Surroundings of Granada

Granada is located in the west shore of the Lake Nicaragua, the 9th by surface in America and the only one in which sharks live, 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 25 miles from the country capital, Managua. The city is sourrounded by astonishing natural landscapes that offer a great chance to live different experiences close to Granada and only a few minutes or hours far. The south area is specially interesting.

The Isletas

In the Lake Nicaragua there are more than 300 little islets, known as Isletas of Granada, that emerged as a result of a landslide or past vulcanic activity in the area. The richness and fertility of the soil mean that they give shelter to a unique ecosystem where visitors can admire and enjoy a huge variety of tropical plants and some animal species in a precious environment. Some of them became private properties and some mansions and luxury houses were built and can be observed from boats. In one of the islets the spaniards built a fortress, called Fuerte San Pablo, in order to defend Granada from the pirates that reached the lake sailing the San Juan river from the Caribbean.

Mombacho volcano

This volcano is 1.345 meters high and stands in the Volcán Mombacho National Park. It is the home of a great number of animals and plants, what turns it into a natural sanctuary of great ecological value. Its last eruption is dated in 1570, but that does not mean that the volcano is extinct. The views of the Lake Nicaragua and the city of Granada are magnificient so the climbing is worth it. The main activity is hiking, but you can also enjoy practicing adventure sports, visiting coffee, tobacco or cocoa platations among other leisure options.

Did you know that...

The Lake Nicaragua is known with other names. It is also called Mar Dulce (Sweet Sea), Lake Granada or Gran Lago (Big Lake). However, the oldest known name is Lake Cocibolca, a náhuatl word of this mesoamercan language.

Nicargua butterfly reserve

This quiet place, a bit away from the city of Granada, is ideal to rest, stay relaxed and admire some nature wonders. It is a space where to walk through local tropical vegetation with detailed information about butterflies' life cycle or accompained by a professional well trained guide. The compound hosts dozens of colorful butterflies that fly around visitors without any shyness. It is an amazing and delightful experience.

Zapatera Island

This wild island harbors a rich and diverse ecosystem that hosts a lot of nicaraguan plants and animals, as well as a dormant volcano, and it is known because of its first-level archaeological remains. It was declared as nicaraguan National Park in 1982 when experts unburied dozens of precolumbian era stone statues, ceramics and petroglyphs, what means that the island was a ceremonial center. The combination between exuberant nature and cultural mysticism makes the island the best place for a different and wild trip, since facilities are very humble. It is recommended to make a one-day trip and enjoy fishing and hiking.

Did you know that...

Granada was considered, and acted as, a very important atlantic port although it is located closer to the Pacific Ocean. The San Juan river connects the Lake Nicaragua with the Caribbean Sea making the city an important point in the middle of wealthy commercial routes.


Further from Granada than Zapatera Island, Ometepe is the biggest island of the Lake Nicaragua and one of the most famous nicaraguan emblems. Its name comes from náhutl language (it means two mountains) and it refers to the two volcanos that rise in the island, the Concepción volcano, active for the last time in 2005, and the Madera volcano, extinct. The facilities are much better than in Zapatera Island and Ometepe is prepared to receive tourists, so many activities are available, from sports to hikes, observing animals and plants, archaeological visits, cultural activities, relax in the beach or visiting Ometepe's Museum, focused on islander culture, history and traditions.