From bougainvillea to orchids, dahlias and jasmine, the little town of Catarina overflows with flowers and herbs which tumble from the nurseries, gardens, and flower baskets dotted around town. On weekends especially, you’ll see daytrippers from Managua, Masaya and Granada come to smell the flowers and purchase some blossoms for their homes.
Home to more flowers than people, Catarina is also known for its skilled basket weavers and woodcarvers. You can buy locally-made crafts at the Villa de Artesanías, which you’ll see at the town entrance. Catarina is also home to lots of lively restaurants, and in November and December especially, there are many street fairs, like the festival of Santa Catalina.
Catarina is also known for its views of Laguna de Apoyo and the volcanoes and islands beyond. On the edge of the lake, Mirador de Catarina viewpoint is easy to find, and on a clear day you can see all the way out to the twin volcanic peaks of Ometepe. On sunny days, it’s also popular to head to the nearby beach on the lagoon.
Catarina is a nine-mile (15-km) drive from Granada. The town can be reached by taking the Granada-Masaya highway for about six miles (10 km). Then turn left at “Las Flores” and continue up the hill to Catarina. To visit the Mirador de Catarina lookout point, there is a small fee of about $1.