|Karina, Me, Nick, Sadie.|
This past weekend, Karina and I flew down to Granada, Nicaragua to attend the wedding of our dear friends, Magaly and Aaron. As expected, it was a beautiful wedding weekend filled with plenty of sun, good friends, dancing, and lots of love. It was our first time in Nicaragua and we had a blast, so we put together a small little list of stuff to do, if you ever make it down there.
Karina, Charlie and many other wedding guests, including the bride and groom, stayed at Hotel Plaza Colon, which is the only boutique hotel in Granada fully owned and operated by Nicaraguans. It is right in the center of the city, directly in front of Parque Colón, so the area is safe and there is lots to do within a short walking distance. The rooms are large and spacious and the courtyard pool is perfect for cooling off after a day of touring the city.
I stayed at a different hotel not too far from Parque Colón, a cute little place called Hotel con Corzon. The rooms were great, the pool was heaven, and the staff was really warm and helpful. Plus, you can feel good about staying here because 100% of the hotel's profits are invested in education. It also doesn't hurt that they offer a great complimentary breakfast every morning of fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and eggs. My first morning there I had the best lychees! Just writing this makes me really miss it.
Another great hotel we checked out was the Tribal Hotel, which is as hipster as you're gonna get. And if I ever go back to Granada, I will most likely stay here. I mean, look how stylish it is. I am slightly obsessed.
|Images via Tribal Hotel.|
Honestly, because we were only in Granada for a short weekend, we did not have time to do a whole lot besides the wedding itself. However, we did manage to squeeze in a two hour boat tour of the Islands of Isletas, which are the 365 islands surrounding Granada. These islands are also known as ‘the daughters’ of the majestic volcano Mombacho. My hotel arranged it, so you can find more info here.
If you have more time, I would recommend heading to San Juan de Sur, which is the beachy part of the country. Most of my friends arrived a week early to do this (regretting I didn't as well!), so I heard nothing but amazing things. I guess I'll just have to go back one day.
Nicaragua also has some incredible volcanoes, so that might be something worth checking out.
We booked a private shuttle to pick us up from the airport in Managua and drive us to Granada. It's about an hour long ride and for three people, it was $45. We booked it with Adelante Express. Your hotel should also be able to help you.
We mistakenly ate at a Beatles themed restaurant called Imagine on our first day here, but that was because we were tired and hungry and frankly, just lazy about finding something authentic. So my advice is: do not go here. The food and drinks are NY prices (way too much) and the service is slow. Our food was fine, but just not worth it overall.
I would however, recommend the following places.
The Garden Cafe: I only made it here once, but it's definitely a spot I would try again. I ordered a hummus avocado sandwich that was tasty, healthy, and fresh. They also have a gift shop and cute open courtyard garden with hammocks.
El Zaguan: a bit fancier, with prices to match, but excellent food. Try the carne asado with a side of gallo pinto!
Tortillas: there is a lady who sells fresh tortillas on the street in the center of the park. I mistakenly only had one during the entire trip. I believe she is only there in the evenings, so plan accordingly.
Nectar: we had our welcome drinks here on Friday night, and it was great. It's located on Calle La Calzada, which is the main strip of Granada so there are lots of bars and restaurants surrounding it. Drinks were delicious and very affordable. Try the Macuá, which is made of white rum and fresh fruit juice!
As I said, it was a short trip, but the city of Granada is beautiful, so I'm glad we had the opportunity to visit.
Oh, and lastly, the wedding itself was held at this gorgeous hacienda called Ciudad Hacienda Los Altos, in Masaya, which is about half hour from Granada. I wish I could just relive the wedding, still going through withdrawal.