Managua is known by most visitors for the international airport, and normally is not the first city that comes to mind when thinking of Nicaragua, especially if you are not travelling for business. Managua is however a city with almost two million inhabitants and many green areas.Nicaragua’s capital (since 1855) is often described as being dangerous and a place to avoid. Although visitors should take certain precautions, Managua is not a city to be avoided because of safety concerns.In 1972, an earthquake almost complete destroyed the city and took more than ten thousand lives. The lack of a historic city center means that Managua is a city to travel by taxi or private vehicle. Directions are not always clear, because the streets have no name (this was the inspiration for rockband U2 to write the song ’Where the streets have no name’). Nowadays, Managua has recovered from this natural disaster, and what remains is an interesting city with big contrasts between the poor and the rich. Managua still has a lot to offer: theaters, museums, bars, restaurants, discotheques, cinemas, etcetera. At Roberto Huembes market, you can experience an authentic street market and buy excellent handcrafts.Nature and beach are also within an arm’s reach: in the city, you can enjoy the views at the Tiscapa Lagoon (of volcanic origin) and even do a canopy tour if you like. Just outside the city, the Montibelli bird & butterfly reserve and the Chocoyero reserve are some of the natural highlights.On the Pacific Coast, an hour away, at Pochomil and Montelimar, you will find some of Nicaragua’s most impressive beaches.