Nueva Segovia Department, Nicaragua
With its mountainous terrain, spectacular waterfalls, densely forested areas, hot springs and verdant coffee plantations, the Nueva Segovia department of Nicaragua, is divided into twelve municipalities – Ciudad Antigua, Dipilto, El Jicaro, Jalapa, Macuelizo, Mozonte, Murra, Ocotal, Quilali, San Fernando, Santa Maria, Wiwili de Nueva Segovia – and has the city of Ocotal as its capital. Until recently, tourism has not featured much in this picturesque department of Nicaragua, but this is changing as the area is starting to gain recognition for its natural beauty and ecotourism opportunities.
Attractions in the Nueva Segovia department include the ecological park in capital city of Ocotal. The park includes a large variety of indigenous trees and plants, with pathways and benches as well as a central pavilion used for public events. In the eastern side of the park is a cultural center and the municipal library, while on the other side is a 19th century church. Located a short way from the outskirts of Ocotal is an area known as Finca Las Senoritas, with its rushing river, majestic rock formations and variety of animal life.
The hot water springs near the town of Macuelizo, in the municipality of the same name, are a geological phenomenon as they warm the water of a stream for a stretch of more than one kilometer. The neighboring municipality of Santa Maria is home to the Cueva del Duende (Dwarf Cave) with its interesting indigenous paintings and the village of Santa Maria is very charming with its white-washed, tiled roof adobe houses.
The town of Dipilto is located in a very scenic area in the heart of thriving coffee plantations, some of which take in guests as part of a growing ecotourism initiative. Also in the municipality of Dipilto is the settlement of Dipilto Viejo, where a group of women make a living from their handicraft skills, crafting a variety of objects from pine needles. The town of Mozonte, east of Ocotal, is renowned for its production of ceramic crafts, with entire families participating in the production and sale of a wide variety of items. Visitors to the town can observe the manufacture process which is usually run from the family home.
Other attractions of the Nueva Segovia department include the German Pomares hot springs located in El Jicaro municipality; the Salto de El Rosario waterfall in the municipality of Murra; and the hot springs and waterfalls of Jalapa. Breath-taking scenery is the order of the day, no matter where you travel in the Nueva Segovia department, so take some time to explore this fertile region of Nicaragua.