Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Nicaragua north of Managua is offbeat and little-traveled, and gives the creative traveler lots of opportunities.Here’s a brief guide to the rich diversity of arts and crafts you’ll find in Nicaragua, and where to buy them, from Moon Travel Guides.Pueblo-hopping through the Segovia mountains and participating in the Ruta de Café will immerse you in an authentic and sublime world you won’t soon forget. Each town has a swimming hole, local hike, or archaeological site that will beckon you farther.Here’s a brief guide to the rich diversity of arts and crafts you’ll find in Nicaragua, and where to buy them, from Moon Travel Guides.Alternate legs include passing through San Juan de Limay and the back roads to León; or from Jinotega, looping through Yalí to Condega. This sample itinerary will give you a taste of what to expect.
Take an early-morning bus to the Estanzuela waterfall; stay in a cabin on the Tisey Reserve, where you can arrange hikes, horseback expeditions, and farm tours. Return to Estelí at the end of day three.
From Estelí, go east and up, into the Miraflor Reserve, where you can experience a rural homestay, photograph orchids, and try to spot elusive wildlife. Even if you don’t find any quetzals or ocelots, the locals will regale you with legends and ghost stories. Spend the night, return in the morning, and grab a bus north.
Day trips galore await from Ocotal—seek out the ruins of Ciudad Antigua, or head northeast to Jalapa if you have the time. Otherwise, check out the humble church and exhibits in the Ocotal casa de cultura and hop an express bus back to Estelí.
Leave Estelí in the morning and make your way through Sébaco to Matagalpa. Enjoy the city for the day, maybe even take a quick hike up Cerro Apante.
Here’s your chance to visit a coffee plantation and witness the process that brings us that magical beverage. You can stay in San Ramón, Finca Esperanza Verde, or in the cozy stone cottages at Selva Negra.
Enjoy a beautiful, fun-filled day of monkeys in the trees, hearty country dining, and a guided tour through the farm.
Return to Managua, hopefully with a few pounds of freshly roasted coffee in your pack.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition