Somoto, Madriz, the north of "Las Segovias", one of the emerging tourist destinations of the country and until recently unknown to most visitors.
The most important commercial activities in the area are coffee production, agriculture and livestock. The landscape in summer (not rainy) is quite dry, which paralyzes agricultural activity due to lack of water in many places in the area.
The capital of the department is Somoto. A small town, if we compare it with the other departmental headers and becomes a normal stop to the crowded border point of El Espino.
Madriz offers a variety of tourist attractions both historical and cultural, as well as natural and gastronomic.
The main tourist attraction, the Somoto Canyon, which has recently been exploited as a tourist destination, is definitely a must see. In it you can enjoy a full day of adventure and descent, as well as refresh and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
But Madriz is much more than the Canyon, Madriz offers us a journey through our history going through pre-Columbian times, discovering engravings, paintings and petroglyphs, passing through colonial times, visiting their churches where we find the oldest of the country; And arriving at the most recent history, the struggle of General Sandino, knowing the heroes who were born and fought in this region of the country.
Madriz, offers us virgin nature, crystal clear water jumps of more than 40 meters, practically unknown as is the Salto del Edén in Las Sabanas, lagoons, protected areas such as the Tepesomoto La Patasta Nature Reserve, caves and rock formations that are a Whim of nature. It also has the passage of the longest river in Central America, the Rio Coco.
In San Juan del Rio Coco we find the La Majaste Nature Reserve as well as the Private Silvestre El Carmen Reserve.
We can not go through Madriz without knowing his craft, made with henequen, in the community of Unile, with black mud in San Lucas, with tuzzle of corn in Totogalpa and with pine tree in San José de Cusmapa.
There are two points in the department of religious interest that stand out above the others, the Shrine of Cacaulí in Somoto and Chorro de la Virgen before arriving at San Juan del Río Coco.
Another point to note is that not forget to try the famous northern donuts, sought throughout the country and beyond its borders, extraordinary quality and taste, exclusive of Madriz. Whether in Yalagüina, Somoto or the rest of the cities in the area, you can find them at a good price and handmade.
In the same department, the population of Palacagüina is also found. Known nationally for the song titled "Christ and was born in Palacagüina", the famous national singer-songwriter Carlos Mejía Godoy and Palacaguina, who is originally from the town of Somoto. In Palacagüina you can know the daily life of the Nicaraguan people of the north and enjoy the local gastronomy in the many restaurants and dining rooms of the town at a very good price.
Madriz offers excursions, donkey or horse riding, bathing in lagoons, abseiling and climbing, trekking, stays in agritouristic farms, spectacular viewpoints, offers history, festival, culture and tradition, adventure and nature.
Undoubtedly if Somoto is known nationally and internationally it is thanks to the Somoto Canyon. But let us find out that Somoto is much more than the Canyon, which is obviously a must visit.
Somoto also known as the city of donkeys, is the departmental head of Madriz, located 216 kilometers from the capital Managua.
Somoto, the birthplace of internationally renowned artists such as singer-songwriters Mejía Godoy and his nephew Luis Enrique, a renowned national singer who still has much to offer.
In the center of the city we find the Church of Santiago built of adobes (blocks made by hand) in 1661. This colonial style church was declared a National Heritage due to its antiquity
After the visit to the Church we can take a walk through the municipal park, located in front of the church. You will be surprised what you will find walking under the shade of large trees. An exhibition of animals, we can contemplate from monkeys to snakes, turtles and lazy bears. It is worth the trip especially if you are traveling with children, who, besides being captivated with the variety of animals, will be able to play in the children's games.
Surrounding this quiet northern city we can visit the different points where archaeological remains of pre-Columbian times have been discovered. Many of the pieces found are displayed in the Municipal Museum, located in the park.
Typical food of Somoto
Somoto is known throughout the country for its donuts, in the municipality there are more than 30 donuts, where you can know up close the whole process of elaboration of this product made from corn.
If what you are looking for in Somoto is contact with nature, you can visit the protected area Tepesomoto La Patasta, located just 10 kilometers from the town center (it extends through the department of Madriz and Estelí). This reserve, which covers 8,700 hectares of land, offers cloud forest forests, lagoons and waterfalls, gazebos where you can see the Gulf of Fonseca and the volcanic mountain range. There are 32 species of protected fauna and a great variety of flora. Within the area we also find archaeological vestiges of pre-Columbian times such as petroglyphs and ceramics.
Somoto is also known as "La Flor del Henequen", because the area is produced. From this, handicrafts are made in the community of Unile, located three kilometers from the town center.
The main tourist attraction of Somoto, is without a doubt the controversial Somoto Canyon. Located 15km from the city of Somoto following the Pan-American highway. This Canyon was officially discovered in 2004 by a team of international geologists who made a report on their tourist potential. Shortly after, it was declared "NATIONAL MONUMENT".
Currently there are many organizers of activities that exploit the canyon touristically and offer packages at very reasonable prices. Making the descent is something very fun and highly recommended as well as refreshing. It is important to strongly recommend that you use some of the guides properly trained to do the tour, since in case of any emergency they will be able to respond in the aid.
In the territory of the city of Somoto specifically in the community of Guasuyuca, there is a place of pilgrimage and relevant national and international level, due to the appearance of the Virgin that took place.
The traditional festivals of Somoto are usually of religious origin, their patron the Apostle Santiago and is celebrated on July 25.
But if it is a holiday, Somoto is famous for its Carnival, which is celebrated in November. A night of partying, fun, dancing and live music. There are several streets in the center of the city that are closed to traffic to accommodate all visitors and all their platforms. Somoto celebrates its carnival all over.
To get to Somoto from Managua, you must follow the North road towards Honduras and at the junction of Yalagüina take the turnoff to the left - it is correctly signposted and has no loss.
If you are coming by bus from Managua, you should go to El Mayoreo bus station, express buses depart for Somoto and Ocotal every hour.
Coming from Honduras, you must enter Nicaragua through the border post of El Espino, from there you will take the only existing road that will take you to the town of Somoto. You can also use one of the buses of the route El Espino-Somoto that leave continuously from the border point.