Start with this three-naved church in the center of town. Construction began in 1804, and the northern bell tower (the left one) wasn’t completed until the 21st century! Two centuries of inhabitants have taken the liberty of scratching their names into its soft adobe walls, including U.S. Marines in the 1930s.
The church looks out over Ocotal ’s central plaza, one of Nicaragua’s most gorgeous. Shady and green, it fills up in the evenings with sparrows and gossiping campesinos.
South of town and across the river is the museum built to commerate the battles of Sandino and his army against the “Yanquis.” Completed in 2009, it is less inspiring than the view of Ocotal it commands, as it is perched on the top of a hill.
Half a block west of the park’s southwest corner (across the street from Restaurante Llamaradas del Bosque), the Casa de Cultura boasts an impressive collection of photos of gringo military defeat and General Sandino’s resistance. Yes, “boast” is the right word there. Ironically, the Marines lodged their troops in the Casa de Cultura as well as most buildings surrounding the park during their stay in Ocotal.