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In order to book an accommodation in Managua enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Managua hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Managua map to estimate the distance from the main Managua attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Managua hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Managua is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Managua is waiting for you!

Hotels of Managua

A hotel in Managua is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Managua hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Managua are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Managua hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Managua hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Managua have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Managua
An upscale full service hotel facility in Managua that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Managua hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Managua
Full service Managua hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Managua
Boutique hotels of Managua are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Managua boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Managua may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Managua
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Managua travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Managua focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Managua
Small to medium-sized Managua hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Managua traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Managua hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Managua
A bed and breakfast in Managua is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Managua bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Managua B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Managua
Managua hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Managua hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Managua
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Managua hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Managua lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Managua
Managua timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Managua often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Managua on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Managua
A Managua motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Managua for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Managua motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Managua

Leal Villa De Santiago De Managua
Managua, Nicaragua
From left to right:
  • 1st row: Invercasa building, a panoramic night view of Managua
  • 2nd row: Rubén Darío National Theatre, Old Cathedral of Managua
  • 3rd row: Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, Port Salvador Allende at Lake Managua
  • 4th row: Buses at Metrocentro Managua Mall Bus Terminal, and the headquarters of Banco de América Central.
Flag of Managua

Official seal of Managua


Nickname(s): Novia del Xolotlán

(English: The Bride of Xolotlán)
Managua is located in Nicaragua
Coordinates:  / 12.13639; -86.25139  / 12.13639; -86.25139
Country Managua Nicaragua
Department Managua
Municipality Managua
Founded 1819
Seat of the Government 1852
Capital of the Nation 1852
• Mayor Daisy Torres
• Vice Mayor Reina J. Ruedas
• City 267.17 km (103.15 sq mi)
Elevation 82.97 m (272.21 ft)
Population (2016 estimate)
• City 1,042,641
• Density 3,900/km (10,000/sq mi)
• Urban 1,033,622
• Metro 1,401,687
Demonym(s) managua, managüense, capitalino/a
ISO 3166 code NI-MN
Website http://www.managua.gob.ni/

Managua (Spanish pronunciation: [maˈnaɣwa]) is the capital city of Nicaragua as well as of the department of the same name. Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Managua, it is Nicaragua's largest city, with an estimated population in 2016 of 1,042,641 within the city limits and a population of 1,401,687 in the metropolitan area, which additionally includes the municipalities of Ciudad Sandino, El Crucero, Nindirí, Ticuantepe and Tipitapa.

The city was declared the national capital in 1852. Previously, the capital alternated between the cities of León and Granada. The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake and years of civil war in the 1980s severely disrupted and stunted Managua's growth. It was not until the mid-1990s that Managua began to see a resurgence.

Managua's population is composed predominantly of mestizos and whites who are mainly of Spanish descent, with a minority being of French, Jewish Nicaraguan, German Nicaraguan, Italian, Russian and Turkish descent.

Managua: Etymology

There are two possible origins for the name "Managua". It may have originated from the term Mana-ahuac, which in the indigenous Nahuatl language translates to "adjacent to the water" or site "surrounded by water". Or, it may have come from the Mangue language, where the word managua was said to mean "place of the big man" or "chief". Residents of the city are called managuas, managüenses, or capitalinos.

Managua: History

Managua: Prehistory

Nicaragua was inhabited by Paleo-Americans as far back as 12,000 BCE. The ancient footprints of Acahualinca are 2,100-year-old fossils discovered along the shores of Lake Managua. Other archaeological evidence, mainly in the form of ceramics and statues made of volcanic stone, like the ones found on the island of Zapatera, and petroglyphs found on Ometepe island, contribute to the increasing knowledge of Nicaragua's ancient history.

Managua: Founding

Managua, 1849

Founded as a pre-Columbian fishing town, the city was incorporated in 1819 and given the name Leal Villa de Santiago de Managua. Efforts to make Managua the capital of Nicaragua began in 1824, after the Central American nations formally attained their independence from Spain. Nicaragua became an independent nation in 1838. Managua's location between the rival cities of León and Granada made it a logical compromise site. Hence, Managua was officially selected as the nation's capital in 1852.

Between 1852 and 1930, Managua underwent extensive urbanization, becoming a base of governance, infrastructure and services. The city was hampered by major floods in 1876 and 1885. A disastrous earthquake in 1931 and large fire in 1936 destroyed much of the city. Under the rule of Anastasio Somoza García and his family (1936–1979), the city was rebuilt and began to grow rapidly. New government buildings were erected, industry developed, and universities were established. The city's development caught the attention of Irving Fields and Albert Gamse, who composed a musical piece about the city that became popular in the 1940s through the performances of Freddy Martin, Guy Lombardo and Kay Kyser. Managua had become Central America's most developed city. Today's references differentiate the pre-1970s Managua by labeling it as La Antigua Ciudad, which in English translates to "The Ancient City" or "The Old City".

Managua: 1970s

Managua's progress came to a sudden halt after it suffered a second major earthquake on December 23, 1972, which destroyed 90% of the city's downtown and killed more than 19,120 people. Infrastructure was severely damaged and rehabilitation or restoration of buildings was nearly impossible. At the time, Managua's limited resources had to be directed to other disaster relief purposes. Managua's ability to cope with the disaster was also limited. Surviving fire squadrons and ambulance companies were not able to handle the skyrocketing demand for their services. Some buildings burned to the ground, while the foundations of others simply gave way. Not able to rebuild quickly, the city directed emergency workers to clear away much of the city's ruins quickly while burying the deceased in mass graves. Residences, government buildings and entire avenues were demolished. Escaping the city center, earthquake victims found refuge in the outskirts of the city. To add insult to injury, corruption within the Somoza regime which allocated part of the relief funds hindered the reconstruction of the city's center which remains somewhat isolated from the rest of the capital.

The Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979 to overthrow the Somoza regime and the 11-year-long Contra War of the 1980s further devastated the city and its economy. To make matters worse, a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Mitch in 1998, made economic recovery more difficult. After winning the presidential election in 1990, the National Opposition Union began the reconstruction of Managua began in earnest. More than 300,000 Nicaraguans returned from abroad bringing their expertise and needed capital. Businesses mushroomed, new housing projects and schools were constructed, the airport was expanded and modernized, streets were widened, older malls were repaired and new ones were built, and buildings were cleaned up. In 2006, after the Sandinista National Liberation Front came back into power, literacy, health and reconstruction programs were expanded.

Managua: 21st century

Managua at night

New governmental buildings, galleries, museums, apartment buildings, squares, promenades, monuments, boat tours on Lake Managua, restaurants, nighttime entertainment, and broad avenues have resurrected part of downtown Managua's former vitality. Commercial activity, however, remains low. Residential and commercial buildings have been constructed on the outskirts of the city, in the same locales that were once used as refuge camps for those who were homeless after the earthquake. These booming locales have been of concern to the government because of their close proximity to Lake Managua. The construction of a new sewer system and the redirecting of waste water to a new water treatment plant at Las Mercedes in Eastern Managua in May 2009 relieved old concerns over water pollution and native wildlife, and brought some residents closer to the old city center and the rest of the mainland.

Managua: Geography

Astronaut view of Managua

Managua is located on the southern shores of Lake Xolotlán, also known as Lake Managua. Lake Xolotlán contains the same fish species as larger Lake Cocibolca in southeastern Nicaragua, except for the freshwater sharks found exclusively in the latter. Once a Managuan scenic highlight, the lake has been polluted from the dumping of chemical and waste water since 1927. A new sewer system and the redirecting of waste water to a new waste water treatment plant at Las Mercedes funded by the German government to decontaminate the lake is expected to be the largest in Central America and was inaugurated in 2009.

View of Lake Managua from Tipitapa.

These works of progress have relieved old concerns over water pollution and the endangering of native wildlife have brought some residents closer to the old city center and the rest of the mainland.

Managua's city area extends about 544 square kilometres (210 square miles), essentially south from the south shore of Lake Managua. The lakeshore is at an altitude of 55 metres (180 feet) above sea level, and the city climbs as it gets towards the Sierras de Managua further south where it is over 700 metres (2,297 feet) above sea level.

Geologically, the city lies on fault lines, thus seismologists predict that Managua will experience a severe earthquake every 50 years or less.

Managua: Lagoons within city limits

Managua features four smaller crater lakes or lagoons within city limits. The most centrally located is the Tiscapa Lagoon in the Tiscapa Lagoon Natural Reserve.

  • Tiscapa Lagoon is south of the old downtown and was formed approximately 3,000 years ago.
  • Asososca Lagoon, to the west, is Managua's most important source of drinking water. Asososca is at the beginning of Southern Highway, close to the connection with the New Highway to León.
  • Nejapa Lagoon, south of Asososca Lagoon, is also along the Southern Highway.
  • The fourth is Acahualinca Lagoon, located to the northwest close to the shores of Lake Xolotlan, it gives its name to the nearby district to the east. Acahualinca is noted for having shallow waters.

Managua: Flora

Managua, due to its tropical climate, varied topography, naturally fertile soils, and abundant rain and water sources, boasts a great variety of flora. Many different types of trees, some of which are not found elsewhere in the world, appear, including chilamates, ceibos, pochotes, genízaros, tigüilotes, royal palms, piñuelas and madroños (Nicaragua's national tree) surround the city. During the rainy season (May to November), Managua becomes a lush city due to many palms, bushes, and other plants and trees which dominate the city's appearance.

Managua: Climate

Managua, like much of Western Nicaragua, except for the Sierras to the South, has a tropical climate with constant temperatures averaging between 28 and 32 °C (82 and 90 °F). Under Köppen's climate classification, the city has a tropical wet and dry climate. A distinct dry season exists between November and April, while most of the rainfall is received between May and October. Temperatures are highest in March, April and May, when the sun lies directly overhead and the summer rainfall has yet to begin.

Climate data for Managua, Nicaragua (extremes 1952–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 37.0
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.3
Average low °C (°F) 20.4
Record low °C (°F) 15.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 4 2 2 2 10 22 20 17 20 19 10 5 133
Average relative humidity (%) 69 64 62 61 70 80 79 81 82 83 78 73 73
Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.5 254.2 291.4 276.0 229.4 186.0 151.9 195.3 210.0 223.2 231.0 248.0 2,759.9
Mean daily sunshine hours 8.5 9.0 9.4 9.2 7.4 6.2 4.9 6.3 7.0 7.2 7.7 8.0 7.6
Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Source #2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)

Managua: Education

Managua is the national education center, with most of the nation's prestigious universities and higher education institutions based there. In 2007, after a successful literacy campaign, Managua was declared by the Mayor of Managua and the Sandinista party newspaper to be the first capital city in Central America to be rid of illiteracy. Nicaragua's higher education system consists of 48 universities and 113 colleges, vocational and technical institutes which serve students in the areas of electronics, computer systems and sciences, agroforestry, construction and trade-related services. The educational system includes 1 United States accredited English language university, 3 bilingual university programs, 5 bilingual secondary schools and dozens of English Language Institutes. In 2005, almost 400,000 (7%) of Nicaraguans held a university degree. 18% of Nicaragua's total budget is invested in primary, secondary and higher education. University level institutions account for 6% of 18%.

Managua: Colleges and universities

Managua: National Autonomous University of Nicaragua

The National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua) is the main state-funded public university of Nicaragua. UNAN was established in 1812 in the city of León and its main campus is located in Managua. By government decree in 1983 the campus of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua in León and Managua, became two separate entities; UNAN and UNAN-León.

Managua: Polytechnic University of Nicaragua

The Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI) (Spanish: Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua) is a university located in Managua, Nicaragua. It was founded in 1967.

Managua: Instituto Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas

The INCAE Business School (Spanish: Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas, INCAE) is a private business school. INCAE was founded in 1964 with the support of the United States government and other Central American countries. The institution has a close affiliation with Harvard University, as it had played a part in its foundation. The Francisco de Sola campus in Managua, Nicaragua was the first to be established (1964), the Walter Kissling Gam campus in Alajuela, Costa Rica was the second established in 1984. The latter was made the main campus following the lack of government support during the 1980s; in fact the Managua campus was actually closed for most of this time. It then reopened in 1990 after democracy was restored in Nicaragua; however, the main campus remained in Alajuela.

According to a study done by América Economía INCAE ranked as the number one business school in Latin America in 2004 and 2005 and ranked in the top ten international business schools by The Wall Street Journal in 2006.

Managua: Other universities

Managua: Economy

Inter-Continental Hotel and Metrocentro Mall

Managua is the economic center and a generator of services for the majority of the nation. The city, with a population exceeding one million inhabitants, houses many large national and international businesses. It is home to many factories which produce diverse products. Multinational companies such as Wal-Mart, Telefonica, Union Fenosa, and Parmalat have offices and operations in Managua. The city's chief products include beer, coffee, pharmaceuticals, textiles, shoes, matches, construction products, etc. Her main trading products are beef, coffee, cotton, and other crops. Managua is also Nicaragua's main political, social, cultural, educational and economic hub. At the same time, the city is served by the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, the country's primary international gateway, and regional Los Brasiles airport and Punta Huete military air base, recently renewed.

Managua is also home to all of the major banks of the nation, Banco de la Producción (BANPRO), Banco de América Central (BAC), Banco de Finanzas (BDF), Banco de Crédito Centroamericano (Bancentro) and its parent company the Lafise Group. Several new hotels including Crowne Plaza, Best Western, InterContinental, Holiday Inn, and Hilton currently have facilities in Managua. As well as many hotels, Managua has opened four western style shopping centers or malls, such as Plaza Inter, Centro Comercial Metrocentro, Galerias Santo Domingo (es), and Multicentro Las Americas, with many more being constructed.

One of Managua's growing number of malls - Galerias Santo Domingo

There is a large established local market system that caters to the majority of Nicaraguans. In Mercado Roberto Huembes, Mercado Oriental, Mercado Israel Lewites and other locations one can find anything from household amenities, food, clothing, electronics, construction materials, and other contracting supplies. The markets enjoy a substantial amount of popularity, as many of the backpacking, ecotourism-focused tourists and tourists on-a-budget use these markets for their supplies and souvenirs.

Managua is also currently experiencing an upsurge in real estate prices and as well as a housing shortage. Foreigners, mainly from Anglo-America and Europe, are becoming interested in considering post-retirement life in Nicaragua, as the country has been mentioned by various media outlets due to its safety performance on major indexes and inexpensive lifestyle for tourists.

The capital is also in need of more office space in downtown Managua as the city's economy continues to grow. Economists predict that its demand for commercial real estate will increase. New office buildings are currently being constructed along Carretera a Masaya and in Villa Fontana districts. The most recent inauguration being the Edificio Invercasa.

Managua: Landmarks

Managua: Plaza de la Revolución

Artificial trees on the streets of Managua

Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square), formerly known as Plaza de la República (Republic Square) is home to Managua's historic center, located on the shores of Lake Xolotlan. The plaza has been partially rebuilt and many old buildings have been refurbished. Some of the more important buildings which managed to survive the 1972 Nicaragua earthquake include the Catedral de Santiago (St. James' Cathedral, known colloquially as the Old Cathedral), the Rubén Darío National Theatre, and the National Palace of Culture.

Within the Revolution Square is the Parque Central (Central Park) which contains many historical monuments, some dedicated to national heroes and poets. Some of these include a centrally located Art Deco gazebo crowned with a white-washed naked muse, which happens to have superb acoustics. There is also the bust of Professor Josefa Toledo de Aguerri, who was an educator, philanthropist, writer, social activist, and one of the first feminists in the Americas. Also, the tomb of Carlos Fonseca, founder of the FSLN, which is guarded by an eternal flame. Across from the Central Park, on the north side, is the Rubén Darío park and monument, dedicated to Nicaragua's greatest poet and one of the most influential literary figures of the Spanish-speaking world. It is a neo-classical monument which consists of a round pedestal, topped by a balustrade surrounding a fountain containing a gondola filled with singing cherubs, and at the center, a pillar topped with a statue of Darío dressed in a Roman tunic protected by an angel. Constructed of Carrara marble, Darío's monument is one of the greatest in the country. There is also a park dedicated to the Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias. Other monuments include the monument of El Guerrillero sin Nombre (The Nameless Guerrilla Soldier) and Monumento à la Paz (Monument for Peace).

Managua: Old Cathedral

The Catedral de Santiago (St. James' Cathedral), also known as the Old Cathedral of Managua was designed by Belgian architects, and the iron that was used to shape the core of the cathedral was shipped from Belgium. Construction lasted from 1928 to 1938, overseen by Pablo Dambach, who was a Belgian engineer residing in Managua. The architects had been inspired by the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, France. The St. James' Cathedral became the first cathedral in the Western Hemisphere to be built entirely of concrete on a metal frame. The cathedral survived the 1931 earthquake, but was heavily damaged during the 1972 earthquake, which eventually led to the construction of a new cathedral located in another part of Managua. Restoration of the old cathedral has appeared to be possible.

Managua: Rubén Dario National Theatre

The Rubén Darío National Theatre is Nicaragua's most important theater, and is one of the most modern theaters in Central America. Both national and international artists present shows, concerts, exhibitions, and cultural performances such as El Güegüense among many others. The National Theatre is one of the few buildings that survived the 1972 earthquake that destroyed 90% of Managua.

Managua: National Palace of Culture

National Palace in Managua

The National Palace is one of Managua's oldest buildings, undamaged by the 1972 earthquake. It was commissioned by President Juan Bautista Sacasa in 1935 and built by architect Pablo Dambach, who also built the St. James Cathedral. For more than 50 years, the National Palace housed the Congress. Today, it houses the National Archive, the National Library, as well as the National Museum which is open to the public. The museum features pre-Columbian paintings, statues, ceramics, etc. Also part of the exhibit is the Hall of National History and the Hall of National Symbols. The National Palace was one of the few building that survived the 1972 earthquake.

Managua: Tiscapa Lagoon

Vista of the Tiscapa Lagoon and the city of Managua.

Tiscapa Lagoon, located within the Tiscapa Lagoon Natural Reserve is just south of Managua's Historical Center. Leading up to the lagoon is Calle del Comercio (Commerce Street), which leads to the Monumento al Liberalismo (Monument to Liberalism), built in the late 1930s by the Liberal party in honor of President Anastasio Somoza García. Nearby is the Monument to Sandino which is a silhouette of Augusto C. Sandino, one of Nicaragua's national heroes. The monument stands 59 feet tall. The monument was proposed by Ernesto Cardenal and is protected by the Nicaraguan military. The Sandino monument was constructed on top of the wreckage of the old Mozarabic-style presidential palace commissioned by President Sacasa in the late 1920s but long used by the Somoza Family as their personal residence. Also on the crater lip of Tiscapa is the Mazmorras, a prison where current President Daniel Ortega and many other political prisoners were tortured during the Somoza regime.

The reserve is located within Managua's city limits, and is a popular tourist attraction. Restaurants and stores line the walls of the lagoon. Canopy rides provide a panoramic view of Managua's old downtown where only a few buildings survived the 1972 earthquake. Encouraged by the country's improved economy, Managua's downtown underwent reconstruction beginning in the mid-1990s. Thus, many new governmental buildings, apartment complexes, shopping malls, green squares, leafy promenades, lake tours, restaurants, entertainment venues, broadened avenues, monuments, and fountains, have sprung up awakening the metropolis' heart after a long surreal dream since 1972. Also, many pre-Columbian artifacts have been found in and around Tiscapa, adding to Managua's pre-Columbian legacy.

Managua: Doctor Roberto Incer Barquero Library

The Doctor Roberto Incer Barquero Library, located in Managua, is designated to promote Nicaraguan culture. The library has 67,000 books, free internet, a newspaper archive, and economic information from the Central Bank. The library also has a gallery in the same building, where famous Nicaraguan paintings, as well as pieces from new promising artists, are exhibited. In the numismatic hall there is a permanent exhibition of Nicaraguan coins, bills, and memorial medals from throughout Nicaragua's history.

Managua: Museum of Acahualinca

2,100-year-old human footprints called "Huellas de Acahualinca"

Managua is also home to Museo Sitio Huellas de Acahualinca (the Museum of Acahualinca), where the Ancient footprints of Acahualinca, fossilized Paleo American footprints made 2,100 years ago, are engraved in volcanic ash. The museum is located in west Managua in the Acahualinca neighborhood. In addition to the footprints, the museum also displays artifacts found in other localities around the country. Artifacts such as mammoth footprints, pre-Columbian tools, a skull from León Viejo, and a small collection of pottery, among other archaeological objects.

Managua: Dennis Martínez National Stadium

The Dennis Martínez National Stadium was built in 1948 and was the largest stadium in Central America at the end of its construction. It survived the 1972 earthquake. The stadium was named in honor of Nicaragua's first baseball player to play in Major League Baseball. It serves as a venue for baseball and soccer games, as well as concerts and religious events. The Dennis Martínez National Stadium has a capacity for 40,000, making it the largest stadium in Nicaragua.

Managua: Catedral de la Concepción

The New Cathedral in Managua

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, more commonly referred to as the New Cathedral, was designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta and inaugurated in 1993. The New Cathedral was built to replace the Old Cathedral downtown that had been damaged during the 1972 earthquake. Upon the completion of its construction, the New Cathedral generated controversy among tourists and locals because of its bland and dull appearance. Critics pointed to the fact that buildings of particular importance, especially those of colonial heritage, were painted in bright colors. Such a building whose intention was to serve as a place of worship was expected to have some sort of vibrant color. Eventually, the church's original concrete and gray surface became accepted and Catholic pilgrims began to embrace the church as it was.

Managua: Culture

Xiomara Blandino, Miss Nicaragua 2007.

Managua is Nicaragua's cultural capital, boasting several restaurants, theaters, museums, and a few shopping centers. The city is also home to many communities of immigrants and ex-pats from countries including but not limited to Taiwan, China, Germany, the United States, Palestine, and Latin American countries.

Managua is home to the annual Miss Nicaragua pageant; it is the national beauty pageant of Nicaragua. The pageant is traditionally held at the Rubén Darío National Theatre and has been held since 1955.

Managua: Gastronomy

Due to the influence of immigrants and tourists, it is common to find food specialties of the diverse regions of Nicaragua jointly with international ones in Managua. The most common foods include rice, plantain, beans, and varieties of cabbage and cheeses. There is a local tradition of cheese-making and it is not unusual to encounter fried cheese as a side dish with many of the most popular dishes such as fried plantain and gallo pinto, a regional traditional rice and bean dish.

Managua enjoys an array of international cuisine including Italian, Spanish, and French restaurants, as well as many Asian restaurants (South Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese). The capital is also conspicuously dotted with many American restaurant chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Papa John's, and Subway, which have sprung up since the 1990s. Local and regional fast food chains exist as well, for example Tip-Top, Rostipollo, and Pollo Campero.

A strong tradition of preparing local sweets such as Cajeta de leche (made of either condensed milk or sugared coconut and nuts) can be found. Some local varieties of chocolate can be found also, usually prepared with pepper and other spices or nuts. A "fast food" known as quesillo is popular throughout the country. Quesillo consists of locally produced cheese wrapped in a corn tortilla with sour cream, pickled onions, salt, and vinegar. Nacatamal, the Nicaraguan version of the tamale, is a local delicacy. Many fruits such as mangos, jocotes, and mamones are a common snack. Mangoes and jocotes are often consumed while unripe with salt and vinegar.

Steak preparation is one of the strong points of the local cuisine. It is often accompanied by a special sauce known as Chimichurri, composed of oil, garlic and herbs. There are many prominent steak restaurants throughout the country, among them Los Ranchos, and also including, but not limited to, Argentine, Brazilian, Chinese, French, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, and Spanish restaurants, as well as Nicaraguan.

Managua: Festivals

During the Santo Domingo festival some people cover themselves in a mix of grease and motor oil to pay promises to the saints while others wear masks and costumes.
Celebrating the annual "Alegria por la vida" Carnaval in 2007.

Managua's most famous festival is that of its patron saint Santo Domingo de Guzmán. It starts on the morning of August 1, when the "Bajada del Santo" (walk down of the saint) involves many joyful people walking and carrying the old statue of Santo Domingo from Las Sierritas Church in south Managua to another church across the city to the north, in the area destroyed by the 1972 earthquake. It remains here for ten days until the morning of August 10, when the "Subida del Santo" (walking up of the saint) returns the statue to Las Sierritas Church where it remains for the rest of the year. Thousands of people attend this event which involves dancing, eating, drinking and the marching of musical bands, mainly for traditions that date back to pre-colonial times, or to ask for personal miracles, make promises, or give thanks to the saint. During the parade many people dress up in typical costumes, masks and painted bodies. Among other participants are "carrosas" (art cars and trucks) from local business companies, horseriders coming from Nicaragua and other Central American neighbouring countries to show off their horses, skills, and horserider costumes.

Another festival taking place since 2003 is the Alegria por la Vida (Happiness for Life) Carnaval is celebrated in Managua at the beginning of the month of March. There's a different slogan or theme every year. This event is celebrated with parades, floats, live music, food and dancing as well as the march of the Carnival Queen.

Managua: Museums, libraries and cultural centers

The National Library holds a great amount of volumes and affords abundant bibliographic information about the discovery and independence of Nicaragua. The National Palace of Culture has an exhibition of Nicaraguan art from the time previous to its independence. Inside the National Palace of Culture is the National Museum, containing archaeological finds with some examples of pre-Columbian pottery, statues, and other findings.

Managua is home to an array of art galleries which feature pieces by both national and international artists.

Managua is home to many types of museums, some art museums include the Julio Cortázar Museum and the Archivo Fílmico de la Cinemateca Nacional. Natural history museums include the Museo del Departamento de Malacología UCA, Museo Gemológico de la Concha y el Caracol, and Museo Paleontológico "El Hato". The Santo Domingo de Guzmán Museum is an anthropology museum. History museums include the Museo de la Revolución, Museo Casa Hacienda San Jacinto and Museo Parque Loma de Tiscapa.

Cultural centers in Managua include the Centro Cultural Nicaragüense Norteamericano (CCNN) (Nicaraguan-North American Culture Center), the Centro Cultural Chino Nicaragüense (Chinese Nicaraguan Culture Center), the Alliance Française de Managua (French Alliance of Managua), among others.

Managua: Entertainment

Matrix Bar y Discoteca (no longer in business) located near the Zona Rosa

Managua features many bars, nightclubs, casinos, theaters and cinemas. Compared to western prices, alcoholic beverages, theatre visits and cinema tickets are relatively inexpensive. There are cinemas in all major shopping centers; screening both English- and Spanish-language films. Foreign embassies in Managua also sponsor film festivals.

Since the late 1990s and early 2000, many casinos and karaoke bars opened and have remained popular attractions for Nicaraguans and foreign visitors. Popular music includes the Palo de Mayo, Merengue, Cumbia and Latin pop among other Latin music genres, as well as American pop and rock. Salsa dancing is a national pastime. Managua boasts a vibrant night life. Nightclubs and bars are abound in Managua, particularly, in the popular areas called "Zona Viva" located in the shopping mall "Galerías Santo Domingo", as well as very close by "Plaza Mi Viejo Santo Domingo" and "Plaza Familiar". Other popular areas are "Zona Hippos" behind the Hilton hotel near Metrocentro and "Zona Rosa".

Aside from these activities, Managua has a wide selection to offer in luxurious shopping malls, boutiques and department stores as well as local markets. In the Mercado Roberto Huembes shoppers can find everything from furniture, national arts and crafts, to fruits and vegetables, and clothing. Pali, La Union, and La Colonia are conventional supermarkets, which are in several areas of the city and sell local and imported ingredients.

Although promoting or practicing homosexuality was illegal in Nicaragua, there is a modest gay social scene in Managua. As of March 2008, homosexuality is no longer illegal and no longer carries a prison sentence.

Nicaraguans have a strong interest in baseball, which has become a major sport in the country as well as a part of the nation's culture.

Managua: Sports

Baseball is by far Nicaragua's most popular sport, followed by soccer and boxing. The Dennis Martínez National Stadium is home to many baseball games of Managua's Boer team. At the time of its construction in the late 1960s, it was the most modern stadium in Central America. The baseball league has 34 teams.

There has been growing amateur interest in little football or "futbolin" among teens and adults. New private courts have played a big role in the promotion of amateur games and tournaments. On the professional level, the National Nicaraguan Football team has still not had the public support nor the international exposure as the regional counterparts like the Costa Rican, Honduran or Salvadoran teams. However, with support of the FIFA, the first national soccer stadium in Managua is under construction.

In Managua there are two golf courses, the better-known of which is Nejapa Golf & Country Club.

Managua: Crime

Managua: Gang violence

Neither Nicaragua nor the city of Managua have major gang problems, in comparison to some of its regional neighbors. The number of gang members was estimated at 4,500 throughout the country, lower than all of its Northern neighbors in the region except Belize. In 2003, the National Police of Nicaragua recognized gangs committed only 0.51% of all crimes. In 1991, there were 110 gangs in Managua, in 2001 the number of gangs reduced to 96 gangs with a total of 1,725 members. Over the next 3–4 years the number of gangs and gang members both decreased and increased. In late 2005 the number of gangs and members decreased significantly to 34 gangs and their 706 members in Managua, these represented 38% and 32% of the national total of gangs and its members. Chief of Police, Aminta Granera, stated that vehicles robberies has reduced; as only 200 reports were filed in 2006.

Managua: Urban planning

The German government funded the construction of a water treatment plant with plans to process the city's sewage and clean the Managua lake. Also pending is a mega-project to reconstruct the old center of Managua, and to introduce a monorail system, to alleviate future transportation problems in Managua.

Managua: Media and communications

Managua is the home of most national broadcasting television channels as well as the major national newspapers. Some of the larger television channels include: Canal 2, Telenica, Canal 10, Canal 15 (100% Noticias), and several others. The three national Two newspapers are El Nuevo Diario, La Prensa, and HOY, which have offices based in Managua along with other smaller newspapers. There are numerous radio stations in Managua, some of which tend to have political, social, or religious affiliations.

Managua: Transportation

Managua: Commuting and personal transport

Old Downtown, Managua on Roosevelt Avenue

Transportation-wise, Managua is one of Nicaragua's best positioned cities. All of Nicaragua's main roads lead to Managua, and there are good public transportation connections to and from the capital. There are four main highways that lead into Managua. The Pan-American Highway enters the city from the north, connecting Managua to Nicaragua's northern and central departments. This highway is commonly referred to as the Northern Highway.

The Southern Highway, the southern part of the Pan-American highway, connects Managua to southern departments Carazo, Rivas and others.

The Carretera A Masaya connects Managua to the departments of Masaya and Granada.

The newly reconstructed Carretera A León connects Managua with León.

All of these highways are in good condition, with little traffic congestion. Infrastructure on the highways is well maintained. This also tends to be true for cities and towns that are served or are in close distance with the freeways. However, this does not yield truthfully for cities and towns who tend to be considerably further from the main highway roads. Nicaraguan bus companies, often referred to as Chicken Buses, serve both urban and rural areas to remedy the lack of sufficient infrastructure that plagues these towns or villages.

Transportation infrastructure has grown outside of Managua and other Pacific coast cities and departments in recent years. A road from the river port city of El Rama to Pearl Lagoon, located in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region, was completed in 2007. El Rama is connected by highway to Managua. Managua and Puerto Cabezas, located in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region are also connected via road. A third road, currently under construction, will connect Bluefields, South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region with Managua via Nueva Guinea. Traveling by airplane is more efficient than traveling by these roads due to the poor conditions, especially in the rainy season. Domestic flights are operated by La Costeña from the international airport.

Managua: Buses

Managua transit map
Side view of a typical bus

There are 36 bus routes in Managua. These are regulated by the city’s regulatory entity for municipal transports (IRTRAMMA) and individually operated by cooperatives and private companies. In addition there are two bus routes that formerly connected to outside parts of Managua, but these became now are part of the city (Esquipulas and Los Vanegas). And seven bus routes connect to the nearby Ciudad Sandino. Buses are the most economical way to get around the city and thus contributes to high numbers of ridership. Managua's prime location between the Northern Pan-American highway and the Southern Highway make it an ideal hub for local, national and international buses.

A transport map of the city's 44 bus routes was created in 2016 in a crowdsourcing initiative by the Nicaraguan OpenStreetMap community.

Most bus coaches in Managua are fabricated by DINA S.A. and Mercedes-Benz. One out of every ten buses now grants access to wheelchair passengers, granting disabeled passengers for the first time the ability to utilize public transportation resources.

Managua: International bus services

TransNica is a Nicaraguan bus company that operates international bus services throughout Central America. It competes extensively with its counterpart, TicaBus, a Costa Rican bus company. Managua serves as the company's hub, with buses departing from Managua to San José, Costa Rica, Tegucigalpa, San Salvador and Choluteca.

Managua: Taxi

In Managua, those who commute to and from work generally travel by bus or taxi. Taxi tends to be the transportation method of choice for tourists. Taxi cabs may be hailed or called over by radio dispatch. Street cabs, those that can be hailed without calling a dispatcher, are widely available and cost somewhat less than their counterparts. However, some taxi cabs operate as collectives, and do pick up passengers as the first customer goes on their journey. Usually, passengers that wish to opt out of such practice do so by advising the driver not to pick up additional passengers. This is usually done as a safety precaution, as there have been robberies committed due to this practice of "cab sharing." Taxi cabs do not have meters. By custom, many Nicaraguans and tourists alike agree on a fare before embarking on the vehicle.

Managua: Rail

There are no railroads that operate in Managua or in Nicaragua. The country's railroads fell into disrepair during the 1980s. The Chamorro government closed the system and sold the cars and rails for scrap.

However, the planned FERISTSA system would most likely bypass the capital and give Nicaragua its first-ever international railway.

Managua: Monorail

The President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, was presented with a plan to revitalize the city center. The project included the possibility of building a monorail that would cross over the old center of the capital that remains rather unchanged since the 1972 earthquake. The monorail would serve important locales, such as the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport and continue service to Ciudad Sandino. The project costs $100 million and has been considered as a possibility for the nation's capital.

Managua: Airport

After its renovation, Nicaragua's Augusto C. Sandino International Airport is considered the second most advanced airport in Central America after La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.

The Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (formerly Managua International Airport) is the largest and only international airport in Nicaragua. It recently inaugurated its over US$52 million extension and renovation partly financed by Spain. The airport was remodeled by architect Roberto Sansón and has now been converted into one of the region's most modern airports. The airport used to serve as the hub for the Nicaragüenses de Aviación airline, which was bought by TACA Airlines the El Salvador national airline, that bought all of the airlines in Central America.

The airport, known as Aeropuerto Sandino or MGA to locals, serves as the primary hub for connections at both domestic and international levels. TACA Regional member La Costeña operates flights to local destinations like Bluefields, the Corn Islands and San Carlos among others. The airport is located near the northern highway and is about 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) east of the city's downtown. Hotels, restaurants, and commercial centers are all accessible by car, taxi, or bus. Out of the country's one hundred and forty airports, it is the only one with the appropriate infrastructure and capacity to handle international flights.

Eleven airlines operate international flights at MGA. Popular destinations include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, San Salvaldor, Panama City and Atlanta. Other regional destinations such as San José and San Salvador are also popular layover stops due to Nicaragüense de Aviación's membership in Grupo TACA. Air Madrid had intentions of having flights to Madrid, but following their bankruptcy and eventual dissolution, their plans for flights and having a hangar were ultimately erased.

Managua: International relations

Managua: Twin towns – sister cities

Managua is twinned with:

  • Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela
  • Brazil Curitiba, Brazil
  • Cuba Havana, Cuba
  • United States Los Angeles, United States
  • United States Miami, United States
  • Panama Panama City, Panama
  • Ecuador Quito, Ecuador
  • Spain Reus, Spain
  • Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • El Salvador San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Chile Santiago, Chile
  • Taiwan Taipei, Taiwan
  • Spain Valencia, Spain
  • Peru Lima, Peru

Managua: Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities

Manuaga is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities from 12 October 1982 establishing brotherly relations with the following cities:

  • Andorra Andorra la Vella, Andorra
  • Paraguay Asunción, Paraguay
  • Colombia Bogotá, Colombia
  • Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela
  • Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Cuba Havana, Cuba
  • Ecuador Quito, Ecuador
  • Bolivia La Paz, Bolivia
  • Peru Lima, Peru
  • Portugal Lisbon, Portugal
  • Spain Madrid, Spain
  • Nicaragua Managua, Nicaragua
  • Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
  • Uruguay Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Panama Panama City, Panama
  • Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Costa Rica San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • El Salvador San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Chile Santiago, Chile
  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Honduras Tegucigalpa, Honduras

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Managua: Bibliography

  • La Voz del Sandinismo (in Spanish)
  • Alcaldía de Managua (in Spanish)
  • The Openstreetmap project has partially mapped Managua
  • Top 10 things to do in Managua
  • Managua
    Managua travel guide from Wikivoyage
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