Coming to Nica in July. Very interested in seeing Jinotega and Esteli. Does anyone have experience traveling there? Any advice or suggestions? Muchas gracias!
Hi La Perez,
Northern Nicaragua is Fantastic, very untouched by tourism. I spent several months trekking in that area, and met many very friendly people. That area was very affected by the Sandinista Contra War, you can see bullet marks in buildings and small memorials, just about every family lost a father, brother or uncle in the conflict and there are many interesting opions and stories to be heard.
The matagalpa/ rio blanco / matiguis area is very beautiful and there are trails and guides available to trek. accomadations and resturants are very basic and cheap!
Do be careful of straying from trails are there are still unexploded landmines according to the nicaraguan army.
have fun and pura vida
thanks for the insight. Do you think it is safe for small children as well? I am traveling with my two children. Did you travel to any coffee plantations? ANy recommendations on hotels?
I was very disappointed in this area and didn't even stop as I drove through, trucking on toward Granada. Well that is not true, I did stop at the TipTop chicken for lunch at Esteli. It was a nice place but I didn't see anything else worth stopping for.
It's two weeks into the rainy season today and they say it greens up instantly but for the most part, driving through northern Nicaragua as I did a month ago was about as fun for me a driving through west Texas in August. I would love to see Nicaragua in the rainy season and maybe I will swing by there again when I resume my trip from my parked car in Mexico. Otherwise in the dry season I had wondered where I had landed after leaving the year round greenery of central Honduras.
La Perez was right, I didn't see a single other gringo north of Granada. No one bothered me in Nicaragua other than the begging panhandlers on the square in Granada.