Masaya is a small city in Nicaragua, midway between Managua and Granada. The town sits perilously close to the Volcan Masaya, an active volcano with constant plumes of sulfuric smoke. The volcano is the main feature of a national park.
Get in edit
From the airport in Managua (MGA IATA) you can take a taxi for US$20-30. Also, many cities in Nicaragua have buses that take you directly to Masaya. There are also public minivans known as microbuses that will take you from Managua (UCA terminal) to Masaya for a bit less than US$1. There are also slower standard (read: old American Bluebird) buses going to and from Masaya at a slightly lower price.
Most buses arrive to the huge and disorderly "bus station" at the edge of Masaya's new market 1. Google Maps also show the existence of a separate terminal, a few blocks to the west, for buses running between Masaya and UCA (Universidad Centroamericana, in Managua).
Get around edit
The parts of town that are interesting for tourists are mostly walkable. Taxis can get you to the malecon and anywhere else you might want to go to.
Inside the old town edit
- 1 El Malecón. An open area with an awesome view of the Masaya Volcano and the Masaya Lagoon.
- 2 El Mercado Viejo (Craft Market). 09:00-17:00 daily. The market that resembles a castle; it was built at the ends of the 19th century. It is one of the most visited touristic places in Masaya. There you can buy any kind of handicraft made in the country. Also on site is a folklore museum, displaying the area's customary dress and ways of life.
- Museo de Heróes y Mártires (Heroes and Martyrs museum) (inside the Alcaldía de Masaya (Town Hall)). A museum dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of Nicararaguan Revolution in 1979.
- 3 7 Esquinas Masaya. Geographic oddity where 7 streets converge.
- 4 Masaya Central Park (on the same grounds as the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción).
Other churches from the 19th century's colonial period include San Jerónimo, San Juan and San Miguel.
Outside the old town edit
- Volcán Masaya (Carretera Masaya-Managua). Masaya volcano is the mouth of Hell. One of the very few lava lakes in the world, and this one is easily accessible. take a taxi or a tour. It is even more beautiful at night. Depending on the activity of the volcano it is possible to walk around the various crater or explore some caves during day time. There is also a nice museum. $4 day entrance, $10 night entrance.
- Mercado de artesania. A nice and colourful handcraft market of the country. There is a smoothie bar inside with a wide variety of flavours.
The Mercado de Artesanias sells a wide variety of handicrafts.
Masaya is famous for hammocks. The street connecting the city center to the malecon is lined with hammock shops. A decent hammock can be had for under US$20.
Fresh produce in abundance, as well as bread, sweets, etc, can be found in Masaya's new market, on the city's west side. There are also several Palí supermarkets around the city, including one in the city's central square.
- There's a variety of food stands on the Plaza Central.
- 1 La Placita (Placita Monimbó) (in the indigenous neighborhood of Monimbó). Daily, after 17:00. This plaza features different kinds of typical food, for very cheap prices.