Masaya and the Masaya volcano

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Masaya

Masaya is located 17 kilometers from Granada and is mainly known for its volcano ‘Masaya Volcano’. But the town itself is also nice to walk through. If you want to buy souvenirs in Masaya, go to the market Cultural Center Old Craft Market/Centre Cultural Mercado de Artesanías (Google Maps). It is surrounded by old walls and the market is not large but spacious and looks neat. If you want a (coffee) break, across from the market is a nice café, La Nani Café.

How do you get there and back?

If you want to go to Masaya, you can take the chicken bus for 17 Córdoba and it takes about 30 minutes. The bus leaves from the market (mercado) near supermarket Pali and goes about every hour throughout. The end point is a chaotic large market in Masaya where there are many stalls, stores, buses and people. If you take the bus that goes to Managua it does not stop in Masaya center, it stops outside. Let the bus driver know you want to go to Masaya, and he will stop just outside Masaya, after which you can walk to the center.

Masaya Volcano

The Masaya Volcano is an active volcano 23 kilometers from Managua, where you can see the lava bubbling inside. For that, though, it’s best to go in the late afternoon so that the light from the lava stands out better.

Several vantage points have been made, but it is best to skip right over those when you arrive. This is because from these vantage points you can only see the surroundings, and not inside the volcano. It is advisable to walk straight to the left across the road. There, a number of vantage points were made on the hills. Skip this one too and continue on the road. It seems like the road leads nowhere, but if you keep following you will eventually end up on the far side of the crater. There is still an old construction of a lookout point there and you have a very nice view of the lava and the volcano. Do be careful, though, since there is no fence beyond that. The rest will stay at the lookout points, so you’ll have the view to yourself from there. Keep in mind that you often cannot stay in the volcano’s ash cloud for more than 10 minutes due to the toxic gases.

How do you get there and back?

The Masaya Volcano Park is open daily from 9:00 – 19:00 (between 17:00 – 19:00 it is the evening tour) and costs $10. You can visit the volcano itself. However, it is good to know that if you go by bus, you will be dropped off at the park entrance. From there it is at least another hour’s walk to the volcano itself. Especially if you go at sunset, the return trip and finding transportation back to town can be difficult. There are also many tours offered to the volcano. However, these often consist only of transportation to and from or sometimes with a guide. At ho(s)tels you pay $22 for a 4:30 – 7:00 pm tour and at travel agencies you can join for $18.

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