El Coyotepe Fortress
The city of Masaya is located in close proximity to Granada and is a popular tourist destination in Nicaragua due to its abundance of attractions and noteworthy sights. Its locals astound visitors with their crafts, culture and colorful folklore, while historical and natural attractions, such as lagoons and volcanoes, lure thousands of tourists each year. A recommended attraction in Masaya, that holds as much beauty as it does history, is El Coyotepe Fortress. Located on a hill just outside the city, the El Coyotepe Fortress is easily accessible and offers breathtaking views.
To protect the city of Masaya against the invading armies of North America, President Zelaya commissioned the construction of the El Coyotepe Fortress in 1893. From this strategic location Zelaya’s men could see the invading forces approaching. This fortress was later refurbished by the ruling Somoza regime, which added a dungeon to the fortress to serve as a jail for their political prisoners. It has been documented that well over eight hundred prisoners were held at the fortress at one time, and walking through the dungeons is an eerie experience. Here, visitors will be able to experience the darkness and fear that would have been felt by the prisoners as there are barely any, and in some cases no, sources of light; and torture chambers were also discovered in the dungeons. The dungeons of the El Coyotepe Fortress continued to be used as a prison even through the Sandinistas reign, but were eventually handed over to the care and use of the Boy Scouts.
The children of the Boy Scouts brought light and laughter to this dark historical structure and after deciding to open the fortress to the public, the fortress has become an attraction of diversity. It still allows visitors to understand the suffering that took place here, but also brings peace and tranquility to travelers who marvel at its breathtaking views of the Mombacho Volcano, Masaya Volcano and two major lakes in the area, namely the Nicaragua Lake and Lake Managua. Visitors to Nicaragua should not miss out on the opportunity to discover the beauty and uniqueness of the El Coyotepe Fortress.