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Introducing Juayúa

‘Why-ooh-ah’ is famed for its weekend fería gastronómica (food fair) where crowds from across the country sample the region’s best cuisine and dance to live music on the plaza. Barbecued iguana, guinea pig and frog skewers headline an ambitious menu; less risky fare includes riguas de coco (fried coconut and cornmeal) and elote loco (crazy corn) lathered with parmesan cheese and mustard.

During the week, Juayúa returns to its relaxed roots, as travelers stroll the warm, cobblestone streets, venture into the surrounding hills to explore hot springs and waterfalls, or just catch their breath by Cristo Negro, an important religious statue carved by Quirio Cataño in the late 16th century and housed in the church.

Ideal for wandering, Juayúa is small and its streets follow a standard grid. The church is on the west side of the plaza and behind it is the market.

Juayúa has a tumultuous past. Indigenous uprisings in the region ignited the revolutionary movement of 1932. Backed by the coffee elite, government forces brutally quelled the ill-organized insurrection.