’s tropical weather and proximity to the gorgeous Montelimar Beach offer visitors the best of both the urban and natural worlds, this capital city of Nicaragua is often one of the most undervalued destinations in Central America. Although Managua
’s rich history was almost completely destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1972, several colonial sites still remain – like the Plaza de la Revolución, home to Managua
’s oldest architecture; Rubén Darío Park; and the eternal flame (one of only five in Latin America) dedicated to the memory of Carlos Fonseca, a national figure that helped found the Sandinista party.
During the past few years, a modern renaissance has begun to breath new life into the city, thanks to government initiated projects and private investors. Now it is not uncommon to find contemporary shopping centers with premium brand stores and local businesses that give the city a metropolitan touch. With its phenomenal shopping, cultural attractions and proximity to nearby lakes and volcanoes, Managua
is truly worth a visit.
No trip to Nicaragua is complete without a visit to Granada, one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the region. Despite being the fourth most populated city in the country, Granada is rather small in size - but full of friendly locals that are always willing to show off the town’s hidden gems. Well-preserved antique architecture, breathtaking museums and a focus on upholding traditional festivities have allowed Granada to maintain its rich culture over the years. Getting lost along the narrow streets of this town is a treasure hunt of sorts, as every corner provides one photo-worthy landmark after another.
La Flor Wildlife Refuge
La Flor Wildlife Refuge is best known for its dry tropical rainforests, lush mangroves and brilliant white sand beaches: habitats that provide sanctuaries for a myriad of delicate (and some endangered) plant and animal species. If you’re lucky, you might catch Olive Ridley sea turtles laying their eggs, as each year over 30,000 turtles come to this beach to nest. Prime turtle season is from July to January, with an influx of reptiles in October and November. Watching the babies hatch from the shore and hobble into the ocean is a miraculous experience.
Although tourists mostly come to Masaya to buy handmade souvenirs and crafts, the city offers much more than shopping. In addition to the immense volcano from which the town took its name, Masaya exudes impressions of a rich history in its colonial architecture and vintage buildings. Two majestic baroque churches in particular - both built in the 16th century - continue to serve as guardians over the township. Crafts are sold at the Mercado de Artesanías, a structure dating back to the 1900s.