The Best 7 Festivals and Events in Nicaragua

Carnival in Nicaragua
Carnival in Nicaragua | © Carnaval.com Studios / Flickr
Jack Guy

Every country has its fascinating festivals, and Nicaragua is no different. Here are some of the best events that you should look out for when you’re planning your trip.

La Purisima altar in Nicaragua

La Purisima and La Griteria

This tradition takes place from the end of November leading up to December, 8. People make altars to celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary (La Purisima), and on December, 8 they walk the streets shouting and singing (La Griteria) as they visit other altars built by friends and neighbours.

La Judea

This religious festival is a reneactment of the last moments of Jesus’ life. It takes place in various places across Nicaragua, but Masatepe is a good place to see it. Here the crowd searches the city for Judas, and when they find him he is bound in chains and paraded through town before being hung in the main square.

Horse riders in Managua, Nicaragua

Equestrians of Managua, Managua

Head to the Nicaraguan capital on August, 1 and August, 10 to experience this horse festival. Beautiful horses march through the city centre accompanied by revelers, and the whole city comes together in celebration.

Dariana Day, Matagalpa

To celebrate the life of poet Ruben Dario the town of Matagalpa comes alive from January, 5-18 each year. There are recitals, parades and more for visitors to enjoy.

Surfing in Nicaragua

Latin American Surfing Competition, San Juan del Sur

For a week at the end of November the top names in Latin American surfing come to Playa Maderas near San Juan del Sur to test their mettle. It’s a great time to come and see some of the best waves in the region.

Rio San Juan Carnival, San Carlos

With more than 17,000 participants, this carnival is quite the show. Head to San Carlos on the San Juan river from January, 15-21, and you’ll be able to join in and watch the aquatic float parade as well as buying souvenirs from local artisans.

Caballo Español Pura Sangre Fair, Granada

International horse owners bring their thoroughbred Spanish horses to this event in Granada from January, 5-9. Head to the city’s jockey club to see the events.

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