One reason the layover in El Salvador was a positive surprise is one of my new friends gave me a tip on a safe place to go near my hotel in Managua, Nicaragua. He recommended Puerto Salvador Allende so I went there for a few hours last night. Read on about my night out in Puerto Salvador Allende.
Why Am I In Managua?
Since I am going to San Juan del Sur for Spanish classes, Managua is the nearest airport. Managua’s Augusto Sandino Airport is the largest airport in Nicaragua, with flights from the U.S. daily. Many travel guides recommend flying into Managua and leaving right away, but I like to see for myself, so I decided to spend a couple nights in Managua. This was my big night out in the city, but because Managua is considered so unsafe, I took lots of precautions. I left Managua with bad memories, but not because of my night out in Puerto Salvador Allende.
About Puerto Salvador Allende
The Puerto is a new resort along Lake Managua. Lake Managua is a very polluted lake so for a long time nobody even used the lakeshore. Hence the newness of this spot. It is an extension of the malecón, which is a walking path along the lake.
Nearby are some of the landmarks of Managua, like the cathedral, the national palace, and the Teatro Ruben Dario. I had a good cab driver who returned and brought me back to the hotel and gave me a mini-tour, pointing out all these Managua highlights.
I walked around the malecón for a little bit first, taking photos of the sculptures – they have a lot of these big colored metal trees; my cab driver told me they are called “arboles de la vida” – trees of life. They are relatively new and very colorful. I am glad I got to see them up close at night because it was very pretty.
Going to Puerto Salvador Allende
After that photo-taking stroll, on a beautiful night with no humidity, I headed to the entrance of Puerto Salvador Allende. This is a new complex of restaurants and bars, with a few shops and several different play areas for kids, including a roller rink. There is a very small entrance fee of 5 cordobas which is about 20 cents. The fee is what makes this a safe place for tourists and solo travelers, and is why it was recommended to me. Supposedly it is too expensive for thieves so they go elsewhere to work.
Inside Puerto Salvador Allende
How to describe this place? Like a South Street Seaport or Universal City Walk where everything is outdoors and it is almost all restaurants, cafés, and bars. Only on a Saturday night, there were barely any tourists. In fact, on a Saturday between 5 and 830pm, when I went there, it was mostly families. Another reason it was a safe place for me to go alone!
Things to Do in Puerto Salvador Allende
While I was there, I took a lot of photos of the crowds, the restaurants and some of the sculptures – Salvador Allende has very cool glasses.
I did not pay a lot of attention to the lake, but there are tour boats that will take you out there if you are interested.
There are tons of options of food, from street food to dine-in restaurants and bars. The seafood restaurant where I ate was a good choice, as I was fortunate to listen to some Nicaraguan folk music from the restaurant next door.
I recommend a night out in Puerto Salvador Allende. It would be good to go there with a group if you are in Managua, but I felt comfortable alone as well. Part of solo travel is doing things alone, as you don’t always find a group of tourists to party with, so this was a good night!
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