Thursday, October 29, 2015

Top 5 Things to do in Granada

Granada is hot, colourful, photogenic and hot. Here's what we would say are the Top Five things to do in Granada and the surrounding area:

5. Local Crafts- Between the Masaya Market and the Pottery School just outside of Catarina, there is a lot to interest those who are interested in the artisanal side of Granada. Watching a local potter who works at a Ceramic School craft a vase from start to finish (with different pieces from different stages of the process) was fascinating. Especially because every aspect of his craft is completed in the traditional way, using traditional tools and supplies. We visited both the Masaya Market and the ceramic school as part of a tour because we were a little short on time in Granada. ($35USD pp)

4. The view from the bell tower of Iglesia de La Mercad. This is definitely worth both the $1USD
admission and talking to the cranky guy who takes your $1USD.  Every direction is spectacular. The late afternoon sun on the cathedral makes it glow, although you can't go wrong any time of day

3. Volcano Masaya- The museum is good for a stroll but the venting crater is the highlight. There are night tours where you can sometimes see the red lava, or at least the glow of it, as well as bat caves. Not as cool as the actual caves, of course, but there are also bats behind the museum. Go out to the lookout point where your museum stroll likely ended. After taking a picture there, turn around back towards the door but a little to your left. You'll see a panel missing on the bottom right corner of the wall. Stick your head in there and you can see little bats hanging!

2. Laguna de Apopyo- Its the perfect remedy to the Granada heat. We liked it there so much, in fact, that if we were to go back, we would probably base ourselves in Laguna de Apoyo instead of Granada. I guess it depends where you stand on the city vs nature scale. We almost always lean in the nature direction. We stayed at Paradiso, which was comparable, room price wise, to the hostals in Granada, but comes with the added bonus of a lake to swim in after a hot day, or during a hot day, for that matter. The only downfall is that you have very little choice in the food department. They're menu is big enough and everything that we tasted was a generous portion and delicious and but the cost definitely adds up. Gallo Pinto for breakfast was $3.50 and almost everything else was around $5-$6 with a few options on either side of that. They offered a Masaya Volcano Tour for $25 ($10 less than in Granada) and have a shuttle everyday to Granada at 10:30 am coming back to the hostal around 15:00. ($3 pp). Shuttles go from Granada in a few places, Oasis is a reliable one.

1. Wandering the streets of Granada. Every turn is a new photograph waiting to be taken. The colours, architecture, markets and people. Its all beautiful in Granada and worth the heat to take it all in, with many stops at cafes to cool down, of course!

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