Estelí is a department of Nicaragua, located north of the central zone of the country. Bordered north with the department of Madriz, south with the departments of León and Matagalpa, west with the department of Chinandega and east with the department of Jinotega. It has a territorial extension of 2,229.7 km². It was created by legislative decree on December 8,1891 with five municipalities: La Trinidad, Condega, Pueblo Nuevo, Limay and Estelí. In 1989 the municipality of San Nicolás de Oriente, until then belonging to the León, was integrated into the department of Estelí by legislative decree. It has a population of 223,384 inhabitants, distributed in a 59% in the urban area and 41% in the rural area.
The departmental capital is the city of Estelí, which is also the most important city in the department. While the Trinidad, known as "city of bread" is the second and Condega the third.