Delightful Esteli in Nicaragua
Very few visitors to Nicaragua are likely to have heard of Estelí – even though it is the second largest city in the northern half of the country. Although Esteli has very few noteworthy attractions as such, this pretty little city is nonethelss a delightful place to visit, and its people are warm and friendly. The city of Estelí is located in the Estelí department and is situated roughly 150 km north of Managua. You can reach it by means of the Pan-American Highway and it makes for a great stop if you are planning to travel the northern regions of Nicaragua.
The city of Estelí is situated at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level, which gives it a much cooler, more pleasant climate than much of the rest of the country. The city is viewed as being the gateway to the northern regions of the country so it sees a lot of commercial traffic. People living in the surrounding areas often come to Estelí to sell their products and buy supplies and the agricultural sector is the largest sector in the area. Tobacco is a major industry and high quality cigars are easy to come by in the city. The city currently has a population of roughly 120,000 people and it is growing with each passing year.
One thing worth noting about Esteli is that it is the only place along the Pan American Highway to feature a traffic light between Managua and the Honduran border. Another is that this part of the country served as a refuge for Cuban cigar makers during the Cuban Revolution (which is perhaps why the tobacco industry is so big here) and that the area saw a lot of heavy fighting during the Sandinista revolution. One of the top attractions near Estelí is the ancient petroglyphs that can be found roughly three kilometers east of the city. Some of these petroglyphs date back over to 1000 years ago and they are also near a number of gigantic fossilized mammals that have been unearthed in the area. A number of beautiful waterfalls can be found just five kilometers south of the city and the city itself features some interesting architecture and beautiful views.