Granada and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I headed over to Granada from Masaya and checked into a huge hostel with lots of hammocks and a pool.  I’m glad I chose a hostel with lots of amenities, because I wasn’t a big fan of the town itself.  After I grabbed breakfast, I wandered down to the local market.  Whew!  It was super intense.  It reminded me of one of the markets in Saigon, except this one was outdoors and jam-packed with people, bicycles, buses, everything.  The town center and parquet central is pretty… very touristy, and seemingly out of place.  There is such a stark contrast between the colonial buildings that house expensive restaurants and bars, and the surrounding area.  I found it unsettling actually, so I spent most of my time reading in a hammock in the hostel.  I did talk to a few local people, including a hammock seller named Leonard, a jewelry seller named Chapi, and a painter named Nike.

The last day I was there, I was wandering far away from the town center looking for the bus station with another backpacker, and there was a lot of tension in the air.  I definitely didn’t feel that my presence was welcome.  Also heard about five separate sets of gunshots.  Maybe some were firecrackers or something, I’m not sure.

In San Juan del Sur, I was looking for a non-existent hostel and found another one, super cool and it has free wifi.  So the beach is two blocks away, there’s a market one block away, and I can work here.  Hmmm, think I’ll be sticking around for awhile…

Off this dirt road is a staircase, about 300 steps to be precise, that leads to all these luxurious hotels and restaurants.  The pictures are from a restaurant at the very top with a pool and amazing views over the beach.  The menu was in US dollars – not a good sign for a backpacker!  Honestly, as nice as it was, I felt strange being up there in the lap of luxury when I’m sure most local people haven’t even been up there.  Sounds like Granada…

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  • Amazing article and photos about Granada. Thank you jasmine.

  • WOW! The view is breathtaking and the women are gorgeous.

  • That text sounds amazing. I remember travelling in GOA and having similar thoughts to you, although it was a good many years ago.

    I remember I As was BOMBAY. I arrive as a large area of the city was bombed. One night I was in panic as I woke to gun fire… Only then noticed they were fire works going off!!!

  • Hey Jasmine, Thanks for the information about Granada! I guess San Juan del Sur is a wonderful tourist destination. I should plan for a trip then. Nice photographs of the restaurants.

  • That restaurant and pool sounds like an amazing find although it sounds like the rest of the area was just as well avoided. Whether it was gunshots or fireworks that still sounds like a really scary experience.

  • That is ridiculously awesome. I am extremely jealous of you.