Top Ten Nicaragua Adventures

Kick Back in the Western Hemisphere's Black Forest
By Joshua Berman & Randy Wood
Mountain lodge
Selva Negra's mountain lodge (Selva Negra)

A trip to Selva Negra is a visit to another world—perhaps something like Germany's Black Forest, for which the area and the mountain resort are named. Selva Negra has been a solid anchor in Nicaragua's tourism network for a long time, and it remains so, extremely popular for people looking to hike, dine, monkey watch, or tie the knot.

Selva Negra is, at its heart, a coffee farm by the name of La Hammonia, owned and run by Eddy Kuhl and Mausi Hayn, third and fourth generation German immigrants to Nicaragua and members of the founding families of the Nicaraguan coffee industry. The farm—considered one of the most diversified in Central America—has been built up into an enchanting resort. In the German tradition, the resort boasts wooden chalets set around a peaceful mountain lake with access to hiking trails in a nearly virgin forest, and hearty meals of farm-fresh food raised on the premises. Needless to say, the coffee—internationally renowned—is superb and served fresh.

You can easily spend two or three days at Selva Negra, relaxing and exploring. It's one of the more pleasant places in Nicaragua to read books and sip fresh java on the porch overlooking the lake. But if you enjoy hiking, this is one of the best places in the north to do so. There are 14 forest trails of varied difficulty on 120 hectares of forest, considered one of the last remaining examples of what Nicaragua's forests looked like in the 15th century. Birders can search for more than 200 species of birds that have been identified here. There are facilities for horseback riding, and tours of the coffee farm, the flower plantations, and the cattle and livestock.

Text © 2003 by Joshua Berman and Randy Wood. Used by permission of Moon Handbooks. All rights reserved. Book is available through local bookstores and online booksellers.


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