The famous Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío was born in a village known – at that time – as Metapa. It was later renamed to Ciudad Darío, honoring the beloved poet, four years after his death. The small town has a couple attractions, with a visit to the natal house of Rubén Darío being the most important one.
This house is located close to the center of the village, and it was the house of a sister of the mother of Rubén Darío. His mother was traveling when she was pregnant, and the fact that the birth took place in this town was merely a coincidence. Nevertheless it has made the inhabitants proud conservers of the natal house, which was declared national museum in 1943, and it still preserves its original style.
Sebaco is at the southern boarder of the Department of Matagalpa at the intersection of the Panamerican Highway and the Matagalpa Highway. Sebaco is a small agricultural town that is very typical of Nicaragua. You can find descent food at most of the family owned restaurants there. The thing I love about Sebaco is their fresh produce market that is open every day. The valley produces some of the most outragously fresh produce in Nicaragua. Great prices as well. Up the highway from Sebaco about 1 mile, toward Matagalpa, is the tiny town of Chaguitillo (pronounced something like Chaguweeteeyyooo) has a neat little museum that houses a few of the precolumbian artifacts of the vacinity. This area is filled with undocumented archeological sites. Some of great significance to understanding the connection between the tribes of the north of Latin America and those of South America. This is an archeologists fantasy location, since very little work has been done to study the sites. The director of the museum is a fantastic guy, but bring your Spanish, as he does not speak English. They provide some hikes from the museum. Check out their website http://www.mpch.bravehost.com/ for details. There is an incredible, guided white water tour with petroglyphs visits coordinated with guides from Inspiration Tours www.inspirationtours.org.
Matagalpa is settled in a narrow valley surrounded by mountains. It kind of reminded me of the Pacific Northwest but not as much rain. Lots of forested mountains and country farms. It is also where some of the better rivers for white water kayaking are to be found. There is a tour company pioneering this adventure that offers tours on some of the local rivers. The most established routes are on the Rio Viejo and El Tuma. There are many opportunities for day hikes in the near vacinity of Matagalpa also. Including a popular 2 hour hike that takes you to a cool view point over Matagalpa. Check out www.inspirationtours.org for more details.