Looking for the Best of all Managua Things to do?
Managua does not have many places to visit within the city. However, there are many very interesting options for day tours that are close by. Following is a list of the most popular and interesting Managua things to do and tour options.
Without doubt one of the most unique landmarks in Managua. The volcanic rims of this nearly circular Crater Lake offers unique views of all of Managua, Lake Managua or Xolotlan and the Momotombo Volcano. In addition, it is a historic landmark, as the old military headquarters and presidential bunker of ex dictator Somoza were right here.
Most of these installations were destroyed during the 1972 earthquake. However, the underground tunnels where the torture chambers functioned are still there and can be visited. There is also an old mini tank that was gift from Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist dictator that was an ally of Hitler during the Second World War. This tank was a gift to Somoza`s father when he was the dictator in Nicaragua. Today, there is a huge monument with the famous silhouette of Sandino. You can see the silhouette from just about anywhere in Managua. In addition, there is a 4 cable zip line tour that. This is the highest of its king in Nicaragua. It takes you to the shores of Lake Tiscapa, which is certainly one of the most exciting of all Managua things to do!
Lake Xolotlan (Lake Managua) Cruise
The La Novia del Xolotlan passenger boat operates regularly scheduled day cruises along Lake Managua. See the city from the lake. Cruise near Momotombo and Momotombito volcanoes en route to the “Love Island”, La Isla del Amor. The cruise departs from Puerto Salvador Allende every Sunday. Travel time to the island is a short 30 minutes. Check the schedules as they do change. The tour takes about two hours and the cost of the trip is a very affordable. This is an interesting way to get a different view of the the city. Certainly one of the top Managua things to do!
One of the most active volcanoes in Central America. Certainly the most active in Nicaragua The Masaya Volcano is only about 23 km. from Managua, half way between Granada and the capital city, and access is very easy from the main Managua to Granada 4 lane highway. The park is open daily, including holidays from 9:00 a.m. till 4:45 p.m. There is an entrance fee with differentiated pricing between Nicaraguans and foreigners. There is a small control building at the entrance to the park where you will pay your fee and receive instructions from the park rangers. The paved road leads towards the summit. This is basically an area designed for cars to park and beyond this point it is strictly walking access.
There is a 177 step staircase up to a lookout point with a wooden cross. The cross was reputedly placed there by a Spanish priest during the early colonial days. According to historical data, La Cruz de Bobadilla, was placed there in an effort to keep Satan himself from exiting through the volcano’s crater. The local natives considered this as a gateway to hell itself.
The sulphur fumaroles, the incandescent lava at the bottom of the crater and the occasional hellish rumble certainly inspired devilish fears! Halfways up the road there is a visitor’s center with a nice museum. , souvenir shop, a store where you can buy water or bottled beverages and park rangers. Here you can hire a guide to take you on the different trails and lookout points. Take note that hiking on the trails is only allowed with a park ranger / guide. The fee is $10.00 US per person with a minimum of 6 persons in each group.
Masaya Volcano Night Tour
Perhaps the most popular of tours is the night tour, which is available strictly by reservation. This tour includes a visit to the Tzinasconostoc caves (bat caves). You will have the opportunity to see hundreds of parrots (chocollos) who live in the small caves around the crater arrive just prior to sunset. Also thousands of bats leave their cave at dusk to feed during the night. This is your chance to enter the caves, which where formed by lava flows hundreds of years ago! The tour ends with a view of the crater where you can see the incandescent flow of lava. You can make reservations for the night tour through your local tour operator. O call 2528 1444 which is the Masaya Volcano Parks office or 8393 8730, which belongs to Mr Gustavo Sandino, one of the local park rangers.