Nicaragua’s central highlands are a perfect destination for visitors seeking cool bright mountain weather and exquisite vistas of rolling blue-green mountains. In the words of the Moon Handbook “This is a country of caves, legends, myths, fresh produce, and above all, Nicaraguan black gold: coffee.”
Still relatively undiscovered, and certainly far less visited than the south western part of Nicaragua, early signs indicate that this area is on the edge of a real estate boom – similar in character to places such as Boquete and Volcán in Panama’s Chiriquí province. For those seeking a mountain idyll in Nicaragua – this is the place to be. The weather has a perfect spring like quality year round, the landscape is ever green, the fertile soil produces a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables and the mists flow from one captivating valley to the next.
The main cities in the area are Jinotega and Matagalpa (both at around 3,000 ft) – and the paved road between them is probably the most scenic in the country. Jinotega is known as "La Ciudad de las Brumas" or "City of the Mists" for the magnificent mists continuously shrouding the surrounding mountaintops. Jinotega's industrial activities include flour milling, tanning, coffee processing, and the manufacturing of hats and mats and the whole region is rich with corn, beans, flowers, and vegetables.
The larger city of Matagalpa is also known for its cool weather and cloud forests. Matagalpa is the only city in the country to have a cemetery especially built for foreigners because of the many German, English and North American immigrants who came here to settle following the invitation by Louis Elster and his wife Katharina Braun to grow coffee in the 1880s.
The central highland area is located around 2 hrs drive from the capital city, Managua. There is also a private airstrip at Apanas.