By Liam Supple

July 17, 2017

20 Things To Do In Granada, Nicaragua

Granada makes the perfect base from which to explore all of Nicaragua, but remember to devote at least 3 full days to the city so you don't miss the highlights!

#1. City Carriage Ride

You might think it touristy, but a carriage ride is a great way to start your visit. Learn the layout of the Colonial city and get some interesting historical background.

 

 

 

#4. Los Pueblos Blancos

30 minutes outside of town the roads around ​Catarina, San Juan Oriente, Diriomo and other villages are lined with flowering plants, wooden furniture and ceramics for sale.

 

 

 

#7. Mombacho Rainforest 

Either​ the hiking tour of the volcano crater or zip lining the rainforest canopy will bring you up-close to monkeys, sloths, air-plants, orchids and other wonderful things.

 

 

 

#10. La Merced Bell Tower

The highest viewpoint in the city and a great place to snap rooftop pictures. Climb to the top for $1.

 

 

 

#13. La Calzada

For the longest time nearly all Granada's restaurants and bars have been located on La Calzada and adjacent blocks.​ Now new places are opening further afield, but most still congregate on this strip for their evening meal and drinks on roadside tables.

 

 

 

#16. Butterfly Reserve

We recommend this for kids but the adults come back just as enthralled as the little ones. Nice for a mellow outing.

 

 

 

#16. Nacatamales

Pork, rice, cornmeal, tomatoes, etc. wrapped and tied in a leaf and boiled until all inside is a soft delicious mush. Yum.​ Ask a local where to buy.

 

 

 

#2. Vigoron

Streetside at lunchtime, Vigoron is deep-fried pork skin with a spicy cabbage salad over yucca. All the juices melt into the starchy root.

 

 

 

#5. Lava -- Volcano Masaya

Leave at 5PM to arrive ​after sunset and before the crowd. You might be waiting a while but everyone agrees it's worth it. 

 

 

 

#8. Traditional Frescos

Don't be afraid to try the delicious natural drinks the locals sell from their front doors. Served in plastic bags with a straw - cacao, grama, pitaya, tamarindo ... the list goes on.

 

 

 

#11. Masaya Market

This market is huge.​ Guides say to go to the artisanal market (with the arches) - but the main market has more of everything, better prices and lots more to experience.

 

 

 

#14. Frito

You'll want to eat frito more than once during your stay. Fried green plantain chips with ripe fried plantain​, a large piece of barbecue chicken, beef or pork, topped with spicy cabbage salad and wrapped in a banana leaf. Prepared roadside and eaten with fingers.

 

 

 

#17. Drinks and Dancing

Go out near La Calzada and find locals and visitors​ mixing it up at Reilly's Irish Tavern. Crowds gather after 10PM. 

 

 

 

#20. Pool Day

Don't over exhaust yourselves. A day spent by the pool is just what your mind and body need sometimes -- and the kids will definitely not complain.

 

 

 

#3. Boat Tour of Las Isletas

A tour of the 365 islands that surround the Asese peninsula is almost an obligatory part of your Granada visit.  Or for something truly spectacular - spend a few nights on one!

 

 

 

#6. La Frontera 

Our favorite eatery. Amazing burritos, burgers and veggie dishes that are served with music hits from the 80's.

Other favorites: El Garaje (lunch), Garden Cafe, Pita Pita, Café los Sueños.

 

 

 

#9. Colonial Cement Tiles

Ladrilleria San Jeronimo makes cement tiles using a 90-year-old press. Make a visit and try your hand at making a tile!

 

 

 

#12. Laguna de Apoyo

Formed from a volcano crater the laguna ​makes for great swimming in clear waters. Do a half day here before or after visiting the Masaya market or Los Pueblos Blancos.

 

 

 

#15. Parque Central

In the middle of town as the name suggests the park is the main hub with plenty of people watching and adjoining market streets to explore.

 

 

 

#18. Sopa de Res - Beef Soup

Nicaragua's cure for Mondays! Look for signs at private homes who are selling small bucketfuls. Key ingredient - naranja agria (bitter orange).

 

 

 

Liam Supple is owner at Hotel La Polvora and a partner at Isleta El Recedo 
Granada, Nicaragua