Masaya

Masaya is the capital city of Masaya Department in Nicaragua. It is situated approximately 14 km west of Granada and 31 km southeast from Managua.

The town of Masaya is just east of Masaya Volcano, an active volcano from which the city takes its name. With an estimated population of 140,000 (2005), it is Nicaragua’s third most populous city, and it is culturally known as the City of Flowers.

(Pictures taken in 2014)

Volcán Masaya National Park is a popular tourist site. It has a small museum and tourist information. Tour guides and proper equipment are provided for treks inside bat caves created by lava flows from past eruptions. Today, lava can be visible in the volcano’s crater. Masaya is the most active volcano in the region. It is actually made up of two volcanoes: Masaya and Nindirí with a total of five craters. The Spanish first described the volcano in 1524 and believed the belching lava to be melting gold. But when Fray Bartolomé de las Casas first saw it he called it the “Gates of Hell”. Since then, Masaya Volcano has erupted at least 19 times. From 1965 to 1979 the volcano contained an active lava lake. The last reported eruption event was in 2003, when a plume reportedly shot ~4.6 km into the air. Masaya is an unusual basaltic volcano because it has had explosive eruptions. An eruption in 4550 B.C. was one of the largest on Earth in the last 10,000 years.

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