It may be the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua but it is famous for the lowest cost of living in the whole country. However, it is not the only reason to stay in Granada but its beautiful setting, scenic beauty, historic places, museums, smiley people and amazing architecture also attracts huge numbers of visitors every year. Granada is the 4th largest city in Nicaragua and comfortably situated on the western shore of Nicaragua, just 50 km southeast of Managua. If you are in Nicaragua, then your visit will not be completed without seeing Granada because of so much to things to explore here. You can also have some outdoor fun here like boat tours, golf, tracking, kayaking, hiking and others. This city also has the most number of Spanish language schools in the state. Baseball is more famous here than football and much of the food is based on corn, cassava, beans and chili pepper. The history of this amazing city takes us to 1524 when the Spanish explorer Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba founded the city in 1524. Butchers, artists and warriors having knowledge of medicine and botany used to live here at that time and this was the time when Granada became one of the most important commercial harbors. The city was attacked by pirates, shattered by earthquakes, destroyed by floods, set on fire but the city fought back every time and succeeded in saving and conserving its historical treasure. In 20th century, Granada was considered as the most beautiful city in Nicaragua.
Granada has a cold semi arid steppe climate with fairly hot summers. The temperature varies from 34 F to 95 F during the year and there are no dry seasons. July is the warmest month of the year and January is the coldest. You can expect rains during April and May and more than 300 sunny days throughout the year. The precipitation is highest in December and light rain can also be seen during these days. Best time to visit Granada is during March and April as the weather remains pleasant most of the time.
How to get here?
Although Granada doesn’t have its own international airport but it is well served by Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport in Managua which is located just 53 km from Granada city center. You can reach downtown from the airport by taxi which will cost you around $25 to $ 30. There is also the Mercado Huembes Bus Terminal in Managua where regular buses head to Granada every 15 minutes. You can use cabs, taxis, limos or local bus services to get around the city of Granada.
Accommodation and Food
There are more than 50 lodging options to choose from in Granada. From 4 & 5 star hotels and apartments to hostels and guesthouse, you will find every accommodation in all price ranges. One of the best places to stay in Granada downtown is Hotel Colonial featuring colonial mansion style, lovely rooms, private bathrooms, cable connection, free internet, free parking, spa center, health club, outdoor pool and restaurant. Other hotels with same facilities are Hotel La Bocana, Hotel Alhambra and Hotel Xalteva. In budget accommodations, there is Hostal Mochilas, Guesthouse Ari, Hostal Hamacas, Casa Del Agua, Hostal El Momento, GM Granada Hostel, Hostel Oasis, Los Corredores Del Castillo and Dolphin Guest House.
There are hundreds of eating spots around the city, from restaurants to pubs & bars. American, Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican or Indian, whatever your taste is you will find the restaurant fitting your criteria. You will love the special Asian cuisine of Tercer Ojo which also features the fusion of Tofu, Indian, Sushi and Thai food. Other good options are Comidas Tipcas Y Mas featuring great Central American food, Fritangas featuring barbeque and gallo pinto, El Ranchon featuring delicious fishes, El Zaguan featuring steakhouse, Kathy’s waffle, Cafetin El Volcan, EL Pizzaiol with great Italian food, Cafetin El Condor, Cafe de las Sonrisas, Cafe Don Simon, Don Luca’s and Cafe Blue.
Reserva Natural Volcan Mombacho
Reserva Natural Volcan Mombacho is one of the most famous volcanoes on earth because of the mystical cloud forest around it, its location near the city and its amazing shape. The main attraction is the ride uphill because of steepness of the area, coffee plantations and hiking trails. You can get all the information about the volcano from the tourist center and get house maps, models, souvenirs and other material from there. There are four craters of Mombacho Volcano and all are covered by cloud forest. While climbing, you will be amazed to see white face monkeys, howlers, deers, reptiles and insects. The ride costs you just $ 17 for a group of maximum five people.
Catedral de Granada
Granada Cathedral is located at Calle Gran Via de Colon in Granada and is the seat of the Archodiocese of Granada. It is a famous landmark of the city because of its amazing exterior and eye catching architecture. It is a large temple shaped building and main attraction is the Clock Tower which was built in 1681, covered by a slender cross of iron and the Two Bells, one used for the touch of the hours and the other of the rooms. There is also a museum on the ground floor of the tower which houses historic artifacts, painting, sculptures and jewelry.
Other attractions in Granada include Guadalupe Church, Mi Museo, Choco Museo, Nicaragua Spanish Lessons and Casa de Los Tres Mundos.