- Explore Nicaragua online

Rio Santa Emilia Waterfalls

Department: Matagalpa

Municipality: Matagalpa

Type: Waterfalls


Sorry there!

We do not yet have the coordinates for this attraction. Could you helps us out? Contact us!


  • Nicola Conocchiella wrote on Jul 4, 2014:

    Posti incantevoli, questi, per fortuna, ancora incontaminati !! Prima o poi, riuscirò a visitarli !!

  • Carla Montealegre wrote on Mar 24, 2012:

    To all who visit Nicaragua, I invite you to visit Salto Escondido (Hidden Fall) which is 15 kilometers from Matagalpa and is a beautiful place where you can swim under water fountain about 80 feet tall with a beautiful nature that surrounds it, you can enjoy mother Nature at it fullest. Soon it will have dining, shopping and sleeping accomodations.

  • Eddy Kuhl wrote on Feb 21, 2009:

    Santa Emilia is a historical coffee farm, it used to belong in 1900s to Spencer Richardson, Norteamerican from Boston, he was uncle to the Current Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Y
    Yasica river was named after a legendary Matagalpa Indian woman that lived there before the arrival of the Spanish in 1550s

Leave a Comment

Have you been here? Leave a comment below to share your experience.


A group of waterfalls, located not far from the city of Matagalpa, offer great possibilities for a nice swim or relaxing picnic. The mountainous region is home to many different falls. Below follows a description of three of them, reachable in car or by bus from Matagalpa.

The first waterfall was called the Salto de Santa Emilia, named after the small town that is situated close by. Now this site is know as Cascada Blanca, and offers a spectacular view in the rainy season when water abounds. In the dry season the waterfall is not as large, but a pound is present year-round, offering nice swimming possibilities. At this same site there is a large cave which, according to local sayings, houses small elfs. Many legends surround this place. Cascada Blanca is a great place to enjoy with family or friends, picnicking next to the fall or the cave, or swimming in the fresh water. There is a C$50 entrance fee to be payed; here you can fiand a private parking, a restaurant and a lodge. This waterfall is located 15 kilometers from Matagalpa, and it can be easily reached as it is located right next to the road.

Another waterfall is located a little further ahead. The Salto Escondido is another impressive waterfall where no infrastructure awaits for you, just a rural path. There is a trail next to the river that leads to several other small waterfalls and natural swimming pounds, great for a quick dip in the fresh water. Salto Escondido is located exactly in kilometer 148 El Tuma – La Dalia road; from here you must walk for 5 minutes approximately. You will be asked to pay C$20 as entrance fee in a house next to the entrance, where people sell sodas and little snacks.

When hiking down the river from El escondido, visitors can reach the Salto Seco ponds. Again there are plenty swimming, relaxing, and sunbathing possibilities. There is no entrance fee, but people in this community ask for a voluntary contribution. Here, two rivers come together: Santa Emilia and Yasica. The second one has a rocky riverbed and is somewhat difficult to ascend, but by climbing the rocks or by taking a communal path visitors can reach the La Flor cooperative, which offers another beautiful waterfall and a small cave, as well as a huge rock which provides the possibility to jump in the water from a height of eight meters.

You can also reach La Flor from the same entrance to El Escondido, from where you must walk for around 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) in the local school direction. This rustic way is full of wildlife and in winter is a muddy path, ideal for real nature lovers.

Getting There

These waterfalls, all located within the same region, can be reached by taking the road to El Tuma-La Dalia. After passing the town of Santa Emilia there are two bridges and the Salto de Santa Emilia can be reached by taking a right after the second bridge. A little further ahead, also on the right, there is a sign pointing to the Salto Escondido waterfall.