Huellas de Acahualinca

sights / Historic

Lonely Planet review

Discovered by miners in 1874, these fossilized tracks record the passage of perhaps 10 people – men, women and children – as well as birds, raccoons and deer across the muddy shores of Lago de Managua some 6000 years ago. Despite early speculation that they were running from a volcanic eruption, forensics specialists have determined that these folks were in no hurry – and oddly enough, were fairly tall, between 145cm and 160cm.

The excavation was undertaken by the Carnegie Foundation in 1941 and 1942, and unearthed 14 layers, or 4m, of earth. They found some later Chorotega ceramics (about 2m down) and other intriguing artifacts, though there’s no money to take it further. There is, however, a nifty on-site museum, with human skulls, a fossilized bison track and lots of ceramics, and your fee includes a Spanish-language tour of the whole shebang. Don’t skip this one; it’s an international treasure.

The best way here is by taxi (US$2 to US$4 per person).