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Top Nicaragua


Population 15,000


First discovered in 1880, the gold vein in Bonanza was taken over by a Canadian mining company, and in the sixties and seventies became one of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region’s most prosperous entities. The town maintains an Old West type of atmosphere with cobblestone streets and horses as a means of transportation, with Bosawas’ lush mountains jutting through the landscape.


Today gold is still being mined, primarily for jewelry, and in fact there are a host of shops in town that sell inexpensive hand-crafted goods. It is possible to visit the Hemsa Goldmine; tours are free, but reservations need to be made well in advance. The tour requires some agility, so travelers who aren’t in tip-top condition should beware. For reservations call 505-2-794-0066 ext.789 or email .


Hellbent on exploring the Bosawas reserve? A Bosawas information office is located two kilometers north of Bonanza. It has maps and info about visiting the reserve and getting a guide. The office also runs a farm aimed at educating local growers in organic agricultural techniques. The farm is twelve kilometers south of Bonanza, but the Bosawas office can help arrange visits.

The trail leading to the 991-meter high Cerro Natural Cola Blanca begins in the community called Panama, located four kilometers from Bonanza. The peak itself is located within the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve and thirty five waterways here connect to the major rivers Wawa, Kukalaya, El Pijibay, Tara, Bil Tingni and Pis Pis, all of which provide drinking water and transport between neighboring communities.

Thirty five kilometers from Bonanza is Musuwus, the largest Mayangna community where 95% of the population is fluent only in its native tongue. This difficult to access area doesn’t have electricity or water so plan on bringing supplies. There is a Mayangna organization whose office is located in Bonanza. Best to pop in there to acquire about hiring guides.

Located by the market, Hotel y Restaurante B y B has singles for 4 USD and doubles for 5 USD, all of which share baths. (505-2-794-0017). The onsite restaurant is considered Bonanza’s best, and the hotel also features a casino and pool hall, as well as a shop selling locally produced gold jewelry. Another option is Hotel Bonanza, located across from the mayor’s office. It has clean, modern rooms and costs 11 USD per person per night. For dinner, head to Restaurant El Encuentro. A block up from B y B, it offers great views.



Other places nearby Bonanza: Rosita, Esteli, Matagalpa, Mozonte , Ciudad DarĂ­o, Mulukuku , Jinocuabo, Sebaco, Jalapa and Somoto.

28 Apr 2009

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