Believed to have been created more than 20,000 years ago after the cone of the Apoyo Volcano imploded, the Laguna de Apoyo got its start as subterranean rivers and rainwater filled and drowned the crater. It is located between two other Nicaraguan volcanoes: Masaya to the north and Mombacho to the south. Part of a nature reserve, the lagoon is regarded as the cleanest swimming spot in Nicaragua.
The surrounding area is part of a tropical dry forest ecosystem with a diverse wildlife population. There are over 500 species of plants and tropical dry trees, as well as more than 200 documented species of birds. Reptiles such as green iguanas and a huge variety of birds are also prevalent in the area.
Laguna de Apoyo’s clean, blue waters are thermally vented inside the crater, and it maintains a nice year-round temperature. There are plenty of water-related activities like scuba diving and kayaking to keep visitors occupied, although relaxing on the lakeshore is also an option.
Laguna de Apoyo is located about 20 minutes from both Granada and Masaya, and about an hour from the Managua airport. Because the site is a reserve, visitors should treat the area with great respect. The closet shops are located back in town, so be sure to pack your sunblock as you head to the lakefront.