The old Spanish fort, aggressively restored in recent years, enjoys a nice view overlooking the town and lake. Its cultural center and library were founded with Cuban support—to wit, countless volumes of communist propaganda—and has since been supported by the Netherlands.
At the mirador, you’ll find old cannons, a romantic sunset setting, and one of the nicest restaurants in town.
For nightlife, locals make their way to La Champa, a bar so popular, its name has become a verb among locals (as in, “Let’s go champear!”).
El Bocano is newer and located just north of the water tower. Bars line most streets throughout town, with the rowdiest ones down by the waterfront; try the Granadino or the Kaoma for a mellower vibe.
The annual sportfishing competition in September is a big deal for Nicaraguan anglers and attracts crowds from across the nation for prizes like outboard motors and more. Enjoy the fiestas patronales on November 4. Most radio stations in the area are Costa Rican and feature Spanglish reggae and soca.