The Colonial town of Granada is one of Nicaragua’s most important cities! Granada got its name from Hernández de Córdoba; he chose the name after the Spanish city of Granada!
There are many things to see in Granada, for instance, the beautifully colored colonial buildings, churches, cathedral, the pristine Lake Apoyo, a bird’s eye view of the city from the bell tower of the church, La Merced and so on. If you’ve ever seen a photo taken of a colonial city with vivid colored buildings, I can almost guarantee you it’s Granada, Nicaragua.
Recommended activities to do while in Granada:
Climb up the bell tower of La Merced Church to get an amazing bird’s eye view of the city with Lake Nicaragua in the background.
Fee $1US or 20 Cordoba
If you are traveling to Granada for a relaxing getaway I highly recommend stopping by a spa for some pampering! I had my first spa experience at the Genesis Spa in Granada, it was fabulous! :)
There are many different types of tours offered throughout Granada; Cacao museum tours, a tour of the Cathedral, a tour of the church Guadalupe, a tour of a butterfly reserve, a city tour on a horse drawn chariot and Mi Museo offers a free, self-guided, walkthrough of their pre-Columbian ceramics gallery.
I highly recommend walking around the city; it’s quite small and easy to navigate! Stopping by the center park is really nice as well you can try a Chicharrones from a vendor selling them in the park!
Recommended activities to do in surrounding areas of Granada:
If you are in Granada for a day or so, like I was, you have some options to do excursions that are in the surrounding areas (within 1 hours travel). While I was in Granada we took a trip to Masaya which is a 20 minute drive from Granada, from Masaya we visited the Coyotepe Fortress, Masaya Volcano, Lake Apoyo and Masaya’s Market.
Coyotepe Fortress, which is about 30 minutes’ away from Granada, was a pretty neat yet eerie experience! The Fortress is home to the Nicaraguan Boy Scouts, now, but this fort has a very dark past. Coyotepe dark past is a really sad & traumatic story, if you would like to know more about it I will be posting about it tomorrow. Unfortunately it’s a bit too much of a downer for this post!
Taxi Fare to Coyotepe is approx. $10US – Feel free to barter!
The Masaya volcano, which is about 40 minutes away from Granada, was a really amazing experience! It was my first time being at the very tip of a volcanic crater! Unfortunately it is not very common to see lava from the Masaya Volcano, none the less it was still a lot of fun to look inside! The volcanic gases were quite harsh on the lungs I must say so I wouldn’t recommend sticking around the crater for too long! The Masaya Volcano last erupted in 2008 for about 6 months; you can see many old lava flows when you are up the volcano by the crater!
Taxi fare from Granada to Masaya Volcano is approx. $15US – Feel free to barter!
Lake Apoyo, which is about a 10 minute drive from Granada, is absolutely gorgeous!! If you are in Granada and wanting to go for a swim I highly recommend you do it in Lake Apoyo.
Taxi Fare from Granada to Apoyo is approx. $10US – Feel free to barter!
Masaya’s daily market, which is about 10 minutes’ drive from Granada, was a nice little stop in the afternoon. We had some refreshments, checked out the locals creations and bought some souvenirs. One of the strangest items I noticed all around the market was taxidermy toads!!
Taxi Fare from Granada to Masaya Market is approx. $10US – Feel free to barter!
Visiting Valentin Lopez’s school of Ceramics, which is about 20 minutes from Granada, is a must visit! You never know what is going to happen when you visit places like this but you can almost guarantee that you’re going to watch some people work on their products then get hauled into a room and pressured to buy something. Valentin’s ceramics was nothing like that!! We watched a young kid make pottery with his two hands while using his foot to spin the pottery around. After seeing the process we had to option to buy something and not one single person pressured us!! We bought some of the most beautiful pottery pieces I have seen and were very happy! You must visit this place!!
Taxi Fare from Granada to Valentin’s ceramic shop is approx. $10US – Feel free to barter!
Granada is a must visit place in Nicaragua & while you’re close you may as well take the ferry over to Ometepe Island to explore!
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Have you ever visited Granada? What was your favorite activity that you did while visiting?
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