Granada is mainland America’s oldest city.
Granada is the right wing city of Nicaragua and Leon is the left wing city of Nicaragua. The political power moved between these two cities. When side got into power it sacked the other city and moved the power to their city. In the end Nicaraguans had had enough of this power struggles and created Managua between those two cities. There is still a lot to see in old colonial Granada funded 1524 although William Walker did his very best to sack the city 1856. Granada is located along the coast of Lake Cocibolca (known internationally as Lake Nicaragua) the world twentieth largest lake. From Managua it is a 47 km journey south to Granada. If you go by chicken bus it will cost one US Dollar for about one hour travel time. Expect to pay 40 US dollar for a hotel room with A/C, TV and hot and cold shower.
If you would like to travel around Nicaragua the cheap way the chicken buses are the way to go. These buses were used to transport school children to schools in United States during 1950. As you can see on the pictures they are still going strong. It´s not so good for the environment but Nicaragua is Latin Americas second poorest country only Haiti is poorer. Hopefully the western world will supply better buses in the future to combat environment destruction. If you choose to go by chicken bus you are in for a friendly and safe journey with the local Nicaraguan people. However it will be a cramped and steamy hot one as well. The Managua to Granada journey will cost about one US Dollar going by taxi will set you back 30 US Dollar. Since the risk for taxi robberies are high in Managua the chicken buses are safer way to go.
The best restaurant in Granada is El Zaguán behind the cathedral. This is a steak house, probably one of the absolute best restaurants in the country. During weekends the queue is very long outside El Zaguán. One needs to book a table in advance. If you are not fond of meat the other option is El Tercer Ojo on Calle Calzada. Both these restaurants will charge the fifteen percent tax smaller less well known restaurant do not charge any tax at all. Another recommended restaurant is the Mexican restaurant on Calle El Arsenal. The same place there El Tercer Ojo was located before moving to Calle Calzada. For a great breakfast I recommend Garden Café Calle La Libertad.
Calle Calzada is the area there most of the restaurants and hotels are located in Granada. The street lives up during the weekend with a lot of visitors from both Nicaragua and other countries. Calle Calzada begins at the main square continue past the cathedral all the way down to Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua). This street is safe even during the evenings as far down to the church Iglesia Guadalupe. From the church to the waterfront it´s not recommended to walk after dark due to occasional robberies on this part of the street.
Hotel El Familiar is on Calle Caimito. When I took a picture of this hotel the man in red come out and invited me to see their hotel. The paintings further down in this blog belongs to Hotel El Familiar. If you are looking for affordable lodging and don’t need air-condition I suggest you check out what they can offer. As I understood it their rooms were in the twenty US Dollar range. The paintings are of Augusto Cesar Sandino and Ruben Dario. Guerilla leader Augusto Cesar Sandino becomes a Nicaraguan hero for the Sandinista government ruling the Nicaragua during 1979 to 1990.
Ruben Dario is a Nicaraguan Poet.
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