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Travel Guide Central America Nicaragua Estelí

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Introduction

Estelí is a city in Nicaragua. Estelí has historically been and continues to be a Sandinista stronghold and you can see almost as many murals bearing witness of this as in León. It is also a center of the coffee- and tobaco- growing industries of Nicaragua.

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Sights and Activities

When you arrive in Estelí get a taxi right away to the best attraction in town. Just say "del tánque de agua Mercado Alfredo Lazo cuartro cuadras al oeste" (it’s 4 blocks west of the of the big blue water tank at outdoor farm market), you'll see the sign at the main gate. Where you'll see, nestled in a park-like setting, two beautiful buildings covered with murals that tell the history of the project in colorful wall paintings, and picturing the step-by-step process of recycling paper by hand and making greeting cards. You might see paper sheets already drying in the sun on large whiteboards. The women environmentalists, las Mujeres Ambientalistas, will show you how they make primitive paper using a process that’s hundreds of years old. And, they will let you get your hands wet while making some of your very own paper. Be sure to have good batteries in your camera and lots of room on your memory chip, you'll be glad you did. This place was made for a camera. Tour the natural medicine garden, tropical plants garden and the vegetable garden. Some folks like to spend the whole afternoon in this tranquil area away from all the noise and confusion of the city. If you can, take photos of the Guardabarrancos - the Nicaraguan National Bird that land in the trees from time to time. If you have binoculars bring them along.

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Getting There

From the Honduran border, you can take a bus to Ocotal, then from Ocotal to Esteli. As Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have a border agreement you should not have to pay for crossing the border; however, some officials will still collect a fee.
From the south, there are frequent buses from Managua and other points. Buses from Managua every 30 minutes.
From León : Also expressos (a regular one leaves about 09:30 from the north terminal).
From Jinotega: One bus leaves at 09:00, C$50 (córdobas), 2-3/4 hours.

There are two bus stations both on the Pan American about 100m from each other. The southern is smaller and better organised but more buses come and go from the north. Most main destinations are served by both though so you will need to check both for times, etc.

Both stations are a little out of the main town (C$15-20 in a collectivo to the Parque Central 2007). 20 minutes walking from the Parque Central. Turn left at the first paved road and then right about 4 blocks later - when you hit the main north/south street (with lots of shops, comedores and people around).

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Getting Around

Local buses (C$4 to any destination) and shared taxis (C$12 in the central area and no more than NIO20 within the city. Agree on the price before you get in). You can easily walk around the city centre.

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Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Esteli or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes can be found in most larger cities and popular areas, but even in smaller towns you will usually be able to connect somewhere.
Wifi is generally free at most hotels, with the notable exception of larger chain hotels, which generally charge between US$3 and US$8 per day.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international phone code of Nicaragua is 505. The general emergency number is 911, though you can contact police (118), fire (115) and ambulance (128) separately if you want.

Nicaragua's cell phone system utilizes GSM 1900 technology. So, if you have a GSM phone that supports the 1900 band you can either use your phone as is at international rates or if your cell phone is unlocked , you can purchase a SIM card for your phone and you will have a local cell number and be charged local cell rates. Both Claro and Movistar provide cell phone service in the country. Claro is run by the old national phone company (ENITEL) that has now been privatized.

Another option is to buy a cell phone locally. Disposable cell phones are quite inexpensive, usually costing about US$20.

You can also purchase local prepaid phone cards that can be used at pay phone across the country. The different pay phone systems each have their own phone cards, so pay attention to which type you purchase.

Post

Correos de Nicaragua provides postal services. It's fairly cheap but not extremely reliable or fast. Post offices are generally open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Airmail postage for a standaard letter or postcard from Nicaragua to North America is US0.60 and US$1 to Europe. Mail takes on average between 7 and 10 days to get to the U.S. and Europe. Though it's fine for sending a postcard, you'd better use companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx to send parcels internationally.

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Accommodation in Estelí

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Estelí searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Estelí and areas nearby.

Estelí Travel Helpers

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This is version 13. Last edited at 12:15 on Oct 4, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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