North of Managua, the central highlands sweep up from sea level in a lush procession of mountainous hillsides, bright-green coffee plantations and cattle-flecked alpine pastures, stretching north to the Honduran border and east to the jungles and mines of the interior. The climate here is fairly temperate and the soil productive, with plenty of tobacco plantations and an economy based on coffee, grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy farming. The 150km journey north from Managua to Estelí, the northeast’s largest city, is one of the most inspiring in the country, as the Carretera Interamericana winds through the grassy Pacific plains, skirting the southern edge of Lago de Managua before climbing slowly into a ribbon of blue mountains. East of here is Matagalpa, a town of steep slopes and coffee shops, while around the two sit fincas and reserves that merit deeper exploration.

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Nicaragua features

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Nicaragua's tourism revolution: this is the year to visit

Nicaragua's tourism revolution: this is the year to visit

Nicaragua is fast becoming the must-visit Central American nation. Sarah Gilbert tells us why you need to explore this fascinating country before the crowds and…

18 Aug 2015 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
Great journeys – as chosen by you

Great journeys – as chosen by you

A bus ride through the Ladakh Range, India Whether you love travelling by planes, trains or automobiles, we all have fond memories of at least one particular j…

04 Sep 2014 • Lottie Gross camera_alt Gallery
The travel bucket list

The travel bucket list

If you’re after unforgettable experiences to add to your travel bucket list, look no further. With some help from our authors, editors and other travel expert…

08 Feb 2013 • Tim Chester insert_drive_file Article
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