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).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Masaya & Los Pueblos Blancos attractions

1. Mirador el Boquete


From the village of Diriá, a road leads up to the Mirador el Boquete, a peaceful viewpoint overlooking Laguna de Apoyo, without the crowds that the…

2. Mirador

2.95 MILES

Catarina’s main claim to fame offers views across the startling blue waters of Laguna de Apoyo to Granada and Lago de Nicaragua all the way to Ometepe…

3. Nicaragua Libre

3.31 MILES

This small rural community at the base of Volcán Mombacho is part of the UCA community-tourism project. It offers guided trips through organic coffee…

4. Biblioteca Augusto C Sandino

3.64 MILES

This simple corner building was the childhood home of revolutionary leader Augusto C Sandino. Now it's a library and small museum devoted to Sandino…

5. Cementerio de Granada

6.76 MILES

Used between 1876 and 1922, this beautiful cemetery on Granada's outskirts has lots of picturesque mausoleums and tombs, including those of six Nicaraguan…

6. Fortaleza La Polvora


Originally called the Fortaleza de Armas when it was constructed in 1748, this lavishly turreted Spanish fortress still has the best views in town, over…

7. Iglesia María Magdalena

6.95 MILES

Iglesia María Magdalena, sort of the sister church to San Sebastián, is where many of Monimbó's most important festivals begin or end.

8. La Capilla María Auxiliadora

6.98 MILES

This gorgeous 1918 Gothic church with white-and-blue trim is worth a look for its interior – arguably the most beautiful of all of Granada's churches –…