The beauty just continued and continued
Catarina Travel Blog› entry 13 of 52 › view all entries
Catarina and Laguna de Apoyo
After leaving Masaya we headed for the floral city of Caterina. The drive was not long from Masaya to Caterina and the target there was especially the lookout at Mirador de Catarin from where there was a fantastic view over Laguna de Apoyo. The Laguna de Apoyo is a volcano crater lake that can be seen from Mirador de Catarina.
It was less than 30 minutes drive from Masaya along the Pan-American Highway before you reach the flowers of Catarina. Driving the Pan-American Highway put a lot of ideas in my head because it is such a legenday road with loads of stories.
Catarina turned out to be an attractive hillside village, known for its nurseries of wonderful flowering plants and for local crafts. In Nicaragua Catarina is known as the flower village, Nicaraguans come here from around the country to buy their houseplants and the colors of the displays along the road uphill was amazing. All the small greeneries along the road use their access to the road to display their most beautiful plants.
We had one stop on the way up there where we visited a family production of bamboo baskets. These baskets were used to transport fruit with, and you saw them in the market and along the road displays as well. Even though it was a tourist thing I must say that it was quite amazing to follow their production from the 6-meter long bamboo pole to the basket. The family team produced 37 baskets a day; and my guess would be that they worked from sunrise to sundown.
The city of Catarina climbs the extinct cone of the Apoyo volcano from the road until its highest point overlooking the majestic blue crater lake of Laguna de Apoyo. When the old Apoyo Volcano erupted, which was about 23,000 years ago, it left a huge 7 km-wide crater that gradually became filled with water and it turned into an amazing blue and green lagoon. This spectacular lagoon can easily be reached by car, and it is a great spot for swimming and relaxing. Although several guesthouses have opened on the lake, the lake still remains relatively undeveloped and thanks to restrictions on motorized watercraft, the water is clean, clear and dark blue. From the lookout Mirador de Catarina you can also see the Mombacho volcano and even Cocibolca Lake.