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...more
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...more
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...more
This place is a popular weekend hangout with the locals that have a few extra dollars. It is located on the old highway to Jinotega about 20 minutes from Matagalpa. It is located at a place were a guy by the last name of Potter, helped engineer some of the highway through this sector years ago. He proposed to use explosives to open up a route through the rock near his property. The opening you will see in front of the restaurant is this very spot. They also have a higher viewpoint which can be scaled by climbing the rock staircase. If you are there in the evenings you can hear numerous howler monkies in the valley below. Food is pretty good and priced right. There is also a little hotel there but I have not tried it out.
Favorite Dish: It is located on the old highway to Jinotega about 20 minutes from Matagalpa.
This is a live, local theatre that often has plays and or live music on the weekends. Talent varies greatly but it is always a cool experience to drop in for a little while and see what's going on. There bar on the main highway about 3 miles before arriving to Matagalpa. I don't remember the name. It has a huge dance floor and on Friday and Saturday nights you can see as many as 1000 crazy teens, bopping to popular Latina and Electronica music. Its a safe place...just really loud.
You can catch buses all day long from about 5 am to 6 pm depending on the destination. They are typically used school buses that were donated from the States. Rides are cheap, bumpy and a bit slow. But they are reliable and safe in most cases. The only place to pay attention is if you pick up a bus in Matagalpa's transport center. A few pick pocketeers have been known to key an eye for easy targets.
If you are traveling in your own car, take a good map and some Spanish with you. Not a lot of English spoken in these parts. Take your time and expect rough road conditions from time to time.
Yep, you heard right. Most of Central America is crawling with snakes. There are some very, very deadly species that inhabit all parts of this lovely department. There is a pit viper species called Castellana. This snake can be very aggressive and is capable of jumping to bite well above the knee also. Locals in the country side say that they...more
The biggest myth about Nicaragua is that it is a dangerous place with regard to personal security. This is simply NOT true. But there is a dangerous aspect to consider when traveling in the mountainous regions of Nicaragua. During the rainey months of May and October through December, rains can simply destroy roads without warning and or giving...more
As with anything of quality you will find lowbudget knock offs. I seen a few pieces of fake black pottery being passed off as the real thing. If it looks like black paint over ceramic then its fake. The clay turns black from the way they burn in it kiln so its black all over, even when they etch into it. But If you want some just to give away or happen to love knock offs the by all means pick some up. But if its ok to touch then pick it up and check it out and make sure you get what you pay for.
Luggage and bags:
whatever you normally bring
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you plan to hike, bring good shoes; boots if hiking during May, October through January. During these months it is common to have rain and much cooler weather. So, bring a parka and/or sweater.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Matagalpa has well equipped pharmacies. Bring what you normally need, but know you should be able to get whatever else you need in town.
Photo Equipment: Bring equipment that can get a little wet...even if it isn't raining it can be a little humid.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: During the rainey season, bring approprate gear.