macizo peñas blancas

Macizo Peñas Blancas Natural Reserve

The Peñas Blancas Natural Reserve is one of the 6 reserves that make up the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. It is located in the eastern part of Bosawas and was declared a nature reserve in 1991. Suárea, 115.5 kilometers long, extends to two departments in the northern part of the country, Matagalpa department and Jinotega department. In Matagalpa in the municipalities of El Tuma La Dalia and Rancho Grande and in Jinotega in the municipality of Cúa.

Tourism in Peñas Blancas

If what you are looking for is tranquility, an encounter with the purest and most virgin nature, baths in cold and crystal clear waters under leaps that leave you breathless, sharing and knowing the daily life of the settlers, disconnect completely since in the area there is no sign of cell phones or internet connection, without a doubt here you will find what you want.

Location of Peñas Blancas

This treasure of nature is located 200 kilometers from the capital Managua, and 60 kilometers from the departmental capital city of Matagalpa.

Peñas Blancas Forest

The natural reserve is home to one of the largest forests in Central America, we find rainforest and cloud forest jungle. The highest point within the reserve is 1,700 meters above sea level, its rock formations are of volcanic origin and its name is due to the white color of a moss that grows in its cliffs. Within the reserve 27 rivers originate and enjoy 45 days of sunshine throughout the year.
The visitor will be able to make a stop at the CEN, Center of understanding with nature, entity that manages the reserve, located at the sides of the massif.

Camping in Peñas Blancas 

With the Los Guardianes del Bosque cooperative, you can receive information about the reserve and its riches from the same organized settlers. There is an Eco hostel that offers a quiet and pleasant stay, the possibility of camping outdoors and enjoy the most authentic food in the northern area, tortillas steaming directly out of the comal, rooster pinto, curd and fresh cream and of course, a nice cup of hot coffee.

Biodiversity of Peñas Blancas

The richness in diversity of flora and fauna is latent in each step that one advances inside the reserve, listening to the song of the quetzales and waiting to see the appearance of one of the felines that have been sighted by the western zone of the reserve, pumas and jaguars.

​Waterfall in Peñas Blancas

From many points in the reserve's area you can see one of the most impressive and unknown waterfalls in the country, a spring of water that flows through rocky formations at a height of more than 800 meters. 

The jump of the Rainbow, its spectacular beauty leaves without words. Its name is due to the permanent presence of a rainbow formed between water and rocks, giving the jump a magical air.

El Salto de La Sonora

In spite of the fact that the Rainbow Falls steals all the protagonism, in the reserve there is an infinite number of waterfalls, that despite not having the same height as the Rainbow Falls, if they are up to the task of beauty. Among others we find the Salto de la Pavona and the Salto de La Sonora.

Activities to do in Peñas Blancas

The activities that visitors can do in the reserve are endless, hiking, horseback riding, guided routes, bathing in rivers and waterfalls, camping, knowledge of fauna and flora of the reserve including milking cows, as well as sharing and getting to know the rural community life.


If you travel from Matagalpa in your own vehicle, you must take the road towards El Tuma La Dalia-El Cuá, following the signs indicating CEN towards the community of Peñas Blancas.

If you travel by public transport, you must take a bus in the Guanuca terminal in the direction of El Cuá or Bocay, which leaves at 6:00 a. m., 9:00 a. m., 10:00 a. m., 12:00 p. m. and finally at 1:30 p. m. You must get off at the junction La Manzana, in the community of Peñas Blancas. You will have to walk approximately one kilometer to reach the CEN