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Islotes de Cosigüina


Chinandega's territory, which is a vast plain that contrasts with a volcano chain and borders the elongated, irregular coastline of the Pacific Ocean, features several attractions. The area has many streams and interesting beaches, as well as historic sites, peaceful towns, picturesque villages and natural reserves.

The neighboring cities of Chinandega and El Viejo are the largest urban centers in the department. The city of Chinandega is quite active. It has a nice center with colonial buildings and a variety of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs. Although fewer in number, El Viejo also has local tourism services, and is home to ancient objects and colorful traditions.

Furthermore, the silhouettes of the volcanoes of the 'Cordillera de Los Maribios' can be seen in many sites of the department. The most impressive of all is the San Cristobal Volcano, with its almost perfect cone, which makes it the highest in the country. This volcano, along with another one called 'Casitas' constitute an extensive natural reserve of many hills. The El Chonco volcano is located nearby, but it is much smaller.

The interesting Cosiguina Peninsula, which penetrates the tri-national Gulf of Fonseca, is located in the Northwest end of the department.The Cosiguina Volcano, also a natural reserve, lies in its center. The volcano offers incredible views, mainly if one looks into the crater, where an inaccessible and beautiful lagoon can be seen. Other attractions are the offshore lands, Punta San Jose, its wetlands, hot springs and the calm local beaches.

The coastline the department has on the Pacific has several consecutive attractions. The Padre Ramos Estuary Reserve is easily reachable and features a mangrove forest that can be seen during a kayak trip. Next to this beach tourists will find other estuaries, in addition to the elongated, popular beach of Jiquilillo, which is frequently visited during holidays and remains empty throughout the year. Other interesting beaches are Aposentillo, Aserradores and Santa María del Mar.

Furthermore, this coastal area also includes a group of interesting destinations. The small city of Corinto is the main maritime national getaway to the Pacific. Here, visitors will find restaurants, hotels, islands and beautiful beaches. The peaceful Paso Caballos estuary is located nearby, in addition to others that are less visited. Also, the quiet town of El Realejo, with its old colonial ruins and estuaries are also part of this area.

Chinandega has a customs spot called El Guasaule, right in the border with Honduras. It also has really interesting yet rarely visited sites. The huge Estero Real Natural Reserve features mangrove forests, fauna and a great quantity of birds. Also, the small towns with names of saints are worth a visit due to its rural mountainous beauty, fresh weather and small pine forests. This department comprises 13 municipalities.


  • Chinandega

    The dynamic city of Chinadega is the center of this municipality of hot weather, where the imposing volcanoes of the Cordillera de los Maribios contrasts with a broad plain. The urban area, where one can find several tourist companies, is a good spot to explore the department or visit the nearby volcanoes. The city of Chinandega is the capitol of the department of the same name.

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  • Chichigalpa

    Although most of the land in this municipality are plains, with abundant reeds and other crops, there are a few rarely visited attractions: the slopes of the volcanic complex of Los Maribios (North) and the beaches of the Pacific Ocean (Southeast). Its center is the small city of Chichigalpa, which celebrates its religious festivities in honor of the 'Virgen de la Candelaria' each February 3rd. Also, there are three interesting sites: the Ingenio San Antonio, where the sugar cane is industrially processed, the National Liquor Company, where the famous Ron Flor the Caña is produced and the Tour Flor de Caña.

  • Cinco Pinos

    This is a small rural municipality commonly known as Cinco Pinos. Its territory has several elevations, in addition to small valleys, where one can find waterholes and small pine forests. The urban area is the town of Cinco Pinos, which gets hectic during the festivities in honor of San Caralampio (February 9th-11th). The municipality is on the border with Honduras.

  • Corinto

    In addition to having the main seaport of the country in its coasts, this small municipality also has several interesting sites. There is a nice central park in the urban area, where a massive seafood gastronomical fair is celebrated annually. Also, Corinto has simple but comfortable hotels, restaurants and nice beaches, from where visitors can travel to small inhabited neighbor islands. The Paso Caballos Estuary is located outside the city.

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  • El Realejo

    The doña Paula estuary, the rarely known beaches of the area and some hills are the main attractions of this historical municipality. Throughout the small, calm urban area, visitors will find colonial architectural remains such as the ruins of the San Francisco Convent and the Santiago church, which were built during the Spanish occupation. The municipal government's building also has a collection of antique objects.

  • El Viejo

    Either it is in the urban area or the rural one, this municipality has various interesting attractions. The urban center is the city of El Viejo, where visitors will find a pretty basilica with colonial objects. Its beaches, which are placed in the Pacific, are wide and accessible. Furtheremore, there are three natural reserves: the Padre Ramos Estuary, Cosigüina Volcano and Estero Real.

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  • Posoltega

    This is a rural municipality. Its territory has plains on the Northeast and mountains that are part of the slopes of the volcanic complex of 'Los Maribios'. There are some preserved woods in these elevations, from where visitors have beautiful panoramic views. Rural centers are also part of the land. The center of the municipality is the town of Posoltega.

  • Puerto Morazán

    The large mangroves of Estero Real Natural Reserve, massively visited by seabirds, are the main attraction of this rural municipality. An interesting site in the reserve is the Manglares Altos Island. Also, there are two urban centers. One of them is the Tonalá town, capitol of the municipality, and the other one is Puerto Morazan, located in the shores of the Estero Real river. There are several shrimp companies that can be visited here. Also, the traditional festivities of the municipality are celebrated on June 27th, in honor of the 'Virgen del Perpetuo Socorro'.

  • San Francisco del Norte

    This municipality of flat lands and low hills, located in the border with Honduras, is also known as 'San Francisco de Cuajiniquilapa'. Its urban center is the small town of San Francisco, where tourists will find a nice park with a playground, benches and sidewalks. Its traditional festivities are held in honor of the 'Señor de los Milagros', from March 9th to 12th.

  • San Pedro del Norte

    This municipality, located in the border with Honduras, is also known as San Pedro de Potrero Grande. Its center is the small town of the same name, which is surrounded by several villages. The daily routine is only interrupted by the traditional festivities, held on March 25th in honor of the 'Virgen de La Asunción'. There are other celebrations on June 29th, in honor of San Pedro and San Pablo. Several ponds, a waterfall and the 'Cordillera La Botija' can be found near the urban area.

  • Santo Tomás del Norte

    Also known as Santo Tomás del Norte, this tiny rural municipality has its center in the town of Santo Tomas. Here, tourists will find a nice old church. Its traditional festivities are held in honor of the 'Santa Cruz' (in English: 'Saint Cross'), from May 2nd through May 4th.

  • Somotillo

    This town has a rural periphery of agricultural production, as well as the urban center of the town of Somotillo in which there is a dynamic commerce. Its traditional festivities, which include equestrian parades, processions and evening parties are held in honor of San Lorenzo. Somotillo is located in the border with Honduras. The customs posts of El Guasale is situated in this town.

  • Villanueva

    The town of Villanueva is the center of this municipality. The territory is divided in two areas: low lands to the West and high hills to the East. There are several rivers in Villanueva, some of them are hot springs. The traditional festivities are held in honor of the 'Señor de Esquipulas' on Junuary 10th.