Much like you and your flatmate argue over the dishes, the Nicaraguan cities of Leon and Granada once had a centuries-old dispute about which should be the capital. Eventually they chose neither, and made Managua the capital instead. (Unfortunately, you can’t just appoint a third party to do the dishes). Once a tiny fishing village, it grew up fast, and today a Managua holiday is the best way to see the country’s most important museums and landmarks.Viva la revolution! With its huge Nicaraguan flag, it’s easy to see that Plaza de la Revolucion is one of the most important sites in town. Visit the eternal flame for national hero Carlos Fonseca, a librarian turned revolutionary leader, then head to the Palacio National. Relax in the gardens and check out the colourful murals and sculptures in the art gallery. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a traditional toro huaco dance or marimba performance. Bet you can’t keep from swaying your hips to this hypnotic music!
Want to see more? We’ve got tons of Managua car hire options so you can motor around town and beyond. Apoyo Lagoon is about 40 km southeast and has the most crystal-clear water in all of Central America (at least according to the locals). Paddle or sail around the lake to see iguanas and tree frogs basking in the sun, or take a hike and befriend monkeys and jaguarundi, small wild cats who always look grouchy—and definitely won’t pose for a selfie.
You can find shopping, dining and nightlife all in one place: Puerto Salvador Allende. This port-side promenade lined with thatched-roof palapas and vibrant flags is probably exactly what you imagine during your Central American daydreams. Browse the huts and indulge in plenty of edible souvenirs, too. But if you’re a serious shopper, book Managua package deals near Los Robles. This neighbourhood is home to the city’s main shopping mall as well as Galeria Codice, the best place to buy local paintings, baskets and pottery.
You’ve heard of tamales, but have you heard of naca tamales? They’re basically giant, square tamales, and they are delicious. You’ll find them everywhere on a holiday in Managua, filled with everything from pork and potatoes to olives and chilies. They can take up to two days to cook, so make sure you say “Gracias”!
You probably know caipirinhas, margaritas and Cuba libres, but holidays to Managua have the best tropical beverage you’ve never heard of. Made with white rum, lemon and guava juice, the macua is named after a native bird that’s supposed to be good luck. (No guarantees the drink is good luck, though.) Along Carretera Masaya near the universities you can imbibe with a student vibe; head to Rotonda Bello Horizonte on the city’s north side to drink up con gusto with mariachis and troubadours.
Get in on the secret backpackers already know: Nicaragua’s capital is the best deal around, with heaps of history, nature and nightlife on the reg. Check out cheap Managua holidays on lastminute.au.com and get going before everyone else catches on!
Reserving your Managua hotel will be easy with lastminute.com.au (there are more than 72 accommodations to choose from). Being the nation's awesome capital, you might want to start the search ASAP to make sure you get the best deal.
Whether you're on the lookout for a simple room to spend the night or one with the whole shebang, Managua has you covered. For good service that won't cost you an arm and a leg, book in at the Hostal Sleep Easy Inn (Bolonia, Lugo Rent a car 1 1/2 al Sur) or the Hotel Valerie (Residencial Bolonia, Canal 2). Two more you may want to consider are the Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall and the Crowne Plaza Managua. These high-end hotels are for those who'd like to live a life of luxury while they're here.
^Savings based on all package bookings made with Flight + Hotel on lastminute.com.au from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.