Is the oldest colonial city in Nicaragua, its known to their colored colonial buildings, interesting history and relative safety make it an important tourism destination
The country has a low level of life, not everyone can afford it, Nicaragua is very cheap country to travel around and the city of Granada is a colonial jewel place,which give a satisfaction of every visitor to its surrounding
The city is not big very compact, easy navigable around, transportation is not necessary, the locals are very friendly
This is one of the active volcano in Nicaragua called Masaya, we heard the locals saying, this volcano can be errupted again anytime
From the car park entrance its a short walk up hill to the crater, you have the possibility to view the very impressive crater and the flowing lava, which is continuously emitting smoke and sulfur gases From this central crater it is possible to start hiking to other craters or viewpoints
This is one and most visited volcano in Nicaragua, tourists coming here with tour buses, it can be very crowded sometimes
The park is open every day from 9:00AM until 4:45PM for regular visits
The entrance fee for a regular visit is C$100 for foreigners and C$30 for Nicaraguans, the night tour has a price of US$10 per person, minimum group size is 6, maximum size is 40 people.
The beautiful city of Nicaragua often heard the colonial buildings of Granada. Absolutely not to miss the oldest city in Central America. The city is very attractive to his colourful buildings and it's easy to walk around, it's compact and no hassles by traffic
If you are in Granada the Lago de Nicaragua is a MUST to see. The area of 8264 square meter, is the second largest lake in Latin America. It is also called the Sweet Sea, it is connected to several rivers and the Caribbean Sea. In the lake there is another unique attraction called "Las Isletas". a beautiful excursion in a setting of tiny tropical islands, richly covered in vegetation and many with holiday mansions. In addition to the interesting flora and fauna on one island there are remnants of a fort, El Castillo San Pablo, built in 1784.
After Granada, Leon is certainly worth a visit within the Nicaraguan itinerary. No more than a full day is really needed to appreciate this city of cathedrals, home of famed writer Ruben Dario, and original base of the Sandinista. See my pages for Leon to see how we visited this place and to see many more great images of the city.
I really don't believe it's true, but Granada, along with Leon, have the reputation of being two of the oldest Spanish cities in the New World. Prior to this time, the Spanish simply conquered indigenous places, like Mexico City, for their own. Early on, the Spanish discovered that the location at the top of the lake could be an Atlantic seaport, and that transport over to the Pacific would not be too difficult. So, Granada became loaded with gold ready for export. This history of this city is long and impressive, and so it's worthwhile going to my page specifically devoted to this city. Meanwhile, mix a Mojito and relax at a restaurant on the La Calzada before you learn what to do in Granada. This is a great place to visit during the winter break.
We have so far spent two days at the gorgeous pool of Hotel Granada and will no double be there again. Even if you are not staying there, you can pay $5 and have unlimited use of the pool. There are loungers with umbrellas, trees all around and great shallow areas for little ones. You can go in and out if you want to go elsewhere for lunch (recommended)
Hiking in Selva Negra is a lot more than walking in the woods. You hike into virgin rain forest where you experience nature at its purest, the sights and sounds of the forest will amaze you as they have done many of those who have already had a chance to visit us. Don't forget to check out the trail statistics and the trail map.
Selva Negra offers you a wide variety of hiking trails to experience. From the slow pace of a walk around the lake, where you can watch the ducks go about their daily life, and listen to the hummingbirds as they busily buzz around you to get the nectar of their favorite flowers.
Viejo Leon is the archaeological sight of the "old city" ruins. We paid less than $10US (including tip) for a guide to walk around the ruins with us and explain the sights. His English was very good and he was extremely friendly. It was a very informative tour - well worth the $10US!
You can drive right up to the edge of the volcano! Toxic sulfur gases fill the air (that's what the "steam" is in the photo). There is a walkway leading up from the parking lot to the large white cross at the top edge of the volcano. If you lean over the edge a little, you can see red lava! The entrance fee to the park was $4US/each for adults. Well worth it!
Somoto-San Isidro-Leon was our first bus-route. We somehow got close to San Isidro, got off at a ... well, next to a fritanga by the road, where people gathered waiting for the bus that goes to Leon. I was watching butterflies flying around, amused by everything my eye-balls were taking in and then the ruteado bus came. Wow, what an experience. Mumbly's car gives a pretty good idea of what the bus was like.
At one point the jumping up and down (cause of the quality of the road) made me hysterical and I was just laughing.
Btw, if I haven't mentioned already... Lots of people get on the bus and sell food (frescos, grapes, tajadas, fried chicken, etc.).
After three hours we got to Leon and then took a bus to Poneloya.
Poneloya and Las Peñitas are two coastal towns, relatively close to Leon. We decided to stay there and visit Leon the following day.
Poneloya was ... basically abandoned, which for a two-three-day stay is not so bad. Huge beach, tranquil, great food... A longer stay would of course mean boredom but there's enough to visit in the surrounding.
We entered a bar (the heat in Leon while waiting for the bus killed us) to have some juice or any normal liquid, and asked there for a possible accommodation.
They directed us to a hostel. Again, basic, ok. Nothing special, but acceptable. Double room, air-con and a bathroom (not the cleanest one, but I always have some cleaning product with me) for about 20 something dollars. Oh, and a TV, not that the TV is essential.
The nightlife in Managua is probably one of the city's most amazing features. Again, moving around implies having a car, but there are some great areas with fantastic bars and restaurants.
I apologize for not having visual material to accompany the words, but I did not take my camera with me on that night out.
We went to a great bar and restaurant called Piratas. Loved it. The atmosphere, the interior. Had a couple of cocktails there.
We then went to Antologia... Now the name suggests a totally different feel than Piratas and ... different it definitely was. A place inspired by the great revolutionaries in Latin America, which I personally enjoyed immensely. Music by the Mejia Godoy brothers, Silvio Rodriguez...
After that came the true highlight of the evening. We ended up in a... it was a restaurant, but not as fancy (wish I knew the name), somewhat of a neighbourhood joint. It was full of people, very cheerful, fun and entertaining.
There were three (yes, three) orchestras, playing at the same time (yes, at the same time).
:-))) people asking for songs, dancing all around, sounds of salsa, rumba, mambo mixing all around.
Mindblowingly good atmosphere. My absolute fave.
My point is: when in Managua, make sure you have a chance to go out and experience the nightlife.
We started to climb down from the hill where Sandino's monument is located, reaching a broader street. On the left, the restaurant of the brothers Mejia Godoy, marvelous musicians, legendary artists from Nicaragua. On the right side there is a shopping mall. Yes, the typical, North American type of a structure designed to provoke elevated level of consumerism. The cinema, the popcorn with butter, American doughnuts, etc.
We headed off to Universidad de Centro America or UCA, a well-known educational institution in Nicaragua. The campus is beautiful... The nature in Nicaragua kept astonishing me over and over again!
The Park Sandino is located on a hill, not particularly high, but high enough to have a fantastic panoramic view of Managua. The hill is right next to Laguna de Tiscapa, one of the four lagunas within the city limits.
From the park you can see the very few tall buildings that the earthquake has spared, the building of Banco Central de Nicaragua and the hotel Intercontinental. You can also see only the facade of the old cathedral... it's a very strange sensation to see a beautiful structure and then realize that it is hollow... The building of the family Pellas (owners of the brewery, producers of the famous La Flor de Caña, great Nicaraguan rum, and of many many many other businesses), the lake Xolotlan, and a lot of green areas.
I loved the Sandino monument. It's... simple, yet so grand. Just like Sandino himself. A simple black monument of Sandino's figure, with his recognizable hat... So... unpretentious, yet so magnificent.
An organized chaos! Or, a chaotic organization. An impressive mixture of contrast! Huge, loud, relatively dirty, FUN and unbelievably joyful - Managua is all that, and more.
You cannot move without a car. All the interesting places that are to be seen are scattered throughout the city and... walking around is not an option. For one, the combination of "Celsius, Pascal and H2O in the air" kills any desire to make the effort and walk. And... it's true that there are certain places (even large intersections) where one could be the victim of a pickpocket (or even some meaner individuals) because anything that can be converted into money is a potential objective.
Don't get me wrong, I hate being paranoid and so far have not had such experiences, but I'm just saying. Managua is not exactly the safest place on the planet.
There have been a lot of changes in the appearance of the city after the earthquake in 1962 that destroyed Managua... completely. So, in the last 50 years the city has been growing more horizontally, and it has been said that it is now developing following the examples of the cities in the US - blocks are being built (so called "manzanas") which inevitably include a shopping mall, a McDonald's or a Pizza Hut.
To say that the contrasts are amazing is an understatement.
I mean, the chaos in Huembes (which is a market place and also a "bus station" for certain buses), the poor people around, the loud drivers looking for potential passengers... compared to Galeria Santo Domingo, one of the most luxurious shopping mall (not only in Managua), where 96% of the population most probably can't afford a singe item sold in the shops... That's Managua for you.
Granada Isletas, Granada, n/a, Nicaragua
Good for: Couples
Esquina de los Bancos 1C al Este, Leon, 00000, Nicaragua
Good for: Business
It felt like staying at Home in Nicaragua. The rooms are nice, very comfortable beds, a great...more
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