Thursday, March 23, 2017

Snorkel, swim with turtles, and, oh my, the stunning beaches in Nicaragua!

Who says you can't do good just traveling to pristine Nicaragua beaches! Not Paso Pacifico!
Do Good - Travel south - Ruta del Sur

Most visitors may associate Nicaragua’s southern Pacific Coast with the quaint, seaside tourist town of San Juan del Sur, a busy cruise port and popular surfer spot. 

Now, Paso Pacifico, a women-run conservation organization has a special tourism strategy to protect the forests, ocean and endangered wildlife. If you’re ready to be adventurous, want to get close to nature, meet and greet locals and help save the planet - just by visiting - go with Paso Pacifico! Forget shopping for trinkets or expensive ship-planned excursions. Head to the Ruta del Sur for safe, family-friendly fun. 

A mother turtle lays eggs at Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor

Think turtles! This zone is an important nesting place for endangered species. Paso Pacifico offers a tour with their guides to visit Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor, just a half-hour (20 km) from San Juan del Sur.

 Here, visitors can approach these gigantic reptiles and their new babies. But don't touch! The refuge draws thousands of olive ridleys, hawksbill, leatherback and green sea turtles every year. 

If you get there between July and December, the beaches are flooded with mama “tortugas” and newborns. Paso Pacifico guides - even children - can tell you why their existence is under threat from humans, what they do to save them, and the turtles’ crucial role for millions of years in maintaining central America's earth-saving biodiverse ecosystem. Both leatherbacks and hawksbills are critically endangered. You also receive a special ranger guide and visit to an on-site interpretation center.  See what Paso Pacifico does here with turtles. 

Lulu with our fishermen and boat in the distance.

Paso Pacifico also goes out to sea - to swim with turtles and maybe dolphins! Skilled fishermen conducts snorkeling adventures on a motorboat, and know just where to go to find entertaining marine life. A refreshing dip is followed by lunch served on a pristine, deserted white sand beach. You also can get to the  La Flor turtle refuge this way, by boat.

When Lulu and I motored into the Pacific with Yorlin, our fisherman guide, it was February, off-season for nesting. Nonetheless, our trusty guide scanned the horizon to find the “tortugas.” When the small leather heads of the giant turtles emerged, Lulu and  I delightfully jumped into the water, equipped with snorkel and fins. What a thrill to see the huge flappers of these marine animals through our masks - as they disappeared into the depths of the sea.

Stay tuned for our next blog.... from the turtles to the forests.... Want to go here? Paso Pacifico's excursions are new and cheap! So, if you want an adventure, can escape luxury for a bit for a safe, educational, earth-saving family fun, then:

      Nancie L. Katz is a New York-based investigative journalist, writing about pristine, ecotourism destinations where travelers can experience unique forays into nature with friendly locals - and save the planet at the same time! Join her on Facebook at Good Green Travel or contact her at:

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