Miraflor is a beautiful Nicaraguan community with rolling hills and coffee plantations

Miraflor has luscious scenery to die for. We'll tell you how to visit.

Miraflor is a community of farmers in the eastern valleys near Esteli. It’s remote, mostly untouched and full of beautiful nature. If visited, it’s usually as part of an eco tour. Here, travellers can experience the hospitality of a local family and stay on a farm for a few days. We had opted to explore it ourselves. Show up and see what happens.

Miraflor Nicaragua
The glorious rolling hills of Miraflor

The bus for Miraflor leaves Esteli North Terminal at 5:30AM and should be heading in the direction of Yeli. At 5:20AM we spotted a bus exiting the terminal. It said Miraflor on the front and we quickly flagged it down. We asked if this was the one for Yeli. The driver didn’t seem to know anything about Yeli, but agreed it was going to Miraflor, so we could jump on.

Miraflor should take one hour but we were on the bus for two. The bus travelled along every remote road you can imagine. Crawling up and down dusty trails at a snail’s pace, dropping off coffee plantation workers on their way to work. It didn’t matter that the journey took so long. The scenery was gorgeous.

Our arrival point wasn’t where we were expecting. Asking the driver when the bus returned, we were informed it was 3:00PM (having earlier been told the Miraflor / Yeli bus left at 4:00PM). We were now convinced our journey was on the ‘wrong’ Miraflor bus). Anyway, it was now 7:30AM, so it was a long time to explore.

Dog looking at tree
Our friendly four legged tour guide snoops in to a tree

Greeting us off the bus was a dog. Instantly taking a shine to Rose it led us down a path, through fields, fairy tale forests and farmers’ gates. This dog was the perfect tour guide. Looking out for our every move, fending off other dogs and even scaring away cows! (Although the cows didn’t need scaring away…cows are harmless).

Nicaragua Cows
We passed a lot of cows on our walks through the fields of Miraflor

The dog’s return trip lasted for an unbelievable three hours! We got treated to nature that was nothing like how I imagined Nicaragua to be.

Resting back where the bus dropped us off, we asked a lady in her home shop when the next bus to Esteli was. There was another bus at 11:30AM, but that was an hour’s walk away (clearly we had caught the wrong bus in the morning). Otherwise it was in that very spot at maybe 2:30 – 3:00PM. Hmmm! Still a lot of time on our hands.

We rested for a while. Over the course of an hour some interesting characters passed by the shop. We were visited by locals, chickens, other dogs, the army, crisp and then cake salesmen. I do enjoy people watching!

Nicaragua Flowers
Flowers on the nature trail at Finca Fuente de Vida

Not wanting to sit for hours, we set off on another adventure. The dog remaining a loyal companion and tour guide. This time we followed the main road and it led to a finca (coffee plantation). Although surprised at visitors, the lady rustled us up some food and of course, a coffee. Exploring the finca, we walked a nature trail and saw some beautiful flowers and fauna.

During the nature trail, our four legged companion got itchy feet and nearly started a fight with a bull. It was time to leave.

Dog and cows in Nicaragua
Our guide dog ‘Finca’ started to pick a fight with a bull!

Enjoying the scenery and wanting to take full advantage of the fincas, we rested at another one a further half an hour up the road. Our dog (now conveniently christened ‘Finca’ by Rose and I), strolled in to their kitchen.

The owner didn’t seem to mind. Asking if she knew the dog, their reply was “Yes it’s mine. She’s called Bambino“. The owner was completely un-surprised to hear the dog had now spent five hours with us.

After relaxing with a coffee and freshly squeezed orange, we caught wind of the time and made our way back to the starting point. A journey in Miraflor wouldn’t be complete without a dog, so another one joined us. It stuck by our side all the way.

3:00PM rolled around and sure enough,  bus arrived. We were going back to Esteli after an unplanned and adventurous day.

Visiting Miraflor

If you want to visit Miraflor and get a real local experience, such as living with a family and staying in their home, Treehuggers offer eco tours.

Miraflor skyline
Beautiful skylines await you at Miraflor

Other things to see in the Esteli and Miraflor area

The area of Miraflor and Esteli is renown for cigars. I’ve heard of tours that let you smoke all you wish until the visit ends. More information is available here.

Coffee plantations are in abundance. Exploring the trails of Miraflor, you’re bound to find some. If you’d like to arrange a tour of a larger scale plantation, visit Matagalpa Tours for more information.


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