- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Just as the Pan-American Highway begins its curvy climb into higher altitudes, midsize La Trinidad, named for the three hills that surround it, is a festive village of bread bakers, bus drivers, musicians, and cowboys.
Its unhurried and friendly populace can often be found hanging out in the well-tended central plaza—kept green even in the height of the dry season. The Catholic church, although decidedly ugly by Latin American standards, may be worth a visit during mass to hear the dueling mariachi choirs.
La Trini’s rip-roaring fiestas patronales, celebrating La Virgen de Candelaria and Jésus de Caridad, occur during the last week of January and roll raucously into the first week of February, with a famous hípica (horse parade) that attracts riders from all over Central America.
Take a walk up to the old Spanish cross or west up the river valley road to the Rosario shrine—allow about an hour each way. The hill to the east of the highway is the legendary Mocuana, with its caves of witches, gold, snakes, and a tunnel to Sébaco, if you believe everything you hear.
Hotel y Restaurante Tzolkin (tel. 505/2716-2124 or 505/8437-6067, winstonmairena [at] yahoo [dot] com, $15–20) is located just off the southwest corner of the park, serving dinner for less than $4.
Otherwise dine at Don Juan’s Las Sopas, on the southern outskirts of town; this is a popular stopover for Pan-American commuters and truck drivers, with an open-air patio and a fantastic menu of soups—including huevos de toro (bull balls), ox tail, and chicken soup.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition