A beautiful city steeped in important history, Granada, Nicaragua, is located on the stunning banks of Lake Nicaragua, just a 25-minute drive from our hotel in Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua.
Founded in 1524, Granada has a rich heritage as an important port city with Colonial architecture and monuments that have survived many pirate invasions, starting as early as 1665. Now a safe and lively city overflowing with art and music, Granada has been a great inspiration for many artists, poets, and writers earning it the title ‘land of the poets’.
A Postcard Picture at Every Corner
Stroll the palm-lined streets of this tropical city and you will find yourself admiring the beautiful pastel-colored buildings, churches, and the sea of red-tiled roofs found across this easily-walkable city. Framed against a backdrop of volcanoes, with innumerable parks and statues, the city has some of the best-preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in Nicaragua and is known as the country’s most beautiful city.
Must-See Attractions in Granada, Nicaragua
In the city, there are innumerable things to see and do. Below are some of our favorite things to recommend to visitors.
The thriving heart of the city, Parque Central (the central plaza) is the perfect place to start exploring Granada. From here, it's an easy walk to the top attractions, bars and restaurants. Or, you can hire a horse-drive carriage to beat the heat and tour the city a traditional way and at a leisurely pace.
No trip to Granada Nicaragua would be complete without sampling the city’s famous Vigorón, a healthy and filling dish of plantain, yucca (a type of root vegetable), and meat (beef, chicken, or pork), served in a banana leaf with a cabbage-based salad. Some of the top Vigorón vendors, popular with tourists and locals alike, can be found in Parque Central.
Next stop from Parque Central is La Calzada. The main pedestrian zone for cafes, restaurants, and boutiques during the day. At night the area transforms into a vibrant hotspot for fiestas, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants with picturesque lighting, a selection of music, and dancing partiers spilling out into the street.
Malecon De Granada
A visit to the Malecon De Granada, a quiet park shaded by palms, is the perfect place to unwind with a cold cerveza. Next to Parque Azul, yet another beautiful spot, and right on the edge of Laguna Cocibolca, Nicaragua's largest lake, the Malecon borders a clean, grassy beach that offers easy access to the lake for a refreshing swim.
Explore the evocative archipelago world of Las Isletas (the islands) of Laguna Cocibolca.
Home to over 360 islands, visitors can take tours to see some of the island's most impressive homes, which include towering mansions. These boats can hold groups of 10 to 20 people and can be booked from a range of agencies, tour operators or right on the departure spot. However, you can also hire a kayak and explore the islands at your own pace. Alternatively, opt for an afternoon booze cruise where you can enjoy a fiesta to remember (or forget) on a rum-fueled voyage on the lake with plenty of opportunities to dance, swim and relax in the onboard hot tub.
Granada Nicaragua’s Best Churches
Granada is a city that is famous for its many impressive churches, here are a few you should check out on your next visit:
Get your bearings with a unique aerial view over the city. The bell tower of the church Iglesia De La Merced, is open to tourists and offers spectacular views over the city for a reasonable price.
Overlooking Parque Central, the bell tower of the Cathedral De Granada, a bright-yellow towering Roman Catholic church, also offers terrific views.
Iglesia Xalteva, with its neighboring Xalteva Park, offers beautiful grey-stone Grecian pillars, monuments, and quiet, shady gardens that make it the perfect destination for an afternoon stroll.
If you have a sweet tooth, what better way to spend the day than learning about Nicaragua’s thriving chocolate industry and tasting some samples along the way at the ChocoMuseo. They offer several options for chocolate-lovers: from make-your-own chocolate experiences to touring a cocoa farm or simply visiting the intriguing and free-to-enter chocolate museum.
The market district is expansive, vibrant and the perfect place to find reasonably priced clothing, handicrafts, food, and traditional restaurants.