Caiman Point

“Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.”
                                      ― Steve Irwin


The Punta Jesus Maria is a beautiful point of land on Ometepe Island. It entices many tourists where the sweet waters converge and swirl around a long, narrow spit of sand, which extends into Lake Cocibolca. It also entices investors, like the Chinese, who want to build a Tourist Volcano resort at this point for one of their tourism sub-projects.

The entrance to the Punta Jesus Maria spray painted in protest of the Chinese.

The entrance to the Punta Jesus Maria spray painted in protest of the Chinese.

We often go swimming at the Punta and enjoy a few Toñas at the beach bars. But, after last week, and the frightfully aggressive reptile on the beach, I think it will be a long time before I venture into the lake water again.

Punta Jesus Maria with a view of both volcanoes in the background.

Punta Jesus Maria with a view of both volcanoes in the background.

What’s for lunch? YIKES! It is either a huge caiman or a crocodile. We’ve heard rumors about these reptilian creatures, but have never seen one this large before.

what's for lunch?Upon closer inspection, I think it is a spectacled caiman, but they usually don’t grow as big as this one. There are six different species of caiman found throughout the watery jungle habitats of Central and South America. The average length of most caimans is 2.5 meters.

caymen at the puntaSome interesting facts about caiman are that they can swim 30 mph, they have few natural predators within their environment,  and they are the most aggressive and ferocious species among the crocodiles and alligators.

Soooo, it looks like I won’t be venturing into the lake any time soon. Although caimans are nocturnal and solitary, except at mating time…this big fellow looks hungry to me.

caimanMaybe this raging reptile will keep the Chinese investors away????  We can always hope.
Be careful and be aware if you are swimming in Lake Cocibolca. Watch your dogs, pigs, and other free range animals. The caimans are here!!!

21 thoughts on “Caiman Point

  1. I’m glad it wasn’t you who captured these photos. Too close for comfort. Just once I would like to hear that the voice of the locals was heard and that the Chinese gave up and went home.

  2. I came upon an alligator on a Louisiana bayou, and believe me — it was memorable. I nearly stepped on the danged thing. Your experience did make me think about Mary Oliver’s poetic retelling of her experience. I can’t find it online to link, so I hope you don’t mind me adding it here.

    I knelt down
    at the edge of the water
    and if the white birds standing
    in the tops of the trees whistled any warning
    I didn’t understand,
    I drank up to the very moment it came
    crashing toward me,
    its tail flailing
    like a bundle of swords,
    slashing the grass,
    and the inside of its cradle-shaped mouth
    and rimmed with teeth–
    and that’s how I almost died
    of foolishness
    in beautiful Florida.

    But I didn’t.
    I leaped aside, and fell,
    and it streamed past me, crushing everything in its path
    as it swept down to the water
    and threw itself in,
    and, in the end,
    this isn’t a poem about foolishness
    but about how I rose from the ground and saw the world as if for the second time,
    the way it really is…

  3. wow, i always thought the caimans were pretty ‘tame.’ that’s a beauty, and i’m glad you captured its portrait.

    twice in louisiana, i saw how fast an alligator can move, so they all have my respect!

    i am so sorry about the proposed resort, but i am glad that the people are voicing their disgust.

    • We’ve seen very small caimans in the Rio Istian which divides the island, but never anything this grand. When I read how fast they can swim…that ended my swimming in the lake. There is no way I could out swim a caiman.
      There was another large protest march against the canal last week on la isla. Over 1,500 people attended. Once again, we wait and wait.

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