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Managua History, Nicaragua

Managua has had a long and troubled history.  Despite its unstable political trouble, Managua also has evidence of a beautifully cultured life that has ceased to exist.  Over 6,000 years ago, the Paleo Indians roamed the land of Managua which has been scientifically verified by a set of foot prints engraved in ash and mud from the Crater Lake Managua in the volcanic region of Managua.  These footprints also coincide with other Paleolithic architectural artifacts and remnants found on the islands of Ometepe and Zapatera.

All of Nicaragua was colonized by the Spanish and this is where many Indigenous tribes from Nicaragua perished in the 1500s.   After three hundred years of colonization the formal city of Managua was established under the full name Leal Villa de Santiago de Managua, the loyal village.   This occurred in 1819.  Only a few years later in 1824 when Central America proudly broke away from Spain, the fishing town of Managua lobbied to become the capital of Nicaragua which it successfully won due to its geographic location less than thirty years later.  It happens to be the in between ground between the two former powerful Nicaraguan cities, Granada and León. 

Ever since its inception as the nation’s capital, Managua has been plagued by various natural disasters.  In both 1876 and 1885, there was major flooding which ruined the city.  Then in 1937 it was hit by an earthquake which destructed the entire city and it had to be rebuilt.  In 1972, it once again it was completely destroyed just as it had been announced that it was the most developed Central American City.

Even though it reached a high status of development, no one supported the movement of reconstructing the city because they felt that it was only destined to be destroyed by future natural disasters.  Throughout the 80s, there was a horrendous civil war with the Contras versus the Sandinistas where thousands of people were killed.  The war came to an end in Nicaragua following the peace treaty signing of Esquipulas II when the president Daniel Ortega signed the immediate cease fire along with the other Central American presidents whose own countries were also devastated by war except for Nicaragua’s southern neighbor, Costa Rica.

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Managua City Ratings

  • Rating90%
    City Rank81
  • History & Culture: rated for 87%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 100%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 100%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 93%
  • Food: rated for 100%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 100%
  • Shopping: rated for 70%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 70%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 100%
Managua is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Managua
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