Managua to Léon

Managua to Leon

Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua which is located in Central America.  Managua offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Direct flights to the Corn Islands
  • Streets with no name
  • Old cathedral of Managua
  • Trips to Masaya volcano
  • National palace and museum
Old Cathedral of Managua

Old Cathedral of Managua, Managua, Nicaragua

The reason this is called the old cathedral is because it is no longer used, it used to be called the Santiago cathedral.  It was severely damaged in the 1972 earthquake in Managua and is unsafe.  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!

The most famous place in Nicaragua is not actually the country itself but the beautiful Corn Islands, you can fly directly to the Corn Islands from Managua with La Costeña.  The Corn Islands are often the main reason many people come to Managua, or even stay overnight here.

Managua National Palace and museum

Managua National Palace of culture, Managua, Nicaragua

The national palace of culture, Managua is without doubt a beautiful building 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.  You will find the old clock tower from the Managua old cathedral here.

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!

Iguana street vendor in Nicaragua

Iguana street vendor in Nicaragua

During my taxi ride between Managua and León there were lots of vendors at the side of the road holding up Iguanas for the passing cars to see.  We stopped to check out some Iguanas, and the price is $5 per Iguana, they are not pets, its something they eat in Nicaragua!

León to Tegucigalpa

2017-03-13T13:34:35+00:00December 22nd, 2016|Central America, Nicaragua|12 Comments


  1. Punita Malhotra January 22, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

    The streets actually have no name! One hears of this only in small villages, but I wonder how easy or difficult it is in a larger area like Managua. Would be keen to visit and find out for myself. What do they put on the town map??

  2. Fiona Mai January 22, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Iguanas are something people there eat? That’s interesting! I’m personally quite afraid of those so I don’t think I will try haha. Nice to know more about Managua from your blog post 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ticker Eats The World January 22, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Interesting fact about U2’s song which I want aware of even though it’s a song I like. In India at a number of places we have the same situation – no street names – and people somehow or the other manage.

    Managua reall looks like an interesting place with some unique food option ????

  4. Jean January 22, 2017 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    That catherdral looks wonderful. It would have been amazing to see when it was in it’s full glory. So sad to see that it’s just standing there all alone.

  5. Suma Jain January 23, 2017 at 5:35 am - Reply

    Iguanas for meal is probably one of the most weirdest thing I have heard and defnitely not something I wish to try haha. A lot of villages and small towns in India do not use street names ( even if there is a name), people generally mention closest landmarks as references. I guess for a capital city like Managua it might be a bit difficult get around. Nevertheless the city seems like an interesting stopover before heading to the Islands. How far are the Corn Islands from Managua?

    • James Smith January 23, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

      The flight is about an hour direct from Managua.

  6. Ling January 23, 2017 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Managua looks like an interesting place in Nicaragua. The Cathedral looks interesting and would probably make for some interesting photos. I’m assuming you can’t go inside of it though…? I feel bad for the iguanas but like many places, you’re going to have some animals that a staple to the country’s diet.

    • James Smith January 23, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

      They are probably a great source of protein!

  7. Swati & Sam January 23, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Street with no name sounds interesting … How do the tourists manage? Would love to visit this city someday 🙂 Love all the clicks

  8. Rhiannon January 23, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    The Old Cathedral looks stunning! How crazy that the streets literally have no names?! Thanks for the U2 fact, very interesting! I was planning on visiting Nicaragua last summer when I was in Guatemala but ran out of time… Maybe some day!

  9. Allison January 24, 2017 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Fascinating to know that the U2 song was inspired by Managua. I can understand the verbal directions as such but how do you go using a GPS? I can imaging a lot of lost tourists wandering around lol

  10. Paulina March 22, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

    That is a fun fact about Managua! I have been in Grenada, but I didnt make it to the capital. nicaragua is so beautiful , I can’t wait to go back!

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