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Siuna

Population 10,000. This old gold mining town (where ruins of the mines still remain) is the main point at which to begin a journey into the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. Given its location on the crossroads between several Nicaraguan regions, including the Caribbean Coast and the cowboy inhabited highlands, Siuna encompasses a diverse mixture of cultures. Siuna isn’t on Nicaragua’s electricity mains, so everyone’s power comes from a generator which is quite noisy. Additionally, there’s only running water for a few hours each week.

 

While the land surrounding Siuna was once densely vegetated rain forest, much of it has since been deforested. Slash and burn agriculture has depleted Siuna’s water supply, and what’s left of it is contaminated by metals left over from the mining era. Water is a real problem in Siuna, seriously impacting the health of its residents. Clean water from a river in Bosawas is the town’s hope, though limited resources have stopped the development of that project. Nonetheless, the conservation of Bosawas impacts not only the flora and fauna in the reserve, but the lives of the people surrounding it.

 

Serving gallo pinto and all your favorite Nicaraguan dishes, Desnuque is the hottest restaurant in town. Those with more exotic tastes can grab a bite at Hoyming, which serves Chinese. Interestingly during the period in which the mines were functioning, Siuna saw an influx of Chinese immigrants, most of whom left when the mines shut down in the 1980‘s.

 

Attached to Desnuque is Estancia del Desnuque, which has four rooms, each with a private bath. These cost 5 USD with breakfast and 3.75 USD without. Considered Siuna’s top hotel, Hospedaje Siu offers double rooms for 6 USD. Every two rooms shares a bathroom. Perhaps most importantly, they have their own water tanks, providing running water twenty-four hours a day. The larger Hospedaje El Costeno is an economical choice, with doubles going for 3 USD. Local couple Pilo and Isa Padilla have three rooms available for sleeping in their home, located by the bank. A single costs 3 USD and a double 4 USD. Meals can also be arranged. Even if you’re not staying with them, you might want to get in touch, as every morning Pilo drives to El Hormiguero, the community that is also an entrance point to the Bosawas Reserve. He leaves at 5 am and charges passengers less than a dollar each way. If that’s too early, head to the market where buses leave to El Hormiguero at 1 pm, 2:30 pm and 5 pm. The ride is about an hour.

 

El Hormiguero (or “the anthill“) is located twenty kilometers southwest of Siuna and has a population of 2,000. El Hormiguero has no hotels, no restaurants, and no electricity, but it’s a good place to arrange for homestays and guided tours of Bosawas. Head to the Humboldt Center for info on and maps of Bosawas. Those looking for an extreme physical challenge can also arrange to take the three to four day hike up mount Saslaya. Guides in and around El Hormiguero generally cost around 5 USD per day, horses 2 USD per day, meals 1 USD and overnight stays 2 USD.

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Other places nearby Siuna: Ocotal, Ciudad Darío, Pueblo Nuevo, Esteli, Dipilto, Chaguitillo, Macuelizo, Bonanza, San Juan De Limay and Mozonte .







28 Apr 2009

Mapa
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