If you’re looking for a city destination which gives a fascinating glimpse into its history and is set amongst some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world, then Granada is the place for you. Granada is located along the shores of Lake Nicaragua, the world’s twentieth largest lake and amongst several towering volcanoes. The city was established in the sixteenth century and became an important outpost of the Spanish empire. Often the target of pirates, Granada’s heritage can be seen in its splendid colonial architecture which is considered to be some of the best preserved anywhere.
Granada has a peaceful atmosphere, enhanced by the pastel shades of the many beautiful colonial buildings. The cathedral, which was originally built in the late 16th century, dominates the city with it’s majestic yellow and white bell tower and beautiful dome. Destroyed in 1856 and rebuilt in 1915, the cathedral retains it’s outward colonial splendour, but step inside and you’ll find a sense of space and calm as you take in the intricate statues around the building.
See the sights in style
Taking a horse and carriage ride around the city is the best way to appreciate the many charming mansions and houses of Granada, the splendid San Juan de Dios Hospital and the ancient Fortaleza La Polvora. A visit to the museum of San Fransisco will give you a chance to delve even further back in time with its collection of pre-Columbian statues.
Sail around the islands
Dotted around the lake close to Nicaragua are around 365 islands that make up Las Isletas. Enjoy these lush green islands with their amazing bird populations on a boat ride. It’s also a great way to see the Spanish fortress, which was built to protect the city from pirates in the 17th century and the awe-inspiring volcanoes which tower over the lake.
Venture up a volcano
If you want a more active view of the local volcano, why not take a hike up Volcan Mombacho. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning cloud top forest and you can also take a tour of a coffee plantation. For the most daring, there is even the chance to experience the volcano from a zip wire. Also worth is a visit is the smouldering crater of nearby Volcan Masaya.
A city of many delights
There are many ways to experience the historical and natural delights of Granada: take your time as you amble on foot around the charming city streets, take your ease on a traditional horse and carriage ride or take to the water as you feast your eyes on islands and volcanoes.