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9 Awesome Things to Do in Granada, Nicaragua

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Granada is a wonderful and colorful city in Nicaragua, very popular on the gringo-track through the country. Full of culture, delicious food, and its fun back-packer vibes, this city is a must stop if you are traveling through Nicaragua. Check out all the best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua!

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Where is Granada, Nicaragua?

Granada is located in the center of the country, just 45 km south of the capital of Managua. It is located right next to Lake Nicaragua, and an hour and a half drive from the west coast.

where is Granada Nicaragua

Granada is located in the central western area of Nicaragua, just south of the capital.

Getting to Granada, Nicaragua 

Now that you know where Granada is located. let's go over how to get there!

What is the Closest Airport to Granada, Nicaragua?

The closest airport to Granada is Managua, which is the International airport. It is located about 45 minutes away, and can be reached by taking a bus or a taxi. 

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for flying to Managua from your city.

There are also plenty of buses that go from other cities to reach Granada such as Leon, Managua, and Rivas.

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Things to Do in Granada, Nicaragua

There are tons of things to do in Granada, Nicaragua, and around it Here are some of the awesome things you can do while you're in the area.

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Things to do in Granada Nicaragua #1: Wander the Colorful Streets

Granada is a favorite amongst tourists due to how charming it is. The brightly colored houses, restaurants, and churches will brighten anyone's day. Take some time to just wander the streets and admire the architecture.

Colorful Streets Granada

Granada is a super colorful city. Spend some time wandering around.

Things to do in Granada Nicaragua #2: People Watch in Parque Central

Right in the middle of Granada is the main square of Parque Central. Not only is it the cultural and social hub of the city, but there are plenty of reasons to visit. Surrounded by greenery, you will find an abundance of restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, and street vendors. The only thing we don't suggest here is to take the horse drawn carriages.

Parque Central, Granada

Parque Central is the main plaza of Granada, Nicaragua.

Things to do in Granada Nicaragua #3: Take a Trip to Masaya Volcano

Our favorite thing that we did was visit the Masaya Volcano. We normally don't opt for tours and like to go on our own, but we were so glad that we did the tour. There are two times that you can go, and its a day visit or a sunset visit.

The park actually closes for a few hours in between, so tour companies all line up at the gate at least a half hour before opening time. If you decide to go on your own, make sure that you go early, and are prepared for the walk once you enter. It is a few kilometres, and is advisable to try and get a ride once inside, so that you don't miss the sunset.

Masaya Volcano, best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua, Central America

Visiting Masaya Volcano is a truly unique experience and one of the best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua

When there, use your time wisely, as you will have only a hour to see everything. Hike to the top of the hill on the left for some great views!

Things to do in Granada, Nicaragua #4: Sail Around the Many Islets

Did you know there are 365 islets on Lake Nicaragua? Take a boat trip and explore the many islands. Tours include music, beverages, and good company, making it the perfect trip to take and the opportunity to make some new friends, while enjoying the beautiful nature that this area has to offer.

Islets de Granada, Nicaragua212

Sailing around the islets of Granada, Nicaragua is one of the best ways to connect with the beautiful nature in the area.

Things to do in Granada, Nicaragua #5: Learn How to Roll a Cigar

Want to do something unique in Granada? Located right in the city is a cigar factory, where you can learn all about the process of making cigars, and then get the chance to hand-roll your own, for a really authentic souvenir!

Mombacho Cigars has tours a few times daily. The tour is around $10 USD, and if you want to add the experience of rolling your own handmade cigar and keeping it, its just an extra $10.

Things to do in Granada Nicaragua #6: Check out the Chocolate Factory

While you've now learned about how cigars are made, why not learn about the art of chocolate making? Head to ChocoMuseo for a really incredible experience! Tours are free and really fun. Our guide was fantastic and engaging, making this an unforgettable experience.

Try different chocolate liquors, tea, brownies, and even lotions! In addition, they even make their own all-natural version of Nutella. We definitely suggest leaving a tip, and taking some goodies to go for your family and friends.

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Things to do in Granada, Nicaragua #7: Visit Apoyo Lagoon

Apoyo Lagoon is one of the most popular day trips from Granada. Lying right in the middle of a crater of a volcanic chain running from North to South Nicaragua, this place is the prefect spot to relax and cool off from the heat of the city.

Tours are offered in any hostel around Granada, or you can hop on the local bus if you have more time to play with.

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Things to do in Granada, Nicaragua #8: Hike up Mombacho Volcano

Mombacho Volcano is one of the most famous volcanoes in the country, and is just south of the city, making it one of the best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua. The reserve has hiking trails, a cloud forest, and coffee plantations, making it easy to spend quite a few hours enjoying the area. Tours are available for around $25- $50 depending on which activities you'd like to do.

If you'd like a more budget friendly option, you can hop on the local bus towards Rivas or Nandaime, and get off at the entrance in just 20 minutes. 4x4s are offered to take you to the top of the volcano, but if you'd really like to save you can brave the steep hike to the top. Get there early so its not too unbearably hot! You'll be rewarded with some pretty spectacular views.

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9. Climb up to the Bell Tower of Iglesia Merced

Iglesia Merced is a the most beautiful church in the center of Granada, and just a short walk from Parque Central. You can climb up the spiral staircase for just $1 to have the best views of the city, Apoyo Lagoon, and Mombacho Volcano.

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Typical Food in Granada, Nicaragua

Eating the local food was one of our favorite things to do in Granada. Nicaraguan food was hands down our favorite in Central America. Every dish we tried we just loved, and the portions always generous, and prices cheap. Here are some of our personal favorites.


This is THE dish of Granada, so you can't leave this city without trying it. Head to Parque Central and go to the small kiosk in the square and get a bowl of this traditional dish. It consists of a cabbage salad, boiled yuca, and charrascas, all wrapped in a banana leaf.

Vigoron, granada

Vigoron is the number one must try dish while visiting Granada, Nicaragua.


Quesillo is a quick and cheap street food, good for any time of the day. This is a toasted corn tortilla with cheese and a dollop of crema, and can have any kind of savory ingredient added as well.

Jalapeño Chicken 

This grilled chicken is smothered in a jalapeño cream sauce, and seriously one of the best dishes we had in Nicaragua. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be just for those who love spice! You can always ask to keep it mild.

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Desayuno Nica (Nicaraguan Breakfast)

Breakfast was definitely one of our favorite meals of the day in Nicaragua. Eggs, rice & beans, plantains, fried cheese, and cream make the perfect meal to start your day with all of the adventures ahead!

Nicaraguan Breakfast

A Nicaraguan breakfast is filling, delicious, and cheap.


Nacatamals are Nicaraguan tamales, and can be found sold right on the streets, making the perfect to go snack, or even a meal. These steamed corn cakes are similar to Mexican tamales, but are larger and have much more added, such as meat, tomatoes, and potatoes, all wrapped in a banana leaf. (Don't eat the leaf though!).


Fritanga is a must try in Nicaragua. A platter of anything you could ever want- chicken, steak, pork, plantains, rice, beans, corn, cheese, and more! This barbecued meal is great for sharing with friends. Heading to Managua?  Check out the restaurant "De Mi Tierra" for the best fritanga!

Fritanga Nicaragua

Fritanga is the perfect meal to share with a large group of family or friends.

How to Get Around Granada, Nicaragua

The city of Granada itself is small enough to walk on foot, but if you would like to go outside the city there are plenty of local buses.

Granada is one of the main hubs and most popular cities for tourists to visit, making it very well connected with the rest of the country. Next stop? We suggest heading to Managua, Ometepe, or San Juan del Sur.

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Where to Stay in Granada, Nicaragua

With its fun and colorful vibes, we think Granada is the perfect place to stay in a hostel. This way you can meet friends and do some really fun activities. We stayed at Hostel De Boca en Boca, and it was clean, fun, and easy to meet other travellers. 

They also had great tours for reasonable prices. Our favorite part? Even though they don't have a pool, they have a relationship with another place that let you swim there for free. Trust us, you will really appreciate having this option, as Granada is hot!

Il Padrino is a great family run hotel that is centrally located and good for those who want a clean place and a little more privacy.

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Selina Hostel is the one we would have stayed at if there was room. Selina is a chain of hostels in the Americas and is clean, chic, and has great amenities. Being located right in Parque Central, its also in the center of it all.

Mansion de Chocolate is for those chocolate lovers out there! This boutique hotel is a five patio mansion equipped with a pool and some really beautiful decor.

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Weather/ What to Pack for Granada, Nicaragua

When we say Granada is hot, we really mean it. We suggest to bring the lightest clothing you have, and a bathing suit, because you will definitely want to cool off in a pool or at the lake. 

Not only is it hot, but during the rainy season, you guessed it, it also rains a lot. We suggest bringing a small umbrella or poncho so you don't get soaked! The weather can be tricky as it can be sunny one moment, and then pour the next. So better to be prepared just in case!

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Granada has plenty of things to do and see in and around the area. We would definitely designate at least 3 or 4 days to fully enjoy all that this great place has to offer!

Now that you know the best things to do in Granada, Nicaragua, let's check out some other great places to check out nearby! Check out our articles for the beautiful island of Ometepe, or the home of Central America's best Sunday Funday in San Juan del Sur!

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