Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for visiting Granada, Nicaragua by A4A guest writer, Darrell Whaley.

On the western shores of Lake Nicaragua sits the Spanish colonial city of Granada. A city filled with bright colors and beautiful architecture. It was founded in 1524 and is thought of as one of the first European cities in North America. Any visit to Nicaragua is incomplete without going to Granada and here are just a few of the many reasons why.

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Catedral de Granada

Masaya Markets

Mercado de Artesanias de Masaya is home to multitudes of merchants. In this market you will find many homemade or carved gifts, which are perfect to bring home as presents for family or even something unique to keep at home and remind you of your trip. Even though the market sits in a quite large area, the selection of items for sale is similar between most vendors. This gives an opportunity to haggle down the price at different shops and not feel worried about walking away from a store and missing out on the specific item you want. Try to time your visit to Masaya with one of their many festivals throughout the year.

Masaya Market

Masaya Volcano

If ever there was a time to visit Granada, that time is now! Due to recent earthquakes in Nicaragua, it is currently possible to see a constant flow of lava from the top of the Masaya Volcano. This is one of a handful of places in the world to see lava actively moving from a volcano’s crater and we were lucky enough to visit Masaya Volcano at night to see this spectacular sight.

No one knows how long this view will last or what will happen with it in the near future, but with the increase of earthquakes in Nicaragua recently, some scientist speculate the volcano itself may be building up pressure to explode. Just last year, Chantell had visited Granada and viewed Masaya Volcano in the exact same spot and there was no lava anywhere close to the top. Make sure to see this incredible sight as soon as possible!

Lava flowing in Volcano Masaya

Laguna de Apoyo

Laguna de Apoyo is a volcanic lake set in the caldera of an extinct volcano about 30 minutes drive from Granada. A nice place for a day trip, Laguna de Apoyo attracts visitors with its unique views and relaxing vibes of swimming, kayaking, and hiking. Many companies offer round trip shuttle service from Granada to a hostel at the Lagoon with available food and drink service for a small price. There are many options so look to find the best one suited for you.

Laguna de Apoyo

Hotel Plaza Colon

During our visit to Granada we stayed at the Hotel Plaza Colon, which is right in front of Parque Colon, the beautiful and always bustling Central Park containing La Merced Church. Hotel Plaza Colon is a fully restored antique colonial house that has been updated in sheer luxury.

Hotel Plaza Colon offers 27 luxury guest rooms, with 5 style options. We stayed in the Double Superior option. Here we had the availability of 2 extremely comfortable double beds, a ceiling fan and AC unit, minibar, coffee pot and coffee, cable tv, and a useful safety deposit box to store our passports in. There was even a perfectly sized desk to use for work.

Double Superior Room at Hotel Plaza Colon


When we arrived, we received a voucher for a welcome drink at El Bar. The welcome drink, called El Macua, is the national cocktail and was unlike any I have ever tasted before. It included tamarind, which gave a nice balance of bitter and sweet at the same time. El Bar not only has cocktails and wines, but delicious food as well. It is the perfect place to sit and people watch throughout the Plaza.

El Bar

All stays at Hotel Plaza Colon include a fantastic breakfast served buffet style. Every morning you have the option of eggs freshly cooked to your liking, meats, breads, fruits, Nicaraguan coffee, fresh squeezed juice, and so much more. This was always my favorite part of the day while staying here. In case you need more caffeine throughout the day, Café Las Flores is on the south side of Hotel Plaza Colon and is another perfect option for watching the bustle of the Plaza.

Hotel Plaza Colon Breakfast Buffet

During your stay at Hotel Plaza Colon, make sure to learn about their sustainability practices. Hotel Plaza Colon is the only boutique hotel in Granada fully owned and operated by Nicaraguans. Many of the sustainable practices they use are not only helping the environment, but also giving back into the community to help it continue to grow. They buy all local produce, employ only local tradesmen, recycle, execute water and electricity conservation, and support community projects including their Eco School project.

Poolside at Hotel Plaza Colon


The staff of Hotel Plaza Colon was simply the best. They helped to answer any questions we had, pointed out where we needed to go, and always were always quick to greet with a smile.

Daily housekeeping is provided by the staff with fresh linens, towels, and additional supplies of soaps and ground coffee for the pot.

Reception Area of Hotel Plaza Colon

Getting to Granada

Granada is easily accessible throughout Nicaragua by car, shuttle, taxi, and local transit. We arrived via Leon with a brief layover in Managua at the UCA bus station. From the south it is possible to catch a bus direct from Rivas to Granada.

Hotel Plaza Colon, Granada

Hotel Plaza Colon offers Double, Queen and King Rooms, with or without a balcony. There is also suite, including two rooms and a balcony. For availability and pricing of all options, read Guest Rooms.

Location: Parque Central, Granada, Nicaragua


Outdoor garden at Hotel Plaza Colon

Adoration 4 Adventure were complimentary guests of Hotel Plaza Colon, however our opinions are our own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to our readers.

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Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for visiting Granada, Nicaragua. Including Masaya Markets, Masaya Volcano, Laguna de Apoyo and Hotel Plaza Colon.

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