Masaya

Located 17 miles south of Managua is Masaya. This lovely little city is the very heart of Nicaraguan folklore and crafts. Its handicraft market, the largest in Nicaragua, overflows with colorful hand woven hammocks, embroidered blouses, wood carving, and hemp weaving such as wall hangings, hats and floor mats. This is but a small example of the handicrafts which can be found in this rich agricultural region.

Just outside the city is one of Nicaragua's most awesome and spectacular attractions: Masaya Volcano National Park. Its exotic and sometimes eerie ambiance was formed by old eruptions and lava flow. In the center of the park you see the two volcanoes Masaya and Nindiri, with a total of five craters. You are able to drive to the rim of the Santiago Crater which is 1,640 feet wide and 656 feet deep, and still emits wisps of steam.

By climbing to the top of one of the observation points in the park, you are able to enjoy the breathtaking sight of Managua, Lake Managua, Masaya Lagoon and the Mombacho Volcano. With authorization from the park administration, you can explore along the main trail where you will see dark and porous lava solidified since the eruption of 1772. You will also see steam vents, which are still active, and lava caves. The park also contains a Museum of Anthropology, nature trails, a restaurant and bar, and camping areas.

Apoyo Lagoon is a gigantic volcanic crater measuring four miles wide and over 656 feet deep. It is a great fishing spot, but also popular for all water sports including sailing and diving. It is also an area coveted for frequent archaeological findings.

Coyotepe is an old fortress which has now been converted into a museum.

Highlights:
    Nature:
    • "Masaya Volcano National Park". This 54 square km. Volcanic park is only 10 miles from Managua. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Features the Volcanic Museum with a complete interpretation of this phenomena, the Santiago Crater where you can walk to the very edge of the volcano and look all the way down to the bottom or climb up 184 stairs and reach the Spanish Cross built by he Conquistadors begging for the volcano to end its eruptions in 1529.
    • "Masaya Lagoon": is part of the Masaya National Park, but is better seen from Nindirí (in Nahuatl: volcano town) or from the Cultural Center in Masaya.
    Shopping:
    • "The Arts and Crafts market of Masaya": (alos called the Indian Market) is the place to look for bargains in souvenirs from Nicaragua. The market is buzzing with merchants and customers in narrow aisles. Colorful ceramics, leathers, carved woods, hammocks, corals, naive paintings, etc. Dollars are accepted, but we recommend that you exchange currency before leaving Managua with the help and supervision of our tour guides.

Other Areas: [Bluefields] [Corn Island] [Granada & The Isletas] [Leon] [Managua] [Masaya]
[Los Pueblos] [Ometepe] [Rio San Juan] [Selva Negra] [Solentiname]

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