The Kilambé Massif Natural Reserve is located in a rural zone of the department of Jinotega, offering a great variety of natural and community-based activities in a beautifully forested region.
The Kilambé Massif houses a cloud forest that is of great importance for the northern zone of Nicaragua, protecting innumerable plant and animal species that are endangered in other parts of the country. The reserve offers the opportunity to enjoy phenomenal views and the natural beauty of the environment, in addition to getting to know the rural, community-based initiatives. Animals that can be seen here include different bird species (among them the Resplendent Quetzal), reptiles , insects, and mammals (including monkeys, squirrels, and cat species). The reserve's flora is similarly versatile, including orchids as well as giant tree ferns, for example. The massif reaches a height of 1,750 meters above sea level.
Because of the mountainous climate it rains often and the area is very humid. Be sure to bring protection for the rain, good hiking boots for the sometimes slippery trails, and remember there is no electricity except for a few solar panels in town. Reservations should be made in advance.
In the area, the organization ASDECK has grouped together seven coffee producers to offer various tourism services. Currently, some infrastructure is set up and ready to receive tourists. In addition to lodging options there are also a variety of activities that can be undertaken. Below follows a list of the principal activities:
- Trail hikes - There are various hiking trails that allow visitors to enjoy nature from close by, observing pants and animals with a guide from the community. Impressive viewpoints can also be visited. Price: US$20 per group per day (up to ten people in a group).
- Butterfly Garden - Price: US$5 per person
- Orchid Garden - Price: US$5 per person
- Ecological Coffee Tours - Visitors can learn more about the processed involved in the production of coffee, sold as Diamanteki coffee, by visiting one of the seven coffee farms. Tourists can participate in the harvest, planting, or depulping of the coffee. Price: US$5 per person.
- Horseback riding - Exploration of the zone by horse with a local guide. Price: US$20 per day per person.
- Boat trip - Visitors can get to know the Coco River and visit a nearby indigenous community or enjoy the surroundings. Price: US$5 per person per hour.
- Sandino Route - General Agusto C. Sandino operated in this area, and it is possible to learn more about the places this national hero visited.
- BLI hike - During the eighties the soldiers used Batallions of Irregular Attacks (called BLI in Spanish), and during this hike more is explained about how this worked. Price: US$5 per person.
- Petroglyps - In a house a petroglyphs collection is put on display. Price: US$5 per person.
- Cultural Nights - Every night visitors can enjoy the cultural activities that are organized in this community.
All activities involve local guides and the community directly benefits from tourist visits. The producers also sell their products, including Diamanteki Coffee, honey, handicrafts, and local wine. The Kilambé Massif Natural Reserve offers an opportunity to get to know a rural part of Nicaragua where nature dominates. Amenities are very basic and services like TV or even electricity have not yet reached this community. However, tranquility and fresh air are abundant!
Kilambé is located in the municipality of Wiwili in the department of Jinotega. To get there in private transportation, take the road towards Wiwili from Jinotega. From Wiwili there is a road heading to the community of Kilambé. It takes about 4 hours in private transportation. A 4WD is required for the dirt roads. Alternatively, buses leave for Wiwili from Jinotega (5 hour journey), and for the last part there are public transportation trucks that leave at 7 AM and 2 PM from Wiwili (C$20; 1 hour trip). Reservations should be made in advance.