Toward the border with Honduras is a small village, Somoto. Somoto itself is a small town with not much to do, but it is mainly known for its canyon. This region of Nicaragua is not yet very well known and it is still little visited by tourists. Too bad, because in the area, including around Estelí and Matagalpa, you will find several nature reserves and nature is very beautiful.
You can visit Somoto Canyon either by yourself or with a tour. There is an added value to going with a tour, as the guide can tell you more about the area, as well as tell and help you traverse the canyon. You start with a hike through the hills and then you arrive at the canyon, through which the Coco River flows. Almost immediately you step into the water and swim through the canyon. There are also places where you can jump from the rocks into the river, which can be done from different heights from 5 to 25 meters. The last part you go by boat after which you walk back to the entrance. A tour costs about $25, including transportation and lunch, and can be booked online, among other things.
How do you get there and back?
Somoto has its own bus station (terminal) from which several buses depart. You get to Somoto by traveling through Ocotal. From the Honduras border, Ocotal is about 30 minutes for 25 Cordobá/€0.65. You will arrive at the Ocotas bus station where there are several stops. There is also a sign with departure times to the various destinations in the area. Buses to the Las Manos border go every 30 minutes approximately, buses to Estelí and Somoto every 50/60 minutes and to Managua about every 60/90 min. You pay for your bus ride on the bus. The bus ride from Ocotal to Somoto takes about 45 minutes and costs 25 Cordobá/€0.65.
If you want to go to Estelí from Somoto you can take a chicken bus or the express bus, which goes directly and stops less often than a chicken bus. The express (expreso) goes a few times a day at set times. You can check the current times at your hotel or at the bus station.