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Managua’s old-world beauty is slowly giving way to a multicultural urban center full of redevelopments. Surrounding all this are rainforests, crater lakes and mountains. Managua is a destination for the intrepid traveler who will appreciate preserved Central American charms, unspoiled nature and cheap modern facilities.
The capital of poverty-stricken Nicaragua on the banks of Lago Xolotlán (Lake Managua) is home to over a million residents. The older generations still remember the devastating 1931 and 1972 earthquakes and the political upheaval that followed.
Grab a bottle of pinolillo, a cacao and corn drink, to cool down as you walk. Note that some areas are unsafe to explore on your own, either on foot or by car, especially after dark. Take buses, join a guided tour or, if you understand Spanish, pay a taxi driver extra cordobas to give you a narrated tour.
Some relics have survived in the old town and the Zona Monumental. Inspect the exterior of the ruined Antigua Catedral Santiago de Managua and enjoy the sunshine in Parque Central, a neoclassical park. See the nearby National Palace (Palacio Nacional de la Cultura), a museum full of pre-Columbian ceramics and prehistoric mammal bones. Visit the Museum of Acahualinca to see preserved human footprints from thousands of years ago.
In the entertainment districts, such as Zona Rosa and the Malecón, visit one of the restaurants and bars full of university students. Alternatively, buy frijoles (fried kidney beans) in corn wraps or sweetened tamales wrapped in leaves from a street vendor.
Zipline over the Tiscapa Lagoon from the elevated Historical Park or hike to the crater in the Masaya Volcano National Park. A little farther away is the Pacific Coast and the white sand of Montelimar Beach.
Visit tropical Managua between November and April to enjoy Nicaragua’s dry season. Its international airport is close to Managua and buses run to nearby Granada and León. Long-distance buses leave Managua for El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.
Set in Managua, this family-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Multicentro Las Americas Shopping Center, Carlos Roberto Huembes Market, and Metrocentro. Plaza Inter and Paz Park are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from National Autonomous University of Nicaragua and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Galerias Santo Domingo Shopping Center. Carlos Roberto Huembes Market and Masaya Volcano National Park are also within 16 mi (25 km).
Located near the airport, this family-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Multicentro Las Americas Shopping Center, Carlos Roberto Huembes Market, and Metrocentro. Plaza Inter and Galerias Santo Domingo Shopping Center are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated on a lake, this spa hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Maria Magdalena Church, San Sebastian Church, and San Juan Church. San Miguel Church and Folklore Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in Granada, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of La Polvora Fort and Museum and Chapel of Maria Auxiliadora. Church of Xalteva and Sor Maria Romero Meneses Birthplace are also within 10 minutes.
Located in the heart of Managua, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Plaza Inter, El Carmen Park, and Sandino Monument. Loma de Tiscapa National Historical Park and National Arboretum are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in the heart of Managua, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Galerias Santo Domingo Shopping Center and within 3 mi (5 km) of Los Robles Park and National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. Carlos Roberto Huembes Market and Metrocentro are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Multicentro Las Americas Shopping Center, National Palace, and Trabajador Nicaraguense Monument. Managua Cultural Center and Soldado Statue are also within 9 mi (15 km).