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Sightseeing in Managua - Indian Chief Travel
NICARAGUA  |  Managua, Nicaragua Travel Guide
Friday, May 24, 2019

Sightseeing in Managua

Old Managua Walking Tour

Though it’s a tongue twister, you won’t want to miss the Huellas de Acahualinca, ancient footprints from 6,000 years ago that edge Lago de Nicaragua. The footprints, left by a dozen or so people, were preserved by a volcano eruption when the resulting ash fell on the prints. They weren’t discovered until 1874. A small museum now displays the prints, along with a few artifacts.

Catch views of Lago de Managua from the Malecón, a spot to be avoided from late afternoon on. Continue east from here to the Plaza de la Revolución, the closest thing to a “tourist center” in Managua and surrounded by many of the city’s sights. The Teatro Rubén Darío, which resembles Washington’s Kennedy Center, was actually designed by the architects who created the Metropolitan Opera house in New York. Facing the theater is Parque Rubén Darío, home of a monument to the great poet.

The modern Casa Presidencial (the home of the president), on the lakefront, is hard to miss (check out the bright paint). Next door, the ruins of Catedral Vieja, Old Cathedral, are a focal point and a testament to what Managua once looked like. The cathedral was built in the early 20th century, but disaster struck soon afterward in the form of the 1931 earthquake. The church withstood the tremors, but the 1972 earthquake sealed its fate, leaving it too structurally damaged to be used. Take a look at the shell of the building, but visitors are not allowed inside for safety reasons.

The Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, built in 1935, is one of Managua’s most attractive buildings. Formerly the home of Congress, the building was penetrated by Sandinista Comandante Cero in 1978 in a hostage takeover. Today the building serves as the Museo Nacional de Nicaragua, which includes a fine preColumbian permanent exhibit, as well as the National Library and the National Archives. Next door you’ll find the Centro Cultural de Managua, an artistic space devoted to the national art and music schools. Performances sometimes take place, and the center hosts an artisan fair with handicrafts for sale the first Sat of every month.

Across the street you’ll find two parks, Parque Velásquez and Parque de la Paz. La Paz serves as a memorial to the end of the Contra War, and numerous weapons are on display. South of Parque Velásquez is the Asemblea Nacional, the National Assembly. Guards will likely keep you at a distance, but take a peek from Avenida Bolivar. Continue on Avenida Bolivar to reach the Arboretum Nacional Juan Bautista Salas, home to several hundred plant species.

Last updated November 24, 2007
Posted in   Nicaragua  |  Managua
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