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country Nicaragua
duration 3 nights
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Visit colonial Granada in Nicaragua

Granada is Nicaragua’s colourful, colonial gem and the perfect place to learn more about the country’s rather turbulent history. The town is one of Nicaragua’s most important cities, both economically and politically. Nowadays this beautiful and very colourful colonial city is also the most famous tourist destination in the country. However, mass tourism does not occur here; Granada is still a beautiful and authentic city where you can easily entertain yourself for a few days.

Oldest city on the American continent

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Oldest city on the American continent

Granada was founded by Fransisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1524. This makes it the oldest city on the American continent. The city was named after the Spanish city of Granada. But the city is also seen as ‘Gran Sultana del Gran Lago’, or the Great Sultan of the Great Lake. This is due to the strategic location on the shore of the large lake of Cocibolca.

The city has a glorious war record and was attacked by English, French and also Dutch pirates and you can still visit various historic forts, now silent witnesses to these attacks. A city-tour by bike or foot takes you back in time and lets you see and feel the true history of the town. Visit the market or the town square to enjoy the liveliness of the locals and the day-to-day life of ordinary Nicaraguans.

365 islets in Lake Nicaragua

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365 islets in Lake Nicaragua

Granada was built on the shore of the great Lake Nicaragua. Due to an eruption of the Mombacho volcano in the past, there are now about 365 small islands in the lake. Some islands in the lake are inhabited, others are completely overgrown and form an ideal breeding ground for birds. On some islands, you can spot monkies as well.

It’s easy to rent a small boat (with or without a tour guide) to explore the islands and spend part of your day on the water. A visit to the Mombacho volcano is also recommended, because you can make a nice hike through the cloud forest.

 

Masaya vulcano

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Masaya vulcano

Not far from Granada you find the vibrant town of Masaya. Visit the colourful local market where you can buy nice handmade items and souvenirs. A trip to the Masaya volcano cannot be missed, because of the gaping and smoking crater, you can actually see from up close!

In addition, the charming village of Catarina is a must-visit. Here you have an unbelievably beautiful view over the lake of Apoyo (a nice blue-green crater lake) and Granada.

As a result, Granada is the ideal base for tours within the city itself, but also for visits to surrounding villages and other sights.

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Tom and Bonny

We really liked our hotel Con Corazon in the centre of Granada! The volcano trip to Masaya is also highly recommended, we have seen lava there and at sunset this was a very impressive sight.

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Yvonne

It was a good decision to start our holiday in Granada and to get used to the climate and the people. We have been on the road with Jimmy the Man for a day and he showed us around Granada. We had a great day with a great guide!

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Gerard S.

I really enjoyed my visit to Granada in Nicaragua. The flights and transport to the city were excellent. The warm welcome and excellent guides in Apoyo and Masaya. Steamy volcanic funnel and lots of lava rock.

Tip from Maite:

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Tip from Maite:

In cities like León and Granada, try to have a look inside the houses. Many have a hacienda-like layout with beautiful courtyards and colourful cement tiles.

Photos of Granada and surroundings:

The following destinations are close to this travel package:

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The unspoiled nature of Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan is a real paradise for nature lovers. The San Juan River connects the great Lake of Nicaragua to the Carribean Sea. This region is known for its unspoiled nature. However, you will also find historic monuments along the river banks that reflect the region's importance when pirates ruled the seas. All this makes the area along the river and the towns of San Carlos and El Castillo an attractive region to visit. Here, nature and history come together in an unprecedented way.
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Surf and relax on the beaches of San Juan del Sur
Stay in Playa el Coco, one of the most beautiful natural beaches and best places for surfing in Nicaragua. Playa el Coco is approximately half an hour's drive from San Juan del Sur, a popular and pleasant coastal town in the far south of Nicaragua. Enjoy the beaches and beautiful sunset or enjoy a nice dinner and a cocktail at one of the restaurants.
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Discover the unique volcanic island of Isla de Ometepe
Isla de Ometepe or the also known as Ometepe island lies in the Lake of Nicaragua and was originally formed by two large volcanoes: La Concepcion and Madera. Ometepe also literally means two (ome) mountains (tepe). It's native history makes the island special and worthwhile to explore by foot, bike or motorbike. You arrive by ferry and stay in a simple, but comfortable hotel, a great place to start exploring the island!
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Swimming in the crater lake La Laguna de Apoyo
Want to swim in a volcano crater lake in Nicaragua? This is your chance! About 10 km from the vibrant towns of Granada and Masaya, you find La Laguna de Apoyo. This magical crater lake is more than 200 meters deep and here you find the cleanest water in Nicaragua. Jump in the water and enjoy the amazing views from the lake.
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Spend the night on the private island of Isleta El Espino
Are you looking for a unique place to stay? Check out the coolest ecolodge in Nicaragua. Isleta El Espino is a magical private island in the great Lake of Nicaragua, near Granada. You arrive by boat to the secluded paradise of the American brother and sister who bought the island, because they wanted to set up an eco-design hotel. They did an excellent job and you for sure will have a great time here!
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Beautiful beaches and perfect waves in Las Peñitas
Check out the best beach in Nicaragua! Catch the waves in Las Peñitas, about 20 minutes from the city of Leon you find the charming seaside village. Because of its long, beautiful beach, the town is well loved by locals and foreigners alike and a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and the beach of course!
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Experience history in colonial León
León is a beautiful colonial city that has been playing an important role in the country's history for centuries. Here you find Central America's largest cathedral and Leon is the hometown of Ruben Dario, a world-famous poet who was born some 150 years ago and one of the great heroes of Nicaragua.
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The tropical paradise on the Corn Islands
The Corn Islands in Nicaragua are the 'forgotten' tropical paradise in the Carribean Sea. Here you find perfectly white beaches and exotic palm trees on just two islands, Big Corn and Little Corn, surrounded by beautiful aquamarine waters. Paradise is waiting for you!
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The real nature experience in Los Andes
Los Andes is a tiny town close to the Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste. You're staying at Tierra Madre, an isolated ecolodge with friendly Belgian owners doing everything to make you feel at home.
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Bubbling mud pools near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano has 9 craters and is still an active volcano. The area is wellknown for its thermal mud pools, waterfalls and crystal clear lakes. You can explore the area by foot, horseback or mountainbike. Enjoy your stay here!

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