The Estero de Jaltepeque or ‘el estero’ is the second largest and most important salt water mangrove forest system in the country with an estimated 49,495 hectares.
Mangrove refers to a group of tropical trees that grow in the inter tidal zone and include about 45 different species.
Mangrove forests are made up of different types of mangrove trees. The mangrove tree is a tree with roots that filter salt and other materials. Different mangrove species have adapted to serve different functions depending on their environment. Mangroves are excellent at expelling salt, so much so that in some species the water in the roots is drinkable!
Mangrove forests protect tropical coastal ecosystems by acting as defense against natural disasters. The vast network of mangroves serve as a buffer to erosion and flooding – and also allow for such waters to drain quickly.
Mangrove ecosystems also provide important nursery habitat for many young marine species. We have 34 species of reptiles, 98 species of fish and 206 species of resident and migrating birds.
Despite it’s natural beauty and countless ecological benefits, our mangrove systems are under constant attack from deforestation, pollution and over fishing. All the waste and debris brought by pollution creates a barrier preventing sea water from entering the mangroves and eventually killing it.
Casa Kickapoo is a proud founding member of Fundación Nautilius El Salvador, a non profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of the oceans, the coral reefs and our fragile mangrove ecosystems. We believe we can do our part by educating local communities about the benefits of a healthy system. We try doing this through our underwater documentaries series “Secret Oceans” that is currently being broadcast on national TV on Chanel 2. We also develop a variety of marine life guides and the El Salvador Official Diving Guides.
Fundación Nautilius is also working with local authorities for the creation and implementation of the first Marine Mammals Sanctuary in El Salvador, located in Los Cobanos, Sonsonate.
The estuary is also the perfect spot for boating, water skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing, paddle boards and kayaks. Take off and take your time to explore the beautiful channels. If you are taking out the boards or kayaks, time your trip with the tides, it will make your life a lot easier. Always start your paddling adventure against the current so that when you are ready to head back you can do so with the tide.
Paddle boards and kayaks can only be taken in or out on a high tide as the mud from low tides makes beach entries and exits very challenging. Launching paddle boards or kayaks from the end of the pier is dangerous and therefore discouraged.
There are two boats on site that can be chartered for water skiing, wake boarding, wake surfing or troll for red snapper or snook.