Jinotega is the second largest department in Nicaragua. It is bordered on the north by Honduras.
The departments surrounding Jinotega are Matagalpa to the South, Caribbean region to the East, and Esteli, Madriz, and Nueva Segovia to the North West. It covers an area of 9,755 km² and has a population of 297,300 (2005 census). The main town is the city of Jinotega.
There are various restaurants and markets throughout the department of Jinotega. The city is close to the artificial Lake Apanas, where you can do fishing and boating.
A nice town named San Rafael del Norte is just 20 minutes away in a good paved road. San Rafael was the general headquarters for the troops of General Sandino in the late 1920's and early 30's. It has a nice church and a small museum of Sandino and his wife Blanca Arauz.