Near the town of Matagalpa lies Selva Negra, which means Black Forest.
Selva Negra is a sustainable coffee plantation, where tourist can stay in different kind of accommodation or just visit the forest on day trips.
I went there on a daytrip from Matagalpa.
You have to pay a small entrance fee. I paid 25 c (year 2000).
In the forest there are several trails you can follow, that pass the coffee fields, through the forest on the mountains and by the workers houses.
Bear in mind that you have to stay on the trails. I met a girl in the bus and she told me the story of two girls who lost their way on the mountain. They had to spend the night there, and if you are lucky you see the sign of the trail the coffee farm named after them. The girl who told me this also got lost, even with a local friend. They just found the trails again, when it was getting dark.
There are about 10 horses on the farm and you can arrange a guided walk or just take out a horse and do your own thing. It was only USD2 for half an hour which is probably the cheapest you will find in the world. All arrangements are made through the hotel’s reception
You can buy coffee beans from the farm at very good prices, they have packs at reception which have been vacuum sealed..
After our tour we decided to take a walk around the farm to get a close up look at the coffee processing.
You can organise a tour del café y finca at the hotel's reception. It was all in Spanish but it was nice to get to see the farm which is beautiful.
We were here in January and it was cold at night and cool during the day, because you are up in the clouds in can be very wet as well so if you are going to go hiking bring waterproof gear along.
As you drive towards Matagalpa you pass many fruit and veg markets, they are vibrant and bustling and the colours just beautiful