Granada, Nicaragua: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

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Banco de America Central in GranadaSanta Iglesia Catedral Metropolitana de la Encarnación de Granada (Granada Cathedral)Guadalupe ChurchA view of the colorful old buildings in GranadaA panoramic view of Granada Cathedral and the grand old city of GranadaPlaza de la Independencia de Granada, also known as Plaza de los LeonesA glimpse of Granada's well-preserved gems of Spanish colonial architectureGranada city street

Granada is a city located in western Nicaragua, along the coast of Lake Nicaragua. It is also the capital of Granada Department. It is the oldest colonial city and the sixth most populous city in Nicaragua, and one of the most important ones in terms of history, economics, and politics. León city has been its long-time rival city. Granada was given the nickname La Gran Sultana, for its resemblance in appearance to Spain’s Moorish and Andalusian lands.

The city was founded by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba in 1524, making it the first officially-registered established European city in America. The city was named after mainland Spain’s ancient city of Granada, in honor of the defeat of the last Moorish stronghold in Spain. For centuries, Garanada has been witness to many bloody battles and attempts of invasion by Dutch, English, and French pirates.

The city is warm all year round, and with similarities in temperatures and geography with the country’s capital of Managua. The terrain includes dry forests, humid forests, hills, and a freshwater lake. Granada has three volcanic lagoons: Apoyo, Genirzaro, and Manares.

Population in the city is estimated to be over 123,700. Majority of the population are Spanish-speaking mestizos. There are a significant number of expats from the US, Canada, and European countries like Spain, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Granada is highly dependent on tourism and has been a long-time center for commerce especially for materials like timber, gold, and silver. It is currently experiencing a tourism boom, and development of new hotels and restaurants are currently on the rise. The city is also known for some of the finest well-preserved Spanish colonial-era architecture. Tourists visit Granada for its fine architecture, interesting history, and culinary delights. Real estate used to be a promising industry in Granada, but was thwarted due to rising housing prices. Granada also has significant fertile lands reserved for cultivation of bananas, cacao, cattle, coffee, and plantain.