Esteli is the third largest city in Nicaragua. It is known as “the Diamond of the Segovias.”
Located on the Pan American Highway, 150 km north of Managua, Estelí is a fast growing and progressive city of about 119,000 people. It enjoys a pleasant climate throughout most of the year due to its location in the north central highlands at a mean elevation of 844 m above sea level. The city is surrounded by forested mountains of pines, oaks, and walnuts, and plateaus that rise up to 1600 m above sea level, some which are protected as natural reserves.
Several natural attractions can be found in the Northern department of Esteli, which comprises plateaus divided by hills with multiple climates. Its capital city is dynamic, and most of its towns feature archaeological areas and hard-working artisans. Many of its plantations preserve natural areas such as woods, cloud forest reserves and waterfalls.
The city of Estelí is famous for the tobacco production that takes place in the high quality cigar factories and plantations, located in the urban area. Its active center has a museum, cultural and business centers. Besides its many hotels and restaurants, Esteli also has bars and clubs with a good ambiance.
The Miraflor Natural Reserve (North), as well as the El Tisey-La Estanzuela (South), are two renowned, easily reachable places. The first one is a large mountainous area with several agro-production farms and natural conservation sites. Here, one can find waterfalls, tropical dry and cloud forests, and a great variety of birds and orchids. El Tisey is commonly known for the Salto de la Estanzuela waterfall, where visitors can take a good swim and practice rappel.
The small cities and towns Estelí have their own charm and cultural attractions. San Juan de Limay (far West), for example, is known for its marble handicrafts. The town of Pueblo Nuevo has an interesting small museum that exhibits pre-Columbian objects that were found in the area. Also, the community that inhabits Ducuale Grande (Condega) has a communitarian workshop with handicrafts made of clay.
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Estelí has many other lesser-known attractions in each of its six municipalities. Some other natural reserves can be visited by tourists, such as Tomabú (South) and the Cerro Quiabuc – Las Brisas (East). The ‘Mesas de Moropotente’, where the La Pataste Natural Reserve is located, is shared with the department of Madriz
A hub of activity for locals and tourists alike, the famous colonial city of Granada was founded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in 1524 and sits at the edge of the warm waters of Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua), nestled midst the indigenous community of Xalteva.
We are proud to have opened our newest CENAC site in the oldest colonial city in Central America, not far from the modern capital city of Managua
The first inhabitants of Granada, the Chorotega population encountered by the Spanish explorer inhabited important on both north and south side of the Volcán Mombacho. Today’s Granada was in the northern Lake Nicaragua province of Nequecheri, and was dominated by the heavily populated settlement of Xalteva. The original wall, which divided the Spanish and Indian sectors of Granada, can be seen today just south of the Xalteva church. In 1585 a French chronicler described a religious procession in the city as rich in gold and emeralds, with Indian dances that lasted, without rest, for the duration of the procession.
Granada became a major commercial centre on the post Colombian World. The prosperous city was attacked on a least three occasions by British and French pirates traveling up the San Juan and Escalante. Much of old Granada was burnt down by filibuster William Walker in 1856, but Granada still retains many beautiful buildings and has faithfully preserved its Castilian traditions and colonial charm. The style has been called a mixture of Nicaraguan baroque and neoclassical. Granada’s history has given the city a eclectic visual mix of Spanish adobe and tile roof structures and Italian inspired neoclassical homes with ornate ceiling work and balconies. Most of the houses, however, maintain the southern Spanish trademark interior garden and large, airy corridors.
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Parque Central, in the center of the city, is lined with trees. There, you will find many food stalls selling Granada’s famous vigorón, a popular dish of fried pork skins, yucca, and cabbage salad served on a big banana leaf. GRANADA has several, easy too recognizer, landmarks, starting with the central, tree-lined plaza (known alternately as the Central Park and Parque Colón) and the Cathedral on its east side.
Calle Calzada extends east along the north side of the cathedral and runs straight to the municipal dock. A number of hospedajes and hotels are clustered along this street. Walking west from the main plaza, you’ll come to the Xalteva neighborhood and eventually the cementery and road to Nandaime
Taxis are numerous and cheap, and of course, there are the horse carriages, which you can always find on the western side of the plaza.