Top things to do

Top Choice Market in Masaya

Mercado de Artesanías de Masaya

Showcasing the highest-quality crafts in the country, this historic marketplace, a black-basalt Gothic structure with a Spanish-fortress motif that includes turrets, towers and oversized gates, dates from 1888. It's…
Fort in Masaya

Fortaleza De Coyotepe

Built in 1893 atop Cerro de los Coyotes, this fortress saw the last stand of Benjamín Zeledón, the 1912 hero of resistance to US intervention. The marines managed to take the fortress – as witnessed by a young man n…
Religious in Masaya

San Jerónimo

Officially it’s eight days of festivities. The patron saint (in the guise of a bearded campesino named ‘Tata Chombó,’ or ‘Doctor of the Poor’) is taken from the Iglesia de San Jerónimo altar and carried around Masay…
Religious in Masaya

San Lázaro

One of Nicaragua's more unusual religious festivals pays homage to San Lázaro, a folk saint who bestows blessings upon dogs. Locals dress their pets to the nines; festivities include a procession of costumed canines…
Religious in Masaya

La Virgen de la Asunción

Better known as the Virgin of the Burning Finger or the Festival of the Cross. The town’s top Virgin is taken to the lake for a blessing of the waters and a good look at the slender protrusion of lava that threatene…
Cultural in Masaya

Jueves de Verbena

Once a week this festival has food, music and ballet folklorico at the Mercado Artesanías; most Granada tour outfits offer this as a weekly add-on to their regular Masaya trips.
Cultural in Masaya

El Toro Venado

This dance involves a mythical creature that is half bull, half deer (read: half Spanish, half indigenous), whose mission is to make fun of the rest of the fair.
Religious in Masaya

Día de la Virgen de la Asunción

The patron saint María Magdelena is hoisted atop the shoulders of revelers for her annual tour of Monimbó; fireworks are involved, as usual.
Museum in Masaya

Museo y Galería de Héroes y Mártires

Inside the alcaldía (mayor’s office), this museum honors Masayans who gave their lives during the revolution. There are walls of photos and interesting displays of bomb-building materials and weapons, as well as per…
Christian Site in Masaya

Parroquia de La Asunción

At the center of it all is the 1750 Parroquia de La Asunción, an attractive but scarred late-baroque beauty that the Spanish government has offered to help repair.