Located 27 miles (45 Km) from Managua on the north shore of Lake Nicaragua; the main highway from Managua to Granada is a very scenic route like most of them in the country. Once you arrive to this colonial city you have so many different attractions during the day as well as for the night that makes this unique city a must.
Founded in 1524 by the Spanish Conqueror Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba it stands at the foot of Mombacho Volcano on the northwestern shores of Lake Nicaragua. Since then Granada was attacked three times by French and English Pirates, and in 1856 Granada was torched by the infamous American William Walker.
Today, Granada is still a prosperous port and community set amidst to an astonishing landscape. It offers a trip back in time with all its colonial structure as well as for its folkloric heritage.
Granada is also a port for small boats that can take you around the 365 islets of volcanic origin on Lake Nicaragua, a normal trip around the islets can take you about an hour; some of the 365 islets are inhabit and most of them are covered with unusual vegetation, and are rich with bird life. Visitors to the islets may feel like they are in the south sea, the islets are separated by canals were the fishermen, sit patiently on Indian rafts waiting for a bite.
One of the archeological sites of the islets is the San Pablo Fortress located strategically on an island opposite to the city. The San Pablo Fortress was built in the mid 18 undreds to protect Granada from the raiding pirates. It was restored in 1974. Pre-Columbian stone pieces were found on the Pensacola Islet and are on exhibit in the Museum of convent San Francisco.
Near Granada, you can visit the extinct Mombacho Volcano, which rises 4,593 feet above sea level. Its sides are covered with vegetation and very prosperous coffee plantations; you can also find 30 different varieties of orchids.
Zapatera Island is about an hour away from Granada on boat from the islets. This beautiful island has dense forest, which surrounds many important archeological sites. This island was once an Indian burial ground, And for this reason it has been declared a national park.