Nicaraguan Treasures: El Viejo & Chinandega
Local Sightseeing, All
USD USDPrice between $51-$100
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Approximately 4 Hours
Leave the pier by air-conditioned transportation as your guide introduces you to the rich history of Nicaragua.
Enter the authentic atmosphere of El Viejo town -- a small city near Chinandega. El Viejo is noted for its local gastronomic specialties -- rosquillas (a type of doughnut), cajetas (a type of dulce de leche), bollitos de leche (a kind of scone), and a fruit endemic to the region called the toncua, which is related to the papaya and is eaten with honey.
Visit the colonial church known as the Menor Basilica, constructed in the early 17th century. The church was elevated to the status of National Religious Sanctuary in 1995, and was declared a minor basilica in 2006 by Pope John Paul II, during his second visit to Nicaragua. See the church's interior -- richly decorated and well maintained. A beautiful wooden ceiling gives the church a warm feel, and a small part of its history is written in its windows. The church houses the 'little Mary' statue used in 1562 by the Spanish conquistadors to charm the Native villagers.
Continue to Chinandega city, whose name means 'place surrounded by cane'. The surrounding hinterland produces mostly agricultural products -- oils, flour, peanuts and sugarcane. Your guide will tell you about the city park and the impressive colonial church, located right in the middle of the city.
On your way back to Puerto Corinto, stop at the Chorotega Museum to view some of its 1,500 indigenous pieces. This is one of the largest collections of Pre-Columbian artifacts in Nicaragua. The museum pays tribute to the ancient peoples of Central America -- the Chorotegas, Nicaraos, Chodatl, Caribices, Lenca and Sutiabas -- and showcases their diverse artforms, including ceramics, lithics and gold.
Wear comfortable walking shoes.