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.
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.
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.
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.