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Just uphill from the town of Balgüe is the famed Finca Magdalena (tel. 505/8880-2041, www.fincamagdalena.com, $1.50 to string up your hammock or camp, $3 raised platform in a dorm, $8–15 private cabin, and more expensive cottages), a 24-family coffee cooperative established in the 1980s.
The place tends towards austere, but welcoming and sincere. Everyone showers in the same bracing cold water piped directly from a spring up the slope, and the evening meal is cooked over a wood fire.
Horseback rides and coffee and petroglyph tours (45 min., $3–4 pp) are all availale, and you can purchase fresh roasted coffee and fresh honey—a good way to help support the farm. Magdalena is on the way up the trail to Volcán Maderas; guided trips leave pretty much every morning.
Getting to Finca Magdalena
To get to Finca Magdalena, take the bus to Balgüe and follow the signs along the 20-minute walk up the road to the farm (arrive before dark), or take a taxi or minibus. Five daily buses depart the dock in Moyogalpa, the last at 3:30 p.m.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition