An overwhelming number of the visitors in Nicaragua come for the gorgeous sandy coastlines, the unbeatable climate and the chance to experience some of the best surfing on the planet. However, the country offers a lot more than just its stunning beaches. If you head inland towards Lake Managua, you'll find the nation's capital city of Managua.
Home to nearly two million people, this is the thriving, bustling metropolis of Nicaragua. Whether you are interested in retiring in Nicaragua, buying a vacation home or just planning a visit, don't forget to spend some time in Managua and get to know the local people, culture and history of this incredible city.
The City's Population is Diverse
To say that that the population of Managua is a melting pot would almost be an understatement. Currently, more than half of the city's residents consider themselves to be mestizos, or a mix of white and Native American.
There are also a number of Turkish, French and German nationalities represented in the city. While the primary spoken language is Spanish in Managua, English is often spoken and understood as a result of this vibrant blend of cultures living in one compact area.
Managua Has a 6,000 Year-Old History
In North America, a city might be considered historic if it has been around for 200 years. Managua, however, has a staggering history that dates back more than 6,000 years. At its creation, it was a small fishing settlement where residents caught fish from Lake Managua, or Lago de Managua as it is known to locals. It wasn't until the 16th century that there was documented connections to Europe, and that was through the Spanish explorer Fernandez de Oviedo. After a 19th century civil war between the cities of Granada and Leon, the compromise was to select Managua as the Nicaraguan capital thanks to its central location.
Managua Boasts Incredible Attractions
Many travelers overlook the world-class attractions that Managua has to offer, which is definitely a mistake. If you like architecture, compare the city's two amazing yet distinct cathedrals. The Old Managua Cathedral, built in 1920, boasts a traditional colonial design while the New Cathedral, built in 1992, has more than 60 domes and looks more like a mosque than a typical church building.
To visit a national monument revered by Nicaraguan residents, head to the Parque de la Paz, where peace and an end to war is celebrated. Finally, if you're in Managua at night, don't miss the breathtaking Rotonda Ruben Dario, which is illuminated after sunset.
Great Shopping and Entertainment
One of the most popular reasons to head into Managua for the day or for a longer visit is to dive headfirst into the great entertainment, dining and shopping that the city boasts. While still laid-back, it is a little more formal than the beach towns along the coast. You could dress up for an evening of gambling at the Princess Casino or shop for art at the GalerÃa Codice.
Managua is a fascinating and richly historic city in Nicaragua, making it a place that all residents and visitors should explore at least once.