Museos Convento San Francisco

Museos Convento San Francisco, Granada (Nicaragua)

Next to the church Convento San Francisco (one of the oldest in Central America) you can find the Museos Convento San Francisco in the former Franciscan monastery. It is the best place if you want to learn more about the history and traditions of Granada, Nicaragua. The museum is a wild mix of exhibits giving you inside in the earlier and later past of the city. Near the entrance you will first find a vast model of the city giving you the chance to understand the layout of Granada which is heavily shaped by colonial history.

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The Gringo Café

The Garden Café, Granada (Nicaragua)

Sometimes when I’m abroad and overwhelmed by the unusual life around me, by the different climate and the unfamiliar world surrounding me I’m looking for a safe harbor. For something well known, where I know how to act and where everything feels under control. That is most often an international chain, a coffee bar like Starbucks. People tend to laugh about this, but I’m not worried to admit that even I need to get accustomed to the situation.

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Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes

Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes, Granada (Nicaragua)

The Catholic church La Merced is one of the most iconic buildings of Granada, Nicaragua. That is mostly because of the centuries old Baroque-style facade of the building, it is an important cultural heritage of the city. La Merced (or Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes) was built in 1534 and razed by pirates in 1655. In 1781 the tower was added in a different architectural style; it was destroyed during the Nicaraguan civil war in 1854.

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No hay trenes a Granada

Antigua Estación del Ferrocarril, Granada (Nicaragua)

The state railway of Nicaragua (Ferrocarril de Nicaragua, FCN) existed between 1877 and 1996. The main track was from Corinto at the Pacific ocean to Granada at the Lago Cocibolca. From there, goods could be shipped via the Suan Juan river to the Atlantic ocean – a coast to coast connection. But there were also tracks to León, Masaya, Chinandega and San Juan del Sur. In 2001 also the last private railway closed down and there are no trains running through Nicaragua anymore.

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Malécon, Granada (Nicaragua)

When you’re leaving the city center of Granada, Nicaragua, to the east you’ll reach the Malécon at the Cocibolca lake. Don’t expect a promenade with many people passing along or bars and restaurants. It is the chance to have a look at the lake or to get onto the pier to catch a ship going to the Isletas, to Zapatera or Ometepe. If you want to have a drink you need to walk along the shore further to the south, to a place flagged as Centro Turístico.

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Parque Central

Parque Central, Granada (Nicaragua)

People sitting on benches chatting, children chasing pigeons, merchants selling their products on a small market, horse carriages waiting for passengers to jump in. The Parque Central of Granada, Nicaragua, is as usual in colonial cities the heart of the town, the living room, the meeting place. Bars, restaurants and hotels surround this place which makes a good starting point for a visit to the city. Fountains and statues, dedicated to national poet Rubén Darío, to the country Nicaragua and to mothers in general decorate the place.

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Colonial house

Hotel El Arca De Noe, Granada (Nicaragua)

The Hotel El Arca de Noé is the perfect starting point for a trip to Nicaragua. Located in the city center of Granada it is situated in a former colonial house with a garden in its center. Once you’re overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the streets you can enter this oasis and relax in one of the many hammocks or rocking chairs. The rooms are all located around this patio and in the mornings they serve you breakfast there: either the traditional Gallo Pinto (beans and rice) or pancakes with bananas.

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Lago Cocibolca

Lago Cocibolca / Lago de Nicaragua, El Guayabo

The Cocibolca or Lago de Nicaragua is the second-largest inland lake in Latin America after Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru. It stretches from the border to Costa Rica in the south to the city of Granada in the north. The water of the lake runs through the Río San Juan into the Caribbean Sea and this river can also be used by larger ships. That was discovered in 1525 by the Spanish, but also in the 17th century by pirates attacking the city of Granada.

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