We landed in Managua, Nicaragua Tuesday night after changing planes in Houston. Then from Managua it was a 148 km (92 miles) car ride north  to Esteli on the Pan-American Highway. By car the drive normally takes about 2 hours. Managua is the capital and largest city (Over 2 million) of Nicaragua. Managua is located on the shore of Lake Managua. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, and also one of the least visited. Honduras borders the north and Costa Rica the south. The Pacific Ocean borders the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country’s physical geography divides it into three major zones: Pacific lowlands, central highlands, and the Caribbean lowlands. Nicaragua is among the poorest countries in the Americas. It is also one of the safest. Agriculture is it’s main export.

Esteli Nicaragua

Esteli is the third largest city (over 100,00) in Nicaragua. Located in the north central highlands, it is one of the most important cigar producing cities in the world. Below is a street mural we passed on a walk to the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Cathedral (photo info: 50mm, 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 400). There are murals in all major cities, and Esteli has no shortage of colorful street murals.

Esteli Street Mural - Gringo In Nicaragua Post

Street mural not too far from the center of Esteli.

Esteli is surrounded by mountains of lush green forests. The photo below is looking out across the city towards the Northwest (photo info: 70mm, 1/100 sec, f/20, ISO 200). The large white structure is the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Cathedral. Construction on the cathedral was from 1882 – 1990.

Esteli Vista With Cathedral - Gringo In Nicaragua Post

View of Esteli including the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Cathedral.

Below is a photo of the cathedral at night (photo info: 18mm, 0.4 sec, f/8, ISO 400). The cathedral is located across the street from the Parque Central (Central Park). Parque Central is bordered on the west by Avenida Central (Central Avenue). Avenida Central and the Pan American Highway are the main north/south streets in Esteli.

Esteli Cathedral At Night - Gringo In Nicaragua Post

View of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Cathedral at night.

Well, all good things must come to a end, and this is the end of our post for part 1 of our trip to Nicaragua. Adios!

Part 2 will include a trip to the Black Forest (Selva Negra) in Matagalpa Nicaragua, coffee country.