Northern Highlands (Nicaragua)
(Redirected from Jinotega (department))
Northern Highlands is a region in Nicaragua.
- Miraflor Nature Reserve
- Canyon de Somoto
This part of the country is where Nicaragua grows most of its coffee. The revolution and the Contra War were fought hardest in the mountains of "Las Segovias" (the northern departamentos), and you can still see plenty of revolutionary murals in cities like Estelí. It was mined during the war, however it is now considered practically mine-free. If you should hear a warning about mines take a guide and enquire locally. The region is also notably better at soccer than the rest of the country, where baseball rains supreme, with Real Estelí having won all national championships from 2007 to 2014.
This is the coldest part of the country and the cloudy forests that are prevalent here (and where all the coffee comes from) do get cloudy (d'uh) and cold. Consider spending a little more on your hotel if that little more gets you a warm shower as mornings are usually the coldest part of the day. Most locals get by just fine with cold showers, however.
Spanish. There are several language schools in Estelí and Matagalpa
Buses to Estelí leave from Managua's Mercado Mayoreo. There is also less frequent direct service from Managua to Somoto, your best entry point to the canyon.
You can cross the border from (and to) Honduras here. Although you technically do not need any extra visa for that it is advisable to do so only at designated crossing points.
- There are several coffee-farms that while growing coffee also offer tourism explaining and showing the production process from plant to cup, which you can drink after the tour most of the time
- Estelí is a Sandinista stronghold and it shows in the murals all over town. It doesn't have as many as León but still pretty impressive.
- Hiking and water related activities in canyon de Somoto (e.g. jumping off a seven meter high cliff into the water)
- Horseback riding through coffee plantations, tasting included
- Climbing up the highest point of Nicaragua Cerro Mogotón at 2,107 meters (6,913 feet)
The famous Nicaraguan coffee that you have been searching all the time but just couldn't get? It is grown here and you can have a cup of marvelous black caffeine water around almost every corner.
Although this is one of the parts of the country where the Contra War hit hardest, it is mostly mine-free. If you should happen upon a place that is not, stay on the main road and ask your guides.