactly where it came from the source, it was an underground river, the water came to the surface by a ravine 70 meters and then he infiltrated to disappear completely.
The view offered this spring is beautiful. Leaping, a powerful jet with a capacity of 120 gallons per minute, supply drinking water communities of San Jose, Los Rios and France.
1,200 meters is another waterfall, Chocoyero, supplying the vital liquid to the El Eden community. In summer, its flow is 50 gallons per minute in winter the amount is doubled.
Along the side, a huge cliff about 80 meters high and volcanic is the refuge of hundreds of parakeets. The holes in the large rock walls leave every morning these birds in flocks in search of food and return at about 4:00 or 5:00 pm to sleep.
For the more daring and adventurous, the refuge offers trails on the upper surface of the reserve, they take five to eight hours. Two guides, trained in the use of implements such as ropes and first aid kits will accompany you during the tour.
Although the reserve is small, there are obstacles that could hinder their access to the trails, so the guide warns that carry water to stay hydrated, and if have problems with blood pressure is better to opt for the lower walks, which are less risky.
In the place you could also camp or stay in the cabins, this would allow you to do some guided tours at night.
How to get?
By car: From Managua you’re on the road to Masaya, arriving at kilometer 14 turn right in the direction of Ticuantepe, then you will you direct to the road to La Concepcion and at kilometer 21 and a half turn right, there you will see the signs that will indicate the route, the shelter is about eight kilometers. It is advisable to make the trip in a 4×4 vehicle because it is a dirt road with uneven surface.
By bus: Roberto Huembes market in Managua you will take the bus going to Ticuantepe, get off at the urban area and there hire a motorcycle taxi service that will take you to the refuge’s visitor center.
Domestic tourists: C $ 40
Foreign tourists: C $ 90
Children: C $ 10
Elementary students: C $ 15
College: C $ 25
Path watching: $ 4
Adventure Path: US $ 40
Family cabin: $ 30
Double cabin: $ 20
If you like to be in contact with nature and adventure tourism is attractive to you, this place is for you!
Source: Aventura en El Chocoyero