Once a bustling and important link on the national railway, today scenic El Sauce is just a sleepy mountain town cut straight from an Old West movie. The town bursts to life during the third and fourth weeks in January, when thousands of pilgrims from all over Nicaragua, Guatemala and beyond make their way here to pay their respects to El Señor de Esquipulas (the Black Christ).
The image, to which all manner of miracles have been attributed, arrived in El Sauce in 1723 from Esquipulas, Guatemala, and refused to move another centimeter upon arriving at this lovely spot. The beautiful 1853 Iglesia de Nuestro Señor de Esquípulas was declared a national sanctuary in 1984. Part of it was destroyed in a fire in 1999; the Black Christ, however, was saved.
Religious pilgrimage aside, El Sauce allows you to experience country life and to go hiking in the surrounding mountains.