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Why Granada, Nicaragua Is a Great Place to Live

Walking down the cobblestone streets of Granada, Nicaragua past the brightly painted colonial buildings, wandering through the burgeoning markets, and watching the sunset from the top of the Merced Tower, it’s easy to understand why many cite it as their favorite city in Central America.


Pete Schnell

The small size and walkability could fool you into thinking it is a town, that is until you taste some of the incredible food and soak up all of the culture. Situated along Lake Nicaragua and resting below the towering Mombacho volcano you can find yourself from city to nature in minutes. For those looking for first world comforts, exciting culture, and nature adventures, Granada is an ideal place to live.

Strong Expat Community

With affordable investment opportunities, plenty of volunteer programs, Spanish language schools, and research programs for teachers, environmentalists, and anthropologists, there are many established expats living and thriving in Granada already. This community is well-connected and dedicated towards improving the living standards for the outlying community.

Expat hubs like The Garden Cafe with organic healthy fare and Pure Spa with yoga, pilates, and healthy communal meals, organize volunteering events and connect individuals with the greater community. Moving abroad can be a much more seamless experience when a well-established, accessible expat community already exists.

Low Cost of Living

Nicaragua is one of the most affordable countries in Latin America and that becomes apparent the moment you step foot in Granada. A one hour massage in a reputable spa costs $20, a  full breakfast in an organic cafe is less than $4, and large beautiful colonial homes rent for less than $1000 per month.

With this low cost of living and accessibility to many luxury services provided by international restaurants, full service spas, and a strong arts and culture scene, it’s possible to enjoy a very high quality of life at an extremely low price point.

Art and Culture

It’s easy to quickly become enchanted with Granada. The beautiful streets with colonial churches and architecture are quite picturesque and might fool you into thinking you’re in a lovely town in Europe.

However the moment you walk through the bustling markets it’s clear that you are in Latin America. Locals sell fresh fish, produce, herbs, cheeses, and more on the streets which creates a colorful lively scene. The many galleries and art stores reflect Nicaragua’s long dedication to the arts and add a fascinating layer to the community.

Many international and local fusion restaurants line the streets offering local grilled steak and plantains while street vendors grill fresh cornmeal patties filled with cheese. The unique melding of European and Latin culture makes Granada a very special city to explore.

Proximity to Natural Wonders


JeffR Travel

Granada may be a city but it’s within a few miles of plenty of incredible outdoor activities. Residents can enjoy the comforts of city life as well wilderness exploration and time with nature.

Lake Nicaragua and the Isletas

At the end of town is Lake Nicaragua with its many beautiful wilderness-covered isletas that you can explore by chartered boat or kayak. The 365 tiny islands were formed from a volcanic explosion. Today the isletas support an entire community with schools, homes, and restaurants.

Mombacho Volcano

Less than ten miles from Granada is the Mombacho volcano which offers stunning views of Lake Nicaragua and the isletas. The volcano has four craters and is covered in cloud forest filled with animals. Howler and white face monkeys, snakes, deer, reptiles, and birds all call this forest home. At the top of the volcano there are plenty of trails that one can explore.

La Laguna de Apoyo

A short drive from the town center, the Laguna de Apoyo is a stunning place to observe animals and cool off from the city heat. This crystal-clear stunning lagoon was formed by the eruption of a volcano thousands of years ago. The lagoon is a great place for swimming and kayaking while the surrounding forest is teeming with flora and fauna.

Masaya Volcano

The Masaya volcano sits between Granada and Managua and sits in Nicaragua’s first National Park which boasts two volcanoes and five craters. The top of the volcano has great views and is often active. In the park there is an underground tunnel formed by lava flows and in the tunnel one can observe bats and glowing lava!

Pacific Coast Beaches

An hour and half drive from Granada are some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America with some stellar surfing. Weekend beach excursions are easy for those living in Granada. San Juan del Sur is the most popular beach for tourists, surfers, and yogis, but there are plenty of more relaxed beaches on the coast with equally surfable waves.

Las Penitas near Leon even has turtle hatchings on the beach that you can observe or participate in by protecting the baby turtles from predators as they make their way into the ocean.

With its solid arts and culture scene, established expat community, low cost, high quality living, beautiful architecture, and many outdoor activities, Granada is a great place for those looking for city comforts, immersion in another culture, and proximity to nature.

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One thought on “Why Granada, Nicaragua Is a Great Place to Live

  1. 1

    No one ever mentions why no one lives by the lake here at Granada… This is something the locals want to keep quiet. Raw sewage is still being pumped into it and the insects are a problem as well.
    Most people will become tired of the heat there also. Electricity ain’t cheap here!

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