Combine a bit of nature, a sprinkle of history, and the best view of Managua on a trip to the Tiscapa Lagoon—a crater lake, park, and nature reserve right in Nicaragua’s capital. The area is perhaps best known for its massive Augusto Sandino statue, an iconic symbol of the city.
Though there’s not much to see at Tiscapa Lagoon Natural Reserve (Reserva Natural Laguna de Tiscapa), the available sights are well worth the trip—an easy drive from Managua’s city center. A small historical display details Anastasio Somoza’s cruel regime on the grounds of his original custom-built “dungeons,” photos document historical earthquakes, and ruins of the former presidential palace still stand on the surrounding grounds of Tiscapa Historical National Park (Parque Histórico Nacional Loma de Tiscapa). Stand next to the statue of revered Sandinista founder Augusto Sandino for a look out at the city from its highest point, or take a short zipline canopy tour across the lagoon for unobstructed views. Though the site was declared a nature reserve in 1991, don’t plan to swim, as efforts to clean the water are still underway. For a more comprehensive experience of the area and its role in the city’s history, as well as easy logistics, visit as part of a Managua city tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tiscapa Lagoon is a top Managua attraction and a must-see for first-time visitors.
- Plan to spend an hour exploring the grounds.
- The lagoon is a kid-friendly outdoor activity.
How to Get There
Tiscapa Lagoon is best reached by taxi or private vehicle. If driving yourself, head to the Crowne Plaza hotel and turn down the adjacent road marked for Tiscapa Lagoon. Most taxi drivers know how to make the 20-minute drive from city center.
When to Get There
The site is open year-round from 8am to 8pm. Plan your visit on a clear day for the best views, or head up toward evening for a romantic sunset.
The rim of the Tiscapa Lagoon was formed when a volcano blew its top more than 10,000 years ago, leaving the crater lake behind in its wake. Pre-Columbian artifacts found in the area show evidence of human habitation on the banks of the lagoon dating back hundreds of years.