Carvings of El Jalacate – El Jalacate, Nicaragua - Atlas Obscura

Carvings of El Jalacate

El Jalacate, Nicaragua

Located in the mountains of Nicaragua, one man has spent most of life beautifying a massive cliff by hand. 


For more than 40 years, one man has called the mountains of Tisey Estanzuela Natural Park in Nicaragua home. However, for Alberto Gutiérrez, this has been about much more than living the life of a hermit. He has spent much of his life etching brilliant carvings into rocks, and is popularly known as the “’The Hermit of Estelí’.”

Alberto has hand carved pictures of all kinds into the rockface. Several random rocks along the path feature carvings of faces and various shapes. Once visitors climb a few steps, they are then greeted by what Alberto has spent most of his life designing. Elephants, birds, and life-sized anacondas are just a few of the representations he has carved into the rock. There are also carvings of cathedrals, the Twin Towers, and the ships used by Christopher Columbus. All of which were designed by hand.

There are a few pathways to follow, and a couple of benches to sit and admire the stunning scenery. The entire location is a testament to the human spirit and the burning creativity that exists in us all. 

Know Before You Go

It's not the easiest place to find. Take the local 6:30 a.m. bus towards El Jocote and then ask for directions. It's approximately one mile off the main road and through some fields. It's not a difficult walk, but it's not a clear path. 

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September 16, 2019

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