San Juan de Limay
The story of this place is fascinating. This poor locality, which lies between the western and the northern part of the country, was terribly destroyed by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. But the community came afloat because of the determination of the population and the help of NGOs such as Handicap International, which rebuilt 2,000 houses after the hurricane.
Today, the locality is quiet and peaceful. As you walk along the streets, you can observe the everyday life of the inhabitants, always happy and curious to see new visitors.
Observe the ancient houses made of dirt and wood and the village’s central park, which has withstood the test of time.
This village produced gold in big quantities in 1925, but after the shortage of this precious mineral, the marble rush began. The mineral is now used in the making of “Las Gordas” (the fat ladies). These sculptures, very typical from the area, are influenced by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Each one has its particularity. For example, the fat ladies who carry maize or coffee represent the land’s rich diversity in resources. Almost 20 of these sculptures can be seen in the area. Since most of them are displayed on nice viewpoints, it could be fun to find them all and discover San Juan de Limay’s surroundings in this way.
At San Juan de Limay, you will sleep in the inhabitants’ traditional houses with their squared inner gardens. From there you will be able to explore the area and enjoy all the nice, natural spots of this region.
If you like hiking in marvelous natural spots, San Juan de Limay is definitively the place to go in Nicaragua!
San Juan de Limay is the perfect place for hiking in the Northern Mountains of Nicaragua; there are some marvelous spots with impressive viewpoints over the mountains or the valley. Discover the identity of the people of the countryside and their well-hidden natural treasures.
Waterfalls, canyons, hidden mountains, natural pools, petroglyphs, rivers and other wonders are waiting for you there!
Behind the village, there is a canyon with white rocks and a strong river which formed after the hurricane. There you can observe petroglyphs and enjoy a swim in the fresh waters of the canyon.
One of the major points of interest of the area is the Colocondo waterfall. Hidden in the dry tropical forest, it reaches up to 120 meters! You will have to walk for almost 3 hours to reach this paradisiacal place, but it will all be worth it when you find yourself swimming in the natural pool formed by the cascade.
We recommend you visit some time other than Holy Week (national holiday) if you prefer to avoid the crowds and the hustle.
If you prefer the viewpoints in the great mountains, there is an amazing 3-hour hiking trip to reach the Espinoza cave viewpoint. If you’d rather do some horse riding, you could rent horses from the farms along the road.
Pass by different kinds of landscape, dry tropical forest, and green steppes with high rocks where eagles make their nest. Admire the sceneries and the rich fauna ( some pumas had been seen few years later, sign that the fauna is well preserved) you won’t regret the 3 hours walk .
There you will meet the Espinoza family. This family lost almost everything they had during the hurricane but managed to survive by hiding in this cave. They ultimately chose to stay there and make the cave their permanent home. There, they have everything they need: a small river which brings fresh water from the mountain, land to cultivate beans and vegetables, chickens for the eggs and meat …they even have a radio and cell phones.
After your hike, you can rest and have a picnic under the shade of the trees, basking on the peace of the place. Of course this cave is very interesting, but don’t forget this is not a museum; this is actually their home, so ask a permission before entering.
Please consider leaving a tip as a sign of gratitude for their humble hospitality and support .
If you’re interested in handicrafts, there are plenty of sculpture workshops in the village where you can discover sculptures of different forms and sizes. The “fat ladies” are all made in the San Juan de Limay area, so there is no counterfeit here!