A 45-minute and $.50usd hop from Granada or Managua (it’s halfway between the cities) Masaya makes for a great day-trip. At the main bus terminal there is a massive market selling bulk food and everyday needs for the local population.
Once you’re able to navigate your way out of the maze-like market you can hop in a taxi cab for just about a dollar and get to the town center where there is a nice breezy square, plenty of cafes and an extensive artisan market selling souvenirs for whomever you might be searching. Hammocks, lizard-skin wallets, tortoise-shell jewelry, clothing — it’s all here for bargain prices. And if you get hungry, there are food kiosks selling traditional Nicaraguan dishes for cheap.
In our opinion, it’s really worth the trouble of staying the night here, but it’s certainly worth the couple bucks you’ll pay getting to and from.