FOUNDED just before the Spanish left the country in the early 19th century, Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, is a city without a center, and, bizarrely, without conventional addresses; instead there are locations, many referring to Lake Managua, which the city, otherwise, doesn’t much celebrate. The 1972 earthquake shattered Managua’s once glorious boulevards, and today building styles vary wildly, from the squat residential buildings that popped up after the tremors, to older, more majestic neo-Classical and modern edifices. But despite an initial impression of chaos, you will find smooth roads and a full range of hotels and restaurants serving hearty local fare. The years of political upheaval marked by the 1979 revolution and then the brutal civil war of the 1980s have finally given way to stability. Yet travelers on their way to the coasts or quaint colonial towns still rush away from the capital upon arrival. That’s too bad. There is a blossoming of culture in this city that is the key to understanding modern Nicaragua.
A good article describing some of the nice things to be seen in and around the Managua area. Finally! Interesting that just this week I took a nice young couple on a half-day Managua tour and did most of the things in the article.
The one thing the author, Sarah Wildman missed IMHO, is a trip to the Malecon. The area has been completely rebuilt and now there are very nice restaurants right on the lake, secured parking, and excellent infrastructure. It has a nice breeze, and is a fun place to go and have a cold Toña or two, have a bite to eat, and at night, dance up a storm!