Travel to the northeast of Nicaragua and visit a cigar factory or go hiking around Estelí. This charming town lies in a valley at an altitude of 800 meters. It is surrounded by mountains, in a beautiful natural area. Here, mass tourism is still far away and you can immerse yourself in the real Nicaraguan way of life.
Estelí is Nicaragua’s agriculture centre. In this region, a lot of (organic) vegetables and fruit are being produced, but also crops like tobacco. Because of the fact that many professional cigar makers left Cuba in the 1950s and Esteli has the perfect climate to grow tobacco, some of these Cuban producers ended up here. Now you can visit a tobacco plantation or one of the cigar factories where high-quality cigars are being produced.
A visit to Esteli will definitely not be boring, because there’s a lot to see and do. Hike in 1.5 hours through beautiful green and hilly area to the waterfall of Salto Estanzuela. There’s a small lake as well where you can swim. If you feel a bit more adventurous, do a canyoning tour to the Somoto Canyon. Accompanied by a local, professional guide, you’ll find your way through the canyon while hiking, climbing and swimming.
You can also visit a traditional cigar factory, explore the town centre of Esteli or book a day tour to one of the nearby nature reserves Miraflor or Quiabus las Brisas.
You should visit Esteli Nicaragua for sure, it is a nice and lively town where you can experience how the `real` Nicaraguans live. We saw very few tourists and did a lot during the three days we spent here and enjoyed especially the beautiful natural surroundings of this area. Fun fact: they say that in this zone many Nicaraguans live with blond hair and blue eyes. That’s true. Our guide seemed like a Dutchman.
Do you have more time and are you up for a real Edventure? Then we recommend you combine your visit to Esteli with a trekking in the Miraflor Reserve. During this trip you are accompanied by a local guide and you stay overnight at local family’s homes. They run organic farms and coffee plantations and are members of a local cooperative which is now also offering eco-tourism packages. That trip will be a very special experience in a beautiful area with special people who would like to share their story with you. More information about this trekking can be found here.