The small, rural town of San José de Cusmapa, located at an elevation of more than 1,200 meters, provides some extraordinary panoramic views that reach the pacific coastline on a clear day. The two most interesting points are El Divisadero and Mano del Diablo.
In order to fully enjoy the view the sky should be clear, and according to locals the best moment of the day is around noon.
El Divisadero is located at the westernmost side of the town, at some 500 meters from the center. There is no infrastructure whatsoever; this is simply a part of the road which looks out over a valley and provides a superb view of the surroundings. From here, the geography of the departments of Chinandega and León can be observed.
The most impressive aspect is the fact that the volcanic chain that runs down the Pacific of Nicaragua can be observed. The perfect cone of the Momotombo Volcano, located next to Lake Managua, can be seen, as well as the northwestern tip of Nicaragua where the Cosigüina Volcano is located. Here, a part of the coastline of the Gulf of Fonseca can also be seen. During clear nights, the lights of the city of Chinandega can also be seen.
La Mano del Diablo
The other main viewpoint of Cusmapa is "La Mano del Diable" (the Devil's Hand), which is situated at less than one km from the town, and although there is no infrastructure the site itself is set at an interesting rock formation surrounded by mountains and forest.
The rocks are bright and smooth, and they consist of an area of about 400 m². It appears to be one huge rock locked in the mountain. The terrain is irregular, featuring plain areas and odd parts that raise out of it.
The rock formation ends in a ravine at the western side, and from here there is a spectacular view on the valleys and mountain ranges of the western departments of Nicaragua. Again, the volcanic shapes can be recognized.
To get to La Mano del Diablo from the center of Cusmapa, take the street that heads south. This street will turn west and should be followed in that direction. The rocky formation will easily be recognized, and the road ends right there.