Granada Nicaragua

Come to Granada one of the most important cities in Nicaragua

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Visiting Granada, Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua considered one of the most important cities in Nicaragua for many reasons. Most specifically from a historical perspective. Founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, the city has a long and interesting colonial history. It is evident in its architecture and city planning. Many of the streets are narrow and paved in cobblestones reflecting a long and interesting history. Granada has always been one of Nicaragua’s most influential cities from both a political and economic perspective. The name Granada refers to both the state located on the northwestern shore of Lake Nicaragua and the city that is the capital of that state. The fourth largest city in Nicaragua. Granada is known for both its fertile agricultural lands and its history as a colonial outpost.


A Rich and Colorful History

Granada Nicaragua Horse and BuggyDuring the colonial period, Granada was important as a port city. It has access to the Atlantic thru the San Juan River and the Pacific via Lake Nicaragua. This position made it valuable to many looking to expand their base in the New World. English, Dutch and French pirates attacked the area on many occasions. They all tried to gain control of the valuable position that Granada held in the New World. Granada later became the staging area for William Walker, the American filibuster who had plans to take over Central America.

Over the years there has been a great disagreement between the cities of Granada and Leon over which was the capital of Nicaragua. This dispute, often punctuated by violence between the leading families of each faction. Finally, it settled by a compromise reached in the mid-1800’s that named Managua capital primarily because of its location directly between the two battling entities.

The colonial city

Granada NicaraguaThe best thing you can do, is have a wander around the city. Explore the small streets and be sure to bring your camera. Make sure to pay a visit to the chocolate museum where you can also learn to make artisanal chocolate. Visit the city’s many churches. Go to Iglesia de la Merced and climb the tower for a beautiful view of the city. Iglesia Xalteva and Iglesia Guadalupe are also worth a visit and of course, the Cathedral by the central park is the highlight.

Volcano tours

masaya volcanoFrom the city you can arrange for tours to the nearby volcanoes of Mombacho and Masaya. Mombacho has several trails available from easy to more challenging. There is a large, paved road leading to the top which you can choose to drive up or hike up. keep in mind that you will need a 4-wheel drive for some unpaved areas and that the paved roads can get very slippery when it rains. The Masaya tour will take you to a museum to learn about the area’s natural history and after that, you will be driven to the volcano itself where you can look straight into the volcano and its bubbling lava.


Take a boat or kayak tour and visit the little islands surrounding the city of Granada on Lake Nicaragua. You will be able to spot monkeys as well as birds and can enjoy this tour on half a day, or opt for the extended one with lunch included.

Apoyo Crater Lake

Just half an hour from Granada, you will find the stunningly blue freshwater lake of Apoyo. It is a prime spot for some relaxation, swimming and water sports.


Visit all year round: You can visit this lovely city all year round but note that the rainy season, much like in Costa Rica, is from April until November. Keep this in mind when you want to do a volcano hike or go swimming in Apoyo lake.

Explore the city: spend at least one day wandering around the city and enjoying the charming, colonial atmosphere. Make sure to go to the market place where you will get a feel for the real chaos of Nicaraguan life.

Getting there

Costa Rica ShuttlesGranada is located at about 2 hours from the border of Costa Rica. You will need to briefly exit your transfer to cross the border and get your stamp from immigration. When coming from Managua, you will be on the road for about an hour.


Gallo PintoGranada has some amazing dining options. There is a wide variety of options available at Calle la Calzada, at the end of which is a beautiful view of Lake Nicaragua. One of the best restaurants in Granada The Garden Cafe close to Calle la Calzada. They offer fresh and delicious food for all pallets and preferences. If you would like to try local foods, they are rather similar to Costa Rican ones. Gallo Pinto and Casado are commonly savored. The only difference with Costa Rica is that in Nicaragua, they more often use red beans rather than black ones.

Where to stay

Hotel Granada Ground FloorHotel Granada Nicaragua is a 16th-century colonial fortress located in the heart of the historic center of Granada, Nicaragua. It’s like staying in a museum, with the immaculately maintained architecture, art gallery, and beautiful wood carvings of the Hotel Granada. Additionally, Hotel Granada has an enormous swimming pool and stunning accommodations.

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