Posted by: Caroline | July 12, 2012

San Jose de los Remates

After a couple of weeks in an undisclosed location (don’t worry, we will blog all about it just as soon as we successfully get across the US immigration desks), we landed in Mangua, Nicaragua. This country is kind of our home away from home. We have been here three times now, and we can’t help but compare every other country we visit to this Central American gem. You know those annoying people on vacation who keep complaining about everything because it’s not like home? Yeah, we’re that way about Nicaragua.

One thing we love about Nica: transport is so, so easy. Just hop on the chicken bus–an old school bus, no doubt now colorfully decorated with a combination of Looney Tunes characters and religious slogans, that will almost definitely have at least one chicken as a passenger. In most capital cities, taking an overpriced taxi to a transport hub is a harsh fact of life. That’s why it felt so, so good to walk 250 meters from the airport and hail a bus to Teustepe–a 1.5 hour journey for a mere dollar!

We were bound for the mountains. After a month of hanging out in the heat, we were ready for some cool highland mists.

In Teustepe, we grabbed a bus to the tiny town of San Jose de los Remates.And I do mean tiny: the population is 2,000, and we definitely got an eyebrow raise from the immigration official at the airport when we gave this city as our Nicaraguan address.

We got to San Jose at around 3pm–after waking up in a completely different country at 4am and teetering on mountain cliffs for several hours–and of course, the deluge begins. It’s rainy season, por supuesto.

I also haven’t mentioned that we had no place to stay, nor any idea if there even was a place to stay. We came here because our guidebook said something akin to,”This place is great! Off the beaten track! The mayor is cool and can tell you about good hikes!” That morning on the plane, when we realized we really should start planning our itinerary, we had felt so adventurous! Now, my belongings and self soaked, I didn’t feel quite so adventurous.

Thankfully, some guys at the local FSLN office (Daniel Ortega’s party) invited us in to wait out the storm.

Afterward, we found out from the mayor (who did live up to the guidebook’s cheery assessment) that we could stay at Rincon Chepeno–complete with resident pig.

After setting our (wet) stuff down, we explored town.

Didn’t take long!

The main reason to come to San Jose is for the hiking. The mayor set up a guide to take us on the Ruta de los Charros, a 3-hour hike through cow pastures, banana and coffee farms, plus a healthy dose of mud.

The view of San Jose.

The hike had a few tight squeezes. Worth it.

The First Waterfall

The Second Waterfall


The Third Waterfall

The perfect first stop on the Ruta del Cafe. Next stop: Matagalpa.


  1. […] rather than have a satisfying meal. But by this time the next day we were planning to be in rural Nicaragua, so we had to jump on the amenity while it was […]

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