With the barely pronounceable Huellas de Acahualinca is referred to the ancient footprints left thousands of years ago at the borders of Lake Managua. Workers found a track of footprints by accident in 1874. Later studies proved that these footprints are 6000 years old, which makes them the oldest human footprints on the American continent.
These tracks are left behind by a group of around 10 people – men, women, and children. Some thought these people were fleeing from an erupting volcano close by, but a governmental study has rejected this idea. The people were not running and instead probably on their way to the lake to collect food and water.
Volcanic activity is the reason behind the conservation of the prints though. The original prints were left in a layer of volcanic mud. When a volcano nearby erupted – researchers are not sure which one – a layer of volcanic ash rained down on the footprints and perfectly conserved them.
Only part of the tracks has been found, the other parts probably being covered by volcanic material. In 1978, Nicaraguan researcher Jorge Espinoza excavated an area close to where the footprints ended to see if they would find more. At a depth of 4 meters they indeed found more prints, and the track is believed to continue even further.
At the Huellas (track in Spanish) de Acahualinca (Nahuatl word with several meanings) a small museum is set up. Besides observing the footprints you can also see some artifacts found here as well as in other parts of Nicaragua. Pre-Columbian tools, a scull from León Viejo, and conserved mammoth footprints form part of the collection. Huellas de Acahualinca is a small but very interesting site.
The entrance fee is U$4 for foreigners and C$20 for locals.
To get there in taxi, you can simply try to pronounce the words ‘Huellas de Acahualinca’ and the taxi driver will have no problem getting there. From the Metro Centro shopping mall you should expect to pay around C$40-50 (convert).
To get there in your own car, go from the Plaza Inter shopping mall towards the lake (pass the rotary and go straight). At the third traffic lights take a left (you will see the TELCOR building on the corner). Now follow the road for about 2 kilometer, and you will enter some sort of neighborhood. From here, you are only 5 minutes away from Huellas de Acahualinca. Everybody here knows where they are, so just ask around and you will easily find your way through this maze.