Twelve kilometers from Matagalpa on the way to Jinotega, this small, fertile reserve is home to organic coffee plantations, farms cultivating produce and flowers, artisan workshops producing crafts made of pine, and the oldest Oak trees in Central America. It is rich in animal and plant life, including quetzals, pumas and armadillos as well as a plethora of medicinal plants. The reserveâ€™s highest peak reaches 1,570 meters above sea level, high enough for it to be considered tropical cloud forest. This area gets a lot of rain, so sturdy shoes or boots and a poncho are essential for hikers. Organized tours to Cerro Arenal can be arranged through the Matagalpa Tours office (6 hours, $45 USD), or through Selva Negra Mountain Resort, whose property borders the reserve.
Relative price: Mid-Range
Travel Skills: None