Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Candelaria

Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos

This canary-yellow church – the perfect centerpiece for this witchy town – has rather Gothic stone walls and an extra-interesting collection of saints. It marks the spot where Cacique Diriangén, chief of the Dirian peoples at the time of the Spanish conquest, first met conquistador Gil González Dávila on April 17, 1523. Unlike Nicarao, Diriangén didn’t trust the newcomers and opted to ignore their three-day deadline to become a Christian. Diriangén attacked, which in retrospect was the best course of action.

Today, both Diriá and Diriomo – as well as Diriamba in Carazo – are named for the indomitable cacique (chief).