The Best Things to Do in Granada, Nicaragua: Top Activities and Attractions

Located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Granada is a charming colonial city in Nicaragua that is known for its colorful architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua

History of Granada

Granada is a city in western Nicaragua, located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. It was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in 1524, making it one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. Granada was an important center of trade and commerce during the colonial period, and its historic architecture and cultural heritage reflect this rich history.

Throughout the centuries, Granada has faced many challenges, including invasions by English pirates, attacks by indigenous peoples, fires, and earthquakes. In fact, the city was destroyed several times by fire and rebuilt, and was also devastated by a major earthquake in 1972. Despite these challenges, Granada has persevered and today is a thriving city with a rich cultural heritage, attracting tourists from around the world to experience its colonial architecture, museums, and vibrant nightlife.

Best Things To Do in Granada, Nicaragua

Granada is a must-visit destination in Nicaragua with its rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic views.  Here are some of the top activities and attractions that you can enjoy during your visit to Granada:

Take a Walking Tour of the City Center

The best way to explore the historic heart of Granada is on foot. Joining a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide will allow you to learn more about the city’s fascinating history and architecture. The city center is filled with beautiful colonial-era buildings and churches, such as the Cathedral of Granada, the San Francisco Convent, and the La Merced Church.

Visit the Chocolate Museum

For chocolate lovers, a visit to the ChocoMuseo is a must. Located in the heart of Granada, this museum offers a hands-on experience where you can learn about the history and process of chocolate making. You can even participate in a chocolate-making workshop and create your own chocolate treats to take home.

Take a Boat Tour of Lake Nicaragua and Las Isletas

Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater lake in Central America, and taking a boat tour is a great way to explore the surrounding area. During the tour, you can see the Mombacho Volcano, Islets of Granada, and various bird species. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some monkeys! Las Isletas is a picturesque chain of islands on Lake Nicaragua. Take a tour to explore the islands and enjoy the stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscape.

Climb the Bell Tower of La Merced Church

For breathtaking views of Granada and the surrounding landscape, climb to the top of the bell tower of La Merced Church. From the top, you can see the entire city and the Mombacho Volcano in the distance.

Explore the Market

The Mercado Municipal is a vibrant market in the heart of Granada that offers a glimpse into the daily life of locals. You can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local cuisine. Be sure to try some traditional Nicaraguan dishes like Gallo Pinto or Vigorón.

The Best Time to Visit Granada

The best time to visit Granada is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for exploring the city and surrounding areas.

Best Tips for Visiting Granada, Nicaragua

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as the streets and sidewalks can be uneven.
  • Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Bargaining is common in the market, so don’t be afraid to negotiate prices.

How to Get to Granada

Granada is located about an hour’s drive from Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. You can take a taxi or hire a private shuttle from the airport or your hotel. Alternatively, you can take a public bus, but be prepared for a longer travel time and crowded conditions.


Born and raised in Guatemala Paula currently calls Florida home, where she lives with her husband, two teens and two Goldendoodles. Paula is passionate about travel and writing, and she is on a mission to inspire people to explore the hidden gems of Central America while dispelling myths and fears about the region's safety. You can catch her travel stories and recommendations on and She also loves to create personalize travel itineraries using her expertise about the area. With her deep connection to Central America's vibrant cultures and landscapes, Paula is your guide to discovering the beauty and culture of this enchanting part of the world. She loves crafting personalized travel itinerary for those seeking unforgettable journeys through Central America. And when she's not writing or planning incredible trips, Paula loves whipping up delicious Guatemalan dishes, kayaking and chasing sunsets at the beach.

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