I did a FB post a little over a week ago of a picture of our truck dusted with snow in Esteli Nicaragua. This picture was an April fools joke but reality is Esteli stays quite cool. We stayed in and around Esteli for 10 days and found the city very pleasant including the cooler weather and sometimes chilly nights. Finding a secure place to camp in a Central American city is usually a challenge. So when we drove by Sonati nonprofit environmental hostel and saw they had a gated backyard, we checked it out. They welcomed us in and we popped the top. This was our first time camping at a hostel and the first time that Sonati had anyone park in their backyard and camp. It worked out great and they said they would be happy to accommodate other overland travelers. Check out the location of Sonati hostel here on our Nicaragua maps page. We met many travelers our days spent there including Julie, a French girl who is blogging over at Portraits Sonores. She took our picture with an antique Rolleiflex camera. We will have to wait to see the exposures till she returns home in a few months and develops them.
We took a few side trips from Esteli returning to the hostel for a few days in between. I posted one of these trips previously about our adventure in Somoto Canyon National Monument. We also took a trip through the Tisey Reserve and visited Salto Estanzuela waterfall before heading to Eco-Posada to camp for the night.
The temperature here was our coolest night spent in the highlands of Nicaragua. We took a short hike the next day through a tropical pine forest in Eco-Posada that offered superior views of the hills around the area. We left there later that day moving onto La Garnacha to pick up some goat cheese that they produce locally in the town. This route loops back to the Pan-American highway where we then returned to Sonati hostel for a few days.