Granada, like its rival Leon, is one of Nicaragua’s cultural highlights. It’s location on the shores of Lake Nicaragua only add to the charm of this beautiful city, whose old buildings have been painted in pastel shades and hark back to the days of Granada’s huge wealth. Today, the iconic remnants of this period and the city’s close proximity to Nicaragua’s other natural highlights has ensured that the streets of Granada are busy with tourists all year round. Don’t let this put you off though; Central America’s oldest city is this popular for many reasons – reasons you should take the time to uncover first hand.
WHAT TO SEE
Arriving in Granada, you’ll no doubt have a list of things you’d like to tick off your sightseeing list, but we’d recommend beginning by wandering the streets with no specific destination in mind. There’s no better way to get to grips with a city as colourful and vibrant as Granada, and you’re likely to stumble across lively markets and hidden colonial courtyards as you go. The local markets in particular are an exciting highlight. Slightly chaotic but nonetheless enchanting, the stalls that are set up daily in the Old Market Hall sell anything and everything to a bustling crowd.
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the rhythm of Granada, step back in time and enter the confines of the oldest church in Central America: Convento y Museo San Francisco. It’s home to an insightful museum, but the church’s collection of basalt statues that were carved as early as 800 AD are the main reason you’ll want to visit.
Granada’s popularity, as we mentioned before, is due in part to its location, so this is something you’ll need to make the most of during your stay. Volcanoes, lakes, jungles, islands – all of these things are close at hand and begging to be explored, so once you’ve had enough of the cosmopolitan vibes of Granada’s city centre, head out into the wild for some outdoor adventures.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Granada is a tourist hot spot, but there’s good reason for that. Picturesque and ideally located to explore the rest of the country; there’s no way we can deny the charms of such a historic and iconic city. The general atmosphere of Granada is enough to have you hooked, and once you’ve wandered this city’s streets, you’ll no doubt find yourself embroiled in that never ending debate – Granada or Leon?