Managua: Nicaraguan tourism is finally on the map
Nicaragua provides a memorable mix of stunning scenery and colonial history. A flight to Managua, the capital city, offers travellers a unique look into one of Central America’s most vibrant cultures.
In the City
For the highest-quality crafts and souvenirs in the country, the Mercado de Artesanias (also known as Mercado Roberto Huembes) is second to none. Its quaint aisles are lined with colourful local sellers; a trip to Managua isn’t complete without a visit.
The must-see attraction of Nicaragua is Masaya Volcano National Park. Dubbed the “Gate to Hell” by Spanish explorers, the mouth of the volcano is a sight to behold. It offers visitors the unique opportunity to walk right to the edge – something not always possible at other sites. Its over 20 kilometres of hiking trails are surrounded by rugged terrain, as well as a museum and a butterfly garden. The evening tour brings an element of excitement when thousands of bats bring the sky to life!
Founded in 1524, Granada appears almost lost in time and reflects Nicaragua’s rich colonial heritage. Adventure tourists will enjoy zip lining, sailing on the nearby lake and visiting the dormant volcano, Mombacho.
During the latter half of the year but peaking in August and September, tens of thousands of Olive Ridley turtles make their way up the beach at La Flor Wildlife Reserve to lay their eggs in a magical display of nature at its finest. It’s something every visitor should try to see.
In northern Nicaragua, coffee farms offer travellers the chance to see how the country’s most popular export is harvested and processed. Hiking trails around the “fincas” make it easy to enjoy the scenery and the smells.
The Corn Islands are one of the best bets for travellers looking for sun and surf. Several beaches in the area offer pleasant (and safe!) swimming. Alternatively, Montelimar is very close to Managua and is well maintained due to the nearby resorts. For a secluded paradise, the best spot is Pearl Cays.
A flight to Managua is the first step into the welcoming heart of Nicaragua.