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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.
Accommodation in Managua
Because Managua is the national capital, finding a place to stay in the city's more popular districts is easy. There are 80 Managua hotels or other accommodations that you can book online with Expedia.
Highly recommended Managua hotels include the Hacienda Puerta Del Cielo Ecolodge & Spa, at Camino de los Bueyes, Nimboja No.2, and the Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall, situated at Frente a Centro Comercial. In a similar upmarket range, why not also look at the Apoyo Resort & Spa and the Barcelo Montelimar Beach Hotel - All Inclusive. The Apoyo Resort & Spa is housed at Laguna de Apoyo lakefront, Masaya, while the Barcelo Montelimar Beach Hotel - All Inclusive is situated at Carretera De Masachapa Km 65.
Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Metrocentro, Tiscapa Lagoon, and Sandino Monument. National Autonomous University of Nicaragua and Carlos Roberto Huembes Market are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Managua, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Galerias Santo Domingo Shopping Center and Laguna de Apoyo. Los Robles Park and UNAN are also within 3 mi (5 km).
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 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).
Located in Moyogalpa, this hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Jesus Maria Point, Ometepe Island Museum, and Altagracia Monoliths. Concepcion Volcano and Charco Verde Lake are also within 12 mi (20 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).
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).