Planning Your Time
- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Most people visit the craft markets, Masaya City, and Volcán Masaya in one day, but if you are relying on public transportation, it may take longer. Naturalists more interested in the volcano can just as easily spend a long day on hiking trails, in the visitors center, and on guided tours.
It’s possible to make Masaya your base for excursions, but most travelers opt instead to stay in Granada, which has a better selection of hotels and restaurants. On any trip to the Masaya craft market, be sure to allow for time to walk to the cliff-top lookout near the baseball stadium (el malecón), where you’ll also find the hammock factories. You can also kill an hour or two at the Coyotepe fortress, where the views are pleasant and the wind takes the edge off the heat.
A trip through the Pueblos Blancos can occupy a full day, even if driving. It’s fun to start at one end, work your way up to Catarina, have lunch, and then continue. You can visit the Pueblos Blancos by public transportation, as the buses run this route frequently throughout the day, but having the freedom of a vehicle will greatly facilitate your ability to pick and choose as you work your way through the villages.
Lastly, though very few travelers stay the night in Masaya, consider doing so during one of the city’s colorful festivals, when the town really comes alive.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition