Like the Egyptian pharaohs, who once abandoned their predecessors' monuments in favor of building their own, Nicaraguan presidents have a tendency create new parks (see Puerto Salvador Allende) while the old ones crumble. Such is the case with Parque de la Paz, an expansive stretch of concrete monuments built in 1990 by President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro to commemorate the end of the Contra conflict. The park might have once been beautiful, but the location has suffered from obvious neglect. Weeds and debris choke the reflection pool and the odd, concrete lighthouse in the middle was ravaged in February 2009. Would-be thieves smashed all of the glass in the walkway around the lighthouse, broke open a lock and were attempting to steal the fixtures inside when they were scared away by park guards. Officials have since twisted heavy wire around the tower door, effectively sealing it off. A wall of cement-encased weapons, including a rusty tank, has been similarly attacked. The part of the wall not already choked with weeds has been ripped apart by vandals. Even a carved monument, honoring residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as a 1998 symbol of peace and amnesty between Nicaragua and Japan) bears marker scribblings. All in all, the Peace Park is a fairly depressing side note off a busy highway. If you plan to go, do so in daylight, before the park is taken over by homeless. The guards on duty are also happy to walk you around the grounds, although they can provide little in the way of explanation.
Along Dupla Norte, towards Carr. Norte
Relative price: Budget
Travel Skills: None