Granada is the oldest city in Nicaragua, rich in history and culture. It’s well preserved colonial architecture and lively cosmopolitan atmosphere make it an interesting place to visit. Granada is located on Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America, allowing for ample opportunities to explore the lake and its many islets. Hikers may climb the Mombacho Volcano, and visitors may admire from a safe distance the still active Masaya Volcano.
On an enriching excursion to this historic city guests are immersed in the culture of Granada and neighboring towns, discover local arts and crafts markets, shop, and visit those attractions that most appeal to them. There are seemingly endless points of interest in the area. Granada is located about an hour and a half north of Morgan’s Rock.
Granada was founded in 1524 and is the oldest colonial city in the Americas. It is situated next to Lake Nicaragua, surrounded by the impressive Mombacho Volcano and the famous isletas (little islands). Granada is full of colonial charm. Renaissance and Baroque style churches reach to the sky while mustard, peach and salmon-colored buildings surround a Spanish-style central plaza where horse drawn carriages rest in the shade. Granada’s modest cafés and shops were once the congregation centers of Nicaragua’s Vanguardia poets such as Joaquin Pasos and Pablo Antonio Cuadra. To this day, Granada continues to cater to art and literature enthusiasts. It also hosts the International Festival of Poetry in February.
Granada is located only half an hour southeast of the capital city Managua. It has a relaxed atmosphere and its many museums, shops, churches and colonial buildings make it a favorite stop for any Central American traveler. The city is filled with history. At one point in time, Granada was attacked by both the infamous Caribbean pirate Captain Morgan and the notorious filibuster William Walker. Among the city’s most prominent sites are the Parque Central, La Gran Francia, Casa de los Tres Mundos, and the Convento e Iglesia de San Francisco.
The lakefront area is a park frequented by locals, offering cool breezes and striking views. Nearby, in Lake Nicaragua, there are more than 370 isletas (little islands) which were created thousands of years ago by a powerful eruption of the Mombacho Volcano. You can visit the isletas by boat or take a tour to the Mombacho Volcano before visiting the islands. Don’t miss the mystical cloud forest that crowns the volcano. At the top of Mombacho you can visit an interesting biological station within the cloud forest, and engage in other activities like horseback riding, bird watching and even a zip-line canopy tour.