Granada Journals

Two Worlds Collide in Granada, Nicaragua

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A January 2007 trip to Granada by ext212

Colorful buildings Photo, Granada, Nicaragua More Photos
Quote: Granada is at once a colonial town and the most developed tourist destination in Nicaragua.

Two Worlds Collide in Granada, Nicaragua

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Overview

Colorful buildings Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
Granada is at once a colonial town and the most developed tourist destination in Nicaragua. We used Granada as our base camp for visits to Volcan Mombacho and Laguna de Apoyo, as well as our starting point towards the Pacific Ocean.Even though it's developed, the town still has a relaxed feel to it. The locals are happy to talk to you and help you if you have any questions about familiar tourist destinations. Prices are still cheap in Nicaragua--oh, how long until it becomes the monstrosity that is Costa Rica?--so better visit now before the golf courses start to appear.Quick Tips: Skip the sooty city of Managua and spend a couple of days in Granada instead. Granada is so laid...Read More

Hospedaje La Siesta

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Hotel

Hospedaje La Siesta Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
Boris Francoise of Hospedaje La Siesta was the first to email me back when I was inquiring for a place to stay in Granada. He's originally from Normandy, but is now a Granada resident after marrying a Nicaraguan from Leon.La Siesta is modest, albeit with a small open courtyard, and offers a private room for two people with private bath for US$15 a night. A large closet separated our bathroom with incredibly lukewarm shower water from our double bed.Boris and his wife are extremely helpful. Together, they speak English, French, and Spanish, and they also offer language classes for an extra fee. They insisted on talking to us in Spanish, which helped us practice and prepared us f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Hospedaje La Siesta
Calle El Almendro
Granada, Nicaragua
(505) 552 3292

Dona Olga

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Restaurant

Fryyyy chicken! Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
It's not a restaurant per se, because Dona Olga barbecues chicken on a grill right on the corner of Avenida Bodan, but she has two plastic tables and several plastic chairs if you prefer to eat your chicken out on the street instead of in front of your TV back in your hotel.Dona Olga was recommended to us by Hospedaje La Siesta, where we were staying in Granada. We wanted something Nicaraguan for our first dinner. A plate of barbecued chicken with a mountain of tostones (fried green plantains) and platano maduros (fried ripe plantains) and coleslaw cost us 35 cordovas each. Dona Olga actually just sits on her rocking chair outside. Some other lady does all the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Nica Buffet

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Restaurant

Nica Buffet Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
You'll notice that Nica Buffet is recommended in every Nicaraguan guide book. Deservingly so, because it's the only place we were able to buy decent morning coffee in Granada.The cheery Dutch owner (take any Dutch away from gloomy Netherlands and he's what you get) happily serves his customers while his staff cooks pancakes with local fruits and traditional Nicaraguan breakfasts like gallo pinto (rice with red beans, huevos rancheros, plantains). We ordered both the pancakes and the gallo pinto during our visit there. Although I rarely eat pancakes to fairly judge Nica Buffet's version, their gallo pinto is comparable with what we ate in all of Nicaragua...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Nica Buffet
Calle Corazan
Granada, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

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Attraction | "Laguna de Apoyo"

Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
Laguna de Apoyo is Nicaragua's deepest and bluest lake trapped inside the crater of Volcan Apoyo. It measures 48-square kilometers and about 700 feet deep, so it's quite a challenge to swim laps or kayak around it.What you can do, though, is sit by its beach and laze around with your favorite book under a shade. We signed up with Hostal Oasis in Granada for 250 cordovas each to spend a whole day at Crater's Edge, their sister hotel right by the lake. The fee included round-trip transportation by shuttle van (the ride from Granada is about half an hour), sandwiches and drinks for lunch and the use of their hammocks, kayaks and beach chairs. Although considered dormant, the last earthqua...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Granada, Nicaragua

Volcan Mombacho

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Attraction

Volcan Mombacho Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
Nicaragua has at least twelve volcanoes you can hike. We first visited Volcan Mombacho because it was only a 20-minute bus ride from Granada. The bus from Shell Palmira cost 12 cordovas per person and the fee to hike was 100 cordovas for 2 people via the Biological Center at the bottom of the volcano, or Plan de las Flores.Volcan Mombacho is the perpetual backdrop in a lot of Nicaraguan postcards. Fundacion Cocibolca maintains the concrete streets up the volcano and protects the cloud forest 4,000 feet up.Starting at 10am, you can walk from the highway to the Biological Center (about 30 minutes, more if you're not a New Yorker) and sign up for the shuttle up the volcano. (We just told ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Volcan Mombacho
Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua

Volcan Mombacho

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Attraction | "Mombacho Canopy Tour"

Volcan Mombacho Photo, Granada, Nicaragua
Quote:
On our way back down from Volcan Mombacho, we decided to pay US$25 each to do the canopy tour and zip line from 17 platforms. The canopies are attached to giant trees suspended over the coffee farm of El Progreso, all surrounding the volcano.The entire zip line course runs 1,500 meters and there is a hanging and shaky rope bridge to cross from one of the platforms. The last step is to rappel from a large ceiba tree 23 meters down to the Cuttire Farm.It was beautiful up there. You can see Lake Cocibolca from some of the platforms. A coffee plantation was right below us. The massive trees look so alive with orchids and ferns growing from their branches. The 13 horizontal zip line...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2007

Volcan Mombacho
Nicaragua
Granada, Nicaragua