somoto canyon

Somoto canyon

Located 15 kilometers from the departmental head, Somoto, is one of Nicaragua's most spectacular natural beauties.

It was decreed on November 29, 2006 protected area in the category of "National Monument" and the government stamped its image on 50 córdobas tickets.

This rock formation is the oldest in Central America, estimated to have an age between 15 and 5 million years.

Namancambre Somoto

The locals have always known it with the name of Estrechura or Namancambre, where in Ulúa-Matagalpa language the term "naman" means "bone".

According to another version comes from the native chorotegas and was the name that gave the tree with magical properties that grew in the zone of the farallones

The canyon was discovered in the world in 2004 by a group of Czech and Nicaraguan geologists who carried out studies in the area on their tourist potential.

Exactly it is a canyon between two great mountains that meet in a narrow space occupied by a river. From inside you can contemplate the natural beauty of the site and take advantage of it to carry out any of the sports activities that are offered in the area.

According to INETER (Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies) the canyon is composed of irregular rocky forms with a width that varies according to the zones between 10 and 15 meters, with cliffs of a height between 120 and 150 meters, has an approximate extension of 4.5 Kilometers and an area of ​​170.31 hectares.

The canyon protects the birth of the Coco River also known by the name of Wangki, the longest river in Central America. At that point the small rivers of Comalí, coming from Honduras and the Tapaclí River, from San José de Cusmapa in the department of Madriz meet.

Along the rocky formation are formed jumps and we can find 8 pools, some of them with a considerable depth between 80 and 100 meters, of a color between turquoise blue and emerald green.

In the area of ​​the canyon there is a wealth of flora and fauna. We can find a great variety of birds like chocoyos, hawks, ojoques and herons; Also live in the canyon garrobos, raccoons, whitetail deer, guardrails and rabbits as well as a variety of butterflies and nocturnal birds like bats.

As for the flora we can find plants like orchids, bromeliads, agaves and cacti.

Cañon de Somoto photos

Since 2004, due to its tourism potential, services and activities have been developed to exploit the Canyon in a sustainable, respectful and responsible way.

Many of the locals have been trained to offer the service of tour guide, some of the houses of the communities that are in the area have adapted their facilities to offer the visitor a comfortable stay and family treatment.

There are different tour operators in the area and in other parts of the country that offer tours and packages to visit this national monument. The prices are varied depending on the services you want to hire.

It is recommended to hire the services of guides of the area and of tour operators to be able to enjoy the maximum of the visit.

The entrance to the Canyon is 20.00 córdobas (0.75 $) managed by the City Hall. The journey by boat of about 200 meters approximately costs 50.00 córdobas per person (1.80 $), the route is made with total security and it is mandatory to wear the life jacket. There is also the option of doing some part of the tour in giant tires at a very affordable price and guided by staff of the expert place in the area.

In the Canyon can be carried out a number of activities: rappel, 35 meters and 45 meters. The height is chosen by the tourist, and for professional descents of up to 300 and 400 mts. , Trekking tours that have been enabled by Intur (Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism) to enjoy the breathtaking views and fauna of the place., Boat and tire tours, swimming, camping, hiking tours.


If you travel in your own vehicle from Managua, you have to go to the exit of the north, by the Airport,

by the Pan-American highway heading to Estelí-Somoto.

At the junction of Yalagüina follow direction Somoto-El Espino.

Always on the Panamericana, once it arrives at Somoto, it continues in the direction of Espino.

In the 230 km and a half is the entrance to the Canyon, community Valle de Sonis, on dirt road.

A few meters from the entrance you will find the booth where they will provide all the information you need and where you have to pay the entrance.

If you do not bring a vehicle suitable for the type of road you can park your vehicle in the parking area for a cost of 10 córdobas (0.2 $) or in one of the nearby houses with all the confidence.

From the information booth you must walk on dirt road for about 2 kilometers until you reach the river. Then you have to skirt the river until reaching the area where the journey begins by boat.

The canyon can be reached on foot from the river that crosses it walking about 1km and once in the canyon you can follow another foot of 400 meters. But when arriving at a certain point it is necessary to cross it with some of the boats that are arranged by the tourist administration. And has a price of 20 C $ the round trip. You can also travel a stretch of the river with donut-swellable floats for a small fee.

Both highly recommended activities We recommend hiring a local guide to have more security and more information and to enjoy your trip to the maximum. If you travel by bus from Managua, you should go to the Mayoreo bus terminal.

Express buses depart at the following times: 7:15 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. And 4:45 p.m. With a price of 110 cordobas (approximately $ 4.00). The trip to Somoto expands between three and a half hours and four. Once in Somoto you have to take a bus from the terminal "de la frontera" to the Sonis Valley. The ticket costs about 8 córdobas ($ 0.35)

Map of Cañon de Somoto