Explore the beautiful city of Granada
Founded by the Spanish in 1523, Granada has a number of antiquated ornate churches and old Spanish-style buildings that date back to the colonial period. It is sometimes called 'The Great Sultana' in recognition of its beautiful colonial architectural heritage. Even though it was badly damaged during the mid-1850s whilst being captured by the American William Walker, it is still a popular city and is one of the country's main destinations for international travelers.
Situated less than 30 km from the country's international airport, Granada is an excellent starting point for visiting some of the Nicaragua's main attractions. These attractions include viewing some of the active volcanoes in the area, enjoying a visit to a cloud forest ecosystem – something somewhat unique to the area – or enjoying some of the many beaches lapped by the Pacific Ocean. You can also take in the natural beauty of Lake Cocibolca or spend time amongst nature enjoying natural wonders such as the annual sea turtle egg-laying. Granada is at the center of it all!
When you're not out and about enjoying the wonders of nature, you can spend time discovering the city. Like most colonial cities in this part of the world, the whole metropolis is built around a main square known as Parque Central. This is really Granada's social, cultural and economic hub. It is in and around Parque Central that you will find Granada's cathedral, city hall, cultural centers, banks and hundreds of small shops and stalls which are dedicated to the sale of traditional food and hand crafted goods – the perfect place to get some mementoes of your trip. To the west of the main square, you will find the central market – great for fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese and meat.
You may also make your way down 'La Calzada' Avenue, which is flanked by large colonial houses known as "casonas" and interesting churches. It ends on the lakeshore of Nicaragua Lake where you will find a beautiful boulevard for pleasant evening strolls. You will also find the 'Centro Turistico' here, where you can enjoy restaurants, beaches and discos. Most of the attractions can be reached on foot and are most enjoyable.