If you’ve thought about coming to Nicaragua, chances are you’ve heard of Granada. It’s the most popular spot for tourists to visit (though we’re super partial to Playa Maderas, if you know you know). Around every corner, you’ll find brightly colored buildings perfect for some fire gram content, old af colonial churches, and local markets.
Where To See The Sights
1. Iglesia de la Merced
This church was one of the highlights of our walking tour. The interior is beautiful, and the bell tower is the cherry on the top. For $1, you can climb the spiral stairwell up to the roof for panoramic views of Granada. This is the only spot you’re gonna see all the way from Mombacho Volcano to Lake Nicaragua. We went during the day, but we have heard from many people that the sunset up there is gorgeous. Check it out and let us know.
2. Volcán Masaya
Science nerds, brace yourselves. A real, live volcano, up close and personal. We freaked out, too. Drive through the national park right up to the crater and get ready to be mesmerized by the smoke and hot lava bubbling down below. We highly recommend getting there before sunset, so you get to see the action in daylight AND the insane red lava glow after dark. Hike the ridge to the top during golden hour for views of the other craters. You can’t miss out on this stop; it’s something none of us will ever forget.
Where To Eat
3. Pita Pita
We went IN at Pita Pita. It’s a bomb Meditteranean and Middle Eastern restaurant right in Granada's downtown area, perfect for lunch and relaxing in the back zen-like garden area after a long day of walking around. Their specialty tasting plates with homemade dips, falafel, pita (really all of the things) are a must-try. After you’ve gotten your snack on, order a couple of their massive dishes to share. We loved the “Jerusalem” plate with chicken, veggies, and more pita (because, duh). Finish off your meal with a watermelon mojito, complete with a watermelon and cheese “kabob.” We’ve never had cheese as a cocktail decoration before, but we can’t say we’re mad at it.
Searching for a great cup of coffee in Granada? Look no further than The Garden Cafe. We stopped in early Sunday morning for our caffeine fill-up and had to go back later to shop around the boutique and hang out. You would have found us posted up on the couches with our drinks reading through the stacks of books from their many bookshelves. They also whip healthy bowls, salads, and sandwiches. It’s the place to be for good vibes and fresh food.
Where To Stay
Right in the heart of the square, Selina is your budget-friendly option for private or shared rooms (and air conditioning), a cowork and community vibe, and party nights three times a week. We stayed here on Saturday night, and it was the perfect central location to go out and explore during the day and return to a poppin’ neon party at night. A live DJ, flowing drinks, and glow-in-the-dark paint were exactly what we needed.
6. Tribal Hotel
For a more upscale, luxurious stay, hit up the Tribal Hotel. We strolled by here and were immediately drawn into the tropical garden oasis. Each room has a private terrace where you get your included breakfast served daily. Talk about service. The communal area and pool cabanas are the ideal spots for sunbathing and hanging out with your fellow travelers. If you find yourself here with a bae, the nightly candlelit areas are perfect for some romance.
Granada was the perfect weekend trip from our home base in Playa Maderas. You don’t need long to see some of the country's coolest nature and cultural spots. There are a ton of more "undiscovered gem" areas of Nica that we love. Check out our post on some of our fav local spots in Playa Maderas and San Juan del Sur, make a trip over, and see what we mean.
Posted on Wed 19 Jan 2022 · by Katie Bauer