Esteli Department in Nicaragua

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Contenido

The Esteli Department in the north of Nicaragua

The department of Esteli is located in the north of Nicaragua and is one of the most important departments of the country due to its economic development in the last decades.

This department is very rich in natural resources, has protected areas and is a reference producer of tobacco. In addition, its inhabitants are well known for their charisma and hospitality.

Visiting the department of Esteli is a unique experience that should not be missed whether you are a national or foreign tourist.

Let's learn more about the department of Esteli.

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Population of the Department of Esteli

Esteli has about 228,766 inhabitants. This figure is not exact due to the lack of population censuses conducted by the government; but it is a realistic approximation based on data obtained from past censuses and the population growth rate.

The population is distributed among the 6 municipalities that make up the department, with the municipality of Esteli, which is also the departmental capital, being the largest. The rest of the municipalities are smaller and have multiple rural communities.

Climate of the Department of Esteli

The climate of the department of Esteli is tropical. During the dry season the climate in Esteli is hot but relatively cool compared to the Pacific zone of Nicaragua.

During the rainy season it is common to have to deal with quite heavy drizzle that sometimes makes it impossible to travel.

Being located in the north of Nicaragua, the department of Esteli offers a pleasant climate thanks to its mountainous relief and ample vegetation.

Relief

Esteli is made up of several plateaus divided by valleys where there are varied climates, predominantly cool mountain.

Two well-known and accessible destinations in the area are the nature reserves of Miraflor (north) and El Tisey-La Estanzuela (south). The first is an extensive mountainous area that alternates between agricultural farms and natural conservation sites where you can appreciate waterfalls, dry and humid tropical forests, as well as a great variety of birds and orchids. The second is well known for its waterfall Salto de La Estanzuela, where you can swim or rappel, although the reserve area is very large and has many other attractions.

The department is rugged, mountainous, partly a large plateau, called the "Estelian highlands." There are several mountain lakes at altitudes above 3500 feet above sea level. There are also a number of springs. The department is essential outside of the active volcanic zone.

The department of Estelí is located between the geographical coordinates of 13˚05'00" N and 86˚21'00" W and has an area of 2,229.7 km², with an altitude of 844 meters above sea level.

Flora and Fauna of the Department of Esteli

Flora

The predominant flora in the department of Esteli is savannah and stunted with some patches of coniferous forests (Pinus oocarpa). There are three vegetation formations: humid, fresh humid and rainforest (Miraflor).

Fauna

Estelí's fauna has decreased in recent decades due to poor management by the inhabitants. In the mountains far from urban areas, there are still some species such as cusucos (armadillos), garrobos, foxes, sloths, a great variety of reptiles, and birds, including the almost extinct macaws and parrots.

Protected areas in the department of Esteli:

  • Cerro Tomabú Natural Reserve
  • Cerro Tisey - Estanzuela natural reserve.
  • Cerro Quiabuc - Las Brisas natural reserve.
  • Miraflor - Moropotente nature reserve.
  • La Pataste Nature Reserve

 

Hydrography of Esteli

The main river that crosses the municipality is the Estelí River, which forms the Estanzuela waterfall.

The Estelí River, due to its high level of contamination and the high rate of deforestation of its watersheds and banks, governmental and non-governmental organizations have implemented a sewage management and reforestation plan to try to stabilize the river's contamination.

The river has a great indigenous people's historical sense; at its headwaters there are large quantities of stones with figures made by the indigenous people of the primitive community of Esteli, which are stones of volcanic origin, incised in low relief, with figures of the elements of nature, the cardinal points, reflecting features of their worldview.

Limits of the Department of Esteli

  • To the north with the Department of Madriz.
  • To the south with the departments of León and Matagalpa.
  • To the East with the Department of Jinotega.
  • To the West with the Department of Chinandega

Economic Activities of the Department of Esteli

Tobacco has always been reflected in the economic activity, 65 percent of the economy of Esteli depends on it, almost 60 factories generate more than 30 thousand direct jobs in that city.

It is an activity of major chain that goes from cultivation, pre-industry and cigar manufacturing, the latter located among the 25 best brands in the world, hence Estelí is also known as "The capital of tobacco".

Commerce and other services, as well as small and medium-sized handicraft industries are equally important. The vast majority of businesses in all economic sectors are of micro, small and medium size. Livestock, basic grains, potato and coffee cultivation are widely represented in this little piece of Nicaragua.

In addition to agriculture (livestock, basic grains, vegetables and coffee) and the tobacco industry, the commercial sector is strongly represented.

Gastronomy of the Department of Esteli

The gastronomy of Esteli includes Vigorón, cheese soup, fish cakes, tamales pizques, fish soup, chicken soup with meatballs, and roasts.

Within the typical drinks of the department of Esteli include pinol and chicha and other soft drinks derived from corn such as tibio, tiste and pozol. Natural fruit drinks are also popular.

 

Traditions of Esteli

From its origins, dance and music have been in the life of the people of Esteli, being the polkas, mazurcas, corridos, jamaquellos, sones, zapateado, waltzes and other northern tunes the most representative of Esteli's folklore.

The leather handicraft workshops are a symbol of Estelí's identity. The elaboration of different types of implements for riding beasts and the famous cowboy boots, internationally known and that are the pride of Estelí, stand out.

Other important handicraft workshops are the woodwork or cabinetmaking, recognized nationally for their high quality.

 

How to get to the Department of Esteli?

 Getting to the department of Esteli is very easy.

If you travel by bus from Managua, you must board a bus at COTRAN Mayoreo to the municipality of Esteli. Buses start leaving at 5:30 AM. Once in Esteli, you can board another bus to the different municipalities of the department.

If you are traveling from the department of León, you can take the microbuses or buses that leave from the terminal to Esteli. There are also buses that go to Esteli from Matagalpa and Sebaco.

 

Map of the Department of Esteli

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Municipalities of the Department of Esteli

These are the municipalities that make up the department of Esteli:

  • Estelí
  •  Condega
  •  Pueblo Nuevo 
  •  La Trinidad
  •  San Juan de Limay
  •  San Nicolás
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Tourist Places in the Department of Esteli

The small towns and villages of Esteli have their own charms and cultural attractions. San Juan de Limay, in the extreme west, stands out for its diverse marble handicrafts. The small Pueblo Nuevo has in its center an interesting museum where pre-Columbian utilitarian and decorative artifacts found in the area are displayed. In the community of Ducuali Grande in Condega, there is a community workshop where they produce clay crafts with very old techniques.

Esteli has many other lesser known attractions in each of its 6 municipalities. In the region are the natural reserves of Tomabú, to the south, and the Cerro Quiabuc - Las Brisas to the east of the capital city. In the north, shared with the neighboring department of Madriz, a destination of interest is the Mesas de Moropotente, where the natural reserve of La Pataste stands out, whose summits preserve cloud forests.

This is a complete list with the tourist places of the department of Esteli that you must visit:

#1. Murals of the city of Esteli
#2. Megafauna Park
#3. La Estanzuela Waterfall
#4. Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral
#5. Tomabu Hill
#6. El Jalacate
#7. Miraflor Natural Reserve
#8. Alejandro Davila Bolaños Museum of History and Archeology
#9. Joya de Nicaragua Factory
#10. Tobacco Farms and Cigar Factory
#11. Corredor de las gordas
#12. El Bosque Paleontological Site
#13. Tisey Ecoposada
#14. Don Alberto's stone sculptures
#15. La Garnacha
#16. Handicrafts of Ducuale
#17. Neblinas del Bosque Farm
#18. Lindos Ojos Cabins
#19. Mirador Avión de Condega

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History of the Department of Esteli

At the beginning of the XVI century it was inhabited by Mayangnas or sumos, Matagalpas, Nahuatl and Chorotegas. They were ruled by a cacique, among them Mixcoatl (the man of a thousand battles).

At the beginning of 1654 Ciudad Antigua was occupied by English pirates and the Spaniards were forced to leave their lands, thus Estelí, Condega and Pueblo Nuevo.

Around June 13, 1685, the Spaniards arrived from Ciudad Antigua evicted the inhabitants and founded the Villa de San Antonio de los Esterillos, this settlement is also known as Villa Vieja, later called Villa de San Antonio de Estelí, when they moved to the Michigüiste Valley on the banks of the current Estelí River (fleeing from the English pirates and the Xicaques Indians), they adopted the name of Villa de Estelí, settling in that place until today.

On the outskirts of the current city, there are the remains of what was the chapel of the Villa in colonial times, which was visited by Bishop Pedro Agustín Morel de Santa Cruz 1752 expressing that its foundation was by mestizos and mulatto neighbors of Nueva Segovia.

The town was populated mostly by mestizos who worked in the haciendas, even though the legislation of that time allowed them to build haciendas, they did not build them, the Spaniards did, because they were not subject to the legislation.

The Villa of Estelí belonged to the jurisdiction of León but, in 1821, it became dependent on Matagalpa before its own jurisdiction was constituted, although already in 1788 the creation of a Partido de Estelí with its District of Haciendas had been proposed. In 1795 it was included in the sub-delegation of Nueva Segovia. In 1795 the Villa was included in the subdelegation of Nueva Segovia.

On December 8, 1891 the department of Estelí is created and the Villa is promoted to city, during the government of President Roberto Sacasa.

On October 9, 1897, it loses the departmental head on October 9, 1897 for having participated in an uprising against the government of General José Santos Zelaya. It regained it again on March 1, 1900 although in practice it was on February 26, 1898 even though the initial law 1 was on February 26, 1898.

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