Sprawling along the southern shores of Lake Managua, Managua is the lively capital of Nicaragua. Modern architectural landmarks contrast beautifully with historical gems, while urban parks and lakeside walking trails offer natural tranquillity.
Things to do in Managua
In the historic heart of Managua is the National Palace of Culture, an opulent building housing the extensive National Museum. Marvel at prehistoric animal bones found in Nicaragua and pre-Columbian ceramics reflecting the country’s cultural roots, as well as an impressive collection of stone metates used by indigenous tribes to process corn.
Admire the Belgian-built exterior of the Old Cathedral of Managua, which was heavily damaged during the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake. Afterwards, explore the cutting-edge modern architecture of the newly-built Immaculate Conception Cathedral, noted for the many cupolas adorning its roof.
Mingle with locals in Puerto Salvador Allende, a picturesque lakeside complex clustered with local restaurants and food stands. Soak up the waterfront views during an early evening stroll, then meander past thatched-roof picnic tables and colourful horse statues where you can be photographed as a Nicaraguan cowboy.
For sweeping views of Managua, head to the hilltop Parque Historico Nacional Loma de Tiscapa, dominated by the silhouetted statue of revolutionary leader Augusto Sandino. It lies at the lip of Volcan Tiscapa’s crater lake and was once the site of the Casa Presidencial, offering views of both cathedrals and Volcan Momotombo in the distance.
Getting around Managua
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Managua and regular buses make the one-hour journey to Granada. Buses travel throughout Managua and taxis are readily available.