Coming from Granada, Masaya may seem a bit down at heel. This is a very workaday little town, unexceptional but for two things – a wonderful, crumbling malecón (waterfront walkway) and the famous artisan market, Mercado Artesanías, where you can stock up for every birthday, Christmas and anniversary for the rest of your life without buying two of the same thing. Nicaraguan tourists, by the way, always make sure their visit coincides with one of Masaya’s many spectacular festivals, and there are cultural exhibitions and dances every Thursday evening.
Masaya is 29km southeast of Managua and 16km northwest of Granada. The city sits at the edge of Laguna de Masaya, beyond which rises Volcán Masaya, which can be visited on day trips from here or Granada.