Arriving into Granada, Nicaragua is something like traveling back in time. With Spanish colonial architecture all around, itʼs easy to picture what things looked like 100, 200, even 300 years ago. Granadaʼs many churches and sprawling colonial squares are reminders of the past, but when you stay there, youʼll also get many modern conveniences.
Granada Accommodation: Quaint courtyards filled with bougainvilleas
Tucked behind the nondescript, yet often-decorative doors of the homes of Granada youʼll find quaint courtyards filled with bougainvilleas, banana trees and hammocks ready for lounging. As a haven for expatriates from Europe and North America, many of Granadaʼs colonial homes have been converted into comfortable family homes. Many of these homeowners rent their places to visitors, so check out sites such as VRBO.com or Airbnb.com for a foray into staying in a Granada colonial home.
For those looking for more of the five-star service and full breakfast type of accommodation, hotels including the Hotel Plaza Colon, set across from Granadaʼs bustling Central Park, Hotel Dario on Calle Calzada and Casa Xanadu, tucked on a quieter street just steps from the centro, all offer high-quality service.
Budget Travel in Granada, Nicaragua
For the budget traveler, budget hostels with shared dorm rooms or private rooms with shared bathrooms line the streets west of Calle Atrevesada — the cityʼs market street — as well as encircling the central park zone.
Talk to a native Nicaraguan or an expat whoʼs lived in Nicaragua for a while and theyʼll probably mention that the options for dining are excellent in Granada — rivaling anything the capital city of Managua has to offer, and certainly easier to access. Granadaʼs Calle Calzada, running east from the Central Park, is a quaint yet busy lantern-lit avenue of restaurants, offering everything from steak dinner to nachos and cold beer. Follow the street to its end and youʼll arrive at Lake Cocibolca — also known as Lake Nicaragua — the largest source of freshwater in Central America. Take a stroll or book a tour of the isletas, the network of small islands formed when nearby Mombacho Volcano blew its top centuries ago.
Colonial Heritage & Volcano’s & Zip Line Tours
In town, the cityʼs many colonial churches are worth a visit, especially el Convento San Francisco, which also houses a museum featuring photos and artifacts from the cityʼs past. Tours to the active volcano near Masaya, zip line tours, and excursions to the top of Laguna de Apoyo, a nature preserve set at the top of an extinct volcano, are also easy to book from Calle Calzada.
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