Population: 35,000. This tiny town, located 29 km from Ocotal, has over the past few years become a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. This is due to its proximity to the stunning geological canyon, which, thanks to a couple of Czech scientists, has garnered worldwide attention. The town itself is a comfortable base from which to visit the canyon and features two fancy hotels as well as several lodgings offering fewer amenities. There are plenty of places to grab a bite, although most of these offer typical fare. For cheap eats head to the market where meaty plates with plenty of sides go for 1.90 USD.
The university, located across the street from the central park, was originally a fort build by the U.S. marines in the 1920â€™s. Much of the original structure remains and if you make it a point to befriend the janitor he might take you up for a look at the turrets. Although during revolution in 1970â€™s Somoto was not the site of any battles, the Sandinistas managed to draw many of the town's citizens into its ranks. There are even rumors that nearby caves are loaded with ammunition leftover from the war.
Like that of its neighbors, Somotoâ€™s economy is predominantly based on agriculture, cattle raising and coffee. Somotoâ€™s most famous product, however, are rosquillas, corn flour cookies flavored with either cheese or molasses. Many factories around town will happily give tours to inquisitive visitors.