Population 3500. For a half-dayâ€™s excursion outside Matagalpa, consider heading to Chaguitillo. As this sleepy little town lacks restaurants and sleeping accommodations, youâ€™re better off sleeping in Matagalpa and bringing your own snacks. The reason to come to Chaguitillo is to see 1,500 year old petroglyphs located in the outlying areas of town. These carvings depict images of crabs, deer, monkeys and other regional fauna. Chaguitillo is also now home to a well tended museum featuring pre-Columbian artifacts and colorful murals of indigenous people. From there you can arrange a hike to the petroglyphs with one of three guides (one of whom speaks a bit of English). The hike is approximately two hours and passes through a dry rocky ravine, an unshaded pasture and a shallow riverbed (so wear sturdy shoes and bring sunblock and water). Additional information about the carvings can be found at the museum. Contact Nestor Davila for more details. (505) 775-2151, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking a Managua or Esteli bound bus from Matagalpa, tell the bus driver you are going to Chaguitillo. The bus will let you off at the foot of the main road. Head straight for several minutes until you see a sign for the museum. From there take a left, go down one block, and then make another left. The museum will be on your right. Entrance to the museum is 1 USD while the fee for the guided hike is 4 USD.