Granada is a colonial city in western Nicaragua, Central America. The streets are filled with history, vibrant colours, churches, cathedrals, museums, markets and a lively atmosphere. Granada has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure. I enjoyed Granada and recommend checking it out, but I definitely do prefer being out of the city and in the mountains, volcanos and beaches instead.
Recommended length of stay in Granada
I recommend staying in Granada for 2 nights and Laguna de Apoyo for 1 night.
Nicaraguan Cordoba and US Dollars.
Things to do in Granada Nicaragua
Iglesia de La Merced: Climb the bell tower to get an unbeatable view of Granada and Mombacho Volcano. Cost is around $1.
Lake Nicaragua: Walk down to the lakeside and soak up the sun.
Chocolate tours: Chocolate tours are popular in Granada, with ChocoMuseo being a popular company to take chocolate tours with.
Day or overnight trips
Laguna de Apoyo: Was one of my favourite destinations in Nicaragua. Apoyo Lagoon is a nature reserve located between Granada and Masaya. The lake is a crater formed from a volcano eruption more than 20,000 years ago. Apoyo lagoon is the clearest lake in the region, as well as the deepest geological point in Central America. The glistening deep blue Crater Lake is the perfect location to swim, dive, sail, paddle or relax.
Check out my Apoyo Lake guide
Masaya markets: Masaya has the biggest handcraft markets in the region. If you are looking to buy souvenirs for friends or things to take home and decorate your house, Masaya Markets are the perfect place to shop.
Masaya Volcano: Is Central America’s most active volcano, with the potential to erupt without notice. It is a sight to see with smoke rolling out of the op. If you take a night tour of the volcano you will see lava.
Mombacho Volcano: You can zip line across the treetops of Mombacho Volcano reserve, or you can choose between hiking trails. Mombacho has four craters, each covered with cloud forest. Hikes range in difficulty, but each hike offers breathtaking views and exposure to the unique flora and fauna in the reserve.
Granada Islets: Take a boat tour through the Islands of Granada. I have heard mixed reviews about this. I personally didn’t do it so can’t give my opinion but would love to hear yours.
Poste Rojo Treehouse: If you’re looking for somewhere to chill out for a night or two, try the tree house located 15 minutes south of Granada. Spend the night in a hammock, dorm or your own tree house. There isn’t much to do so take a good book and snacks. This is a great place to catch up on sleep. The beds are really comfortable; I’d recommend a bed over a hammock.
Getting to and around Granada
If you are coming from overseas, you would fly into Managua Airport. From Managua, you would take a bus to Granada or organize a shuttle.
If you are coming to Granada from the South of Nicaragua (Isla de Ometepe or San Juan Del Sur), you would take a bus to Rivas, then a bus from Rivas to Granada. If you are coming from Costa Rica you can get a bus directly to Granada from the border.
Once in Granada, most things are within walking distance, or you can easily catch public buses to surrounding areas, for example, Laguna de Apoyo and Masaya. Alternatively, you can organize a shuttle or get a taxi.
Where to stay
Oasis: Centrally located with a chilled vibe.
Bearded Monkey: Centrally located, cheap, but not the cleanest.
Search for cheap accommodation options here.
See more from Nicaragua here.