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San Rafael del Norte

This mountainous municipality of cool weather has its center in the small city of San Rafael del Norte. An old church, the Tepeyac retirement home and a nice museum about the national hero Augusto C. Sandino, who used the city as an operational center, are part of the attractions. There are many rivers with ponds in the area, as well as the Kilimanjaro Tourist farm and the El Jaguar Natural Reserve.



The small town of San Rafael del Norte is famous for being the birthplace of Blanca Arauz, Augusto C. Sandino's wife. This national hero, who fought against the American intervention on Nicaragua, fell in love with her in 1927 while she was a telegrapher in town. Blanca's family house is currently a museum with historical objects, such as newspaper articles, Sandino's letters and American weapons.

Another famous inhabitant of this town has Odorico D'Andrea. This Italian priest got here in 1954 and played an important role in the development of San Rafael del Norte. He help organizing health centers, providing clear water and electricity to people, among other things. D' Andrea, who died in 1990, was buried at the Virgen del Tepeyac church, which also offers nice views of the city.

This priest also gave an important impulse to the renovation of San Rafael del Norte's church, located in the center of the town. The building is notorious for its colorful stained glass and impressive size, which contrasts with the size of the town itself.

Furthermore, there is a private natural reserve in this municipality: El Jaguar, commonly known and visited for its many trails, which are suitable for birdwatching tours. It also has lodging options for tourists and a biological station for students and biologists. Another interesting site if the coffee farm called Kilimanjaro, where visitors learn about the coffee production, arrange a horseback ride, among other activities. It is possible to stay overnight at this farm.

Getting There

San Rafael del Norte is located 25 kilometers from Jinotega, and is reached by a paved road. It is also connected with the town of San Sebastian de Yali by another road. There are frequent buses traveling to and from Jinotega.

Managua is located 185 kilometers away from this city. To get here, you have to drive to Jinotega first or use public transportation from this last city.