- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Arguably Nicaragua’s most picturesque town, Granada is an easy place to love. Much of its colonial architecture is remarkably intact and is being painstakingly restored by a new generation of homeowners. The colorful facades lining old narrow streets practically glow in the late afternoon sun.
It’s sultry and tropical here but a fresh breeze blows off the waters of Lake Cocibolca. The views from along the lakeshore’s broad, undeveloped shoreline—and the ever-looming silhouette of Volcán Mombacho—make for easy photos and good memories.
Granada has always been important politically for Nicaragua, and it is the home of many of the country’s economic and political elite. Most travelers eschew Managua and flock to Granada because of its charm and lethargic pace, making it their base for further exploration. Some decide to stay, as evidenced by the many real estate offices that have sprung up over the last decade.
Granada is pleasant to explore by foot or old-fashioned horse carriage. Nights, the sky fills with stars and the neighbors come out to chitchat on their front stoops; inside even the most nondescript colonial facade is an open, private courtyard designed to capture the evening breeze.
Granada’s restaurants are varied and high quality, offering something for just about everybody. Granada lacks the five-star luxury or business hotels of the capital and coast but instead offers a wide selection of small, charming guesthouses, bed-and-breakfasts, and colonial lodges.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition