El Salto de la Estanzuela is one of the few waterfalls in Nicaragua easily accessible on foot from a major centre of population. Located in the Reserva Natural Tisey-Estanzuela, it’s reached on a lovely two-hour walk through green, rolling hills – although it’s also possible to drive right to the foot of the falls. The path begins just beyond the hospital at the southern edge of town – it’s a fairly dull forty-minute walk to get here, and you may want to get a bus (C$4) from the eastern end of the Parque Central. Turn right at the Kiosko Europeo and follow the path around to the left for 4km or so until you see a sign for “Comunidad Estanzuela”; go through the gate on the right-hand side and follow the path for another 1km (you can cut off early if you want to explore the lovely but litter-strewn stretch above). The falls themselves – 35m or so in height – are located at the bottom of a steep flight of steps and cascade spectacularly into a deep pool perfect for swimming in. Don’t go directly underneath the falling water as rocks do occasionally fall down, especially after heavy rainfall. Nearby is El Mirador, one of the most spectacular viewpoints in all Nicaragua; on a clear day it’s possible to see volcanoes as far away as El Salvador.

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