Esteli is a city in Esteli region.
From the Honduran border, you can take a bus to Ocotal, then from Ocotal to Esteli. From the south, there are frequent buses from Managua and other points.
Local buses (2.50 cordobas to any destination) and share taxis (no more than 20 cordobas within the city). You can easily walk around the city center.
Lots of beautiful murals in various places around town.
Visit Miraflor, an agricultural cooperative a couple of hours outside of Esteli in the mountains. There are a number of places where you can stay in cabins, ride horses, meet farmers, looks at orchids, etc. See Hospedaje Luna for more information.
Tissey is a nature preserve just south of Esteli. Take a city bus to the hospital, and then a local bus up the mountain. On the way up, you can stop in Estanzuela and see a waterfall. The water looks too dirty for swimming and there's lots of garbage everywhere (Nov 2007). But worth the trip.
Cafe Luz has excellent local and international food at reasonable prices in a great environment with friendly staff. It's across the street from Hospedaje Luna (below).
Mocha Nana Cafe is on the south side of the street just west of the intersection of Calle Transversal and the Pan-American Highway. They have brilliant waffles, batidas and good coffee. Also English books for sale.
Rincon Legal is the most interesting bar in Esteli, a huge space filled with old Sandinista propaganda posters and memorabilia. The owner is an interesting character. It's in the south of the city, around 9e or 10e calle west. They have great concerts from time to time.
Hotel Nicarao is on the east side of the main street a couple blocks south of the Parque Central. Beautiful, clean hotel with simpatico staff, rooms are arranged around a central garden with tropical birds and a friendly duck. Double with private bath and TV: $17.50, single with shared bath and no TV: 150 cordobas.
Hospedaje Luna is a new place: clean, reasonable rates, good place to meet other travelers and get information. It's on the street that runs along the east side of the cathedral, a couple blocks north, on the west side of the street.
And if you're annoyed about the lack of specific directions, better get used to it, that's Nicaragua.