The city and Department of Esteli share the same name. It is located 150 kms from Managua and is considered the gateway to the Segovias -cities to the north of the country and bordering with Honduras. Its geographical position places Esteli as a prominent key player in agriculture and tourism.
Known as “The Diamond of the Segovias” (“El Diamante de Las Segovias”), it is located on a valley surrounded by plateaus. At 800 mts above sea level, it allows for very comfortable weather.
The city has a cozy central park, places of interest to visit, and gardens that display big monoliths and archeological pre-Columbian pieces, expressions of Nicaraguan heritage. You can also enjoy the magnificent cathedral with its façade and two big statues of Saint Francis of Sais and Saint Dominique.
The city of Estelí is the center of the tobacco industry, cultivated in the valleys surrounding the city. The fertile estelian valleys produce tobacco of the best quality. Production includes cigarettes for national consumption as well as habanos for export, packaged in fragranced Royal Cedar Boxes.
Sandino’s Route is a local project under development and a historic recovery of the National Hero Augusto Cesar Sandino.
The purpose of developing this route is to recover historic memoires, to promote the values of the patriot, and generate better living standards for the rural population of the 14 participant towns. In Condega you will find the following tourism features: Julio Cesar Salgado’s Museum, Condega, Daraylí, El Bramadero, Venecia, Mud Crafts, Ducuale Grande, Sitio Arqueológico San Diego, Los Alpes - Cooperativa “Nueva Esperanza “ and Cooperativa “Julio Muñoz”, Cerro el Fraile, San Jerónimo, Las Brumas Tierra Colorada. In Pueblo Nuevo 4 communities are included, composing part of this beautiful touristic and historic route.
• Every July 16, the Catholic Church celebrates with chants at the entrance of the Cathedral and the ritual of Mass is offered in honor of the Virgin of Carmen.
• Every October 7, the Estelianos celebrate their “Patron”, Our Lady of the Rosary. This day is especially rich in cultural activities, such as peasant’s music festivals, schoolchildren reenactment of religious plays, and many others on the steps of the Cathedral.
• Our Lady of the Rosary is Estelí’s patron, dating back to the XVII century. Her history is surrounded by many interesting stories, legends, and numerous miracles are attributed to her.
• The Holy Burial, celebrated during Easter week, is the uppermost important celebration of the liturgical year for Catholics. It is when main events are remembered relating to the Easter season: the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Music wise, it is the Capital of Polkas and Mazurcas with its well known singer, Felipe Urrutia and his Cachorros, singing the famous song “El grito del Bolo”(The scream of the drunkard)
• Christmas shopping nights are held every year during the month of December.
What Foods to Enjoy?
Huevo chimbo: A sweet treat that best represents the city of Estelí; it consists of a filler of “cajeta” that is made of sugar cane sweetener, milk, flour, and flavors (vanilla, chocolate), wrapped in an icing of egg yolk.
Other products of local consumption are: tortilla, nacatamal, guirila, gallo pinto, rosquillas, cuajada, vaho, tacos, cajeta, and arroz de leche (rice pudding), and last but not least the traditional soups from El Carao and El Sopon.
San Juan de Limay
This is a town known for its skilled artisan works of sculptures made of gorgeous local marble. It is located 47 kms to the northeast from the city of Estelí, with attractions of marble mines, petroglyphics, viewing sites, ancient caves, and not to forget, the artisan shops where they convert marble stone into fabulous pieces of art.
If you are an adventure lover and looking for an adrenaline rush, you can visit the Salto Colocondo (Colocondo Fall) which is more than 100 meters high.
In San Juan de Limay you will find: Salto de Colocondo, viewpoints of the community of San Luis, and crafts from Limay, among which are the most popular shops known as “Shop of Los Sanchez”, “Artesanias Vindell”, “Ceramica Calero”, “Cerámica La Naranja”, “Artesanías Calderón”, and “Artesanias de Herlinda Blandon”.
The municipality of Pueblo Nuevo prides itself with a rich and varied menu of activities, resources, and places of interest for every tourist.
Historical, cultural, productive, and of uncontaminated nature; these, together with others of different aspects, comprise the chance for a tourist to enjoy a full complementary and diverse selection of activities. As well as gastronomical delights like the famous montucas and guirilas of Pueblo Nuevo.
Among the tourist attractions is the Casa de Cultura, which has an exposition of old, pictures, where a tourist can observe the remains of the mummified Indigenous Queen.
In the archeological site of the forest are the remains of the prehistoric Mammoths, farms, and places inside the protected area of Tepesomoto-La Patasta. As well as ecological farms where you can observe the daily tasks that produce the organic coffee winner of international awards.
Ancient writings carved on the walls and an antique oven, can be found in its forests and surrounding jungles. You can also visit the places where the ancestors used to carry out rituals in abundant archeological sites such as San Antonio, La Mansion, La Virgen, and a paleontological site called El Bosque some 12 kms east of Pueblo Nuevo, on the road to San Juan de Limay.
Located to the northeast of the city of Esteli, with tourist sites, such as: the Park Mirador, El Avion (The Plane), La Casa de Cultura Conthecatl preserving its historic architectural structure, its archeological museum with exhibits of over 300 pre-Columbian pieces reflecting the geography and culture of ancient inhabitants.
Beautiful woodcraft made in the Taller Guacamayo and in Ducuale. Their cultural and artistic skills are demonstrated in the abilities of the manual artisan work of crafts, design of musical cord instruments, local ceramics used for décor or practical uses, wood toys, tailoring, plants, leather goods, shoes, and diverse products for personal use.
Condega- the land of history, customs, and traditions, with hardworking and kind people.
22 kms south of Estelí, its tourist attractions are based around the famous Cerro de la Mokuana (Mokuana’s Hill), located on the east side of town. There you will find caves associated to the legends of the colonial era, narrated directly by the inhabitants.
In this pretty town, you will also find archeological sites and no doubt petroglyphics. They cannot be avoided, since they are plenty in the parks as well as in its beautiful church.
You will also find the community of San Francisco, where its inhabitants’ needlework beautifully colored hammocks of Agave fiber, and since La Trinidad is the birthplace of great musicians and artisans, they also design exceptional musical instruments.
La Estanzuela Waterfall
Located 12 kms southeast of Estelí, on the road to the town of San Nicolas.
Once at the site, the first thing you see is a beautiful waterfall, 40 meters high, and at its foot a pool of fresh water where you can find many types of plants, opals, and other stones that, once polished, display lovely shades and shapes.
For those who enjoy adventure, this is the ideal place to practice jumping and diving; the tree branches cross each other and their swaying movements allow you to jump from the highest point and fall into a beautifully shaded natural pool of water.
Rock Engraving The Mermaid of San Juan de Limay
On the shores of the River “Los Quesos” you will find a group of engravings made by the historical inhabitants of Limay, they used stone knives to engrave the volcanic basalt rock.
These petroglyphics are attributed to the Matagalpa tribes and some incursions of migrant groups of Nahuas.
This majestic jungle site, with an area of more than 200 Km2, is full of exotic flora and fauna. In its ecosystem you can encounter from a tropical savannah to a dry tropical forest, from a forest of pine trees to a cloud covered forest in its highest elevation.
You can watch the Quetzals and guardabarrancos together with amazing trees and plants.
The Miraflor Lagoon is in the middle of a reserve, a body of water located 1300 meters above sea level and in its surroundings; you encounter a luscious variety of beautiful orchids.
Natural Reserve Tisey - Estanzuela
The reserve owes its name to the Cerro Tisey (Tisey Hill), where a huge fern was growing in density and the locals called it Tisey. This Ulua-Matagalpan name translates to witch or liar.
Located 12 kms. Southeast of Estelí, you will find this reserve boldly showing off an intense and magnificent landscape, where the view over the pacific plains, and the Momotombo, and Cerro Negro Volcanoes, can be admired.
In this majestic place, you can find 99 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, of which 62 species are birds.
You can also enjoy the tasting of aged goat and cow cheese made in the community of La Garnacha.