Charming and colorful with the air of a small market town, Granada is the oldest colonial city in the Americas built by the Spanish in 1524 on the northwest shore of Lake Nicaragua, also known by its indigenous name, Lake Cocibolca, the biggest lake in Central America.

Granada was nicknamed ‘La Gran Sultana’ after its moorish architectural style from Andalucia and effectively became a Caribbean port for the conquistadors to ship out the gold and silver they plundered. Sacked by pirates and later by the American mercenary William Walker among others, Granada is quintessential Central America dripping with history and character.

Mombacho Volcano & Las Isletas

Mombacho Volcano makes an impressive backdrop to the city, its unusual shape created when one side collapsed 500 years ago. Its last major eruption occurred thousands of years earlier when a landslide and lava flow formed a peninsula into the lake and the massive rocks hurled from its crater formed 365 tiny tropical islands, known as Las Isletas.

Masaya Volcano & Laguna de Apoyo

Nearby are two more volcanic treats. it is mesmerizing to witness the orange glow of lava lighting up the night sky from the deep caldron of Masaya, one of Nicaragua’s most active volcanos. Another must is Laguna de Apoyo, an ancient volcano turned crater lake, a stunning spot to spend the day and swim in crystal water. At its center it is 200 meters deep, the lowest point in all Central America.