A trip to Nicaragua would be incomplete without spending at least a couple of nights in Granada, one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas. Characterized by colonial Spanish architecture, this bustling city is full of culture and charm.
Looking for something to do in Granada, Nicaragua? Here are our picks for the top 10 cultural activities to enjoy in Granada, Nicaragua:
1. Eat Vigorón in Central Park
Adjacent to la Iglesia San Francisco, Central Park is easily one of the most recognizable places in Nicaragua. Kiosks line the corners of the park and serve up vigorón, a delicious local dish. Consisting of boiled yucca, pork rinds, cabbage slaw, vinegar, and chile, vigorón is full of local flavors. Grab a bite and maybe a Toña, sit back, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
2. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride around Town
Horse-drawn carriages crowd the streets next to Central Park. Enjoy a sense of old-world whimsy as you meander down colorful streets and past all the main churches. Be sure to take in the local architecture and pace of life in Granada as you make your way around town.
3. Visit Iglesia San Francisco
Iglesia San Francisco is the oldest church in Central America. Climb up to the bell tower and treat yourself to stunning views of the city or explore the church museum, which houses many treasures including ancient statues from nearby Zapatera Island.
4. Stop byMi Museo
This collection of ceramics and statues cannot be missed. The museum is a fantastic introduction to ancient Nicaraguan culture and features discoveries from the Pre-Columbian era.
5. Roll your own cigar with Mombacho Cigars
This up-and-coming cigar maker can be found close to the central park. They offer tours where you can see the cigars being made as well as the chance to roll your own or try some of their varieties in the lounge.
6. Stroll through the Cemetery
It may sound a little creepy at first, but Granada’s cemetery is breathtaking and includes hundreds of decorative tombs and mausoleums.
7. Visit Casa de los Tres Mundos
Casa de los Tres Mundos is a cultural gem of the Granada. The beautiful mansion always has something to do and often hosts poetry readings, art exhibitions, and movie screenings. Be sure to stop by to learn about upcoming events!
8. Tour Las Isletas
The ‘Isletas de Granada’ are 350+ small islands just off the coast of Granada in the massive Lake Nicaragua. The islands were formed by an ancient eruption of nearby Volcán Mombacho. You can take a boat ride, kayak, or paddleboard through the isletas to catch a glimpse of tropical birds and a unique way of life.
9. Window shop on “Calle Comercio.”
This hustle and bustle street provides a true taste of Granada. Watch out for taxis, bicycles, and buses trying to make their way through. Vendors hawking street food, produce, bootleg movies, cell phones, and just about everything in between can be found here. Duck into the main city market if this street gets to be too overwhelming for you.
10. Experience the nightlife of La Calzada.
Granada is a hoppin’ city, especially Thursday through Saturday. Nightlife centers around La Calzada, the main tourist street that runs east of Central Park, and spreads out throughout downtown as the night goes on. Whether you want to dance or just relax, there’s a place for you. Have fun but be careful as petty theft is common throughout the area.
Interested in exploring the culture of Nicaragua?
Discover Nicaragua’s cultural hotspots with Pacaya Lodge and Spa. Check out our 3-, 5-, and 7-day full service Cultural Explorer packages here, or contact us to learn more about a Nicaragua culture tour.