- Managua is located in western Nicaragua, nestled between two large lakes, Lago de Managua and Lago de Nicaragua. The city has a network of canals that take advantage of these lakes in transporting water throughout the city. Managua is also located on several prominent fault lines, which caused devastating earthquakes in 1931 and 1972.
- Artifacts and fossils suggest that Managua was first occupied more than 6,000 years ago. Modern Managuan history dates to the 16th century, when the first Spanish settlements arrived in Nicaragua. Managua's advantageous location near water led to the development of the city as the economic center of the country. Ninety percent of Managua was destroyed by an earthquake in 1972. After several decades of economic struggle, the city was partially rebuilt in the 1990s, although government corruption has limited the developments that could improve the city further .
- Spanish language and history is central to Nicaragua's culture but Managua is the most diverse of the country's cities, with influences from Asia, Europe and other Latin American nations. However, despite these outside influences, Managua is foremost a Nicaraguan city, with vibrant festivals, theaters and attractions showcasing the country's heritage. Travelers should note that most tours and local information are only available in Spanish, so you should brush up on your language skills or bring along a guidebook to help you get around.
- Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, located in Managua, is the country's only international airport. It is also one of the busiest in Central America, serving more than one million passengers annually. Flights into the airport come from Canada, the United States and Central America. Buses are the only mass-transit option in Managua. The privately owned bus networks are extensive, offering local journeys as well as cross-country and international trips. Taxis are also a popular mode of transportation in the city center.
Points of Interest
- The U.S. Department of State remarks that tourism in Managua does not meet international standards, as the city is more focused on business travelers than tourists. Nonetheless, Managua has many attractions that will interest tourists. The Loma de Tiscapa National Park is located on a hilltop behind the Crowne Plaza Hotel in southern Managua. The park offers panoramic views of the city as well as Volcán Tiscapa, a crater lake on the edge of the city. In the center of the city, the National Palace of Culture presents a time line of Nicaraguan development, dating from the prehistoric settlements. The museum is adjacent to the Old Cathedral, which is a spectacle to see, especially when it is lit up at night.