Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake, is home to an archipelago of 365 islands. Formed by the eruption of Mombacho Volcano, the Islets of Granada include uninhabited isles, traditional fishing villages, private residences, and luxurious resorts. Explore as part of a “best of” Nicaragua or Granada tour, or with a private guide.
A boat cruise or kayak excursion around Lake Nicaragua makes a popular addition to a sightseeing tour of Granada. Floating past the islands, travelers enjoy stunning views of the islands and Mombacho Volcano, as well as a glimpse of local life on the islands. Wildlife lovers can also visit Monkey Island, known for its large population of capuchin monkeys, and look out for birds, including warblers, tanagers, hawks, and jays. Granada City tours from Managua often visit Lake Nicaragua as do multi-day excursions that also explore Western Nicaragua.
Things to Know Before You Go
- All of the islands are car-free; the only way to get around is on foot.
- There is a restaurant on one of the islands where it’s possible to purchase lunch.
- Some boat tours to the Islets of Granada are wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to check with the tour operator in advance.
How to Get There
The Islets of Granada are located on Lake of Nicaragua, along the coast of Granada. Boat tours leave from Puerto Asese, a 5-minute taxi ride from downtown Granada.
When to Get There
Boat cruises run all year. The most popular time for sightseeing is during the dry season months of November to April. However, for bird-watching, time your visit for May and June, during mating and nesting season.
In the center of the vast Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island is the largest island on the lake. Reachable by ferry from Granada and San Jorge, it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with beautiful sandy beaches, volcanic peaks, and lush rain forest. A popular holiday resort and weekend getaway from Granada, the island is a great destination for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as swimming and kayaking around the lake.