Managua is the name of the capital of Nicaragua. The usual story about it is that the city was founded on the site of a little native village located on the shores of Lake Xolotlán (now Lake Managua). The political angle that led to its designation as a capital is that it is located approximately halfway between the two major rival cities of Leon and Granada. But frankly, the city itself will never be confused with other world capitals, most people just stay one night when first arriving in Nicaragua and again on their last night, depending on flight times. So let’s get you out of town and into some great adventures! What about the day trips you say?
Let’s assume you have a few hours to do something fun and exciting, but you are staying in Managua. Here are my top five day trips in no particular order. Enjoy!
- Mombacho Canopy Tour: This is a great tour for real adventure and tropical vistas. You go to a coffee plantation on the side of a volcano overlooking Lake Nicaragua (where you can learn about how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed). The real adventure starts with an awesome canopy tour in the huge trees of the plantation. You’ll find yourself rappelling, boomeranging, and double-crossing. 2.5 hrs driving, 2.5 hrs tour.
- Cave Hiking Masaya Volcano: There are over 100 caves located around the Masaya Volcano. This is a new night hike that begins with you walking down a lava tube tunnel. It ends at a crater opening revealing the glowing hot lava in the “Boca del Infierno” down below. 1 hr driving, 2 hrs tour.
- Kayaking Tour of Lake Nicaragua: Enjoy the little volcanic islands and volcano views on one of the worlds largest lakes. 2 hr driving, 3 hr tour.
- Masaya Volcano National Park & Craft Market Tour:
First up on this tour is a stop at the Interpretive Center, then you go up to the main crater and take a little hike while trying not to be overwhelmed by the sulfur smells! Afterwards is a tour to the fabulous artisan’s market in the city of Masaya, just up the road. This is a great place to buy your souvenirs for the folks back home. 2 hr drive, 3 hr tour.
- Chocoyero – El Brujo Natural Reserve: This is a private reserve where you can take a great hike where you will take in the gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains, view several species of birds including the famous green parakeets, and finish up with seeing the two waterfalls, Chocoyero and Brujo. 30 minute drive, 3 hr tour.