Last week a few of us hired cars and a guide to go check out some of the sites. It was great to have Pablo our driver, who speaks perfect english and is also a licensed tour guide.
First we went to see to Masaya Volcano which is about a 45 minute drive from our hotel. It’s Nicaragua’s first and largest National Park.
Pablo took us through the information centre explaining it’s history and it was all very interesting. You can drive right up to it and park and walk right up to the edge and look down into the smoking crater. It was pretty stinky of sulfur and I’m sure not good for our lungs. There are green Parakeets that nest in the walls of the crater and somehow have adapted to the smoke.
Then we drove to the town of Masaya to go to the Sunday Market. It wasn’t a very big market and it had the usual hammocks, jewellery and handicrafts. They have some real nice leather hats, boots and belts. The highlight was trying the Baho. Baho, is one of the cornerstones of Nicaraguan cuisine. Beef, plantains and yuca (cassava) are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed over water in a large pot. Baho is food for a Sunday afternoon. They start the recipe on Saturday by marinating the meat.
Then we headed to the beautiful city of Granada and lunch was the first thing in order. Pablo took us to the best seafood restaurant in town called Las Colinas del Sur with it’s tent like structure and dirt floor. We ordered the local fresh lake fish called El Guapote. They bring them out to show you the size and you can order small, medium or a large fish. It comes deboned but whole. It was really good with tomato and onion sauce on it and it also came with rice, fries and salad with avocado.
After lunch and a couple of local beers which by the way are great, we drove into and around the city. It was pretty hot out so we drove around in the comfort of air con and looked at the beautiful old buildings. Once we got to the square, we parked the cars and went for a walk. There are lots of restaurants with outdoor seating and lovely old hotels. We look forward to going back and spending more time checking out Granada.