Known as “La Perla del Septentrión” – “Pearl of the North” – MATAGALPA is spoken well of by most Nicaraguans, principally, perhaps, because of its relatively cool climate: at about 21–25°C, it’s considered tierra fría in this land of 30°C-plus temperatures. Located 130km northeast of the capital, this small, quiet town is a gateway to the blue-green mountains and coffee plantations that surround it, whether you fancy a short hike into the hills or a longer trip to fincas like the famous Selva Negra to the north.

Matagalpa’s services, hotels and restaurants are spread out between the seven blocks that divide the town’s two principal squares: Parque Morazán to the north and the smaller Parque Darío seven blocks to the south. The town’s main thoroughfares, Avenida José Benito Escobar and Avenida Central, link the two.

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