Xiloá Lagoon (Masaya area) – Lake Managua (which is the capital’s waterfront) is too polluted to recommend for swimming. Visitors interested in swimming may want to consider a short excursion outside of the capital to engage in such activities. One ideal spot os Xiloá Lagoon, which is just 30 minutes from Managua (in the Chiltepe Peninsula Natural Reserve). The Xiloá Lagoon is a large pool of fresh and calm waters, ideal for swimming. The natural environment offers an interesting scenario in which the horizon is connected by the water and the green mountains that one sees in the background. Because of its length, it’s possible to swim for a lot of meters without stopping.
Teatro Victor Romeo (Parque Las Palmas, Managua) – this theater offers a selection of dance, theater, and musical performances. Located in the Association of Contemporary Dance center, this theater aims to contribute to the artistic and cultural development in Nicaragua.
San Juan del Sur (beach) – for those looping for one of the best beaches in Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur usually tops the list. Located 2 ½ hours southeast of Managua (near the Costa Rican border), this beach wins over those looking for an eco-tourist-friendly destination.
San Juan del Sur, which has an almost perfect “U” shape, is surrounded by mountains. The sand of this beach is not white as the one we can find in the Caribbean, but it clearer than in the Pacific. Boat rides to visit neighboring beaches, sports fishing, diving, marine photography, whale watch, canopy tours and a hectic nightlife is found in this destination. Swimming is possible thanks to the tranquil waters, but it’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of boats on the bay.
Teatro Nacional Ruben Dario (Av. Bolívar e/Paseo Xolotlán, Barrio Rubén Darío, Managua) – named after the famed Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío, this theater is an important center for the performing arts. It features musical performances, theater productions and visual art displays. Not only does the Rubén Darío Theater present fine performances, but it also houses an art exhibition of top sculptors and painters from around the country.
The Rubén Darío National Theater is considered Central America’s most modern facility. This fine theater sees performances, concerts and exhibitions by local and foreign artists. Rubén Darío Theater was opened in 1969 and managed to survive the earthquake of 1972. The impressive building consists of numerous halls and rooms for various events. Its lobby is large and stylish. Here is where fashion shows, art displays, conferences and other smaller events are hosted. The theater’s Main Hall boasts 1,200 seats, exceptional acoustics and top facilities. Renowned dancers, actors, musicians and singers have performed here. Located on the second floor is the stunning Crystal Room with its exquisite crystal chandeliers, adding sparkle to any event. This room is specially designed for art exhibitions and has ideal lighting for this. Check the Teatro’s website for upcoming events: www.tnrubendario.gob.ni
Surfing — The beaches of Nicaragua, especially those on the country’s Pacific coast, are known for impressive surf and unexploited beauty. The most popular destination for surfers from around the world is a 37-mile stretch of beaches called San Juan del Sur. This region, located on the southwest coast of the country, was a stop on Quicksilver’s The Crossing in 2003, a worldwide quest in search of “the perfect wave.” Maderas, a secluded beach beloved by locals and visitors alike, is one of the surfing community’s best-kept secrets.
Firms to consider approaching for surfing tours include:
http://www.chicabrava.com; http://giantsfootsurf.com; http://www.nicasurf.com; http://www.puertosandinosurfresort.com; http://www.surfnicaragua.com; www.surftoursnicaragua.com/
Sports Fishing — Sport fishing is truly one of Nicaragua’s greatest draws. With two oceans, gigantic lakes, multiple rivers and inviting lagoons, Nicaragua has something different to offer every fishing enthusiast. The International Sports Fishing Tournament takes place each September on the San Juan River and on Ometepe Island, recognized as the world’s 10th largest island to be located in a freshwater lake. In addition, the first International Fishing Tournament took place May 2005 in the lush Solentíname archipelago near the Rió San Juan Region.
Still undiscovered, over-fishing has not plagued Nicaragua as it has other nations, and so most bodies of water in and around the country still teem with sea life. Anglers can battle Blue, Black, or Striped Marlin on a Pacific excursion (Mackerel, Tuna, Jack, Porgy, Wahoo, and Dorado are also possible catches off of such waters). Lake Nicaragua (the second largest lake in Latin America) is considered one of the most interesting freshwater fishing spots in the world with bull sharks, “róbalos”, 30-pound snook and mammoth tarpon.
Excursion outfits one can approach include: www.nicaraguafishing.com; http://pastoratours.com; www.rumbleinthejungle.net; www.surfaricharters.com; http://teammarinnicaraguafishing.com
Playa Pochomil (San Rafael del Sur area) — this beach is located an hour away from Managua – making Pochomil one of the closest beaches to the capital. Because of that, it’s also one of the most visited beached on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. Pochomil is well equipped with bars, restaurants and hotels located in a tourist complex.
Playa Quizalá (San Rafael del Sur area) – this beach is located an hour away from the capital city taking the León Viejo highway towards Playa Montelimar. For this reason, it is very visited in vacation time. Quizalá has a shorter sandy strip in comparison to other nearby beaches as Pochomil or Montelimar. On the other hand, it presents a feasible swell to conduct extreme sports such as surfing and boogie board.
Playa Montelimar – located just over an hour southwest of Managua, this is one of the most exclusive beaches in Central America. It also hosts the first resort hotel in the country (Barceló). There are a lot of palm trees in the sand, and image that has been turned into the icon of this destination. You can reach it by land only through the hotel. Former Nicaraguan dictator Anastacio Somoza chose the land to built his summer house, where the casino is located nowadays. The beach is perfect for windsurfing and for sunbathing.
Playa Los Cajones (San Rafael del Sur area) – this Pacfic coast beach (located between the beaches of Quizalá and Costa Azul), is one of the closest to the capital, and has three segments: one for vacation houses, another one for bars and rustic palapas located near an estuary, and the third one for rural haciendas surrounded by wild vegetation. The beach itself is pretty quiet throughout the year, except on Sundays and Holy Week, which is when inhabitants of cities like Managua and neighboring towns visit the place.