Reserva Natural Macizos de Peñas Blancas

Northern Highlands

What is possibly the most enchanting nature reserve in northern Nicaragua has the mossy, misty, life-altering cloud-forest scenery you’ve been waiting for. Besides massive cathedral trees draped in orchids and bromeliads, there are about four dozen waterfalls, some of which pour into crystalline swimming holes; at least one of them is over 120m tall. In addition, the 116 sq km reserve is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including pumas, jaguars, large troops of monkeys and many rare bird species.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Highlands attractions

1. La Bujona

14.6 MILES

Surrounded by ethereal cloud forest, La Bujona is a wide wall of water that crashes over the rock face in various streams. It feels far from civilization…

2. Cascada La Luna

15.85 MILES

The unassuming community of La Empresa, just off the main road, is the surprising home of the Cascada La Luna, a towering 40m-high waterfall that splits…

3. Sisle

24.37 MILES

On the northern lakeshore in the village of Sisle, local fisherfolk will take you out on boat tours to nearby islands, including Isla Ave (US$2) and Isla…

4. Cascada Blanca

25.23 MILES

Surrounded by forest, this impressive 15m waterfall a short walk from the highway fills a large deep swimming hole. When it's quiet it's absolutely lovely…

5. Yanque

26.75 MILES

About a 20-minute drive further north from Sisle along the road that hugs the lakeshore, near the community of Yanque, you'll find the Comedor Norita,…

6. El Jaguar

27.71 MILES

Both coffee enthusiasts and nature lovers will be enamored with this fantastic private reserve with comfortable cabañas (dorm/room per person including…

7. Selva Negra

27.74 MILES

If you’re looking for comfort with your virgin cloud forest experience, then Selva Negra – part family resort, part coffee farm and part rainforest…

8. Iglesia de los Angeles

27.89 MILES

This modern concrete church has a high, rectangular bell tower that looks at first glance like a water storage facility. It's a popular reference point…