Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








I woke early on Saturday morning and enjoyed a nice breakfast by the pool while soaking in some sun. I decided to walk over to the new cathedral (the old one was destroyed in the í72 earthquake) and take some photos. The walk isnít far but you go through some interesting places to get to it. I had read that the new cathedral was ďcontroversialĒ because of itsí modern design. The closer I got to it I realized that was just people politely saying that itís hideously ugly. It looks more like a nuclear power plant than a church. All it needs are a couple of cooling towers and you wouldnít be able to tell the difference. Having walked this far I convinced myself that it was probably beautiful on the inside so I may as well go all the way there and have a look around. Wrong! Itís as ugly inside as it is on the outside. Well, that was a waste of time.



New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

New Cathedral

View From Pedestrian Walkway


I walked back to the hotel and by the time I got back I was soaking wet from the 95 degree temperature. I decided to take a dip in the pool to cool off. Iím not sure how they manage this in a place where the temperature is constantly over 90 degrees but the water in the pool is FREEZING cold. It felt good but I couldnít stay in very long because it was so cold. I spent the next couple hours enjoying the sun while reading a book with only my feet dangling in the freezing water. Even though the water was cold it was still nice to be able to sit by the pool. I wish San Jose had a hotel like this.

After killing a few hours by the pool I decided to head out and grab a cab to do some sightseeing. As I was leaving I was talking to the security guard and I asked him if he would help me get a cab. I told him I wanted to go to the National Palace but I wasnít sure where it was. He said no problem and got me a cab and negotiated the fare of 50 Cordobas. It turns out that itís a pretty good ride as the area where itís at is right on Lake Managua on the edge of town. The cab driver was a younger guy (30ish) and he pointed out some of the sights on the way. We talked a bit and then out of the blue he says to me in Spanish, ďI donít like your government.Ē Iím thinking this ainít a good sign as weíre in a pretty rough area of town and I donít want to get stuck here. I just shook my head and said, ďah, George BushĒ as if to show my disapproval as well. That seemed to reassure him that I was an ok gringo. He was a big fan of Daniel Ortega (there are giant billboards with Ortega's face on them EVERYWHERE in Managua) and he was telling me about how great things were going to be now that he was back in power. I just kept nodding and smiling which is my defense in these kinds of situations. Anyway, I throw this in because Nicas are pretty passionate about their politics and they are a little touchy when it comes to US policy towards them so be careful if politics comes up.



View From Pedestrian Walkway

View From Pedestrian Walkway

View From Pedestrian Walkway

Central American University

Local Pulperia

La Playa At The Malecon

Amusement Park At The Malecon

Malecon Area

Ruben Dario Theatre


As we got to the National Palace I realized that I made both a good choice and bad choice coming here. The good news was that I was able to see the palace, the old cathedral, the lake, the mountains, the national assembly, and the malecon all in one fell swoop. The bad news was that the place was absolutely deserted on a Saturday afternoon. It turns out this area hops at night but nobody goes there during the day as there isnít much to do because everything is closed. Even though there is a great big lake and some beach because you canít swim in it or fish in it nobody goes there. (Lake Managua is heavily polluted) They go there to party at night but thatís it. So, the cabbie pulls up in front of the National Palace and stops and wants to leave me there. The reason I came here was to take a tour and the gates are locked so Iím not getting any tour today. How about giving me a tour of the city? Fernando was happy to do it. I have to say that Nicas are some of the nicest people Iíve ever met. For the next few hours he drove me all over town showing me the sights. I took over 150 photos and saw just about everything you could want to see in Managua. When we got back to the hotel he asked for 200 Cordobas (about $11) for the tour. Quite a deal!



Nice Park

El Arbol

National Palace

Old Cathedral (Not Open To Public)

Horse Drawn Cart

Lake Managua


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