Founded in 1524, Granada enjoys the distinction of being the oldest colonial city in the Americas that still remains in the same place of its foundation. Situated on the edge of Lake Nicaragua and in the shadow of Mombacho volcano, Granada is a romantic city of colorful colonial homes and neoclassical and baroque churches.
In this relaxed and mellow city, you can enjoy one of the most pleasant parks in Latin America. You can wonder in the buildings and stores around Central Park, also known as Parque Colon, including the “Palacio de Cultura Joaquin Cuadra Pasos”, on the west side.
On the south east corner you will find Granada’s Cathedral, the City Hall, La Gran Francia, a building dating back to the founding of the city and which has been reconstructed to reflect the finest colonial architecture of that period.
On the north end of the plaza on the right side, you will see a stone portico with lions, the only surviving portion of the original building burnt by a USA filibuster called William Walker. Today is a cultural place known as Casa de los Tres Mundos; this house is a perfect sample of colonial architecture. Your next stop should be in the oldest church of Central America the San Francisco Church and Convent, which was founded in 1529, and houses archaeological treasures from Zapatera Island, a primitive art exhibit, and historical displays. Horse –drawn carriages, called “los coches”, are another way to tour the city in order to look for the Spanish tiles roof marking the city and highlighting historical sites and events, including the homes of past presidents and the exploits of William Walker.
Walk by Lake Nicaragua or Lake Cocibolca for the cool breeze and views. Just off Granada, in the lake, are Las Isletas, made up of more than 350 islands created when the Mombacho volcano exploded 20,000 years ago. This is a beautiful excursion in a setting of tiny tropical islands richly covered in vegetation and many with private houses. In addition to the interesting flora and fauna of Las Isletas, you will also find one island with the remains of a fort, El Fuerte San Pablo, built in 1748. On the shore of the lake, we have the imposing Mombacho Volcano, with its thick cloud forest, cool climate, well –marked trails, biological station and wonderful views of Granada and Las Isletas.
On August 15th Granada celebrates its local festival in honor of the assumption of Virgin Mary. The ambiance found in Granada will transport you to the colonial days making your stay in this beautiful city a unique experience.