Bosawas Biosphere Reserve

If you're visiting northern Nicaragua this summer, and want see one of the largest rain forests in the world, make a beeline for the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Bosawas Nicaragua. Hiking through the Bosawas Biosphere is both challenging and rewarding. The muddy trails of the rainforest are often full of obstacles, from sudden drop-offs to unexpected puddles. Even though the rainforest is difficult to hike through, the variety of animal species you will encounter make it worth it your effort. The variety of flora, fauna, and insect life that inhabit the 1.8 million acres of the UNESCO protected Nicaragua biosphere makes it regarded as one of the most ecologically important regions in Nicaragua.

Much of the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is uncharted territory--dense plants and trees make exploration to some parts of the forest impossible. Though some 150,000 insects species have been discovered so far in the Nicaragua biosphere, it's quite possible that there are some that have yet to be discovered. Over 600 species of birds live in this forest, including the huge Harpy Eagle. Monkeys, jaguars, macaws and a variety of species that risk extinction also form part of the animal life in Bosawas Biosphere.

As the tourism industry in Nicaragua starts to take off, many experts are becoming concerned about the animal and plant life of the country's rain forests. Human development and deforestation in the area have already begun to block the paths of animals, putting into extreme peril South and Central America's migration corridors. Today, many researchers, scientists, and students visit the Nicaragua Biosphere out of concern for the environment--and to see what they can do to help protect Bosawas Biosphere from future development. On a Nicaragua trekking adventure through the reserve, you may also encounter anthropologists who are visiting remote indigenous villages along the Mosquito Coast.

If you are interested in visiting the Bosawas Reserve, you must first obtain permission from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources before entering the park. This can be done by writing a letter to the ministry at the following address:

Reserva de la Biosfera Bosawas
Apartado Postal 5123
Managua
Nicaragua
Phone: (505) 233-1594

This formality is necessary so the government can assure you won't harm the biosphere in any way. They also want to be sure you have the proper protection against bugs that can carry disease. Be sure that you contact the government agency well in advance of your trip.

The Nicaraguan government also requires tourists to hire a guide who will help you explore the Nicaragua biosphere. It's not expensive to hire a guide, and he or she will be able to provide you with rich information on the forest and answer any questions you have. The point of entry for most visitors is in the town of Sinua Nicaragua. The roads around Sinua are muddy and under-maintained, so be sure to hire a vehicle that can handle the trek. If you'd rather not try to navigate the treacherous roads, instead fly into Sinua and arrange transportation when you arrive. Your guide can also help you find accommodations around Sinua.

Most Nicaragua lodgings around this area are quite primitive--some even lack running water. It's important to have proper gear for all weather conditions and to have knowledge of what kind of situations you may encounter when trekking through a rain forest. Educate yourself beforehand so you know what you're getting into and travel with an experienced guide. You'll also need to contact the government to learn about what kinds of vaccinations, if any, you will need, along with other tips, advice or warnings.

A visit the Bosawas Biosphere is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit one of the most unexplored rain forests in the world--don't forget your camera and binoculars!

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