Lago de Managua, or XolotlĂˇn, may be one of the most polluted lakes in Central America, but that didnâ€™t stop Empresa Portuaria Nacional de Nicaragua (the countryâ€™s port authority), from opening a new port on the lake shore. Puerto Salvador Allende (named for the Chilean president deposed during a military coup) is a clean and pleasant, if not yet booming, tourist attraction. Since the port is located on the western edge of the MalecĂłn, just beyond a dilapidated amusement park, itâ€™s not the kind of place you tend to stumble on by mistake. Still, with a small park, picnic tables and historical displays, Puerto Allende is one of the nicest spots along the shore.
The star of the port is the â€śNovia del XolotlĂˇn,â€ť a ferry offering daily tours around la Isla de Amor (general admission C$70, upper level seating C$100, reservations 505-2-222-2745) and weekend trips to see Managua at night (Friday to Sunday, 6:30 p.m.).
EPN (www.epn.com.ni, 505-2-222-2059, fax: 505-266-7973) is currently working on plans to extend the ferry services north, to a new Puerto Carlos Fonseca at San Francisco Libre, and west, to the proposed Puerto Patricio ArgĂĽello Ryan at LeĂłn Viejo. Check back to see if these planned routes are in service.
Puerto Allende has not done much to help neighboring Puerto Touristico Ruben Dario or the existing ferry line, Empresa de Transporte TurĂstica Milton Arcia (505-2-278-8190/ 505-2-278-8180, gerencia @transportelacustre.com, www.transportelacustre.com). Like La Novia, Milton Arciaoffers tours on the weekends around Isla de Amor, PenĂnsula Chiltepe and to LeĂłn Viejo. The trips costs C$50 per hour. The company, owned by Milton Arcia Marin, also runs a ferry service between San Jorge and Isla de Ometepe.
Relative price: Budget
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