Get Lost: Catch a Buzz in Nicaragua

Dec 3, 2009
Outside Magazine
Finca Esperanza Verde ecolodge

Finca Esperanza Verde ecolodge    Photo: Courtesy of Finca Esperanza Verde

Travel agents like to paint Nicaragua as the next Costa Rica, a volcano-studded landscape full of cloudforests and glassy lakes. Sadly, word has gotten out, and Vegas-size developments are coming to the country's Pacific coast. But inland, you can still find untrammeled adventure. And damn good coffee. Make a pilgrimage to Finca Esperanza Verde, an eco-lodge and organic coffee farm close to Matagalpa, the country's café-cultivating center (two-night package, $186; The finca's owners pioneered responsible coffee production and the use of solar power in the region. Hike the Purple Trail, which takes you to the highest point of the 265-acre farm, a 4,000-foot vista overlooking the Dariense mountain range. Afterwards, cool off on the Blue Trail, a circular route that leads through sloth-filled jungle to a swimming hole at the base of a waterfall. It's a little cold, but you can always warm up with some organic shade-grown in the lodge.