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Top Nicaragua

Around Managua

Nicaragua’s capital city may have evolved as a modern metropolis – and developed all the pitfalls of a concrete jungle with urban sprawl, dodgy markets and snarling, roaring traffic – but Managua’s growth spurt has managed to leave behind some hidden pockets of wild jungles, tranquil lakes and sandy beaches.



Bird watchers (or lovers of any stripe) should plan to make special trips to Chocoyero-El Brujo Nature Reserve (172 bird species) and the private Montibelli Reserve (105 species of birds). Both reserves require a special effort – they are well off main roads and Montibelli guests need to schedule a visit ahead of time – but are noteworthy for their preservation of jungle in areas otherwise given over to farmland and residences.



Only 20 kilometers from the city, and much easier to access, are the lagoons of Xiloa and Apoyeque. The public park at Xiloa has walkways, rough-hewn eateries with beer. You might have to wade through mud and plants, but the water is clear, with tiny, fossilized shells along the bottom. Apoyeque is a day’s hike away; the deep crater lake is a fisherman’s dream (just watch out for the resident crocodiles).



The beaches of Pochomil and Masachapa aren’t too shabby either, with surfing spots, restaurants and cheap accommodations. Plus, the long stretches of beach will make you forget that you were ever sweating away on the hot Managua streets.

By Rachael Hanley
A sometime newspaper journalist with a heavy side of wanderlust, Rachael moved to Quito in November to work on the V!VA staff. She is currently...
28 Sep 2009

Things to do in Around Managua

Montibelli Reserve

Montibelli is a large, private reserve whose 165.5 hectares are made up of three former coffee plantations. The owners still grow a bit of coffee – plus lemons, bananas, pineapples and pitahaya ...
National Park
Managua, Nicaragua
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