La Casita: gardens and cafe
You might not expect to get delicious whole wheat bread, yoghurt and yummy juice drinks in northwestern Nicaragua, but this is the place. Pick up some herbs and ornamental plants, as well, or just hang out in the gardens. A great place, just outside of town. Any taxi driver will know it. One tip: if you can't find a taxi back, just walk down the road towards town. Once you approach the hospital there will be taxis. Oh, and you might want to call for times. They do close for a day here and there.
CECALI: Holistic Health Center with Great Massage
CECALI: Don't miss this extraordinary place. The massage is great (and at an extremely reasonable price) but you can also have other therapies as well. In fact, take the time to do them all, and then come back the next day for more. It can get addictive. This is the first place I'm coming to when I return, right after I have my yoghurt and coffee next door at La Casita.
Cigar Factory is an eye-opener
The Esteli Cigar Factory is a real eye-opener. It was a very interesting experience to learn about production from the harvesting to the rolling. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of cigars. This is not a tour I would have thought of on my own but my Spanish class went there. You should be able to do it on your own.
Miraflor! Stay with a farm family in mountains
This is an absolutely unforgettable experience. Miraflor is a mountain area near Esteli where the farmers have formed a cooperative to preserve the land and mutually support one another in their farming. Numerous families will allow you, for very small cost, to share their homes with them. Guides from the farms will show you the splendors of these mountains, ranging from the golden hills at the lower level to the cloud forest at the top. Go to UCA Miraflor in Esteli and arrange a visit. I stayed with Nelson and his family and later with Juan and Dora in La Pita, using their son Henry as an expert guide. But there are so many other great people and places to visit, too. Don't miss it. My most amazing experience in Central America. Of course, Spanish helps!
See the results of Hurricane Mitch
I was fortunate enough to have my Spanish teacher guide me through the dry river bed that runs through Esteli. First she showed me where the old river had been, and then the massive gorge that was carved out by the monstrous waters of Hurricane Mitch. Just go down to the river area and start walking. Imagine that this was once roads and houses, all swept away in the mighty torrent. Or better, find someone who can tell you their own memories of what happened.
A City of Murals
Back in the late '80's there was a great enthusiasm for creating vibrant, colorful murals. You can still find them on a great many buildings and walls; someone told me there are over 100. This one is near the "Iron Bridge."
Finca Neblina del Bosque in Miraflor
The most beautiful and lovoely farm I have stayed in whole Central america. The farm is owned by a young and simpatic Nicaraguan/German couple how made a big effort to build beautiful bamboo cabins sourrounded by a big flower garden just on the top of a mountain range.
All the vegetables and herbs come directly from the garden! There is a opan air solar hot water shower where I enjoyed watching the panorama while taking a warm and relaxing shower after a 8 hour horsback tour. For more information just check the website.
- Horse Riding
- National/State Park
- Farm Stay