I think Granada was the only city I visited in Central America that I truly liked and enjoyed my time in. The nearly 400 year-old city had an amazing mix of Latin American culture combined with the significant Spanish influence.* Founded in 1524 by Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba, it’s the oldest city in the new world and still retains much of it’s beauty from those early days. A trade center almost from its inception, the city’s position as the “Mistress of Lago de Nicaragua” became even more important when the Spanish realized that the Río San Juan was navigable from the lake to the sea. This made Granada rich – and vulnerable. Between 1665 and 1670, pirates sacked the city three times. Each time, the city rebuilt, grew richer, and became more powerful. Fortunately Granada was spared the worst of both the revolution of the 1850’s when it fought for leadership after the Spanish independence and the Contra War during the 1980’s.
It’s a city that transported me to the past with a unique charm that I hadn’t seen throughout the rest of the trip.