Jinotega "The Mists" is a city of Nicaragua and head of the homonymous municipality and Department situated in a valley 142km of Managua by the NIC-3, NN-74, NIC -3.
- To the east, Cordillera Isabelia (tourist place Nature, Hiking, Nature Reserve Datanlí-El Diablo,Nebliselva tall, La Bastilla Ecolodge, La Cascada Bujona, Cultivation of Flowers).
- West: The 'Peña De La Cruz' '(height: 800 meters, located at the top of the mountains, accessible by steps, Nature tourist spot overlooking the city, Lake, ect ..).
- North: The Lake Apanás (Artificial Lake, Nature Tourism).
- South: Telecommunications Antennae (Located on top of the mountains, Nature attraction overlooking the city, Lake, Momotombo Volcano Managua, ect ...).
UCA Soppexcca: The department produces 65% of Cafe at the national level, a high quality coffee thanks to the optimal ecological conditions for growing, making Jinotega "The Capital of Coffee in Nicaragua," the which is exported to: US, Russia, Canada and Europe; Jinotega being also producer of Cacao.
- Population 2014: City: 51 073, 123 548 Municipality, Department: 417 372
Central Parck of Jinotega (2005)
San Sebastian de Yali, Jinotega
When to visit
Certainly the most adventurous time to visit is during the coffee season - December through February. You'll see trucks barelling in and out of the city on the north side, men hauling coffee in on their backs in a frantic scurry. Compared to cities such as Managua and Chinandega, which can be exceedingly hot all year round, Jinotega's climate is relatively pleasant due to its higher elevation.
The weather is great from November ( end of rainy season)through May/June, when it starts to sporadically rain , after this the rainy season starts for real apparently though haven't experienced this yet.
Note: some prices quoted here are outdated. The cordoba depreciates fairly rapidly against the dollar.
From Managua there are direct buses several times a day. If taking a taxi, ask for bus terminal Mayoreo or simply for the terminal from where the Jinotega buses leave. At the Mayoreo terminal there are several counters where you can purchase your tickets to Jinotega, depending on what time you are departing. If you look like a foreign traveler, men working will ask your destination. Simply state "Jinotega" and they will almost always direct you to the correct window for the next available departure (usually ever hour or hour and a half between 4:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Bus fare is C$80, or about US$3. The expressos are nice because they make fewer stops and you don't have to swing over to drop people off in Matagalpa before heading to Jinotega.
If you do not wish to travel in bus you can also Google private transfers and/or negotiate with an authorized airport taxi to take you directly to Jinotega.
Also you can arrive from other towns in the north such as Matagalpa or Esteli (via Matagalpa or via a northern route).
Taxis are prevelent and cost C$10 (US$0.40) per person anywhere in town. Fares are around C$35 at night.Its best to agree a price before you get in the cab, Jinotegans love to change their mind. But on the whole they are a very friendly bunch.
It is very safe to walk around Jinotega even through some of the shabbier looking areas, don't be scared just give a big smile out, you'll be fine.
Jinotega is a great place to explore.
For distraction of tourists, this town has attractive walks, among which occupy a special place: Lake Apanás8 fed by the dam Mancotal where the waters of the Tuma, Jinotega, Jiguina and Mancotal rivers were collected. It was built to generate electricity with hydroelectric plant "Central" in the region of El Cacao. Also this Lake El Dorado with an area of three square kilometers. Both lakes are separated by the dam of Asturias, located 25 km from the city. There are several entrances whose banks are used as spas by domestic and foreign tourists.
Attractions and sites
- natural, historical and religious coexistence.
Visit to La Concordia, birthplace of General Benjamin Zeledon and San Rafael del Norte, where General Augusto C. Sandino married Blanca Arauz and fulfilled his pastoral work the Servant of God Fr. Andrea D'Odorico.
Canopy "The Brellera" on the outskirts of San Rafael del Norte, experiencing the feeling of "flying" over the trees.
Nature reserve "El Jaguar".
- Panoramic Views of Jinotega.
Way to the top of the "Peña de La Cruz" climbing up the steps, path of many pilgrims who fulfill promises to Santa Cruz.
- Experience rural and community tourism.
Tour of the nature reserve "Cerro Datanlí - El Diablo" for its cloud forest and waterfall "The Bujona" led by inhabitants of the reserve with those who shared their daily activities.
Accommodation in "La Bastille" Ecolodge
Agrotourism in Santa Maria de Bloodsucker.
Ecotourism in "The Founder" and at the "Young Life" located on the road Jinotega - Matagalpa.
- natural and cultural experience
Visit Bosawás Reserve, declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and the Massif "Penas Blancas".
Coffee Tour nature in the nature reserve Cerro Kilambé (Wiwilí) and at the "Santa Maura" to know everything about the cultivation of this grain called "green gold".
Volcano Natural Reserve "Yali".
- Fishing and boating experience
Adventure tourism in Lake Apanás where fishing activities and competitions are conducted rowboats, this artificial lake, today, is home to a variety of flora and lacustrine fauna.
From within Jinotega you can see Peña de La Cruz, a hill with a cross at the top. The location provides splendid views of the Jinotega valley and surrounding mountains. At the base of Peña de La Cruz within Jinotega there is a cemetery. Cross through the cemetery, stopping to ask where the "sendero" or trail to the cross is located. The journey to the top is steep at times, taking about 30-60 minutes. At the top there is a cool, refreshing breeze.
Of course you can hike to the famous cross, or there are trails in the hills opposite the cross. Many locals go swimming in lake Apanas or its surrounding creeks, but the water isn't the cleanest. You can join the locals and play a game of soccer or baseball. There are several sites around town if you just want to walk around. Also check out some of the restaurants listed here, whoever wrote that section did a good job.
In general Jinotega has a small town feel with not a lot of things to do. The people are friendly but more reserved than you will find in the bigger cities of Nicaragua.
If you are lucky you will catch one of the many hipica's or parades, they love a parade here, The hipicas are a way for Jinotega mostly men to show off their horses, they love it, get your cowboy boots on, you can buy a pair of custom made cowboyboots for a thousand cords here, get the rubber soles the leather slip horribly, from a little shop in the market, theres an horrific blue supermarket building on the edge of the old markets , if you go 2 blocks away from it , and away from the new markets building, you will see the boot shop on the right, its just a small wooden opening with a few cowboy boots hanging in it. If your lucky the guy with the really big belly with no top on will serve you, comedy magic.
For a full Nicaraguan experience, you can try out some of the many Internet cafes located around the city. Many Nicaraguans don´t have Internet and have to utilize such cafes. Two recommended cafes are Llamadas Heladas and Ciber Centro de Llamadas del Rey. Both provide Internet as well as phone booths for cheap international calls and the latter one also provides English-Spanish translation.
If you need something, first check the Everything for $1 (More or Less) store north of the cathederal a couple blocks. They have tools, shampoo, candles, mugs, etc. If they don't have it, try the more expensive stores like Tienda Rossy, south of the cathederal, or, Almacen Gloria, at the north-west corner of the Union Park. There are a million other little stores too. Just walk around and ask until you find what you need. Pali and MaxiPali is going to be your closest thing to a supermarket here.
The markets here are excellent, really worth an afternoon wanderings, especially the 'food court' authentic yet surprisingly flavoursome local cuisine for 30cords and up. Also on the far side of the markets close to Pauli, a few great cowboy bars with lots of great local personalities and with visiting street sellers the shops come to you.
If you like secondhand shops then you will love Jinotega, the place is full of secondhand American clothes, lots of people just sell them from their front room but there a couple of big shops, you can get lots of expensive labels here from 30cords up.
- La Perrera, 3km outside of town on the Matagalpa highway, is by far the best. Expect to pay C$50-140 for good food, some of which is Italian. The taco salad is excellent (and cheap!) if you're sick of iceberg lettuce--they grow their own with good varieties brought from the States. Catch any bus before 6:00 there for C$5 and ask them when you can catch a bus back to town. Walking down is dangerous, I've been told, but it's also beautiful when the stars are out!
- Also quite good is Roca Rancho, which looks like it would be a crazy cabana bar, but is quite tame (read: dead) most nights of the week. Decent live music and cheap Victorias can be had on Thursday nights starting about 7:30pm. The Diablito is a nice appetizer experience and I've enjoyed their fajita chicken and bocitos de pollo.
- Restaurante el Cony Instead of the fish soup (a fish in a la soup), try their chuleta de pollo a la plancha wasn't bad and they have some neat historical photos of Jinotega. From the rotary, head west, through the narrow alley that runs on the north side of the river, and then keep going west.
- Everyone talks about Soda El Tico, but it is hit and miss. They have decent breakfasts and some go there to enjoy a cheeseburger. Ask them to give you more than three french fries.
- La Colmena was supposed to be the nicest restaurant in town, but it has closed and changed hands. If you're going for expensive, heavy meats, try Restaurante El Tico instead. The filet mignon there is quite good. It comes with four french fries. Father and son own Soda and Restaurante.
- Hotel Cafe seems overpriced and very ordinary.
- Don Colocho's bakery and cafe has been a bakery for 30 years and a cafe for 5 years. This is an excellent place to sit down with friends and enjoy a frappuccino and some delicious pastries. They regularly sell sweet breads, cheese breads, cakes, and tarts, as well as frappuccios, cappuccinos, and other coffee based beverages, as well as purified water. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm and are located just North of Mistral school.
- Esatblished in November of 2011, Bull's Bar and Restarant has been satisfying it's customers with great food and drinks since day one. Their main dish is Soup de Huevo de Tora, which costs 130 cordobas(about $5.00 in U.S. money). Bull's is also ecofriendly, the first bar and restaurant to do this in it's area. They also offer purified water. It is located at Barrio Ernesto Rosales. 1/2 blocks East of Batazo.
- El Tico has very good, Americanized Nicaraguan food, and very importantly, purified water. It is buffet style and family friendly, and also has fast, friendly service. It's hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30am to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 9:30pm. It is located at Del Silais 1 1/2 Blocks North. Their phone number is 278-22-059.
- La Terraza Cafeis located right above Soda El Tico. They have a large variety of cakes and beverages, like Tres Leches, Selve Negra, Cappuccinos and Frappuccinos, and purified water. The atmosphere is very relaxed with small cafe tables and couches to lounge on. Only opens after noon. More like a sports bar, very difficult to have a conversation here.
- Eskimo is one of the most famous ice cream shops in all of Jinotega. It is safe and filled with various flavors of ice cream. They have shakes, cones, sundaes, and much, much more. The prices are very affordable, and it is located just a few doors down from El Tico. Swing by for great ice cream! They are open everyday from 10am to 8pm, and their phone number is 278-22-555.
- Dino's is a restaurant with a fun, fresh, and calm atmosphere. They offer foods such as pizzas, beef, pork, chicken, pastas, salads, seafood, burgers, deserts, and more. Dino's has purified water as well. They also offer wi-fi. Tey are open everyday from 7am to 10pm, and are located at Del Gallo Gallo 3 Blocks North. Their phone number is 278-22-137.
- For 10 years, Chaba's Pizza has been offering it's customers extravagant pizzas with toppings including pepperoni, cheese, sausage, chicken, ham, Hawaiian, vegetarian, and so much more. Their prices are as follows: Medium pizza is 180 to 265 cordobas, Large pizza is from 220 to 390 cordobas, Family size is from 260 to 365 cordobas, Super size is from 340 to 400 cordobas, and Jumbo size is 345 to 480 cordobas(all of these range from about $5.00 to $20.00 in U.S. money). Chaba's Pizza is also in partnership with Conceptos, a nightclub right next to it.
- For quick lunches, try the tacos at Cafeteria Trebol, on the north side of the central park, with orange-carrot refresco and fruit salad afterwards. Across the street from Soda el Tico is Buffet el Buen Sazon, which is typical but very good. They have a nice salad selection. The pico de gallo and tortilla chips are a treat! There's also Comedor Chavarra near Soppexcca, a block west and a couple south. Same food as you get cheaper in the market, but you can eat it without smoke inhalation.
- For a cheap afternoon snack, Pizza Movil Express in the central park is better than Chaba's Pizza and at C$10 a slice, much cheaper too. They're open roughly 3PM-9PM.
- For a good burger and beer in town (La Pererra has excellent ones), Country Burger, a few blocks north of Esso Central, gives you one with lots of veggies and decent (non-limp) fries.
- The pharmacy south of the cathederal has Cadbury chocolate. For the same price you can pick some up at Castillo de Cacao in Matagalpa. The Eskimo parlor is nice when you want an ice cream cone. There's a newer, cheaper, and friendlier one just south of Punto Moda.
Roca Rancho has C$12 Victorias and live music on Thursday nights starting at 8PM.
Soppecxxa is a good coffee shop that is popular with the few extranjeros in town. Its two blocks ?west? from Supermarket Pali.
Check out the bar map they have at La Biosfera Cloud forest retreat, 4kms out of town, it lists all the great bars in Jinotega a very entertaining day out.
Hotels run from $4 to $100 a night and are easy to come by.
- If you brought more collared shirts than non-, stay at Hotel Café.
- Also try Hotel Kiuras, a family-owned hostel with Wi-Fi and great amenities. The owner is even a doctor, an added bonus.
- If you have a beard, Chacos, and a ten-year-old Arc'teryx backpack, stay at Hotel Central
- La Biosfera Cloud Forest Retreat, ☎ 8698-1439, . 4kms (walking distance) outside of Jinotega on the road to Matagalpa, and serves as a great balance of rural retreat and urban amenities. Amazing views, a bat cave, trails to local coffee plantations, bar crawl map of Jinotega, and more. Organic permaculture based gardens and backpackers dorm accomodation, which also has amazing views. Very flexible work-exchange opportunities can also make for an affordable excursion for folks with a bit more time and less money. Contact Suzanne. edit
- Circulo de Amigas, Barrio Linda Vista Sur Casa #32, ☎ 2782-5083, . A local non-profit that also houses travelers at their facility. Accomodations are clean, safe, and reliable. Contact organization for more information. edit
Of all of the places in Nicaragua to do volunteer work, Jinotega is perhaps the most worthy. Due to its problematic history Jinotega has suffered through a serious decline in infrastructure. Jinotega is a place largely forgotten by the outside world.
- AVODEC - the Association of Volunteers for the Development of Communities is a good NGO to visit. It's a small Nicaraguan-founded NGO focusing on sustainable development. It's about 4 blocks north of the Esso Central. Just ask your average Jinotegan where AVODEC is, they will probably know. A couple staff members there speak English.
- Circulo de Amigas - aka: CdA - a volunteer-run, registered 501(c)(3) secular non-profit, working to alleviate poverty one girl at a time. In conjunction with the Nicaraguan Center for Education and Social Promotion (CEPS), they help girls and young women acquire the skills and tools needed to improve their lives. In doing so, they enable children to attend school and give direct aid to victims of severe hardship or regional crisis. Located in Barrio Linda Vista Sur, they have a variety of needs all year long. You can also stay at their facility for less than most local hotels. Visit their website for more information.
- Outreach360 - $2000 "fee" per month for the privilege of helping! Volunteer elsewhere, where you are appreciated by your work and not by the money you are bringing.
- To Matagalpa: Buses depart every 30 minutes starting at 5am. The last bus leaves at 7pm. 25 Cordobas (as of Mar 2015).
- To Managua: Express buses depart every 60 minutes starting at 4:00am. The last bus leaves at 5:30pm.
- To Estelí: starting at 5:15am. The last bus leaves at 3:30pm.