Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed June 10 2015

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | June 10, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Granada: Your Mileage May Vary

    Granada: Your Mileage May Vary

    One of the many stunning colorful buildings we walked past (All photos by Shannon Wolf)

    Upon arrival in Granada, we stepped off the packed chicken bus and into the skittishly busy terminal next to the market. Within seconds, a drunken homeless man attempted to stab my friend with a broken, bloody bottle. Luckily, his aim was off and no one was injured, but the status of this metropolis as “the most romantic city in Nicaragua” was now questionable and remained that way until we left. 

    Although Granada was my least favorite city in Nicaragua, I will admit that every other backpacker I had spoken to had a pleasant experience. That being said, a destination can be heaven or hell — it’s all based upon your personal experience (so take everyone’s opinion with a grain of salt). In essence, Granada isn’t a place you want to stay for too long, but it’s definitely worth checking out. And on New Year’s Eve, I had the time of my life despite the bad start. The city is worth a stop over for a day or two and can be used as a port to get to other remarkable areas.

    Weather: Perfect weather day and night.

    Best/Unique Accommodation: Treehouse Poste Rojo Hostel ($5-$9 a night)

    Our first view of our treehouse hostel hidden away in the jungle of Granada

    I highly recommend coming here for a few days. When’s the next time you can say you slept in a treehouse in a jungle? They have a free shuttle that leaves every day from Parque Central in Granada at 12:30 p.m. Once you get to the accommodations outside the city, the hike up with your bags is a workout, but worth it, and it’s very easy to hitch a ride into town or get a cab!


    • Comfortable bunkbeds — you sleep in a cabin
    • Option to sleep in a hammock in the treehouse for $5 (bring a mosquito net)
    • Large lockers
    • Good working kitchen in the treehouse (buy groceries before getting here!)
    • Plenty of room to lounge around and relax
    • 2nd treehouse lookout point with hammocks, great for watching sunsets
    • Tandem bridge which leads from main treehouse to a hammock/hangout area
    • Unique outdoor log-shower
    • Waking up to the sound of howler monkeys swinging outside your window

    Note: If you have a spider phobia, you may not want to stay here. The hunter spiders wont harm you but they are HUGE, hairy and look like something out of a horror movie.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Best Accommodation in Granada: Oasis Backpackers ($10 a night)

    Initially we had stayed at Backpackers Hostel due to no room at Oasis during New Year’s. Backpacker Hostel had bedbugs, was dirty, and in need of some major TLC. Do yourself a favor and don’t stay there.


    • In the heart of the city/close to everything
    • Basic but comfortable bunk-beds
    • Good working Wi-Fi
    • Lockers
    • Pool
    • Laundry Services
    • Everything is within walking distance

    Cheapest Food:

    • Town Square Kiosks — serves a local dish for $2 made of yucca, pork, and cabbage called vigoron
    • Eat at the fritanga — An “all you can eat” buffet-style restaurant offering a typical Latin meal of rice, meat, cheese, and salad for $5.

    A little boy takes a morning walk through town

    MUST DO’S:

    • Explore the vibrant colonial city of Granada that has the most well preserved architecture in Nicaragua.

    • Climb to the top of the Bell tower of Merced — costs $1 and offers beautiful views of Granada and Mombacho.

    • Eat at Garden Café — A bit higher in price ($5-$8) but everything on the menu is incredible. The bruchetta, green curry, soup, and hummus plates are to die for.

    • Smoothies are cheap, nutritious, and delicious everywhere.

    • Dance the night away on Calle La Libertad.

More Granada


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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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