Nicaragua is the land of volcanoes and lakes so while we enjoyed not doing many touristy things during our stay here, some things are simply unmissable.
Swimming in Laguna de Apoyo – the crater lake
In the centre of the Pacific strip of Nicaraguan territory, along the long volcanic chain that crosses the country from north to south, is a large and extinct crater. In the centre is one of the most beautiful lagoons in Nicaragua, Laguna de Apoyo.
We went to one of a handful of hostels located here for a day pass to their “beach club”. The entrance fee to spend the day is 6.00 dollars per person and 3.00 dollars for children from 6 to 12 years old. We spent the day relaxing in a sunbed overlooking the lake on one of the spacious terraces. We went kayaking, swimming played ping-pong and petanque, all which is included in the entrance fee. Getting here is easy from Granada by chicken bus and taxi or shuttle service that takes you all they way there.
Watching bubbling lava at the awesome Masaya volcano
We went with Erick tours out of Granada for a night viewing of the volcano. We spent a few hours exploring Masaya town before heading up the actual volcano just before sunset. There is a bit of a wait to get up to the volcano as they only allow 50 people at a time, but our guide, Alberto, was excellent. He spent the waiting time giving us information on Nicaragua volcanoes & Masaya and the general history of Nicaragua.
Once at the top, the lava lights up the whole sky in a magical orange glow! Amazing view of the bubbling lava but strong sulphur fumes means you can only stay 15 min at the top. We were all seriously coughing by then and glad to get off the top of the volcano.
Rooftop ride to swim in the cool waters of Aguas Agrias
In the rural community of Aguas Agrias, located south of the Mombacho Volcano , is a stunning natural lagoon where the locals go to cool off. Together with friends we took a pick up truck there and enjoyed an epic ride on the roof. We spent a few hours swimming in the cool waters watching the monkeys overhead. Simply wonderful!
Sunset at the Treehouse
On the way from Aguas Argias we went to the Treehouse for an amazing dinner at sunset. The Treehouse is located half an hours drive from Granada, 200m up in the jungle.
Its is a wonderful place to bring he kids, although some might think it’s perhaps a bit dangerous for little ones. The actual house is built into the side of volcano Mombacho, surrounded by howler monkeys, complete with a fire mans pole, some swings and a 60 metre canopy bridge connecting the main house where you eat to a smaller house where you can sleep in hammocks. The kids have never climbed up 200m so fast before in their life. We stayed for drinks, a communal meal and a truly beautiful sunset.
Other things we enjoyed in Granada
Pottery class making our own eggcups out of red clay from are area of san Juan de Oriente. We all had a go under the instruction of the watchful eye of the master, Carlos. We were not very successful, but persuaded him to sell us the little creations we made. Eggcups!
Watching the annual parade at Granadas global poetry festival
The International Poetry Festival celebrates poets from around the world (and is also the largest poetry festival in the world). We didn’t go to any of the poetry readings but enjoyed the many events that took place in Granada’s open plazas, parks, churches, and markets. The highlight for us was the Carneval which made its way trough the centre of Granada stopping at every street corner for a poetry reading.