Go on a multi-day hiking tour in Nicaragua! Your adventure starts in Estelí, where you spend the first night in a hotel in the centre of the town. Esteli is a vibrant town and there’s a lot to do. Visita a traditional tobacco factory for instance and learn how cigars are made, walk to the Salto Estanzuela waterfall or do a city tour in Estelí and admire the beautiful murals in the town centre.
At 28 km from Estelí, you will find the nature reserve Miraflor. On day 2 you depart to the reserve, ready for a unique, local experience. You can leave most of your luggage in the hotel, but make sure you bring a backpack, comfortable walking shoes and enough water for your trip.
Your trekking starts with an early morning hike for bird watching and you will be accompanied by a local, bilingual guide. Along the way, you will notice that the landscape slowly changes from tropical savannah to cloud forest. With temperatures between 18 and 27 degrees, it is not too hot. The tall trees next to the road provide sufficient shade.
After a beautiful walk, you will arrive at a local farmer’s family home where you will spend the night. You will be warmly welcomed and served a healthy meal with locally (organically) grown ingredients. There is clean drinking water and you have a mosquito net. Please note that you stay in very simple accommodation and do not expect any luxury. Tourism is hardly developed in this area, making this trekking a truly authentic experience.
The family you stay at is a member of a cooperative that maintains the reserve. The cooperative consists of local, organic farmers who promote sustainable agriculture and ecotourism. For example, coffee, vegetables and flowers are all grown organically in the area. The families involved are very proud of what they do and happily share their story with you. After lunch and a rest, you can take a walk with your guide in the afternoon. After another delicious, organic meal, you will go to bed early and enjoy the sounds of nature before you fall asleep.
On day 3 you say goodbye to your host family after breakfast and it is time to continue the trekking with your guide. You are now walking in more mountainous areas and stay the night at another family’s home. This family is also a member of the cooperative.
On day 4, after breakfast, you take the public bus back to Estelí and your hotel to relax and recover from your trip with a nice cool drink.
For me, this hiking tour in Nicaragua was the highlight of our trip! The two families where we stayed were so very sweet and cheerful. Although they are very hard workers and get up very early, they seem to have never heard of the word `stress`. Using my best Spanish I had a few nice conversations with them. We have also rolled up our sleeves and helped them doing dishes etc. in the kitchen in the morning. This trip is great, but it was also really back to basic. This way I learned to appreciate again everything we have in the Netherlands.
Staying with local families in the Miraflor Reserve is a real Edventure!
The families live under simple circumstances, but have built up a happy and healthy life with the help of the cooperative and are very willing to share their life with you for a couple of days. They are also curious to know more about you and if you make a nice picture of you all together, make sure you leave them a copy, they highly appreciate that!