El Castillo (Nicaragua)
El Castillo de la Imaculata Concepcion, located on the San Juan river of Nicaragua, was built in the 1670's to protect Lake Nicaragua and its ports, mainly Granada and Leon. Construction began shortly after an attempt was made by the pirate Gallardito to take control of the port of Granada and all the profits gained by its trade industry.
You can get in from San Carlos at the south-east corner of the Lago Nicaragua by boat (Cordobas $90 pp = $4 US). Boats leave San Carlos at 6:30 am, 8 am, 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 3:30 4:30 the last boat leaving El Castillo for San Carlos is a 2:00 pm
It's a walking town, no cars or motorcycles.
Reading a book in the library which is right inside the castillo. Listen to the sounds of the village and the water running down the river while reading Edouardo Galleanos book Las Venas abiertas de Latinoamerica.
Most hotels and hostels do not provide internet services and there is no internet cafe in the town. Locals access the internet using 3G mobile phone connections. The best option for visitors wanting to access the internet is to buy a Nicaraguan SIM card and install it in their personal device. Be aware however that the availability of SIM cards in El Castillo is limited and you may not be able to find once of the right size. If you really can't handle a few days without internet, then buy one before you go.
There are fast boats and slow boats to San Carlos.
The fast boat takes 1.5-2 hours and costs 170 cordobas. First departure at 5:15am M-Sat. Other departures throughout the day, check with the hostels.
The slow boat takes 3 hours and costs 90 cordobas. First departure at 5am M-Sat. Other departures as well, check with the hostels or tourist office.
The last boat departing El Castillo for San Carlos is at 2:0 pm