Most visitors to Cuapa come with the purpose of making a pilgrimage to this porcelain statue holding flowers in her hands, located at the entrance to town. On April 15, 1980, when tailor Bernardo Martínez was walking home, the statue began to glow. The Virgin then appeared to him five times, three times as apparitions and twice in his dreams, over the next five months. Her message was that all Nicaragua would suffer without peace.
This, of course, turned out to be true, which is why pilgrims descend on the Virgen de Cuapa Santuario for a week each May. The grounds, surrounded by magnolias, mango trees and boulder-strewn rangeland, include two shrines, a replica statue and a small amphitheater. Pilgrims are welcome to sleep here on May 8 to commemorate the first apparition. Sunday services are held at 11am weekly.