- Where to Go
- The Best of Nicaragua
- Nicaragua’s Best Surfing
- Hiking Nicaragua’s Ring of Fire
- Nicaraguan Arts & Crafts
- Nicaragua’s Great Green North
- Sportfishing in Nicaragua
- Down the Río San Juan
- Nicaragua’s Celebrations & Fiestas
- Volunteering in Nicaragua
- Diving & Snorkeling in Nicaragua
- Managua’s Revolutionary Driving Tour
Horsedrawn Carriage Tour
Find the carriages along the western, shady side of Parque Colón (prices vary, about $10–15 per hour). Please patronize only those drivers who seem to be taking good care of their animals (the situation is improving, but the occasional bag-o-bones with open saddle sores are still around).
Not only is the tour pleasant, but it will help orient you for the rest of your stay in town.
Sailing and Boating
Getting out on the water is the right way to enjoy this beautiful corner of Nicaragua; watch weather conditions carefully as Lake Cocibolca gets choppy fast as the wind picks up. Taking a boat trip through Las Isletas is the best way to do that.
The closest option for the active is renting a kayak from Inuit Kayaks (tel. 505/8691-0616, $12 per hour) in the Centro Turístico. They assemble groups that caravan out through the closer isletas, a safe and fun way to explore. There are a lot more options though.
Velago Nicaragua Sailing School (located at the Cabana Amarilla, tel. 505/2459-4699, velagoGranada [at] gmx [dot] at, www.velagogranada.com) offers sailing day trips on the lake (but not through Las Isletas) at $30 pp, and will teach you to sail over the course of a few days, if you’d like. Their fleet consists mostly of Hobie Cat catamarans that will get your adrenaline pumping.
To beat the heat, it’s well worth the $5 per person to use the swimming pool at the Mombacho Beach Club, located inside Hotel Spa Granada (Calle Atravesada, across from Bancentro, tel. 505/2552-4678, daily 10 a.m.–6 p.m.). You can make spa and beauty appointments there as well. Whether for swimming laps, cooling off, enjoying cocktails and light snacks, or checking e-mails, this place is right for you!
If you start early before the temperature rises, a bike ride down the Peninsula de Asese can be excellent, and the birdlife present there will astound you. Start at NicarAgua Dulce (Marina Cocibolca, tel. 505/8802-0285, www.nicaraguadulce.com) where you can rent a beater bike. Follow the signs for Balneario El Rayo, a small harbor out at the end of the Asese peninsula with a wonderful view of Ometepe.
The road goes from bumpy to appalling over the course of the ride, but you should be pedaling slowly anyway so you can spot the animals (and so you don’t get heatstroke). Bring lots of water and a bathing suit so you can cool off in the lake at the end.
Spas and Massage
The three blind masseuses at Seeing Hands Massage (in the back of Euro Cafe, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat.) will give you a chair or full body massage (15-minute chair massage under $5). Hotel Spa Granada (Calle Atravesada, across from Bancentro, tel. 505/2552-4678) is the city’s first full-service luxury spa.
Swenja Janine (tel. 505/8451-0891, SJSchlegel [at] gmx [dot] de) offers Hawaiian massage, relaxation, and reflexology for about $25 per hour. Maximus Spa (401 Calle El Arsenal, tel. 505/2552-8422) offers full body massages.
© Randall Wood & Joshua Berman from Moon Nicaragua, 4th Edition