Some travelers only wish for a week long vacation relaxing on the beach, while others prefer a more adventure-packed experience. But who says you can’t have it all? When you travel to the Central American country of Nicaragua, you’ll find the perfect balance of stunning natural scenery, historical landmarks, chilled-out tropical islands, and fast-paced cities.
Visiting the capital city of Managua is the best way to experience Nicaragua to the fullest. Not only is it a central transportation hub with easy access to the rest of the country, the city itself is filled some of the best attractions. Check out the top five places in or near Managua for every kind of traveler.
Old Cathedral of Managua
Lovers of history and architecture should make the Old Cathedral of Managua the first stop on their Managua itinerary. Built from 1928 to 1938, this impressive cathedral in the city center has survived through several earthquakes and a civil war. Its neoclassical design is stunning both on the exterior and interior.
Cerro Negro Volcano
Although the Cerro Negro Volcano is a relatively small one, it is home to some of the best volcano boarding around. If you’re an avid snowboarder, this is a must for you. The 500-meter high active volcano is fun and challenging to hike up, but the views along the way make it entirely worth it. The most exhilarating part for most people is the commute back down to the bottom.
Before your hike, you’ll be given a wooden board that you can either sit or stand on to make your way down the steep slope to the base. Once at the top, you’ll sit on the board and slide down at impressive speeds along the black volcanic ash – be expected to get dirty during this adventure! It is one of the most exhilarating activities just a short drive from the city.
Tiscapa Lagoon Natural Reserve
Tiscapa Lagoon is protected by the Nicaraguan government and is one of the best natural attractions for anyone coming to Managua. You can go from exploring the city streets to taking in the tranquil serenity of nature within minutes. It is a small area – only about .15 square kilometers – but is filled with tons of flora and fauna unique to Nicaragua.
Puerto Salvador Allende
If you visit Lake Managua for sunset pictures, chances are you’ll stroll through the Puerto Salvador Allende. This lively boardwalk is home to authentic Nicaraguan cuisine, bars and cafes, and local shops perfect for purchasing souvenirs for loved ones back home. If you sign up for a city tour through Managua, this will definitely be one of your stops. You’ll get a taste of the country’s culture and eat some of the best local food in the city.
Plaza de la Revolucion
If learning about the history of Nicaragua is your interest, check out Plaza de la Revolucion. Exploring the Revolution Square in the heart of the city is the best way to educate yourself on the tumultuous past of Nicaragua. Here you’ll take in everything you need to know about the Sandinista Revolution and even visit tombs of famous Sandinista revolutionaries like Carlos Finesca.