Masaya Travel Guide

  • Masaya
    by mircaskirca
  • Masaya
    by mircaskirca
  • Masaya
    by sachara

Masaya Things to Do

  • El Malecon and the Crater Lake

    El Malecon refers to a promenade along the edge of the massively deep volcanic Laguna de Masaya, or Lake of Masaya, a crater lake of Volcan Masaya. Tree shrouded Red and yellow painted walk has a romantic quality to it. So, the city of Masaya has a waterfront on a lake with great views, but the steep descent into the waters of Volcan make it not...

  • Mercado de Artesanías

    Mercado de Artesanías, also known as Mercado Viejo, is Nicaragua's most famous market and a major tourist draw. The entire block is a hive of stalls where you find the highest-quality arts and crafts in the country. Built in 1891, the late Gothic walls of the original market were damaged by a fire in 1966 and the inside of the market burned by...

  • Churches of Masaya

    Masaya has several attractive churches built in the colonial period and in the 19th century. Probably the most beautiful is the Parroquia de la Asunción from 1750, a towering late baroque structure in the northeast corner of Parque Central, officially known as Parque 17 de Octubre, named for a battle against Somoza's Guarida in 1977. Many of the...

  • Around Parque Central

    Masaya has got many neighbourhoods that were once separate villages with their own church and plaza. Today the centre of town is around Parque Central, also called Parque 17 de Octubre. It is a pleasant park with many benches where you can sit down and watch people. And there is a café were you can have juices, ice cream and snacks. In the park is...

  • Laguna de Masaya

    Laguna de Masaya is a 27 square km large crater lake situated west of Masaya. Seven blocks west of Parque Central is the malecón with great views over the lagoon and the Vulcán Masaya on the opposite side. From here the lake is 300 metres down. The water is dirty and is not good for swimming at the moment. I only went to the malecón for the view,...

  • Mercado Municipal (Mercado Nuevo)

    As Mercado Artesanias is quiet and well set up for tourists the Mercado Municipal is where you should come for the real local market experience. Here it is more chaotic and colourful and you can find almost anything. Everything has got its own section so there is one place to go to for fruits and vegetables, another for meat and fish and at other...

  • Mercado Artesanias (Mercado Viejo)

    Inside the black-basalt walls of the Old Market-building is the Artisans Market. Here you will find many booths full of Nicaraguan craft, things like hammocks, ceramics, leather products, paintings, hemp weaving and embroidered blouses. So if you are looking for a souvenir this is a good place to come. I don’t know of the prices though. I did not...

  • Tour from Granada to Volcán Masaya

    There are several companies in Granada organising tours to Vulcán Masaya. Some of the tours are day tours, some are night tours (actually late afternoon/evening) and some include stops at the market in Masaya or in the Pueblos Blancos.I chose to take a night tour to Vulcán Masaya with Tierra Tour. When I booked the tour I paid 30 dollars, but when...

  • Parque Nacional Volcán Masaya

    The Masaya Vulcan is situated about 20 km southeast of Managua. The area around the volcano became a national park in 1979, Nicaragua’s first national park. The national park covers an area of 54 square km and in the park you can find two volcanoes, five craters and several short hiking trails. There is a visitor centre and museum. I visited that...


    Many of the churches in Masaya suffered in the earthquake in 2000. In this photo you can see cracks caused by the earthquake. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the church. Maybe somebody can help me.


    As I was close to the Laguna de Masaya I decided to walk to see what it looked like. It was so beautiful and I found it hard to believe that it is polluted. Volcán Masaya guards the lake on the other side making the scenery very picturesque. A promenade, Malecón, goes by the lakeside and there are a few cafés where you can rest your feet and have a...


    It is not hard to find workshops in Masaya. If you arrive by local bus like I did the Market is right at the bus station. This time I didn't visit it but headed straight to the area where they make hammocks and popped in to several workshops to see how they weaved them and listen to the masters' telling me about the procesure. Quite interesting!...


Masaya Restaurants

  • Lunch at Cafetin Elzabad

    I had been walking around in Masaya for quite a while when I started to get hungry. I was on my way back to Parque 17 de Octubre when I passed Cafetin Elzabad. It is a small eatery open for lunch and dinner (it is closed a few hours between). I had rice with chicken for 50 cordobas and a Pepsi for 10 cordobas (July 2009). The meal tasted good but...

  • Cheap good local lunches little over...

    This local restaurant is open in the afternoons is across from Parque Central and Catherdral next to La Ronda Bar( which has a good crowd in evenings and serves food also) just a few blocks from Old Market,the place is packed with locals at lunch. Meals are cafeteria style get in line and place your order the earlier you get there the better for...

  • Masaya Hotels

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Masaya Transportation

  • Horse Cart from the New Market

    A the New Market near the bus station, one can easily hire at reasonable price a horse cart for the trip to the Malecon or to the Viejo Mercado. The vendors of these carts vary widely in both cart and care of the horse, so consider carefully which cart you choose. The driver will take you to El Malecon and wait while you walk it, then pick you up...

  • From Granada to Masaya

    It is easy to get from Granada to Masaya by bus. You can take any bus to Managua, they all stop in Masaya. The chicken bus (old American school buses, usually yellow which are very common in this part of the world) leaves from the bus station near the market, just around the corner from Palí supermarket. It makes several stops before leaving the...

  • To Masaya from Granada

    I visited the Masaya Vulcan on a tour from Granada, but another day I took the bus to visit the town. Buses to Masaya from Granada leaves a few block from where I stayed and only a block from the market. There are frequent buses and I didn’t have to wait long until the bus departed. The bus was one of those repainted old American school buses, so...


Masaya Shopping

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  • Tourist Shopping in Center of Masaya

    We came across the Old Market on the horse cart ride to the Malecon. On the way back, we stopped and then later walked the half mile or so back to the bus station. El Mercado Viego, originally built in 1891, and restored in 1997 for tourist consumption, has a fine stone and concrete fortress like wall around it. Inside, the market has many vendors...

  • Folk Craft in Authentic Market...

    We took the local bus from Granada to Masaya, ending up at a dusty open lot where the buses park. Then, we looked around for the market and were recommended to walk in a certain direction across the yard to what we now regard as Masaya's New Market. It was fortunate that we made the mistake of arriving here, rather than being directed to the more...

  • Nicaragua's Finest Handicrafts

    Mercado de Artesanías, also known as Mercado Viejo, is certainly the place to buy arts in crafts in Masaya. It's a safe and comfortable place to shop, geared toward tourists. But of course this means that prices are little higher. Here you'll find all manner of delightful handicrafts and the best of what Nicaragua's talented craftspeople have to...


Masaya Local Customs

  • Famous Masaya Hammocks

    Nicaragua's most treasured souvenirs are hand woven cotton hammocks which are famous throughout the world for their quality and beauty. You'll find hammocks everywhere in Masaya, but if you'd prefer to see their place of origin, check out the fabricas de hamacas (hammock workshops) located in San Juan neighbourhood near the southwest edge of town...


    The central square, Parque de Octubre, was packed with people who had come to see the Independence Day's parade. School children in colourful or white clothes marched through the city, some of them drumming. It was interesting to witness this occasion, though at times I felt claustrophobic with all those people around me.

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Masaya Tourist Traps

  • Assenczo's Profile Photo

    by Assenczo Updated Mar 3, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "People", meaning tourists, go to Masaya supposedly because of the market. Yes, the market for the tourists is not for you. It has some resemblance of structured market place even a wall has been put up on one of the sides for the sake of beautifying it rather than to protect it. The prices are inflated for the corresponding service. The taxi driver is going to suggest the other one so you go to the market for the locals. Except you are not a local. It is the same as far as the prices are concerned just with worse fare and less oxygen. The filth on the way between the two is instructive for people who come from another environment which might as well be another planet. The heaps of garbage are humongous and seem to be enjoyed by their authors. The only thing to surpass the repulsive feeling about Masaya is to see it in the rainy season, I guess.

    Fun Alternatives: Go to the airconditioned splendour of Granada mall served by two local mermaids and buy T-shirt for the same price as in Masaya market. Cheers!

    Related to:
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    • Spa and Resort

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