The city of Masaya is located only 27 kilometers south of Managua, in the department bearing the same name. Masaya is the smallest and most densely populated department in the country.
The city of Masaya, known as “City of the Flowers” and “Cradle of National Folklore“, was declared in 1989 as Cultural Heritage of the Nation. Masaya is an important cultural destination due to the variety of folkloric expressions that originate and manifest there, such as traditional dances, marimba music, street theater, and colorful processions.
Among the folkloric events native to Masaya are the Baile de Negras, a peculiar dance where the couples are made up of men, expert dancers, who dance to the sound of the marimba, and are received in houses where they dance for the hosts’ pleasure, and are offered drinks, and dishes from the traditional gastronomy; the Torovenado, a carnival that was born as a result of the union of ancestral indigenous and Christian customs; and, the Fiesta de los Aguizotes, a nocturnal carnival where participants dress up in costumes and masks representing Nicaraguan myths and legends. All these traditions are celebrated during the patron saint festivities in honor to San Jerónimo.
In addition to its beautiful center, Masaya offers a variety of attractions such as an old fortress; a boardwalk with a spectacular view of a lagoon and an active volcano; and, a great offer of restaurants, hotels, bars and craft shops.
The craft market o “Mercado de las Artesanías” is an interesting place to purchase Nicaraguan handmade souvenirs, and enjoy folkloric shows. In the market, you can find handicrafts from the Masaya area, but also from different parts of the country. Decorative objects made of clay, wood, marble or different fabrics; toys and accessories, as well as hammocks ,and blanket and cotton clothes are available every day.