El Rosario, the highest waterfall in Nicaragua
One kilometer before reaching the town of El Rosario, the municipality of Murra, one deviates to the left and begins to skirt the mountain through a road where a vehicle can barely reach. After a little less than 1 kilometer there is a small house and a corral. One must continue 2 kilometers more. Upon completion, the road widens, the mountain stands tall as a skyscraper and through its walls a huge waterfall rushes majestic. It is the El Rosario waterfall, the highest in Nicaragua.The waterfall is staggered, but in winter is so strong that it literally has been eating the mountain, removing huge rocks that form small pools feet. Needless to say, the clearness of the current, the exuberance of the trees, the cheerful birdsong is amazing. If you didn’t know it was real, you’d think it is a canvas of Eden.
An elderly gentleman, white-skinned with a thick and quixotic mustache, looks up and fixes his eyes to where you can see as the summit from where the waterfall starts to rush. He is a simple man, like every farmer in northern Nicaragua, however, he has that look of pride. Why? Because the waterfall is entirely within his property.
His name is Juan Antonio Moreno. He is 63 years old, of which 40 he has lived among these mountains. The property is called Selva Morena, and if you take a good look around, you’ll see there is no more appropriate name, since contrary to the pine forests that characterize Las Segovias, in El Rosario vegetation is dense and varied.
Don Juan hosted a group of climbers that reached the waterfall and measured it. The end result was 120 meters high. To put it in perspective, the Estanzuela waterfall in Esteli, is 35 meters, so it is three three times higher.
Tucked between the mountains this man is no stranger to climate changes experienced by the world and the impact it is having on nature. He states that to prevent the waterfall from drying out, he has not ceased to reforest the area.
“It is worth taking care of the forest. I was born with that gift of caring for the forest , “he says.
“That’s why it has remained (the cascade)”, he stresses.
The property is more than 100 blocks of virgin forest that also serve as a refuge for hundreds of wild animals.
Contrary to other places in Nicaragua, where tourism development is booming, in this hidden paradise itself there is absolutely nothing. There are no benches, no farms, no restaurant, only friendly welcome Don Juan, who opened a small path to climb up the waterfall and stole a forest space so that visitors could park their vehicles.
Don Juan does not even have an access fee. “He who brings how to reward the leaves and not always comes , “ he says.
However, he says that soon and start charging.
Even though lacks any tourist infrastructure, visitors have been amazed not only by the impressive waterfall but by the love with which Don Juan protects nature.
“I have been congratulated for the care of the forest because if there is no forest there is no water , “he says.
An adventure trip
Getting to the waterfall is not easy. To give an idea of how far it is, just say it takes 2 hours travel by car from Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, to the valley where the small town of El Rosario rises. From Managua it is 332 kilometers, 52 of which are dirt roads.
These 52 kilometers are an adventure themselves. They run between the crests of the mountains, with deep pits to either side or long descending slopes whose lower part are cut by streams, to once again be crossed when you have to climb the steep peaks.
It is a postcard-perfect Nicaragua: adobe huts, the farmers mule, ox carts, jungle covered mountains, pine forests, coffee plantations, cattle grazing.
On the way it is not common to find vehicles and public transport with the municipality lending trucks with big tires and strong high bodies.
It is a Nicaragua that is slowly disappearing. Simple, beautiful, clean air and working people. If this place is not paradise, it lacks little to be.