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The Indio Maiz Biological Reserve is the largest continuous reserve of lowland tropical rainforest north of the Amazon jungle.  Its 870,000 acres are located in southeastern Nicaragua, bordered on the north by the Rio Punta Gorda, on the south by the Rio San Juan, on the west by the Rio Bartola, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. The extensive tract of jungle has no roads and travel within the area is either by boat or on foot. It is a remote and undeveloped reserve that permits only limited access.

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The abundant wildlife, the brilliant colors of the tropical flowering plants and the complex of rivers, lakes and streams constitutes the environment of southeastern Nicaragua. The indigenous Rama Indians have for centuries been the sole inhabitants of this land called Indio Maiz. They are simple people who live by hunting, gathering and fishing. Their homes, tools and boats are mostly made by hand. Their culture and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and are still intact, as they have had minimal contact with the outside world.

Hundreds of bird species live in this reserve, including toucans, macaws, and parrots as well as hummingbirds and the rare "Royal Fly Catcher". The area is on the major north-south flyways of the continent and is visited seasonally by hundreds of additional species of migrating birds.

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Macaw

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Green Honeycreeper

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Red-Legged Honeycreeper

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Royal Fly Catcher


Mammals in the reserve include the forest deer, wild boar, jaguars, pumas, pacas, ocelots, sloths, foxes and the Fishing Bulldog Bat.  Armadillos, three species of monkey (Howler, White-face and Spider), iguanas, snakes and brightly colored poison dart frogs are also present.

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White-face Monkey

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Sloth

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Jaguar

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The aquatic life includes turtles, manatees, bull-sharks, Royal Tarpon, and an abundance of fish in the lakes, lagoons, mangrove estuaries and rivers.  The proliferation of a rich fauna and flora creates a  feast for the visitor's eyes.

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Manatee

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Sawfish

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Red-eyed Tree Frog

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Crocodile

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Langostino Shrimp


The 365-acre grounds of the Rio Indio Lodge provide a window into the vast jungle that lies beyond. You can spend the entire day just hiking the trails on the property. Or, you can be led by your Rama Indian guide into the wondrous Indio Maiz Biologcal Reserve for a jungle adventure of a lifetime. Either way, you will come away from your experience here with a real understanding and enduring love for this place that seems to stand still in time.

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