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Petroglyph hike - Other Activity Masaya - Nicaragua

A long time ago, ancient residents of the Masaya region carved swirling figures of birds, snakes and suns into the limestone around Laguna Masaya. You can find what remains of their largely neglected artwork just above Cascadas Cailagua, a pretty name for a place where the city sewer empties into the lake. To get there, walk behind Masaya’s Iglesia Magdalena to the Campo Santo del Pueblo graveyard, where the street paving stones stop. Continue down the dirt road. The road will narrow into a path that winds past three blue crosses in honor of San Pablo, San Pedro and San Juan Bautista. Follow the increasingly steep path down the hill toward Laguna Masaya. You will eventually come to a series of a dozen or so very worn, colonial stairs. Immediately after the stairs, turn right (don’t continue to the lake) and follow the branching path straight to Cascadas Cailagua. The petroglyphs start a few hundred feet up the gully. Locals have filled in the less eroded examples with white paint.

A few words of caution: do not attempt the petroglyph hike in the rain, when both the gully and the lake paths become extremely treacherous; wear good hiking shoes that will cover your toes; be aware that you will be walking around a dangerous neighborhood and go in a group, not alone.

On a path leading to Laguna Masaya

Masaya, Nicaragua

Other Activity

Relative price: Budget

Travel Skills: None

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...
24 Jun 2009

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