The Xiloa Lagoon is located only 20 kilometers from Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. The lagoon is of volcanic origin and it provides an interesting site for scuba diving.
There are 14 different fish species that live in the lagoon, and other water animals like turtles and white crabs can also be seen at Xiloa. The rocky bottom of the lagoon can sometimes be very steep, and at some parts rocky walls provide a great place for wall-diving.
An interesting aspect of the lagoon is the presence of geothermal vents. Water is heated by these vents, and this heat can be seen and felt when diving around them. Another curious detail is that between April and November a mysterious layer of clear water is present at a depth between 18 and 30 meters. At other depths, the water is not very clear, but for some reason at this depth during this period the water becomes much clearer. The visibility at Xiloa is in general not great, but the lagoon surely provides interesting characteristics, and it can also be a great dive for people who are not yet familiar with diving in a lagoon.
Diving is done either from the shore or from a boat, depending on the area that is being explored. The price, including transportation from Managua, is about $55 for a two-tank dive, or $30 for a single tank.
Getting to: Xiloa Lagoon
The Xiloa lagoon can be reached in half an hour from Managua. In car, take the new highway to Leon. Shortly after passing the city called Ciudad Sandino there will be a sign for Xiloa that points to the right. After about ten more minutes the tourist center will be to the left, right next to the road. The other restaurants can be reached by continuing the road. It is also possible to get here by bus or taxi from Ciudad Sandino (buses from Managua to Ciudad Sandino leave frequently). Getting back from Xiloa to Ciudad Sandino using public transportation is harder, so be sure to inquire about the bus schedule upon arrival at the lagoon.