>Granada is a place you must visit. After living in Matagalpa for 3 weeks my visit here was like a breath of fresh air.
This city is one of the oldest and you can tell by its old colonial architecture. Spent most of my time roaming around the streets and asking questions to the locals. Found myself up in one of the many beautiful churches, in the bell tower to be exact taking in a sunset overlooking the city.
Stayed in Hotel Esfinge, and for all you local travelers headed to Granada, its a bit more expensive but you get your own room and there’s a kitchen for $7. I did find another couple hotels for 6 or so, that’s in a dorm.
Volcano Mombacho was amazing. The adventure just getting there was just as good. Chicken bus at 5:45am, 1.5k hike up to gates, huge cargo truck ride for 45 minutes up and then you get to start walking finally! The ElSendero Pumo hike is a 4 hours up and down hike that takes you around the 4 craters. With many look out points, its one hike to hit up for sure. For awhile I thought I was going to lose my legs.
The mirador in Catarina was stunning. It overlooks lake Apoyo, which is a crater lake that is relatively clean, compared to Lake Nicaragua (largest lake in Central America, which is a border to Granada) the lake is a crystal gem! Was a great trip up there as well, until I used the bathroom that didn’t have toilet paper, water on toilet, no running water or towels and they charged me to use it….if it would have been nice I would not have complained!
Masaya….a town of great market shopping. So big I got lost inside the HUGE shed that was tunnels of stuff. People would pull me into their cubes asking what I was looking for and saying,Pase adelante (pass forward!) Didn’t buy anything, no room in the heavy backpack, but so entertaining for a few hours. And don’t worry as I was getting there my bus started smoking heavily and people piled out, running away fast, so needless to say I walked and opted not to take another bus there.
And my favorite story from these few days is when I was on the bus, its hot, leather seats, I’m sweating profusely and the bus money man comes along collecting. As I was near the back sitting surrounded by people standing as well, the money man decides that he should stand near me while getting money from everyone behind. So I was blessed with his armpit covering my head for at least a minute as we bounced along this road while my head was cushioned by his very large belly. I couldn’t move and couldn’t stop laughing. WHY ME!!!!