Santiago of Managua Cathedral is known as the old cathedral because it’s actually abandoned. It was severely damaged in the 1972 Managua earthquake which left it an unsafe structure. Somehow a damaged cathedral with an interesting history such as this makes for great photography! There is talk of renovating this cathedral, we’ll wait and see what happens! Did you know there’s an abandoned train station building in Skopje Macedonia? It was also damaged by an earthquake.
National Palace of Culture
The National Palace of Culture, Managua is without doubt a beautiful building therefore worth a visit. Even if you’re not interested in the museum itself, it’s worth going in to appreciate the architecture from the inside. An interesting fact about the Palace is that the clock from the old cathedral is on display inside. Additionally, you’ll learn all about Nicaragua’s history.
Managua has a clean promenade along the banks of Lake Managua. For this reason it’s a wonderful sunset location.
Where the Streets have no Name
The famous U2 song, ‘Where the Streets have no Name’ was inspired by Managua, because the streets don’t have names. So, how can a capital city function without street names? They have to be imaginative, for example there is a roundabout which has a small tree on it. This is often a reference point when giving directions. For example, 300 meters left at the small tree or 2 blocks on from the small tree. They even use the McDonald’s as a reference point!
Direct Flights to the Corn Islands
The most famous place to visit in Nicaragua is not actually the capital city, or even any of the tourist towns. It is in fact, the beautiful Corn Islands which lie east of Nicaragua in the Caribbean. The reason I mention these is because you can fly directly to the Corn Islands from Managua with La Costeña.
Trips to Masaya Volcano
Masaya volcano is spectacular and if you visit at night you can see the live magma. However, I recommend you take this day trip from Granada Nicaragua as it’s much easier to take it from there.
Around Managua and all of Nicaragua you’ll see vendors with live Iguanas. These are not pets for sale but food! I’m sure if you become friends with a Nicaraguan they’ll invite you for an Iguana lunch. Finally, if you’re curious about the price, they were about $5 each.
How to get from Managua to Leon
Leon is only a 2 hour ride therefore you can easily find a taxi. However, if you’re traveling solo they have regular minivans between the cities.