Matagalpa is generally referred to as ‘the pearl of the north'. Situated in a narrow valley in the green mountainous north of Nicaragua, it forms the heart of the Nicaraguan coffee production and it has a fresh climate, that most Nicaraguans characterize as ‘cold'. Historically speaking, the city and area has always played a significant role. Indian tribes have had numerous conflicts in pre-colonial times, and during the Spanish reign the area was a strong source of resistance. After that, Matagalpa and its surroundings was one of the strongholds of the Sandinista revolution. Matagalpa has this historic heritage on one side, but above all the region has a lot to offer to people who love being in touch with nature, enjoying vast landscapes and its spectacular flora & fauna. It is a great environment for hiking and bird watching, and tourism is really focusing on community-based and ecotourism, with real interaction with locals. Besides this, the Matagalpa region is situated on the edge of the Bosawas reserve, with its 8.000 km 2 the largest Natural Reserve of Central America, and is a well-known starting point for biological expeditions into these less accessible areas. So expect beautiful natural lodges, hiking & nature, organic (fair-trade) coffee farms and genuine interaction with indigenous communities. Be sure to discover this ‘off the beaten track' natural Nicaraguan destination.

 

City tour Matagalpa
Exploring the ‘pearl of the north’

A guided city tour gives you a good impression of the history & culture of this northern city. First the most ancient graves in town will be shown at the local cemetery. Then, you go on to the house where Carlos Fonseca, founder of the Sandinista party, was born and raised. After visiting the most interesting coffee museum you will walk right into the historical center, to end up at the Guanaco farmer’s market, where you get in touch with daily Matagalpino life.
If you like, you also visit the Castillo de Cacao, where Nicaragua’s best chocolate is made from 100% organic cacao. From the roof of this ‘Cacao Castle’ you have spectacular views over the city and its mountainous surroundings.




Duration: 4-5 hours

Start: 08:30 AM | 14:00 PM
End: 12.30 PM | 18:00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Entrance fees
Bilingual guide
Complementary drink

Century-old finca
Coffee at Finca El Paraíso and a refreshing shower

At Finca (=farm) El Paraíso, founded in 1890, you will learn a lot about coffee growing and processing. Following this, a hike through the great flora & fauna to the top of an adjacent hill gives you great views over the area. After returning to the Finca you enjoy country-style lunch, before heading on to the Santa Emilia waterfall, to finish this tour with a refreshing shower in tropical surroundings.







Duration: 5-6 hours
Start: 09.00 AM | 12.00 PM
End: 14.30 PM | 17.30 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees
Country-style Matagalpino lunch

The ancient goldmines
Looking back and looking forward

The tunnels of the old goldmines hides the history of the mineworkers who for more than 30 years extracted gold in this area. With this adventurous experience you will hike into the mine, through an underground river. After adjusting to the darkness, it would be then possible to see the stalactites, rock formations, water springs, interesting insects, crabs and lots of bats. Later, you we will visit a community cooperative, where fair trade coffee is grown. Witness the parakeets and howler monkeys as they soar through the air.


 


Duration: 4 hours
Start: 08.00 AM | 14.00 PM
End: 12.00 PM | 18.00 PM

Note: A minimum of 2 people is needed


Included:
Transportation by 4X4 vehicle
Entrance fees
Complementary cup of coffee

Tips

Comfortable walking shoes
bottled water
sunscreen
sunglasses
insect repellent

Cerro Apante (hike)
Hiking in a diverse mountain

Cerro Apante (Apante hill) is a natural reserve directly bordering the city of Matagalpa. During a hike you can fully appreciate the beautiful mountainous surroundings just north of Matagalpa. Passing several coffee farms you climb up the ‘Buena Vista’ to an altitude of 1.442 meters. As the name already indicates: yes, you can expect impressive views!
After enjoying this, you head for the open fields where a picnic lunch will be enjoyed. Then continue our journey to the summit, to the viewpoint on top of the forested Cerro El Plomo, with panoramic views over the surrounding villages, especially the village of San Ramón, where coffee growing and community-based tourism are joining forces in a more than interesting way. From San Ramón, you will be transferred back to Matagalpa.




Duration: 7-8 hours
Start: 08:00 AM
End: 16:00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees
Picnic lunch

Cloud forest flora & fauna (hike)
and... Sustainability at Finca La Hamonia

Hiking and sustainability are the key words in today’s society. After a short drive up the hill from Matagalpa, you first tour La Hamonia, a auto-sustainable farm, where coffee, flowers and vegetable growing take place in synergy with nature. Also cheese is produced and even the fertilizers are completely natural! During a short break at the Selva Negra mountain resort you get ready for a 3-hour challenging hike to Cerro El Arenal, with dense cloud forest, giant trees, spectacular orchids and noisy howler monkeys all around.






Duration: 6 hours
Start: 08:00 PM | 12:30 PM
End: 14:00 PM | 18:30 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees
Snack

Coffee & chocolate
Agriculture in harmony with nature

The focus of this tour is on high quality products sustainably produced in the Matagalpa region. First, we pass by the Castillo de Cacao, where Nicaragua’s best chocolate is made from 100% organic cacao.
Not only the product itself is highlighted, but also the growing process of this interesting crop. After this, we head east and will get to know the dry tropical forest with the impressive waterfalls of Wanube. A refreshing swim is possible and a picnic lunch will be enjoyed while watching at and listening to abundant bird wildlife in the area.
The last stop will be La Sombra Ecologe, a renowned Ecolodge with a sustainable coffee growing farm. The local guide will shed a light on the interesting details of coffee growing and producing in such a sensible natural area.




Duration: 8-9 hours
Start: 08:00 AM
End: 17:00 PM

Included:
Transportion
Bilingual guide
Entrance fees
Picnic lunch

Indigenous El Chile
Weaving workshop and interaction

The indigenous community of El Chile is widely known for its woven crafts. The local women make a large variety of products, such as bags, purses and backpacks. You can buy a product right out of the hand of the woman who made it! After enjoying a little workshop and having lunch with a local family, you hike up the El Chile hill for an impressive 360° view over the whole surrounding area.








Duration: 5-6 hours
Start: 08:00 AM | 11:00 PM
End: 14:00 PM | 17:00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Typical lunch with local family


Tres pinos (hike)
A distinct culture: the white ‘indigenas’

Pacsila is a very distinct region in Nicaragua: this is the land of the white indigenous people. These people do not come close to the Latino physiognomy of the ‘normal’ Nicaraguans: they are white, with blond or red hair and often covered with freckles. The most common story that circulates is that they are descendents of English and Dutch adventurers that crossed the area in the 17th century, but any proof of this is hard to find, since most historical records were lost.
A hike brings you through the countryside and forest, visiting the villages of Pacsila, El Carrizo and Piedra de Agua (the ‘Tres Pinos’). While enjoying the splendid views over the mountainous area, the focus of the hike will really be the contact with locals. The inhabitants will explain about the cooperatives they work in and the local crafts they make, such as locally made sweets, bread and even bags. A delicious lunch will be prepared by and enjoyed with a local family.



Duration: 6 hours
Start: 08:00 AM | 11:00 PM
End: 14:00 PM | 17:00 PM

Included:
Transportation
Bilingual guide
Typical lunch with local family