Things to do in Granada Nicaragua + Volcanoes

Granada is a city in the south of Nicaragua, Central America.  Things to do in Granada Nicaragua;

  • Paseo de los Mangos
  • Colonial Buildings of the Historic Center
  • Granada Pier
  • Islets of Granada
  • Michael Jackson Monkey
  • Masaya Volcano
  • Mombacho Volcano
  • Trips to Isla de Ometepe
  • Minivan to Managua or Leon

I recommend you stay at ‘Paseo de los mangos’, a street full of good value accommodation, restaurants as well as tour companies.

Paseo de los Mangos

Granada Nicaragua - Paseo de los Mangos

On Paseo de los Mangos are several guest houses, restaurants and tour companies.  As a result it’s the tourist district of Granada.  As well as several colorful houses, there are 2 of the main things to do in Granada Nicaragua.  At either end of the street are Guadalupe Church and the stunning Granada Cathedral.


Colonial Buildings of the Historic Center

Granada Nicaragua - Colonial Buildings

As you explore the historic center of Granada, you’ll pass several picturesque Spanish colonial buildings.  For this reason, the historic center is a top Instagram spot in Granada Nicaragua.

Granada Pier and Lake Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua - Pier

From Granada pier are fantastic views over Lake Nicaragua.  This makes Granada pier a perfect location to watch the sunset.  Did you know there are plans to make a canal through Nicaragua which would serve the same purpose as the Panama canal.

Mombacho Volcano

Granada Nicaragua - Mombacho Volcano

Mombacho volcano has not erupted for almost 500 years, however, it’s still active!  It’s possible to see the volcano from central Granada.  If you prefer to get closer, there are hiking trails to the crater.  Finally, the easiest way to visit Mombacho volcano is on a day trip from Granada.

Masaya Volcano

Granada Nicaragua - Masaya Volcano

Masaya Volcano is one of the few volcanoes in the world where you can see the magma.  You must take the night tour if you wish to see the magma.  Additionally, you’ll also need a bit of luck that the magma is visible!  Unfortunately there had been a forest fire a couple of days before I visited so the night tours were temporarily suspended.  I still managed to take the day tour and it was amazing to be a the top of a volcano and see the crater smoking.  There is a road all the way up the volcano, so no walking is required therefore it’s a brilliant way to see a very live volcano!  Lastly, there are regular Masaya tours from Granada.


Islets of Granada

Granada Nicaragua - Howler monkey, Islets of Granada

If you love birdwatching and wildlife watching then the Granada Islets tour is for you.  The small islands are very beautiful and some of them are for sale too.  Some of them have very rich and famous owners, some of them have monkeys as their only inhabitants.  Boat tours through the Granada Islets leave daily.

Michael Jackson Monkey

Granada Nicaragua - Michael Jackson Monkey

As you pass through the Granada Islets you may see the famous Congo monkey.  There is only one of them and the locals named it Michael Jackson for its white face and black body.  Did you know you can visit the filming location of ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ in Salvador Brazil?

Trip to Ometepe Island

About 10 years, I visited Nicaragua and the UNESCO Ometepe Island.  On this occasion I stayed overnight and took an early morning Maderas crater lagoon hike.  This hike took about 8 hours and was wet, muddy as well as slippery but worth it to see the crater lagoon at the top.  Day and overnight trips to Ometepe Island leave regularly from Granada.

How to get from Granada to Managua or Leon

Taxi from Granada to León

Private taxi from Granada to León with a tour of Managua.

I decided to take a private taxi to Leon because the driver gave me a good price and agreed to show me some sights in Managua.  I would recommend investigating this option if you’re a party of 3-4 as it will be a similar cost to the mini bus price.  The taxi driver I found was a driver on one of the tours I took.  After telling him my plans to go to Leon, he wanted to take me and he wanted to show me Managua as well.  More likely, he was looking for a job, but it worked for both of us.  I didn’t really want to visit Managua but with a local who’s going to show me the sites on route to my next destination, that will work!  If you are alone and require a minivan, you can book one on Paseo del los Mangos.

Managua to Leon

2019-01-19T16:28:22+00:00December 21st, 2016|Central America, Nicaragua|10 Comments


  1. Megan Indoe January 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Wow, it looks like there are alot of incredible things to see here! I want to see those howler monkeys! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them until now and I am a sucker for animals!

  2. Aaron January 9, 2017 at 2:40 am - Reply

    Wow. I love the volcano. I have always been into the geology surrounding rocks like this. I can definitely say that’s Nicaragua will be on my radar for places to visit.

  3. Lena January 9, 2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    thats a good tip with sharing a taxi, it’s probably more convenient than taking a mini bus anyway. However, I would love to go to Nicaragua; I was involved in a project when being still in school (‘some’ years ago) and ever since I wanna go there.. i hope I’ll make it one day!

  4. Sara January 9, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Nice!!! We haven’t been to Nicaragua yet but hopefully 2017 will be the year so I’ll keep this in mind 😉 Thanks for sharing

  5. Matt Hulland January 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, I love the pic of the Howler Monkey, I have a bit of a passion for our little furry cousins! The volcano sounds pretty awesome too. I don’t really know much about Nicaragua yet (including how to spell it without checking) I think I’m going to have to take a much closer look!

  6. Terence January 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Seeing an active volcano sounds awesome! I haven’t yet been to this part of the world but when I do, this sounds like something that could be really interesting to include on an itinerary 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  7. Alice Cardy January 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    This is not on my travel plans yet but it looks like a nice destination. I really like that you can go see the volcano up close, I did this with the Etna in Sicily when I was a child and I really enjoyed it! Also it’s good to know that you can make good deals with drivers to show you around!

  8. Sheri January 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Wow! Looks like this would be an awesome trip with a lot of unique elements to experience! I learned a lot from this post. Fantastic!

  9. Jessica January 16, 2017 at 6:38 am - Reply

    I hope to make it to Nicaragua at some point. It would be cool to do a long trip through Central America. I found out the hard way in Costa Rica that monkeys can be ferocious. I have been scared of them ever since.

  10. Anita January 16, 2017 at 7:16 am - Reply

    It seems to be a convenient way to travel around the place.

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