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Monday, April 10, 2017

Laguna de Apoyo at dawn

Laguna de Apoyo is called a "laguna", but this term is neither the generally used term in English, nor in Spanish. It is a water-filled volcanic crater, resulting from a huge, volcanic explosion about 23,000 years ago. The lake that occupies the bottom of the crater has no open-water connection to any other body of water, although the water table flows into and out of the lake, and basically defines the lake level.

The lake and the terrestrial interior of the volcanic crater are designated a protected area by the Nicaraguan government, called Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. There are several natural resource-related issues which justify and focus the conservation issues.

Among the issues that make the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve a special place, are the views. The lake provides recreation for lots of people who benefit from seeing and interacting with the natural features, especially the lake itself. Being on the shore or in the lake gives one a view of water, forest and sky, a perfect combination.

Laguna de Apoyo
Laguna de Apoyo at dawn, from the shore in front of Estacion Biologica. Photo Andras Dorgai.
Especially around holiday periods, the lakeshore becomes a festive gathering spot for locals. The beachfront before Estacion Biologica has always been managed as public-access beach for the benefit of all, in accordance with Nicaraguan law. Many hotels and private properties try to deny locals access to the lakeshore before their properties, in order to provide their clients, usually foreigners and sometimes wealthy Nicaraguans, an exclusive experience, even though laws clearly make all lakeshore public property.

During periods that are less touristic, the beach areas of Laguna de Apoyo may be visited by fewer people. On almost any day, the beach is very quiet at dawn. It's a great moment to see the lake, as light emerges over the edge of the crater, when there is little human activity to distract.

Laguna de Apoyo
Dawn on Lake Apoyo, from a kayak. Photo Andras Dorgai.

There is something special to enjoy personally, alone, and quietly, at dawn on Laguna de Apoyo. The sounds of people, music, cars and the like, are much lower. The wind is usually much lower, too. Birds can be heard from long distances, even monkeys. The shapes of ripples in the water, and the clouds in the sky, help to make a peaceful start to the day.

Lagua de Apoyo
The lake is often calm at dawn. Photo Wendy Van Kooten.

Laguna de Apoyo
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