Oldest colonial town in the American continent, rebuilt after burned by US invaders in the 1850s. It has beautiful colorful and picturesque churches. While you're there, take a 2 hour tour of the Granada Isletas (Islands), 365 in total and home to many tropical birds and monkeys. Also while there take a zipline jungle canopy tour of the impressive volcano Mombacho, which looms large over the pueblo. While in Granada be sure to go out on a La Calzada, a hip street host to lots of street musicians and a great, relaxed youth vibe with varied, cheap and delicious food options abounding.
An amazing lagoon preserve over 3 km wide at about 400 meters elevation, crystal clear waters and an impressive jungled volcanic rim of 200 meters. Scuba diving is available along with just relaxing by the water side with various resorts (US$6 for a steak dinner and $0.45 beers) catering to different clients, from young European university students to family venues. Bring a camera.
In the middle of Lake Nicaragua (19th largest in the world) and a short taxi, then ferry ride from Granada (or a twenty minute twice weekly flight from the domestic section of Managua airport with la costeña) you have Ometepe, an island of two jungle covered tropical oasis home to great eco tourism, virgin jungle and great hikes to waterfalls and the summit of either the (active) volcano Conception (ten hours round trip) or the (inactive) Maderas (eight hours round trip). Also popular are shore side horseback riding along the roads until you reach one of several crystal clear water lagoons up on the mountainside over 300 meters across.
Ruins of the city's old cathedral are a remembrance of the damage caused by a 1972 earthquake that destroyed much of central Managua. Due to structural damage caused by the earthquake, it's fenced with barbed wire and can't be entered.
Designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta and completed in Sept. 1993, some find this unusual Catholic church to be fascinating. Some find the roof's 63 domes to be sleek and mosque-like.
While you might be surprised to hear it, baseball is as much a national pastime in Nicaragua as it is in the US, maybe even more so. The national stadium (named for Major League pitcher Dennis Martinez) has space for 15,000 people, making it bigger than the national soccer stadium. The stadium opened in 2017. Besides baseball games of the national team it is mostly used for home games of the "Indios del Boér", Managua's home team and the serial champion of the Nicaraguan league. Parking available.
Managua is the capital and largest city of Nicaragua. A city that saw the death of Sandino, the rise of the Somozas and their fall from power at the hand of the Sandinistas, Managua is full of history and the closest thing to metropolis Nicaragua has. Ever threatened by earthquakes, Managua has mostly lost its historical downtown in a 1972 quake, but is slowly gaining yet another face through urban renewal policies of the current government. While many visitors to Nicaragua try to limit their time in the capital you should not make the same mistake as its theaters, museums, monuments and historical remnants are well worth spending some time, to say nothing of the nightlife.
International buses connect Managua to most Central American capitals and southern Mexico. The buses are usually air-conditioned and in a good shape, however bring time and patience as the trips can take quite some time. As flights between Central American cities are expensive and there are no railroads to speak of, buses are often the best option unless you are more pressed for time than money. Reputable companies include: transnica ticabus and king quality. For routes schedules and prices see their websites.
There are direct bus routes from all major cities stopping at various points. The most important bus stations from a tourist point of view are Mercado Roberto Huembes Mercado Roberto Huembes bus station (buses to the west and southwest), Mercado Israel Lewites Terminal Israel Lewites (buses to the north and northwest) and UCA UCA bus station (minibuses to short distance destinations see below)
Buses from Masaya, Granada, San Marcos and some from Jinotepe come in through the southeastern Carretera Masaya entrance and pass by the Centroamerica rotonda before going to either Mercado Roberto Huembes or UCA.
Buses from Jinotepe also come in through carretera Sur stopping by 7 Sur, a hub to go to via Carretera Nueva and Vieja Leon and C. Sur.
To go to the mountains in the north, the Rio San Juan region in the southeast or the Caribbean coast, buses leave from Mercado El Mayoreo.
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