Fall in Love with Granada, Nicaragua in Photos

Granada is the colonial jewel of Nicaragua ~ a bright & colorful city that offers up every color of the rainbow within one city block.  Ask most Nicaraguans what their favorite city is, & they’ll likely tell you, “Granada.”  Personally, I fell in love with this beautiful place the moment I set foot in her main square.  Next to a line-up of elegant horse-drawn carriages, under the shade of a yellow cathedral: an absolutely iconic Central American image.  So take a stroll through this charming city with me, as we take a look at Granada, Nicaragua in photos….

Granada, Nicaragua in Photos, Girl Who Travels the World

The yellow cathedral that presides over Granada, Nicaragua

Map of Granada

How to Get to Granada, Nicaragua

From Managua to Granada, Nicaragua: At the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or grab a bus to Granada.  The distance is 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, & takes around an hour to drive.  A good stop en route is Volcan Masaya ~ a smoking, active volcano that’s right on the way.  A taxi from the airport costs around $30-40, rental cars will vary, & the bus will cost you less than $10.  But you’ll need to take a taxi downtown to catch the bus.

From San Juan del Sur to Granada, Nicaragua: San Juan del Sur, a popular beach town, is on most tourist’s Nicaragua checklists. The distance between San Juan del Sur & Granada is 98 kilometers, or 60 miles, & takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. Options are car rental, taxi, or bus.

Granada, Nicaragua in Photos….

Granada, Nicaragua Photos

View of the cathedral from Parque Centrale, the main square in Granada.

Granada…a Resilient City

Though Granada has been burned down THREE times ~ yes, three!  You would never know it.  Each time, her proud citizens have built their city back all over again.  Whether pirates came in & pillaged her, or a wild American named William Walker came in & overthrew the city’s leadership, stealing her many riches ~ Granada came back from what looked like total defeat.  She rebuilt.  And you would never know today, walking around town, that the city has been through so much turmoil.  Granada is dignified & elegant, & it’s still evident how proud all Nicaraguans are of this beautiful city.

Granada, Nicaragua Photos

View of Granada from the top of La Merced belltower

Expats Buying Up Property…

When you’re in Granada, you’ll meet tourists from all over the world.  I happened to meet a lot of Canadians, some of whom live in Nicaragua part-time.  Locals told me that many ex-pats are buying up beautiful colonial homes in Granada & restoring them.  This is good, in that it brings money into the community.  But on the other hand, it’s also driving up home prices for locals, & pushing them towards the outskirts of town. 

Hotel Dario, which is pictured below, is a great example of the beautiful colors used in this city ~ & the dignified presence their buildings have.  You can check prices at Hotel Dario here.

Granada, Nicaragua Photos

I passed Hotel Dario every day on my city walks & always loved seeing its beautiful exterior.

My Favorite Things to Do in Granada!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...
  • My Favorite Place to Eat:  The Garden Cafe. Phenomenal breakfast, lunch, coffee ~ & a great place to work!
  • Favorite Walk in Granada:  Along the main drag, Calle La Calzada, down towards Lago de Nicaragua.
  • Best Tacos in Granada:  Taco Stop, at Calle El Arsenal & Calle Atravesada ~ a local’s favorite.
  • Best Pool in Granada:  Huge pool at Hotel Granada, on Calle La Calzada.  It’s huge & has a fun bar.
  • Best View in Town:  Top of La Merced, the belltower, Calle Real Xalteva & Calle 14 de Septiembre
  • Best Bookstore:  Caddy-corner from the Garden Cafe
  • Favorite Nearby Activities:  Hiking Mombacho Volcano, relaxing at Laguna de Apoyo, & night-hiking at Volcan Masaya….which was absolutely incredible!

Granada, Nicaragua in Photos

Another beautiful square in Granada, with a view towards Iglesia de Xalteva.

Granada, Nicaragua in Photos

View towards Volcan Mombacho from one of the rooms at Casa del Consulado.

I took a tour of Casa del Consulado during my month-long stay in Granada & absolutely loved it.  They’ve got gorgeous, stone-covered walk-in showers & exceptional views from their balconies.  Plus, bougainvillea drips down the sides of the hotel…. 


This is a great hotel choice if you choose to stay in Granada.

Granada, Nicaragua in Photos

Incredible views from the bell tower at La Merced.

Granada, Nicaragua Photos

One of the many beautiful churches in town, across from Hotel Granada


GWTW Tip: Wander into the courtyards of Granada ~ because all of the best things in Granada are hidden! Whether it’s hammocks hiding in a hotel courtyard, a cozy bookstore, or a restaurant tucked away behind a fragrant garden ~ you’ll find all of the best things by wandering into courtyards.  Even ask hotels if you can take a peek around…most are happy to oblige!

Granada, Nicaragua Photos

That covers our tour of Granada in a nutshell!  I really loved this city.  For more articles on Nicaragua, check out my thoughts on solo female travel in the country….or read about awesome adventures to have on Ometepe Island.

xoxo Noelia

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Take a Tour of Granada, Nicaragua in Photos, Girl Who Travels the World