Welcome to Estelí


Set on the Panamericana close to the Honduran border, Estelí was a strategic gateway that saw heavy fighting and helped turn the revolution and, later, the Contra War. It's no surprise then, that Estelí has remained one of the Sandinistas’ strongest support bases. While it's not a particularly attractive place, its character and easy access to the surrounding mountains make it a popular place for backpackers to base themselves.


Top experiences in Estelí

Amazing hotels and hostels

We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

Image for

Estelí activities

$600 Multi-day & Extended Tours

5-Day Rural Communities and Nature: El Chile, Bosawas, Estelí and Somoto Canyon from León

Day 16.30a.m: Leaving from León to El Chile indigenous community (Matagalpa). Here you will visit "Telares de Nicaragua", traditional looms managed by El Chile women cooperative, which makes bags, wallets and different kind of fabrics by hand and following the fair trade ethics.After this visit, you will have a walk around the community up to El Chile ill and its top. This walk is an easy level and will take us 1.5-hour approximately. You will likely find sloths or monkeys.1p.m: Typical lunch in one of women cooperative member's house. 3p.m: Leaving from El Chile to Bosawas Reserve and arrival around 5pm. Once here, you will be welcomed to the Nature Interpretation Center (CEN) where local guides and people will explain you the importance of this forest and its great biodiversity and will present their work to protect it against deforestation. 6 p.m: Rest and dinner. Day 2-3Trekking the Reserve: you can choose among 5 paths of different levels and duration. You can also do rappelling; bird watching and above all enjoy the great fauna and flora bio-diversity.Day 47a.m: Leaving from Bosawas to Estelí and arrival at 1p.m. After lunch you will visit a tabacco industry where you will learn everything about cigars. Night in Estelí at Los Arcos hotel.Day 57a.m: Leaving from Estelí and arrival at Somoto Canyon at around 9:30am. You will spend all the daylong having fun, doing the following activities: Walk along the first part of the river; short trip with a paddle boat up to the entry of the canyon; going through the canyon using track tire as floating device and having a refresh bath in one of the natural pools, listening to the legends and adventures of the canyon told by local guides.If you want to do a longer trekking in order to discover all the canyon it will take approximately 6-hour trekking. This activity has an extra cost.3:30pm: Leaving from Somoto Canyon to León and arrival around 6:30pm.

$2310 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Discover Nicaragua

DAY 1 - MANAGUAWhether you wish to be greeted at the airport by one of our agents, or picked up at the Costa Rican Border, with Welcome to Nicaragua you are in safe hands from the moment you arrive. On arrival at one of our many three-star hotels, you will be supplied with all the info you need for the duration of your stay, as well as details of the exciting adventures that lay ahead of you. And if your flight lands early, you can begin the adventure right away with a city tour of our capital! DAY 2 - ESTELIThe cultural discovery begins right away with a transfer to the charming city of Estelí. You will be greeted by our local guide who will take you to visit The Cathedral of “Nuestra Señora Del Rosario” or White Cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Nicaragua. Marvel at the neoclassical style of this holy place before moving on to the cigar factory. Estelí is world-renowned for it’s high quality cigars and snuff, which are sold throughout the United States and Europe. Even if you don’t partake in smoking a visit to the snuff plantations is a must during your time in the city. On this Discover Nicaragua tour you’ll get to observe the entire manufacturing process as men and women convert humble tobacco leaves into a much-coveted Nicaraguan product.DAY 3 - ESTELIOn day three, things switch from culture to adventure in Estelí. A private transfer will take you to Miraflor Natural Reserve, a stunning nature reserve located high in the mountains where you can expect to find lush forests, wildlife and spectacular waterfalls. Agriculture lives in harmony with Mother Earth up here, and this can be seen no more clearly that at the organic coffee farms run by locals. We offer tours of these farms, as well as a variety of other guided tours detailing the rich biodiversity of the forest and it’s unique flora and fauna. If none of that takes your fancy however, you can simply relax in a hammock and take in the beautiful panorama or thick green leaves against a bright blue sky. DAY 4 - MATAGALPANicaragua is home to so much un-spoilt natural beauty, which is why day four sees your travel from one nature reserve to another. The Selva Negra Nature Reserve, also known as “The Black Forest” is a 300-acre reserve of cloud forest home to a vast array of trees, plants and animals, the type of unique wildlife that we often only see in nature documentaries. Howler monkeys, strangler fig trees, blue morpho butteries, kingfishers and hummingbirds are just some the hundreds of species that exist in this dense tropical wonderland.DAY 4 - MATAGALPAHow you choose to explore Selva Negra..See complete itineraryhttps://www.welcometonicaragua.net/nicaragua-vacations-packages/discovery-nicaragua/

$145 Cultural & Theme Tours

Cigar Lovers Tour from Managua

In this 6-hour tour you’ll witness the actual process of cigar production from tobacco leaves up to the wrapping of cigars. For those nature lovers, Esteli also has a series of beautiful natural reserves to visit. The tour starts at 8am with pick up from your hotel in Managua. You will be transported to Esteli on an air conditioned vehicle, and take a tour of the cigar factory. You will be accompanied by a bilingual tour guide and will have a break to enjoy a traditional Nicaraguan lunch before returning to Managua.

$8.52 Transfers & Ground Transport

PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM MANAGUA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Get around this beautiful land of lakes and volcanoes  your way and enjoy the best places of Nicaragua on a fully-insured  nice A/C private transportation driven by an experienced driver. As the transfer is available 24/7 you can get pick up and drop-  off at the Airport from/to  your hotel in  Managua, Granada, Masaya, Leon , San Juan Del Sur, Rivas, Carazo, Matagalpa, Esteli, Chinandega, Somoto at any time. ( Make sure you select the right option/city) In case of taking the private transportation from the airpot then a well identified staff member will be waiting for you holding a sign with your name on it. Then he will drive you to your destination and remember that this is a private service so you may stop at an time you need it, and the best of all is that the driver speaks english.( if requested).