If your legs are up for it, try to walk everywhere in the city proper -- the city's steep streets open up its secret charms. Taxis within the town cost C15, and there are regular city buses that crisscross the town for C5.

The surrounding area has some of the most scenic roads in all of Nicaragua, especially the curving valley road to Jinotega. I recommend renting a car so that you can pull into neighboring coffee plantations and stop to explore beautiful cedar, pine, and hardwood forests. Budget (tel. 505/2772-3041; www.budget.com.ni) has an outlet at La Virgen Shell Station on the southern outskirts of the town. Autos Económicos de Nicaragua (tel. 505/2772-2445) is half a block west of the park on its northern side; Rent a Car Simo (tel. 505/2772-6290) is 1 block west and half a block south of the Banco Mercantil, and Simo's Rent a Car (tel. 505/2772-6260) is on the corner of El Progresso. Rates for all agencies start at C800 per day.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.