Granada, the oldest Colonial city in the Americas, is a gemstone that in the past few years has been picked up, polished off and is beginning to shine. Located only one hour from the capital of Managua and 1.5 hours from the Pacific coast, Granada is a great place to make a base and travel the country.
The architecture alone is enough to make Granada a memorable destination but there is so much more here to see. The churches and cathedral are one of a kind and are being renovated to show off the splendor of the city. Granada is also a city of culture with museums, art galleries, music, dance and live theatre. Artisans are abundant and you can find everything from carved wooden pieces to silver and beaded jewelry. There is an art school, music school, dance and even clown school. Head to the park and grab a horse drawn buggy and take a tour of the city. Hear about the exploits of the American filibuster. William Walker, who declared himself president of Nicaragua back in 1856, only to be run out of the country a year later.
The isletas (small islands), all 352 of them, form a chain on the banks of Lake Nicaragua, the world’s 10th largest lake. You can take a boat tour of the isletas and see mangroves, monkeys, birds and, of course, the homes of some of Nicaragua’s wealthiest landowners.
There are approximately 167,000 people living in Granada; a 50% increase from 10 years ago. There is a large community of expatriates who have made Granada their home because of the low cost of living and the tranquil way of life. Amazingly enough, Granada has a large contingency of mature, single women who find Granada to be a safe haven and with many business opportunities. Tourism is growing and along with it comes opportunity. The face of the city is changing and Granada is now Nicaragua’s top tourist destination.