Mountain Area, very beautiful. We stayed in Hotelito El Economico C150 - Nice, clean, free wifi, TV in the living room and cool staff. Go to tourism Info Office situated in Museo del Cafe and ask what to do, you have so many options. On weekends everything is closed though. We been and enjoyed: Museo del Cafe (free), reserva natural cerro apante (C30), Hotel de Montañas e Cabañas Selva Negra (C50), Mirador Disparate de Potter; In the North of Matagalpa (we found it poorest) is located the Guanuca Cultural Center which is Movie Night on Fridays and Cultural Night on Saturdays (free entrance); You have this "Matagalpa Tours" store where you can find local crafts selling, spanish school, tours to the coffee plantation ($US15) where you know the producters culture, daily life and productive activities - pretty interesting! You also have the chance of homestays.
Backpackers paradise, great to relax, lots of pasteries and pizza :) We stayed in La Liberdad Hostel ($US6/dorm and $US10-14/room) with kitchen, free wi-fi, 4 computers, free salsa classes, hammocks, close to central park. Spend some time looking for a hostel, there're plenty of them. In the "tourists street" you find great food a bit expensive but worth it, also cocktail discounts like buy one get one for C40. Nice places to visit out the town: Laguna de Apoyo (Tour or on your own), Masaya Market and inside the town: Granada Beach, Pinatas Taller, Old Train Station, Tour to the volcano, Tour to the coffee plantation, Free Cacao Museum with All you can Eat Breakfast ($US7). Rent a bike and cycle around, bring a lot of water and snacks.
To get here you can either get a boat from Granada (4 hours and not daily) or get a bus to Rivas and then get a 1 hour boat (C45). This island is a must go in Nicaragua. You have 2 volcanos to climb: Conception which is very hard and only for experts and Maderas which is easier but very muddy, you need more or less 8 hours to go up and return, good advice is to start early, around 4am. You can stay in Finca El Zopilote, where you drink water from the volcano :) It's a Eco Permaculture Farm and you can attend Permaculture lessons, Stone Hoven Pizza every 2 nights, sleep in hammocks, eco houses or camping. The negative thing about this place is that there's no community kitchen and the meals are expensive, you can always eat outside in a local comedor but is still expensive for Nicaragua. Good thing to do is to rent a bike but get ready with tons of ups and downs :) You can visit Ojos de Agua ($US3) and Waterfalls in San Ramon and San Domingos beach.
It's an interesting Surf town, yes, if you desire to learn how to surf you have a lot of options here. Try the delicious desserts of Eskimo, don't forget! You can relax on the beach or going to the beaches around eg. Playa Maderas. You can find great fish and seafood here. Girls attention: If you need to wax you will find a place here called Sol y Luna Spa. YEY!! :)