managua

Spend a Night at Chocoyero-El Brujo Nature Reserve

Less than 28 kilometers away from downtown Managua is a little pocket of wilderness so vibrant with wildlife you’ll forget the capital is literally just over the horizon. The Chocoyero-El Brujo Nature Reserve a naturalist’s paradise; among hardwood forests and pineapple farms, you’ll find waterfalls, hiking, and camping alongside numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

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Sights in Managua

You can easily visit all of Managua’s main attractions, which are scattered along the Avenida Bolívar, in half a day. Many are ruins and monuments to the disastrous 1972 earthquake that leveled the city, others are simply lovely places to sit and take in the city views. Expert author Elizabeth Perkins is here with a guided tour.

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Planning Your Time in Managua

Managua has seen more than its fair share of ups and downs, and the city’s charm becomes apparent once you’ve spent a little time there. Managuans are full of stories (and opinions) about their history; the best way to learn is to strike up a conversation. The better you understand this city, the better you will understand Nicaragua itself.

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Where to Go in Nicaragua

Unless you have a few weeks to dedicate to your travels, it’s impossible to see everything Nicaragua has to offer–even then, you’d have a tight schedule. The best way to tackle the country is to learn about each region, then plan according to your interests and favorite activities. From vibrant nightlife to exploring history to outdoor adventures, Nicaragua won’t disappoint.

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Nightlife in Managua, Nicaragua

Dancing is a central part of the Managua experience. The music scene ranges from popular electronic to booty-shaking reggaetón, as well as plenty of salsa, merengue, and bachata. Managua has several places to learn salsa and merengue if you are in town for a longer period of time. If you prefer something more low-key, there are lots of bars and clubs with atmospheres that range from sultry to suspect, but they change on an annual basis, as Managuans flock inexorably to the newest scene.

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Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua

Despite Nicaragua’s gorgeous shorelines, diving is a pastime only beginning to be developed, with only three shops in the whole country: one in San Juan del Sur and one on each of the Corn Islands. For those interested in snorkeling, it is best off the Corn Islands and some of the Pearl Cays.

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Featured Travel Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Elizabeth Linhart Veneman

Elizabeth Linhart Veneman has always viewed growing up in Northern California as both a blessing and curse. There is so much to see, do, and experience all within a short drive—from broad sequoias in the Sierras to ancient lava beds north of Mount Shasta, from creaky Gold Rush towns to the pampering Wine Country—that she began to wonder why anyone would ever leave.

Elizabeth was eventually lured out of the Golden State to Alaska’s far north, where she traveled the Inside Passage, baked bread under the midnight sun in Denali National Park, and chronicled the state’s burgeoning sustainable agriculture for Alaska Magazine. These adventures culminated in penning the travel guide InsightGuides: Alaska.

But Elizabeth knew her California roots were too deep to stay away for long. Raised in Carmel, where her great-great grandmother opened the first restaurant (a soup kitchen with dirt floors!) at the turn of the 20th century, she would always call California home. So she returned and devoted herself to writing about the state she loves most. Her work has included the travel guides SmartGuide: San Francisco and InsightGuides: San Francisco, as well as reporting on food and sustainable agriculture for local publications.

Elizabeth Linhart Veneman is the author of several Moon travel guides, including Moon California and Moon Napa & Sonoma.