Return to Central America - Winter 2011

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

  1. Danielle

    I’m so jealous, these pictures are incredible!

    1. Matt

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

  2. Kyle Morgan

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

    1. Matt

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

    1. Matt

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

  3. Kelly

    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!

    1. Matt

      Yea, I definitely plan on doing it again!

    1. Matt

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

  4. Amy

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

    1. Matt

      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).

  5. Laurel

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

  6. Michael Figueiredo

    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!)

    1. Matt

      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!

  7. Line

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

    1. Matt

      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!

  8. Andrea

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

  9. Adam

    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!

  10. Darlene Brown

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

  11. Cathy Sweeney

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

    1. Matt

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

  12. Phyllis

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

    1. Matt

      Thanks a lot!

  13. Allyson

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

    1. Matt

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

  14. Tom @ HeadingThere

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

  15. Silvery» Blog Archive » canion pictures

    […] Photos – Swimming Through Somoto Canyon Feb 14, 2011 … During my time in Esteli, Nicaragua I took a day trip to the town of Somoto, which is known for … […]

  16. Christina

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

    1. Matt

      Ah it wasn’t so bad 😉

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