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Sunset in mountainous Matagalpa


Matagalpa is one of the most mountainous departments in Nicaragua and represents the beginning of the Northern region of the country. Its territory, which is crossed by two mountain ranges called Dariense e Isabellia, features several rivers flows, interesting towns, rural communities, rural tourism facilities and many natural attractions such as mountains, natural reserves, lakes and waterfalls. The production of high quality coffee is common in this region, known for its cold weather.

Surrounded by mountains, the bustling town of Matagalpa is the administrative center of the region. In the pleasant village are comfortable hotels, good restaurants, museums, cultural centers and bars. Nearby is the waterfall of the Rio Santa Emilia and Apante Hill nature reserve, where you can hike. Selva Negra is a private reserve intersante mountain with a well-known hotel, located north of the city.

There are several attractions in the western end of the region. Darius is the peaceful city, which has a small museum in the birthplace of famous poet Rubén Darío, in addition to the hub and lagoons near the Playitas, which are a beautiful natural setting rarely visited. To the north lies the town of Sébaco where agricultural products can be found throughout the North of Nicaragua and its indigenous community has an interesting museum of pre-Columbian Chagüitillo and hand looms. Nearby is the region's rural and more urban Terrabona San Isidro.

The very mountainous North Matagalpa has another string of hot spots. Near the capital city is the small San Ramon, where there are areas of reserves, old coffee plantations and mines, some of which offer community-based tourism activities. To the northeast leads to the vast and sparsely populated region of El Tuma and La Dalia. Then you reach the village of Rancho Grande, near which is the subject of Cerro Kuskawás and Yahoska River Falls.

Other little-known natural attractions found in the south of this department, which has a total of 13 municipalities. Is the rural area of ​​San Dionisio, with its indigenous communities. Also the town of Esquipulas, near the nature reserve which is the Cerro Cumaica, which is the beginning of the range Chontaleña. Further east are in order the people of Far, Matiguás-Quirragua your reservation, and White River, located a few kilometers from Cerro Musún reserve forests and cloud forest.


  • Matagalpa

    Having Matagalpa as its capital city, also known as "La Perla del Septentrión", this municipality has diverse urban and natural attractions within its territory of cold mountain climate. The lively uvran center has many hotels, restaurants, bars, some tour operators, two museums and several cultural centers. The Cerro Apanante Natural Reserve is located near the city, as well as the waterfalls of the Santa Emilia River, various mountains with pine forests, coffee farms and picturesque, rural villages.

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  • Ciudad Darío

    The small city of Ciudad Darío, which is the center of the municipality of the same name, happens to be the birthplace of the most famous Nicaraguan artist and world-wide renown poet: Rubén Darío. This city, where visitors will find a small museum which was the house of this poet, also has a handicrafts workshop, some restaurants and lodging options. The rural area of the municipality also features a few natural attractions, such as the Cerro Güissil (1149 meters), the Las Playitas Lagoon and the Moyuá Lagoon, where the remains of a old pre-Columbian temple can be found. The area still preserves traditional folkloric dances like polkas and mazurcas.

  • Esquipulas

    In addition to the peaceful ambiance of the rural areas and its only town, Esquipulas has several attractions that are not commonly visited. The territory has important rivers, mountains like the Cumaica, Peña La Luna and Cerro Santa Maria, and two lagoons: Las Piedras and La Sebadilla. The religious festivities are held from on January 14th and 15th in honor of the Black Christ (also known as Señor de Esquipulas).

  • Matiguás

    The unexplored natural destinations of Matiguás are the main attractions of this municipality. The Cerro Kirawa Natural Reserve, in addition to other mountains like Paipi and Bijuagual, are located here. Other interesting sites are its many rivers and waterfalls of the area. The weather is slightly warmer than the average temperatures of the rest of the department. Its capitol is Matiguás, which celebrates its religious festivities on March 19th in honor of San José.

  • Muy-Muy

    The geography of this municipality is divided in some flat lands and large mountains. There are 12 rural villages, in addition to the capitol which is the town of Muy Muy. The inhabitants of the municipality celebrate their religious festivities on April 25th, in honor of San Benito de Palermo.

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  • Rancho Grande

    Mountains, rivers and waterfalls are the main attractions of this rural municipality. The Peñas Blancas Massif is part of its territory, which has cloud forests. Despite the fact that there is a lack of a proper tourism development, there are several interesting sites, such as the Yahoska Waterfalls, the Cerro Alegre Natural Reserve and the wooded areas of Kuskawás. El Rancho Grande, also known as Fátima, happens to be the capital town, and celebrates its religious festivities around May 13th, in honor of the 'Virgen de Fátima'.

  • Río Blanco

    The peasant life is quite common in this municipality, which capitol is the small town of Rio Blanco. The Cerro Munsún Natural Reserve (1450 meters) is located in the Northern part of the urban center and represents the major attraction of the municipality. The cloud forest prevails in this reserve, as well as the waterfalls. It is possible to find guides at the park ranger station or at the mayorship of the town.

  • San Dionisio

    There are many indigenous municipalities led by 'caciques' in this rural municipality. Its main town is San Dionisio, where the inhabitants of the area celebrate religious festivities on October 9th. There are quite a few natural attractions to explore, such as the El Bonete Massif, a mountain called El Gavilán and Montaña Grande, all of them located in the Southern part of the municipality.

  • San Isidro

    The territory of this rural municipality is mostly distributed in the Sebaco Valley, but also takes part of some mountains located to the North and West. The capitol is the small city of San Dionisio, which has a peaceful ambiance and a nice central park. Its religious festivities are held in honor of 'San Dionisio Labrador' around May 15th.

  • San Ramón

    Mountainous and predominantly rural, this municipality has mountains, an interesting waterfall, rural tourism activities inside old mines, and handmade products made by the community of El Chile as its main attractions. The town of San Ramon is the main urban center. There are several lodging options in the rural and urban area.

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  • Sébaco

    The city of Sebaco, capitol of this municipality, is an important commerce center due to its location, which works as a connecting site of all the highways coming from farm areas and Northern cities and the ones located on the Pacific. There are many fruits, vegetables and traditional sweets in here. An interesting site is the indigenous town of El Chagüitillo, where one can also find a museum and traditional fabrics. The religious festivities are held in honor of Santiago on July 24th and 25th.

  • Terrabona

    A rural and mountainous municipality. Terrabona has its center in the town of the same name, which is surrounded by small villages. There are several natural attractions, such as the mountains of Mallorquín and El Gigante. Also, there is a mountain called El Caracol where one can find waterfalls and ponds to take a swim. The religious festivities are held on March 16th and 19th in honor of San José.

  • Tuma La Dalia

    Crossed by the Dariense and Isabelia mountain ranges, this municipality has a mountainous territory featuring small pine and cloud forests. A great attraction is the Tuma river and the coffee farms where visitors can observe the primary process that is used to make this product. The name of this municipality relates to its two main towns: El Tuma and La Dalia.