Hidden at the bottom of a verdant valley, Jinotega, the 'City of Mists,' is enclosed on all sides by mountains dappled in cloud forests, crowned with granite ridges and pocked with deep gorges. Its setting is gorgeous, and even though the city is no colonial beauty, the wide streets and neat public squares are inviting, and the climate is cool and breezy.
Few travelers make it here, but those who do enjoy visiting nearby Lago de Apanás and hiking into the misty mountains, where you can discover the local coffee industry and stroll through primary forest. Just make sure to get to Cerro La Cruz on a clear morning to glimpse Jinotega in all her jade glory.
And that City of Mists moniker is no joke – the average temperature is just 20°C (68°F) and the town can get 2600mm of rain annually – so bring a fleece for the cool evenings.