Granada Things to Do

  • Beautiful view from our boat.
    Beautiful view from our boat.
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  • Things to Do
    by JessieLang
  • Things to Do
    by JessieLang

Most Recent Things to Do in Granada

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    La Merced church

    by JessieLang Written Mar 28, 2015

    La Merced church was originally built in 1539, destroyed several times by pirates and wars, and rebuilt a final time in 1862. There is a statue of Santa Martha with the devil. The devil looks like a baby dragon, and she is standing on its tail.

    You can climb the tower and get a great view of the city and nearby countryside if you want to go up 62 narrow steps (I didn’t.) Entrance to the tower is $1.

    Santa Martha & Devil
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    Old Train Station

    by Jim_Eliason Written Apr 20, 2014

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    Granada was once one of the main stations along the railroad that took people across from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast saving them the trip around South America prior to the opening of the Panama Canal. In the old train station are train cars that have transported many of the presidents of Nicaragua.

    Old Train Station Old Train Station Old Train Station Old Train Station
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    Plaza Independecia

    by Jim_Eliason Written Apr 20, 2014

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    Right next to Parque Central is this pedestrian only plaza that is fronted by colonial houses including the Case de Leones (the Cultural center. The rest of the plaza is fronted by hotels and restaurants.

    Plaza Independecia Plaza Independecia Plaza Independecia
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    Cacao Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Written Apr 15, 2014

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    This is primarily a gift shop run by a local Cacao (chocolate) cooperative. There is a small courtyard with some displays and actual Cacao trees. You can also book a tour to their plantation there also.

    Cacao Museum Cacao Museum Cacao Museum
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    Casa de Los Tres Mundos

    by Jim_Eliason Written Apr 15, 2014

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    The house of three worlds, is set in a beautiful colonial era mansion, the Casa de Leones (house of lions) and doubles as an art gallery and a cultural center. Although some of the art is interesting the building is the real attraction here.

    Casa de Los Tres Mundos Casa de Los Tres Mundos Casa de Los Tres Mundos Casa de Los Tres Mundos Casa de Los Tres Mundos
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    Village Walking Tour with a local NGO

    by MarjorieL Updated Apr 23, 2013

    La Esperanza Granada is a volunteer organization that works with communities in and around Granada to improve the education of their children.

    They would like to show you one of these communities, San Ignacio, and a school where they work. In the midst of poverty, it is happy place where Nicaraguans work hard to make a basic living and raise their families

    The walking tours are available Tuesday to Friday beginning at 9.30 AM for about two hours. The cost is $5.00 per person.

    A very interesting trip. Visitors can gain a valuable insight into the Nicaraguan education system, as well as the various daily social and economic challenges facing teachers, students, families and the wider communities.

    Let's see an Other Nicaragua with la Esperanza Granada !!

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    La Plazuela de Los Leones

    by atufft Updated Jan 24, 2013

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    Also known as Plaza del Independencia, La Plazuela de los Leones was where much of Nicaragua's most notorious history transpired. When Leon was burned by a volcano in 1610, all power transferred to Granada, making it the "jewel" of the Spanish crown.

    So, it was during this period that English and Dutch pirates began to hide in the shallows bays and swamps of Caribbean Islands, recruiting and arming slaves and indigenous allies, particularly at Jamaica, where Henry Morgan began his career. Morgan lost his sailing ships to the Spanish during a failed effort to take control of Villahermosa, Mexico. What he had left were 6 large canoes which he led up the Rio San Juan, stealthily reaching Granada in such a way as to completely surprise the Spanish. In 1665, Morgan burned the city, set up canons in this plaza, and captured 500,000 pounds sterling silver, before escaping up the Coco River into Miskitia. Other pirates who successfully sacked Granada include Captain Gallardito (1670), and William Dampier (1685). Eventually, the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception, at what is today El Castillo, was successful in at least slowing the pace of pirate attacks.

    The word Filibuster comes from the Spanish word Filibustero which means pirate or buccaneer. The most famous filibuster was that of the American William Walker, who was inspired to take control of Latin American territory by Freebooting. This approach to establishing a new country for individual purposes became popular after the successful freebooting of Texas from Mexico by resident Americans, and the expansion of this process by President Polk during the Mexican War. Prior to his successful take over of Nicaragua in 1855, Walker had failed a similar attempt to take Baja California. In any case, it was in front of the Casa de Los Leones where Walker took the oath of office as President of Nicaragua. Walker and his band of sharp shooter Kentuckians were not popular, and after Walker passed laws making slavery legal, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, and Honduran armies began to form and launch an assault to free Nicaragua. In December of 1856, the remains of Walkers army under the command of English mercenary, Charles Frederick Henningsen, once again burned the city and fled. Eventually, Walker was captured by the English and turned over to the Honduran army, which in 1860 executed him at Trujillo, Honduras. The once opulent city of Granada never really recovered after that. What remains of the original Casa de Los Leones burned by Morgan is a stone entryway shown here, but the restored house and courtyard do date back to Walker's time. Inside the museum are two wonderful primitivist paintings, depicting the founding of Granada, and the other William Walker's filibuster.

    Plaza del Independencia Original Entrance to Casa de los Leones Plaza del Independencia, Granada Plaza del Independencia Plaza del Independencia at Night
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    Iglesia Guadalupe

    by atufft Updated Jan 23, 2013

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    Rough in appearance inside and out, Iglesia Guadalupe is located at the confluence of Calle La Calzada and Calle La Libertad, flowing in the direction of the waterfront. This location caused it to become used as a fortress and become the first sacked by marauding pirates. Nicaraguan troops used the church as a garrison to hold William Walker and his troops, who apparently damaged the interior walls. So, while originally built in 1624 by Benedictine monks, it has been rebuilt several times. The current facade dates back to 1945, but has a much older appearance as it is heavily used by the locals after a day at the beach or night at the disco. Check out the video clip of this church at night. It's a popular place.

    Iglesia Guadalupe Iglesia Guadalupe Iglesia Guadalupe Iglesia Guadalupe Iglesia Guadalupe at night
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    More Images of Las Isletas near Granada

    by atufft Updated Jan 23, 2013

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    There is a surprising number of establshed homes on islands here, and yet there is also a wealth of wildlife. There's a good view of Mombacho, and a cove where a couple of old freighters are parked. Check out my video clips of monkey island and the tourist boat launch at dusk.

    Las Isletas near Granada, Nicaragua Another Private Island Near Granada Birdwatching on Las Isletas Old Freighters Harbor in Las Isletas, Granada Mombacho Volano at Dusk
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    Walk Along Calle La Calzada

    by atufft Updated Jan 23, 2013

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    The central pedestrian avenue known as Calle La Calzada starts at the Parque Colon, where the Cathedral is located, and proceeds straight past Iglesia Guadalupe, where it widens into a divided parkway and continues to the waterfront where the Ferry to Ometepe and San Carlos docks. Most of the towns best hotels and restaurants are on Calle La Calzada, including ours Hotel Dario'. Many restaurants and bars have outdoor dining in the street here, and at night street entertainment frequently comes through here. In the morning, the streets are dead, but the colors of the storefronts is itself entertaining. Check out my video clip of this place alive at night.

    Blurry nightlife dining on Calle La Calzada Calle La Calzada at Night Still Bright Morning on Calle La Calzada Horse Buggy on Calle La Calzada near the port Bright Paint on Calle La Calzada
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    Antiguo Convento San Francisco

    by atufft Written Jan 23, 2013

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    Ancient in appearance and setting, this Iglesia and convent was originally built by Franciscan monks in 1529. It was burned to the ground by Henry Morgan a century and a half later, and another 200 years or so after that William Walker used the current structure to house his troops. According to the Moon guide, it has also boarded U.S. Marines, Canal Route Engineers, and a University.

    Antiguo Convento San Francisco Antiguo Convento San Francisco Old Walls of Antiguo Convento San Francisco Antiguo Convento San Francisco Tribute to William Walker
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    Casa de Los Leones

    by atufft Written Jan 23, 2013

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    The Granada Museum is surprisingly sparse in terms of exhibits, but there are a couple of important mural paintings depicting some of Granada's historical events. Also, there is a collection of children's art. The most important aspect of the building is the remains of the original front entrance that had survived the William Walker period. On one outside wall, there's a plate explaining how one part of the house was used as a Walker horse stable. The architecture of the home is the main feature, however, so it's worth climbing the stairs to look down at the courtyard. Around the corner, also inside the building complex is a gallery of local art, mostly low quality modern paintings, catering to tourists.

    Casa de los Leones Entrance Courtyard of Casa de los Leones Casa de los Leones, 2nd story view Plaza del Independencia
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    Las Isletas by Private Motorboat

    by atufft Written Jan 23, 2013

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    There are a large number of small islands in Lake Nicaragua, right near Granada, created by the explosive eruption of Mombacho thousands of years ago. The rocky waters must have been hazardous for Spanish galleons, as they probably also served to hide pirates during the 17th century. Today, these islands are a popular purchase for the deep pocketed who want a tropical island on a lake near a decent tourist town. They is also a refuge for wildlife, as for example, a small infamous island is home to a family of monkeys.

    Most tourists secure their seat a 12 seater canopy boat through their hotel or at one of the concessions in town. However, we found it convenient to simply bargain for a boat of our own, for which we paid no more than just two seats on the tourist boat. The best way to bargain would be to walk down to the water where the boats dock. To do this, either hike the distance or take a taxi to regional park, where all the discos are located. During day, it's safe enough to walk through this sometimes crowded waterfront park. We paid the equivalent of $35 for a 2-1/2 hour tour, which I think is a pretty good deal even for Central America.

    Las Isletas near Granada, Nicaragua Bargain for your boat here to save some money Monkey Island Private Islands near Granada Another View of Monkey Island
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    Parque Colon and The Cathedral

    by atufft Written Jan 22, 2013

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    The Cathedral parish dates back to the founding of the city in 1524, and the first structure in this location dating back to 1583. However, the church has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, so the current structure dates back to 1900. An earthquake a few years back revealed the fragile nature of the current structure, so in the back along Calle La Calzada, one can see major erection of steel beams and columns. The interior is painted in pastel colors similar to the exterior. Some ornamentation symbolizes the great importance of the Granada as a global port during the height of the Spanish empire.

    Granada Cathedral Granada Cathedral Bell Tower of Granada Cathedral Granada Cathedral Vendors at Parque Colon, Granada
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    Chocolate Workshop

    by mircaskirca Updated Nov 4, 2012

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    Chocolate workshops are organized by ChocoMuseo and there must be minimum of two people. When I signed up I was hoping for more people showing their interest. At the end we were four, together with Petra and an English couple. At the workshop we learnt how to make our own chocolate from cacao beans. Of course, we did everything by hand. Natalia explained about cacao tree, cacao nuts and how to obtain fermented cacao beans, the base for making a delicious chocolate. She brought us to one of the patios and the workshop began.

    First we toasted the cacao beans in a clay pot over an open fire. Then we pealed tha cacao beans. This was quite a work and we all got blisters. From the husk we prepared a cacao husk tea. Then we ground the cacao nibs (shelled and roasted cacao beans - their taste is nicely bittersweer and they have the crunchy, toasty flavour of roasted nuts) to obtain a thick paste that we used for preparing different types of chocolate drinks: Aztec – with chilli, Mayan – with vanilla and cinnamon, chilli and Spanish – with milk.

    And finally, we prepared some well-ground pure cacao paste to make our own chocolate bar (each of us made two), and we could add vanilla, cinnamon, almonds, cashew nuts, orange or rum. Mine were with almonds. The models filled with cacao paste had to stay in a fridge overnight before they were ready to enjoy. I left Granada next day early in the morning so I could not come. But Natalia said there was no need to worry. The chocolates would wait for me until one week later when I was back to Granada.

    The chocolate workshop was a great experience, we had lots of fun and the chocolate was just delicious. It usually starts at 5pm. The price is US $ 20 per person if there are 2 people, and less if there are more. We were four and it was US $ 16 per person (December 2010).

    cacao paste to make chocolate bar Natalia toasting the cacao beans toasting cacao beans pealing of cacao beans model filled with cacao paste
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Granada Things to Do

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