Located between the lakes Cocibolca and Xolotlán, Masaya is the smallest department of Nicaragua and one of the most densely populated, is part of the denominated Metropolitan Region of Managua.
Very tourist department, famous for its handicrafts, culture and folklore, besides possessing a huge natural potential. Masaya is worth visiting and getting to know thoroughly.
Masaya presents a varied territory, in the southern municipalities, Catarina, La Concepción, Masatepe, Nandasmo, Niquinohomo and San Juan de Oriente, the terrain is uneven and has elevations above 500 meters above sea level, in addition to Temporary rivers that descend from the Meseta de los Pueblos, from Carazo and flow into the Laguna de Masaya. The municipalities of the north, Masaya, Nindiri and Tisma present a flat territory, characteristic of the Interlacustre Plain.
The departmental capital has the same name as the department and is known as the city of flowers. Located just 30 kilometers southeast of Managua, Masaya is also the main producer of handicrafts nationwide. Do not miss visiting its two markets, the New and Old, to observe and buy handicrafts from all over the country. Owning a beautiful old town, it has unrivaled attractions in the country, its old Coyotepe fortress or the malecon are very interesting to know. It also has a great tourist and recreational offer, hotels, lodges, bars, pubs and discos.
A few kilometers from the city of Masaya is the Masaya Volcanic Natural Reserve, where it is possible to see from the crater Santiago the lava and the fumes from its interior. Known since the time of colonization as "The Mouth of Hell" touring the Reserve is an experience that can not miss.
Less known but of equal interest is the Masaya Lagoon, located in the Masaya Volcano National Park. Of great interest to nature lovers and excursions.
One of the biggest attractions of this department and of the country is the Laguna de Apoyo Natural Reserve. Apart from enjoying its landscapes, its natural environment, its crystal clear waters and refreshing baths, you will be able to do a number of activities such as hiking, horseback riding, kayaking The paragliding. Around the lagoon there is a great variety of services oriented to satisfy the needs of the visitors, from food, to sale of crafts, culture and fun as well as where to stay.
If you visit the Laguna de Apoyo you can not miss visiting one of its most famous viewpoints, such as El Mirador de Catarina, in the municipality of Catarina.
If nature is involved, you can visit the Tisma Lagoon Natural Reserve, which is one of the RAMSAR sites. It is a wetland of lacustrine origin formed by the Tisma Lagoon, the Tuela Playuela, the Laguna Amapa, the Estero de Poneloyo and part of the Tipitapa River. Its territory extends through the departments of Managua and Tipitapa, in the latter in the municipality of Tisma.
In the department of Masaya there are part of municipalities that make up the so-called "White Villages" (Catarina, San Juan de Oriente, Niquinohomo, Nandasmo, Masatepe / of the department of Granada, Diriá and Diriomo). Its name comes from the white color in which the walls of their houses are painted with lime. Another characteristic of the White Villages is the elaboration of crafts, emphasizing the one of ceramics, the saddlery and the elaboration of furniture of wicker and wood. Its streets and roads are painted a thousand colors and filled with smells from the flowers and plants of their nurseries.
In Nindirí you can approach the history of this department by visiting the Tenderí Museum and the Ethnographic Museum Nacudari.
Niquinohomo, the birthplace of the General of Free Men, Augusto Cesar Sandino, was declared Historical Patrimony of the Nation in the year 2002.
If you visit Masatepe do not forget to try what they say is the best modongo soup in the country.
Official page of the Government of Masaya
Masaya in Wikipedia
To arrive to Masaya from Managua is very simple, it is necessary to take for 30km the road to Masaya, located to the south of the capital, remodeled recently and perfectly signalized. The same road will take you to the neighboring city of Granada. To arrive by bus from Managua, you can take them from the bus stop of the UCA, leave frequently and take you to the destination quickly.