Insider's Guide to Granada

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Lake Nicaragua (Lake Cocibolca)

Nicaragua’s largest lake goes by many names: Lake Nicaragua, Lake Cocibolca, Lake Granada and even “Mar Dulce,” or “Sweet Sea.” The official name is Lake Nicaragua, but since it’s right next to the city of Granada you can see how “Lake Granada” might also seem appropriate. The lake is a major source of activities in the area, both for visitors and residents, and its sheer size means that there’s plenty of room for everyone who wants to get on or in the water.

You can take boat or kayak tours on Lake Nicaragua to explore Las Isletas (the archipelago of tiny islands), take a day trip to Isla Zapatera or spend a night on the lake’s biggest island, Ometepe. This enormous lake is home to some larger-than-you-might-expect creatures, including bull sharks. Weather conditions can make the lake surface choppy (and boat trips unpleasant for anyone with seasickness) - you might rightfully wonder how Lake Nicaragua got its “Sweet Sea” nickname. If you’d prefer to stay on solid ground, you can still enjoy the lakeside atmosphere in Granada, sharing the beach with local families.

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