Historically Granada with the fourth largest population in Nicaragua is also one of the countries most important cities both economically and politically. Founded in 1524 by Fransisco Fernandez Hernandez de Cordoba, its architecture and layout is steeped in a rich colonial heritage and is known affectionately as the great Sultan of the great lake. Granada is now enjoying a marked increase in tourism as visitors explore hidden treasures of the city along with the many popular beaches to be found on Lake Nicaragua.
Granada is a national treasure – the home of precolumbian idols and statues found during the Spanish conquest – now to be viewed in the convent San Fransisco Museum. Apart from the Spanish conquest – Granada was invaded by English, French and Dutch pirates trying to take control of Nicaragua. Whilst internally the conservatives of Granada both politically and at times violently fought with the liberals of Leon over the claim to be capital of Nicaragua, finally a compromise was reached with Managua located between the two cities being established as the capital.
In the city you can stroll around many buildings and stores in ‘Parque Central’, Granada’s Central Park. Explore the streets for art exhibitions, and then in the evening the ‘Calle la Calzada’ comes alive with bars, restaurants and street performers.
Hiking in the Nature Reserve
The now dormant volcano Mombacho, with the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve as a protected area since 1999.
With trails and tours available to visitors, outdoor enthusiasts can explore the flora and fauna that exist near the top of the dormant volcano. Maps and guidebooks are available as well as some hiking equipment in the visitor center. Hiking and walking tours generally range from 30 minutes to several hours.
Boat Tour & Fishing in Lake Nicaragua
A consistently warm city, Granada’s climate benefits from its proximity to the lake and being surrounded by high hills. Fishing is a major attraction. Lake Nicaragua, the second largest lake in Latin America, is the home to many creatures, both marine and freshwater. It is the only lake in the world where sharks live.
Visit ‘Las Isletas’
The Mombacho was responsible for forming the ‘Las Isletas’, an archipelago of 365 diminutive islands, in the Lake Nicaragua. The view of the lake and the islets from the volcano is amazing. It is also possible on a clear day to see Ometepe and Zapatera Islands – the latter island is an inactive volcano. You can rent a boat or hire a boatmen to take you around the islets in a rented boat. Enjoy the view, including vegetation and bird life which includs herons, parrots, hawks and vultures, which all surround the islets.
For more information or help regarding activities in Granada or arranging tours in and around the city, simply ask our friendly front desk staff.