Granada’s streets are filled with colourful colonial houses. The moment you step off the bus in central Granada you will feel at ease with the beautiful buildings and laid back vibe.
Granada is more tourist orientated than Leon but has a unique feel nonetheless. We enjoyed these highlights as we wandered the streets of Granada.
Central Park sprawls itself out with La Catedral de Granada standing beautifully to one side. Those wishing to climb the bell tower (C20 per person) will be rewarded with beautiful views from the top. Hire a horse and carriage to pull you round the cobbled streets of Granada directly opposite the cathedral however the skinniess of these horses is somewhat alarming. Unlike other central city squares, Parque Central does not come to an abrupt end following its four sides. In particular, Calle La Calzada offers a great street for pedestrians to enjoy. Discover the many restaurants, shops and crafts here or just enjoy a peaceful car free zone.
Three blocks away from the square is Merced Church (Iglesia La Merced) which is strikingly run down compared to La Catedral. Regardless, it has its own beauty and perhaps the best 360 degree views of Granada and Lake Nicaragua by climbing the winding bell tower staircase (C25 per person). Numerous other churches can be discovered by walking a few blocks out in either direction of the square.
Nearby Lake Nicaragua provides a beautiful place to walk and kayak. Unfortunately for us we missed out on a kayak trip due to time constraints however we’ve heard these provide a good way to check out the lake, its shores and its birds.
The markets of Granada are a decent size and have a particular emphasis on shoes and clothing.
Hungry? Granada has a bit of something to satisfy every budget.
• Querubes (½ N, Mercado en C. Atravesada, C157 large lunch and soda). Quick, local food.
• Kanpai (Calle Estrada, near Hotel Oasis, C905: dinner for two with 2 alcoholic beverages). Something a bit pricer, offers good Japanese food made by a Japanese chef.
• El Garaje. 512 Calle Corra. Approx C170 per person including drink. Sometimes us backpackers don’t eat overly healthy. If you’re in need of some delicious and nutritious meals check this place out.
Accommodation: Hostel Entre Amigos (US$15 private room). Free drinking water, small but alright kitchen. Decent hang out space and clean rooms/ bathrooms.
Getting there from Managua:
• Make your way to UCA Station, Pista Juan Pablo II, Managua 14003. If coming from the Corn Islands a taxi from the airport will cost about C250 for 2 people (25 minutes).
• Bus to Granada (C24 per person, 1 hour 20 mins).
• The bus goes right through the main city streets. Ask to get off close to Parque Central.
Getting away to Ometepe Island:
• Walk down Calle El Comercio, past the market on your left. Just past the UNO gas station hang a left where you should see buses pulling in and out . Board the Rivas bus (1 hour 30 mins, C30 per person).
• Ride the Rivas bus until the end. When you get off try and share a taxi with other tourists to save costs.
• Taxi ride to the ferry terminal (C50 per person, 15 minutes).
• Boats to Ometepe Island leave at different spots and times depending on your destination. Check out this website to decide which boat to take to Ometepe. Our boat to San Jorge/ Moyogalpa cost C35 per person, left 1.30pm, 1 hour 8 minutes.
• Market: Calle Atravesada, Granada
• Supermarket: Calle Atravesada, Granada
• Laundry: La Lavanderia. Parque Central 2c. Al lago.