Granada Travel Guide
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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 86%Budget Travelers
- 85%Art & Design Lovers
- 84%Local Culture
- 73%History Buffs
- 72%Outdoor Enthusiasts
Member Reviews (20)Write a review
- GranadaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 5
Granada is probably the most popular and beautiful colonial city in Nicaragua. It is hugely popular with expats and tourist and is located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. The architecture is beautiful and the city is quite safe by Nicaraguan standards. A pleasant and easy going place to spend a few days.Recommended for:
- GranadaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 4
Charming colonial town with a lovely cathedral, plenty of restaurant options, and a nice location next to Lake Nicaragua. You need a minimum for 3-4 hours to do the city justice and it would be very easy to leisurely spend a few nights here. Many tours include Masaya and Granada. If I were to do over again, I would have skipped Masaya Volcano for more time here.Recommended for:
- GranadaMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBackpackers
Along with León, Granada is Nicaragua's cultural hub and an ideal place to start your exploration of the country. Located along the banks of Lake Nicaragua and its beautiful "isletas" (small islands supposedly formed by the explosion of a nearby volcano), Granada is bursting with good restaurants, musical and cultural performances, museums, and plenty of charm. There are plenty of backpackers, retired ex-pats, and NGO's mixed among the friendly locals here. Three or four days here followed by a trip to nearby Isla Ometepe or San Juan del Sur is a great way to start your time in Nicaragua. If you're looking for hostels, the Bearded Monkey is one of the best, most popular, and cheapest (I paid $5 for a dorm bed) in town. With several rooms built around a beautiful garden courtyard, it's a nice place to hang out and read in a hammock during the heat of the day. As for food, Garden Café is a good bet for Western options like a hummus/avocado sandwich, but I much prefer Comidas Típicas y Más along La Calzada near the iconic yellow Cathedral. The city's nightlife is also along La Calzada.
Named by Hernández de Córdoba after the ancient Spanish city of Granada and located along the coast of Lake Nicaragua (a.k.a. Lake Cocibolca), the world’s twentieth largest lake, the city of Granada in Nicaragua has been the victim of many invasion attempts throughout it’s history. Following years of neglect after the collapse of the nation's economy in the 1980′s the infrastructure of the city and many of its building have fallen into disrepair. Built before the invention of the motor car the streets are incredibly narrow and as such most form part of an elaborate one way system, a challenge to those visiting with a car.
The most striking element of the city has to be the evidence of neglect, the architecture and pavements appear to be crumbling however this appears to be irrelevant to the city's inhabitants. Children run bare foot through the streets as their parents laze in rocking chairs playing checkers and putting the world to rights.
However neglected the exterior may seem the interior of the city is teaming with life and there are a number of places that are well worth a look. While walking in the main square you can visit the site where William Walker was sworn in as President of Nicaragua and visit the Casa de los Leones, a colonial era home built by Don Diego de Montiel (once the Governor of Costa Rica) that has been transformed into an international cultural centre housing an art, theatre and music school, historical archive and concert hall.
My favourite place in the city has to be the Antiguo Convento de San Fransciso and its trio of bells. First built by Franciscan monks in 1529 the building houses a museum detailing the lives of the indigenous people who walked the soil beneath the city hundreds of years ago.
If you’re feeling the heat of the Central American sun head down to the shore of Lake Nicaragua and take a dip in the cool waters. Canoes can be hired to explore the archipelago of islands and motor boat tours are also available.
- GranadaMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersWellness+ 3
Granada has so many different things to offer. It is a great jumping off place for various adventures, it is a great place to stay instead of Managua, and most of all, it is a beautiful and friendly.
Granada has a huge ex pat community - between the ex pats and the locals - the food is spectacular. High class steak and wine - no problem. Tipico breakfast for a traveler - easy. Everything in between - done.
The city is friendly and easy to get around, the market is vast and welcoming, and the adventures are waiting to be had.
Don't miss Grananda!
- GranadaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 4
Granada is a beatiful colonial city. If you have the opportunity to visit Nicaragua, it is not to be missed. Instead of staying in Managua overnight near the hotel, just stay in Granada instead. It is a quick taxi ride and the environment is worth the trip. For lodging, I suggest La Islita Boutique! It is a block from the parque central and a safe and fabulous place to stay.
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