On arrival in Granada, our first stop in Nicaragua after leaving San Jose, we were struck by its vibrant colours, constant hum and the number of horses & carts on the streets. So called after its Spanish namesake, it is the former conservative capital and oldest colonial city (dating back to 1524) in the country. The architecture here reflects this, in particular with some stunning churches.
There is something to see on every corner in the centre, encouraging aimless wandering.
When we stayed in Casco Viejo, we were impressed by much of the doorway detail there, however Granada is another step up!
Some of the culinary staples that we had in Costa Rica – such as gallo pinto (fried rice and beans) and fried plantain (called tostones in Nicaragua) – are very much evident in the street food here as well. Local salty cheese and spicy, pickled cabbage are new additions for us. The city also features a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and bars aimed at international visitors, with cuisines from all over the world well represented.
The Parque de los Poetas, north of the centre, is dedicated to some of Nicaragua’s great poets, with their work scribed on novel sculptures.
Laguna de Apoyo is a large volcanic lake that is easy to visit on a day trip, but we decided to spend a couple of nights there. We found it very tranquil despite noisy residents such as parrots, howler monkeys (particularly at night) and roosters.
From dawn to dusk we swam, kayaked or paddle-boarded on the warm, blue, mineral-infused waters, as well as enjoying the occasional beer or cocktail.
Our Nicaraguan experience has gotten off to wonderful start and we look forward to discovering a lot more in the next two months.