Fortaleza De Coyotepe

sights / Military

Fortaleza De Coyotepe information

Masaya , Nicaragua
admission US$0.70
Opening hours
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Built in 1893 atop Cerro de los Coyotes, this eerie fortress witnessed the last stand of Benjamín Zeledón, the 1912 hero of resistance to US intervention. The marines managed to take the fortress, watched all the while by a young man named Sandino, who vowed his revenge. In the end it would also be the Guardia Nacional’s last stronghold, overrun during the Sandinistas’ final 1979 offensive.

It’s worth the climb just for the view: Laguna de Masaya, Lago de Managua, Volcán Mombacho and, if it’s clear, Volcán Momotombo, rising red and black above Managua. Your entrance fee includes a Spanish-language tour of the underground prison, detailing each atrocity.

You can walk 2km north on the Interamericana (Pan-American Hwy), but it’s worth getting a Managua-bound bus (US$0.30) or taxi (US$1) to avoid the scary traffic. Taxis charge extra to take you up the steep hill. Otherwise it’s a sweaty half-hour hike.