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Photos – Swimming Through Somoto Canyon

Somoto Canyon

During my time in Esteli, Nicaragua I took a day trip to the town of Somoto, which is known for it’s famous six-kilometer canyon. Tourists and locals alike can take trips down the canyon where you must hike and swim (with a life vest) to make it through. Here are a few shots from my trek through Somoto Canyon, and, as always, you can click the photos to enlarge them.

Somoto Canyon Shallow Water
Many parts of the canyon only require you to wade through knee deep to waist deep water.

Somoto Canyon Deep Water
While other parts require you to swim long distances in very deep water.

Somoto Canyon

Somoto Canyon Waterfall
At one point in the canyon you must either climb a steep decline or jump from this point down into the water. You can jump from two meters, four meters, eight meters, or ten. I chose ten, and as soon as I left the ground I could immediately see rocks that I hadn’t been able to see before my jump. It was the longest three seconds of my life. I landed safely, but with a racing heart.

Somoto Canyon

Somoto Canyon


Danielle February 15, 2011 at

I’m so jealous, these pictures are incredible!

Matt February 15, 2011 at

I’ll take you one day so don’t be that jealous!

Kyle Morgan February 15, 2011 at

That looks like a blast! I never made it to Esteli when I was in Nicaragua.

Matt February 15, 2011 at

Ah, you’ll have to come back! If you have any recommendations for places to see shoot me a message!

Christy @ Technosyncratic February 15, 2011 at

Yikes! This does look like a lot of fun, though. 🙂 Was the water really cold?

Matt February 15, 2011 at

The water was pretty cold, but you walk for 2km before you get in so you are ready for it!

Christopher February 15, 2011 at

Amazing. I would love todo this.

Kelly February 15, 2011 at

So cool! This looks gorgeous! I went canyoning when I was living in Queenstown, NZ, and had a blast! I want to do it again!

Matt February 15, 2011 at

Yea, I definitely plan on doing it again!

monette | fliptravels February 15, 2011 at

i would have loved o do this if only i know how to swim… >_<

Matt February 16, 2011 at

They give you a life vest! You don’t even need to know how to swim!

Amy February 16, 2011 at

Silly question but – do you have water proof camera? How did you manage to get such great pictures?

Matt February 16, 2011 at

Nope, no waterproof camera. I just took my SLR in a “Sea to Summit” drysack, and then the guide carried it (and other stuff) in a plastic bag. It wasn’t the safest thing in the world but it worked out fine. There is a waterproof case for my camera but it is quite expensive so I didn’t buy it (yet).

Laurel February 16, 2011 at

Gorgeous photos! Looks like an incredible experience that would get the adrenalin flowing in places.

Michael Figueiredo February 16, 2011 at

Very cool post, Matt. I didn’t realize that Nicaragua was so arid–I always pictured the whole country to be a rainforest. (Esteli looks a lot like Malibu Canyon, here in Los Angeles!)

Matt February 16, 2011 at

Yea it really caught me off guard, but a lot of areas in the country side remind me of pictures I’ve seen from Africa. Definitely not what I was expecting!

Line February 16, 2011 at

We were in Esteli, but I never got to see that!! How are you liking Nicaragua so far?

Matt February 16, 2011 at

I’m loving it! I’m thinking about spending quite a bit of time in the Leon area, but I’m not 100% sure yet. Looking for a place to rent for a month tomorrow!

Andrea February 16, 2011 at

This looks like so much fun! I’ve done a “river walk” before but nothing like this. Wonderful photos =)

Adam February 18, 2011 at

Nice, that looks like an awesome time! I can imagine how nerve-wracking that must have been when in the air and seeing rocks underneath the water. YIKES!

Darlene Brown February 18, 2011 at

Matt that looks so much fun and it sure is beautiful. keep the photos coming and the wonderful stories. i really enjoy reading them

Cathy Sweeney February 20, 2011 at

Vicariously enjoying your adventures in Nicaragua. I can only imagine those “longest three seconds of your life”! Great stories and photos.

Matt February 20, 2011 at

As always, thanks for reading! Glad you are enjoying the posts!

Phyllis February 22, 2011 at

Beautiful pictures! I really enjoy reading about what all you are doing…be safe.

Matt February 25, 2011 at

Thanks a lot!

Allyson February 25, 2011 at

These are beautiful! Thanks for taking us along on this gorgeous trek!

Matt February 25, 2011 at

My pleasure, hope you enjoyed it! Now you have to come do it for yourself!

lisa March 24, 2011 at

Gorgeous views!

Tom @ HeadingThere April 11, 2011 at

Man, that looks amazing! I’m not surprised your heart was racing after that jump. Great photos too by the way.

Sailor July 28, 2011 at

Very interesting pictures!

Christina August 5, 2011 at

Looks amazing, but your jump must have been really scary!

Matt August 5, 2011 at

Ah it wasn’t so bad 😉

william October 9, 2011 at

This canyon is unique in Central America.

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