Granada is a city in western Nicaragua and the capital of the Granada Department. With an estimated population of 117,569 (2007), it is Nicaragua’s fifth most populous city. Granada is historically one of Nicaragua’s most important cities, economically and politically. It has a rich colonial heritage, seen in its architecture and structure.
Granada was founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, ostensibly the first European city in mainland America. Unlike other cities that claim the same distinction, the city of Granada was not only the settlement of the conquest, but also a city registered in official records of the Crown of Aragon, and the Kingdom of Castile in Spain.
Granada is also known as La Gran Sultana, in reflection of its Moorish and Andalusian appearance, unlike its sister city of León and historical rival, which displays Castilian trends.
Granada, like most of the Nicaraguan Pacific, is populated primarily by a Spanish-speaking majority of Mestizos. Residing here also are people from the United States, Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and France.
Currently, Nicaragua is experiencing a booming tourist economy. This, in turn, draws foreigners seeking colonial homes for purchase, adding a growing number of Europeans and Americans to the population of Granada. Real estate prices here were initially comparatively low, but have increased following the foreign interest and subsequent investments.
Why should you study Spanish in Granada, Nicaragua ?
- Granada is the oldest European-founded city in Nicaragua, the second oldest in Central America, and the third oldest in the Americas.
- Granada sits on Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest and most scenic lakes in the world.
- Granada has an active nightlife season as well as fun events and festivals that occur all year round.
- The city has some of the best tourist attractions in Nicaragua such as marketplaces and museums.
- Eco-tourists will love visiting the dormant Mombacho volcano, sailing on the lake and ziplining through the trees.
- Granada is a very comfortable base for exploring Masaya, the Pueblos Blancos or even Managua, just an hour away.
- “Granada is a good place to ease into things, with colorful surroundings, wonderful cuisine, and more creature comforts than elsewhere in the country” (Moon Travel Guides)
- “Granada should be top of your list to explore while traveling in Nicaragua” (Frommer’s)
- “In the tropical wonderland of Granada, Nicaragua, you unwind by hiking volcanic craters and swimming in eighty-degree lakes” (GQ)